First Appeal No.890 of 2015 has been filed by the appellant Rajasthan Housing Board against the order dated 08.07.2015 of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Rajasthan, (in short ‘the State Commission’) passed in CC No.58 of 2014. First Appeal No.34 of 2016 has been filed by the appellant Capt. B.K.Gupta against the order dated 08.07.2015 of the State Commission, Rajasthan, passed in CC No.58 of 2014.2. Brief facts of the case are that the complainant Capt. B.K.Gupta had booked a house under the RAJ AANGAN Scheme of the Rajasthan Housing Board reserved for NRIs for total sale consideration of Rs.24,47,500/-. On 13.5.2004 a cheque for Rs.2,44,750/- i.e. 10% of the cost of the house was paid at the time of booking. The rest of the cost was to be paid in four instalments. The second instalment i.e. 22.5% of the sale price was to be paid within one month of the commencement of the construction of bungalow and balance three instalments each of 22.5% of the sale price were to be paid at the six months interval thereafter. As per the original agreement executed between the parties, the possession was to be delivered within thirty months from the date of reservation. The Housing Board vide letter dated 12.08.2005 informed the respondent that there was encroachment on the land on which the bungalow of the complainant was to be constructed and complainant was given two options either to bear the escalated cost of the actual future construction or as per the clause 18 of the general terms and conditions take the refund of the amount deposited with interest and cancel the allotment. The complainant by a letter and fax objected to the letter dated 12.08.2005 and informed the Board not to cancel the allotment and protested the increased possible demand of cost for construction. The physical possession of the land was obtained by the Rajasthan Housing Board on 16.01.2011. The Reservation letter was issued in favour of the complainant on 15.03.2011. The allotment was issued vide letter dated 28.05.2012. The possession was handed over to the complainant on 30.5.2012. The complainant filed a Consumer Complaint no.58/2014 for compensation under various heads including interest on the booking amount for the delay in giving possession. The State Commission on 08.07.2015 partly allowed the complaint and directed the opposite party to pay interest @ 12 % p.a. on the initial deposited amount of Rs.2,44,750/- from the date of deposit till the date of actual allotment letter dated 28.05.2012 and Rs.1,00,000/- towards mental agony. Aggrieved by the order of the State Commission both these appeals have been filed.3. Heard the learned counsel for the parties in both the appeals and perused the record. The learned counsel for the appellant Rajasthan Housing Board in FA No.890 of 2015 stated that the State Commission has not accepted various allegations made by the complainant, still the State Commission has ordered the Housing Board to pay interest @12% per annum on the booking amount of Rs.2,44,750/- to the complainant from the date of payment of this amount till the date of the allotment letter viz 28.5.2012. Learned counsel stated that as early as in the year 2005, the complainant was informed vide letter dated 12.08.2005 that the project is getting delayed and Housing Board will not be in a position to deliver the possession at the cost on the date of booking and therefore, under Clause 18 of the General Conditions, the complainant may either seek refund along with interest or may furnish an undertaking that he agreed to pay the actual cost incurred by the Housing Board at the time of future construction. The complainant did not seek refund and continued with the booking. Thus, the complainant has committed himself to any increased cost actually incurred by Rajasthan Housing Board for the construction of the said house. It was further argued by the learned counsel for the Housing Board that in fact in the year 2007, the Board passed a resolution to give these houses on the rates of the year of booking i.e. 2004. The Housing Board got the possession of the land only in the year 2011 and the reservation letter was issued on 15.03. 2011. The complainant made the payment of instalments thereafter and he was handed over the possession on 30.5.2012. Thus, there was no delay on the part of the Rajasthan Housing Board in completing the house and delivering the same to the complainant after getting the possession of the land. Though the reservation letter states that the possession will be given in 30 months, however, the possession was actually delivered in 14 months only. Thus, on no count, the Rajasthan Housing Board was deficient in its service towards the complainant. The order of the State Commission for payment of interest @12% on the booking amount of Rs.2,44,750/- is erroneous in the circumstances of the case. Learned counsel further argued that had the case been of refund then the interest on the booking amount would have been justified. When the Housing Board took a decision in the year 2007 to construct and deliver the house at the rates of 2004, then the Housing Board would have taken into consideration the booking amount already paid by the applicants and thus no interest is liable to be paid to the complainant on the booking amount.4. On the other hand, complainant who is present in person, stated that there has been undue delay in construction and handing over the possession and therefore, the complainant is entitled to interest on the booking amount from the date of payment till the date of possession. In fact, if the land was not in possession of the Housing Board, they should not have advertised the scheme and they should not have accepted booking amount. The complainant further stated that the total price of the house was Rs.24,47,500/-, whereas the Housing Board has charged Rs.34,69,848/- from the complainant even though it was claimed by the Housing Board that they would deliver the house at 2004 rates. The State Commission has clearly observed in its order that Clause 18 of the General Conditions relates to delay due to courts orders etc. beyond the control of the Housing Board, but in the present case, the land was not in possession of the Housing Board and still they accepted the booking amounts and thus clause 18 will not be applicable in the present case. The State Commission has accordingly granted interest @12% per annum on this reasoning. As the money remained with the Housing Board, the complainant is entitled to interest on this amount.5. Coming to the appeal filed by the complainant being FA No. 34 of 2016, the complainant stated that the State Commission has not considered the evidence filed by the complainant in respect of shortcomings/deficiencies in the house constructed by the Housing Board. The State Commission has erroneously observed that in respect of various allegations relating to shortcomings in the house, no evidence has been filed by the complainant. This is a wrong observation of the State Commission as the evidence was available before the State Commission. The complainant further stated that though the Housing Board had taken a decision in the year 2007 that the house will be provided at the cost prevailing in the year 2004, however, about