w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



Saloni Dhoot v/s Exotica Housing & Infrastructure Project (P) Ltd.


Company & Directors' Information:- S K B PROJECT (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45202MP2008PTC020457

Company & Directors' Information:- EXOTICA HOUSING & INFRASTRUCTURE COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201DL2005PTC138912

Company & Directors' Information:- A J PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101WB2006PTC110040

Company & Directors' Information:- M B S PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45209GJ2000PTC038147

Company & Directors' Information:- K C PROJECT INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U55101DL1997PTC088558

Company & Directors' Information:- A. H. PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400WB2010PTC141970

Company & Directors' Information:- H E F PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC069794

Company & Directors' Information:- B J S PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900WB2015PTC206605

Company & Directors' Information:- EXOTICA HOUSING PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101DL2010PTC204179

Company & Directors' Information:- PROJECT Q AND S PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999HR2020PTC086437

Company & Directors' Information:- M U HOUSING PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70100DL2011PTC214149

Company & Directors' Information:- SALONI & COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1994PTC059785

Company & Directors' Information:- K D PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400MH2010PTC209307

Company & Directors' Information:- PROJECT 9 INFRASTRUCTURE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400TG2012PTC083429

Company & Directors' Information:- EXOTICA INFRASTRUCTURE PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U70109DL2006PTC151752

Company & Directors' Information:- E PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72300HR2015PTC057142

    First Appeal No. 808 of 2017

    Decided On, 29 November 2019

    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC

    By, THE HONOURABLE DR. S.M. KANTIKAR
    By, PRESIDING MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MR. DINESH SINGH
    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellant: Shakti Narayanan, Advocate. For the Respondent: Madhur Dhingra, Harleen Kaur, Advocates.



Judgment Text

Dr. S.M. Kantikar, Presiding Member

The dispute relates to the territorial jurisdiction of the consumer complaint.

2. The brief facts of the case are that the complainant booked a flat in the project of the opposite party at Sector 16C, Greater Noida, U.P. in the year 2010. She paid the entire amount of Rs. 23,47,800/-. The complainant suffered the extra burden added by the opposite party by way of Rs. 10,000/- per month which led to payment of Rs. 3.60 lakh towards rent. Further the opposite party sent a letter demanding Rs. 2.34 lakh towards interest and Rs. 1.07 lakh towards compensation to the farmers. The opposite party did not pay heed to the notice sent by the complainant for possession. Being aggrieved the complainant filed a complaint before the State Commission, Delhi.

3. The State Commission vide its Order dated 31.01.2017 returned the complaint asking the complainant to file it before the State Commission of Uttar Pradesh as a proper forum as the cause of action arose in Greater Noida, UP State:

4. The State Commission in its Order observed as below:

3. The project is situated in Noida, payment was made through cheque drawn on Standard Chartered bank, Noida copy of which is at page- 17. No part of cause of action has arisen in Delhi. Mere location of office in Delhi is not enough. The corporate office of OP is also in Noida.

4. The complaint is directed to be returned to the complainant for presentation in the State Commission, UP.

(paras 3 & 4 of the State Commission’s Order)

5. Being aggrieved by the Order of the State Commission, the complainant filed the instant first appeal before this Commission.

6. Heard the learned counsel for both sides and perused the material on record. There was delay of 45 days in filing the present appeal. For the reasons stated therein, the delay is condoned.

7. We have perused the tripartite agreement between the parties and we note the clause no. 11 which is reproduced as below:

11. The Courts of Delhi alone would have the jurisdiction to entertain any dispute arising out of this agreement.

Similarly in the allotment letter under the Clause 33 Arbitration, the relevant text is reproduced as below:

33. Arbitration:

- - - - The Courts at New Delhi shall alone have the jurisdiction in all matters arising out of / touching and/ or concerning this Allotment Letter regardless of the place of execution of this Allotment Letter.

8. Considering the entirety we are of the opinion that the law does not allow a person to approbate and reprobate. The agreement itself clearly and precisely mentions about the jurisdiction of the Court as Delhi. The complainant filing a complaint before the State Commission, Delhi was not wrong. The opposite party cannot take any ground or defense and raise their objections on the jurisdiction of Delhi in the instant matter.

9. Based on the foregoing discussion, we set aside the Order passed by the State Commission and the appeal is allowed and the matter is remitted back to the State Commission for proper adjudication of the case before it as per the law.

A copy of this Order be sent to the State Commission by the Registry within seven days.

Per Hon’ble Mr. Dinesh Singh, Member

10. This Appeal was filed with self-admitted delay of 55 days.

Considering the reasons contained in the application for condonation of delay, and in the interest of justice, and to prevent miscarriage of justice, the delay is condoned.

11. The short issue herein relates to territorial jurisdiction of the State Commission.

12. The State Commission at Delhi, vide its impugned Order dated 31.01.2017, has held that the Complaint cannot be made in the State Commission at Delhi and has returned it to the Complainant for filing it before the State Commission of Uttar Pradesh, which, in its opinion, is the forum having the territorial jurisdiction therefor.

13. The bench may first note the array of the parties in the instant complaint:

Complainant:

Mrs. Saloni Dhoot

w/o Mr. Sunil Kumar Dhoot

Opposite Party:

Exotica Housing & Infrastructure Projects (P) Ltd.,

228, Basement, Jagriti Enclave,

Delhi-110092

Corporate Office:

H-63, Noida,

Noida, UP-201301

14. The bench may also quote the following for ready reference:

Section 17(2) of the Act 1986:

Jurisdiction of the State Commission.

