This revision petition has been filed under section 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, against the impugned order dated 06.05.2015, passed by the Haryana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Panchkula (hereinafter referred to as 'the State Commission') in Appeal No. 1026/2014, Haryana Urban Development Authority vs. Raj Kumar & Ors., vide which, while allowing the appeal, the order passed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Gurgaon, dated 18.08.2006, in Consumer Complaint No. 553/2005, filed by the present petitioners, allowing the said complaint, was set aside and the complaint was ordered to be dismissed on the ground that the complainant did not come
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under the definition of ‘consumer’, being an oustee from the land acquired by the OP respondent for their development scheme.
2. Briefly stated, the facts of the case are that the complainants no. 1 and 2, Raj Kumar and Ramesh Kumar, who were recorded as ‘land owners in possession’ of the land, located in the Revenue Estate of village Khandsa, Tehsil & District Gurgaon, Haryana, which was acquired by the State of Haryana vide notification no. LAC(G)/8891 dated 16.12.1988 for developing Sector-37 at Gurgaon. The complainants no. 1 and 2 made application for allotment of a plot in Urban Estate Gurgaon as per the policy for giving land to oustees, framed by the State of Haryana. The application was first made to the Chief Administrator, HUDA, but on his instructions, the application was made to the Estate Officer, HUDA, Gurgaon and earnest money of Rs. 1,05,248/- was paid on 17.07.2000, through the Oriental Bank of Commerce, Rohtak. The OP/respondent HUDA allotted plot no. 429, Sector-47 at Gurgaon, vide memo no. 551 dated 20.05.2003 and directed the complainants to pay a sum of Rs. 1,57,872/- within 30 days of the date of issue of the allotment letter. The complainants made payment of Rs. 1,60,000/- on 17.06.2003. The complainants then made an application for transfer of the said plot to complainant no. 3/petitioner no. 3, Sunil Kumar, which was allowed by the OP HUDA, after obtaining the desired documents and the deposits. However, later on, the OP HUDA vide their letter no. 989 dated 20.01.2004 cancelled the allotment of the plot made in favour of the complainants no. 1 and 2 and subsequent transfer of the same to the complainant no. 3, without giving him an opportunity of being heard to them. The complainants filed the consumer complaint in question, seeking withdrawal of cancellation letter dated 20.01.2004 in respect of plot no. 429, Sector-47, Urban Estate, Gurgaon. The complainants also demanded a sum of Rs. 2 lakhs as compensation, Rs. 1,80,000/- for undesirable pain and agony, Rs. 1,60,000/- as cost and Rs. 11,000/- as litigation expenses etc. In the reply to the complaint filed before the District Forum, the OP HUDA stated, inter-alia, that the consumer fora had no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint as the complainants were not consumers. Moreover, the jurisdiction of the consumer fora was barred under Section 50(2) of HUDA Act, 1977.
3. The District Forum, after considering the averments of the parties, allowed the consumer complaint and directed the OP HUDA to deliver the possession of plot no. 429, Sector-47, Gurgaon to Sunil Kumar, complainant no. 3 and also imposed cost of Rs. 5,000/- on the OPs on account of litigation expenses. Being aggrieved against the order of the District Forum, the OP HUDA challenged the same by way of an appeal before the State Commission. The said Commission vide impugned order, dated 06.05.2015 stated that the complainants did not come under the category of ‘consumer’, as the allotment of plots was being made to them under the oustee policy of the State Government as a gesture of goodwill and hence, there was no element of hiring of service for consideration on the part of the Ops. Being aggrieved against this order of the State Commission, the complainants are before this Commission by way of filing the present Revision Petition.
4. The learned counsel for the petitioners averred that the petitioners/complainants did come under the definition of ‘consumer’ under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The plot in question had been allotted to complainants nos. 1 and 2, being oustees of the land acquired for development of an Urban Estate. The plot in question had been duly transferred in favour of the complainant no. 3 by following proper procedure and hence, the complainant no. 3 was a consumer of the OP HUDA. On the other hand, the learned counsel for the respondent has drawn attention to a number of orders, already passed by this Commission, in which a view has been taken that the allotment of plots under the oustee policy, was a gesture of goodwill only and hence, the complainants did not fall under the category of ‘consumer’. Attention has been drawn to the orders passed by this Commission in HUDA & Anr. vs. Raghunandan Lal, Revision Petition No. 1934/2012, decided on 18.12.2013; Chief Administrator, HUDA & Anr. vs. Shamsher Singh, Revision Petition No. 3846/2012, dated 27.01.2015; HUDA vs. Udai Singh, Revision Petition No. 3456/2009, decided on 02.02.2010.
5. I have examined the entire material on record and given a thoughtful consideration to the arguments advanced before me.
6. A perusal of the order of this Commission in HUDA vs. Udai Singh (supra) reveals that a view was taken that since the owners of the land had received compensation for the land acquired by HUDA, the allotment of a residential plot under the oustee scheme was only a gesture of goodwill and there was no element of hiring the service for any consideration by the complainants. In Revision Petition No. 1934/2012, HUDA & Anr. vs. Raghunandan Lal also, relying on the order in HUDA vs. Udai Singh (supra) and some other orders a similar view was expressed and the complaint in question was ordered to be dismissed. In the case, Chief Administrator, HUDA vs. Shamsher Singh (supra), it has been categorically brought out that the complainant in such cases was not covered by the definition of ‘consumer’ under the Act. The consumer complaint was not maintainable and the consumer fora had no jurisdiction to entertain the same.
7. Looking at the orders already passed by the coordinate Benches of this Commission in similar matters, it is evident that the view taken by the State Commission in the impugned order that a person to whom a residential plot was allotted under the oustees scheme, cannot be held as a ‘consumer’, is in accordance with law.
8. I, therefore, do not find any illegality, irregularity or jurisdictional error in the orders passed by the State Commission and the same is ordered to be upheld. The present Revision Petition, being without any merit, is ordered to be dismissed. There shall be no order as to costs.