Rs.10,00,000/- has been charged more by the Housing Board. The State Commission has not given any finding on this aspect. The complainant deserves refund of the excess amount charged by the Housing Board as no reason has been given by the Housing Board to charge additional amount.6. Learned counsel for the respondent Housing Board in FA No.34 of 2016 stated in reply that the possession was taken in May, 2012 and the complaint has been filed after a long gap of about two years. If there was any deficiency or shortcoming in the house, the complainant should have filed the complaint as quickly as possible. The learned counsel further stated that at the time of possession, no protest was made by the complainant. The photographs filed by the complainant in evidence before the State Commission are of the year 2016 and not at the time of taking over the possession. The complainant enjoyed the house for four years and then has filed these photographs before the State Commission. It is wrong to say that common facilities and amenities including the club house were not provided till the time of handing over the possession. The fact is that many families were living in the colony developed under the scheme in question since 2007 as every plot was not under dispute. Even the club house was operative and functional since 2012.7. We have carefully considered the arguments advanced by both the parties and have examined the material on record. First of all, it is seen that both the appeals have been filed with delay and hence the delay is condoned on the ground mentioned in the application for condonation of delay submitted in both the appeals. Now coming to the FA No.890 of 2015 filed by Rajasthan Housing Board, we see that vide letter dated 12.08. 2005 the Housing Board has given an option to the complainant to either take the refund with interest or to agree to the actual costing to be incurred by the Rajasthan Housing Board in future construction of the house as the land was not in possession of the Housing Board due to land acquisition dispute. The complainant in fact did not seek refund and continued with booking. This implies that the complainant was even ready to incur higher cost at the time of actual construction. In fact, the construction has been taken up by the Housing Board in the year 2011-2012 and the Rajasthan Housing Board has only charged the rates of 2004 as per their resolution in the year 2007. Thus, in fact the complainant has not suffered any loss due to delay because the costing has been done by Housing Board at the rates of 2004 only. The increase in the final cost is of about Rs.8,00,000/- which relates to the final costing done by the Housing Board on actual basis as against the cost mentioned at the time of booking. The remaining amount of about Rs.2 lakhs is on account of lease rent, maintenance charges etc. which the complainant would have given in any case. In fact, the rates of property increased manifold from 2004 to 2011-2012, but the complainant has not suffered that increase in cost due to the fact that he had booked the house in the year 2004 and his booking continued. In fact, the complainant mentioned during his arguments that the current value of the house would be around Rs.5.00 crores. Thus, the complainant has already got the huge advantage in terms of value of the property and the Housing Board which is an organization working on ‘no profit no loss’ basis, cannot be burdened with any interest to be paid to the complainant when particularly there is no deliberate delay in construction and delivery of the possession. Whatever delay has happened, has been due to land acquisition dispute which was beyond the control of the Rajasthan Housing Board and therefore, the Board cannot be penalised for delay in issuance of the reservation letter after which the complainant has paid more than 90% of the total consideration amount and got the possession in 14 months. Therefore, we are of the view that the order of the State Commission in respect of awarding interest @12% p.a. on the booking amount is not justified in the facts and circumstances of the case. Had the Rajasthan Housing Board sold the house on the current price of 2011-2012, the complainant would have been entitled to interest on the booking amount, but this is not the factual position in the present case.8. Coming to the FA No.34 of 2016, it is seen that the possession was taken by the complainant on 30th May, 2012 and the complaint has been filed on 25th May, 2014 as stated by the complainant in the list of dates given in his appeal. It seems that there were no major shortcomings in the house and that is why there was no hurry in filing the consumer complaint. The complainant has mentioned in the complaint about absence of water connection and electric feeder line, but if this was the situation, he should have filed the complaint as quickly as possible. In such situation, he should not have taken the possession of the house and that too without any protest or objection. He should have produced the correspondence with the Housing Board in this regard as evidence before the State Commission. The State Commission has clearly observed that the complainant has not produced any evidence in support of his allegations regarding shortcomings in the house. In its reply, the Rajasthan Housing Board has stated that many other allottees are living in the colony since 2007 confirming the provisions regarding electricity and water. Obviously, individual connections are to be taken by the complainant himself. Thus, we do not find merit in this assertion of the complainant.9. Another point that has been raised by the complainant in his appeal is that the Housing Board has charged about Rs.10,00,000/- more than the co
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st informed to him in the year 2004. The learned counsel for the respondent Housing Board has clarified that this was the final costing done by the Rajasthan Housing Board at the construction rates of 2004. However, there is some difference in the cost as the final costing is done on actual basis and the costing mentioned in the year 2004 was on tentative basis. It is seen that the total price has increased by about Rs.8,00,000/- only and the remaining Rs.2,00,000/- is on account of lease charges, maintenance charges etc. Clearly, the costing is not as per the rates prevailing in the year 2011-2012 otherwise the total cost would have been manifold as compared to the cost mentioned in the year 2004. In fact the complainant had impliedly agreed to pay the actual cost of construction by the Housing Board when he continued his booking in response to letter dated 12.08.2005 of the Housing Board and did not seek refund at that time. Thus, the complainant cannot now grudge the increase of about Rs.8,00,000/- in the costing when he himself is claiming that the value of the property is about Rs.5.00 crore.10. Based on the above discussion, FA No.890 of 2015 is partly allowed and the order of the State Commission dated 08.07.2015 awarding interest @12% per annum on the booking amount of Rs.2,44,750/- is set aside and the remaining order of the State Commission is upheld. We do not find any merit in FA No.34 of 2016 and the same is dismissed.