17(2) A complaint shall be instituted in a State Commission within the limits of whose jurisdiction,-

(a) the opposite party or each of the opposite parties, where there are more than one, at the time of the institution of the complaint, actually and voluntarily resides or carries on business or has a branch office or personally works for gain; or

(b) any of the opposite parties, where there are more than one, at the time of the institution of the complaint, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business or has a branch office or personally works for gain, provided that in such case either the permission of the State Commission is given or the opposite parties who do not reside or carry on business or have a branch office or personally works for gain, as the case may be, acquiesce in such institution; or

(c) the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises.

Section 20 of the CPC:

20. Other suits to be instituted where defendants reside or cause of action arises.

Subject to the limitations aforesaid, every suit shall be instituted in a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction -

(a) the defendant, or each of the defendants where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain; or

(b) any of the defendants, where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, provided that in such case either the leave of the Court is given, or the defendants who do not reside, or carry on business, or personally work for gain, as aforesaid, acquiesce in such institution; or

(c) the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises.

Explanation.- A corporation shall be deemed to carry on business at its sole or principal office in India or, in respect of any cause of action arising at any place where it has also a subordinate office, at such place.

15. The interpretation of the word “or” in sub-section (2)(a) and in sub-section (2)(b) in section 17 has to be made with reason and logic, with the due application of mind, without leading to absurdity.

16. Notwithstanding that the section 20 of the CPC is not applicable to the Act 1986, and (in its stead) section 17 has been incorporated in the Act 1986, the bench but notes that the section 17 of the Act 1986 is similar in content and nature to the section 20 of the CPC.

And notwithstanding that an Explanation, similar to the Explanation to section 20 of the CPC, is not contained in section 17 of the Act 1986, the bench but also notes that an Explanation is not a substantive provision, it does not add to or subtract from the substantive provision, and is but meant to explain and clarify the substantive provision so as to make it unambiguous and unequivocally clear.

While not in any manner saying, implicitly or explicitly, that the section 20 of the CPC or the Explanation thereto is as such applicable to the Act 1986, or that section 20 of the CPC supersedes or substitutes section 17 of the Act 1986, the bench finds it to be within reason and logic to draw from the principles and rationale contained in the Explanation to section 20 of CPC, to arrive at a reasonable and logical interpretation of the word “or” in sub-section (2)(a) and in sub-section (2)(b) of section 17 in respect of the case at hand.

17. In the considered opinion of the bench, ‘cause of action, wholly or in part’ is material and significant in interpreting sub-section (2) of section 17 of the Act 1986.

An absurd interpretation of sub-section (2) of section 17, with total disregard to the material and significant ingredient of ‘cause of action, wholly or in part’, leading to an absurd situation, with added malefics of both harassment and bench-hunting, cannot be made.

18. This bench accordingly agrees with the State Commission in laying credence on ‘cause of action, wholly or in part’ in delivering its impugned Order.

19. ‘Cause of action, wholly or in part’, has, but, to be discerned from the facts of the case.

20. In the instant case, the Respondent herein, the Opposite Party before the State Commission, a Private Limited Company, has its registered office at “228, Basement, Jagriti Enclave, Delhi – 110092”.

The subject allotment was made vide a letter of allotment dated 15.12.2010 wherein it is written that “Please refer to your application dated 16/08/2010 with M/s EXOTICA HOUSING & INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS PVT. LTD., having its registered office at 228, Basement, Jagriti Enclave, Delhi – 110092 hereinafter referred to “the Company”.”.

The said letter of allotment was signed on behalf of the Opposite Party Company by its “Director / Auth. Signatory”.

A letter dated 14.04.2011 was written by the Opposite Party Company from its registered office / marketing office, both located at Delhi, to IDBI Bank Ltd., located at Delhi, for “Permission to Mortgage”.

The said letter dated 14.04.2011 was signed on behalf of the Opposite Party Company by its “Director / Auth. Signatory”.

The non-judicial stamp paper for the tripartite agreement dated 25.04.2011 between the Complainant and the Opposite Party Company and the Bank was purchased in Delhi.

In the said tripartite agreement the party of the first part is written as “M/s EXOTICA HOUSING & INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS (P) Ltd. a company incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956, having its Registered Office at 228, BASEMENT, JAGRITI ENCLAVE, DELHI-92 hereinafter called the Party of the First Part (Builder).”.

The said tripartite agreement was signed on behalf of the Opposite Party Company by its “Director / Auth. Signatory”.

21. It is therefore seen, in the case at hand, that:

[a] the application for allotment was made by the Complainant to the Opposite Party Company at its registered office located at Delhi, the letter of allotment was issued by the Opposite Party Company from its registered office located at Delhi, it was signed on behalf of the Opposite Party Company by its Director / Authorised Signatory,

[b] the letter for “Permission to Mortgage” was written by the Opposite Party Company from its registered office / marketing office, both located at Delhi, it was addressed to a Bank located at Delhi, it was signed on behalf of the Opposite Party Company by its Director / Authorised S

Please Login To View The Full Judgment!

ignatory, and [c] the non-judicial stamp paper for the tripartite agreement was purchased in Delhi, the tripartite agreement was entered into by the Opposite Party Company from its registered office located at Delhi, it was signed on behalf of the Opposite Party Company by its Director / Authorised Signatory. 22. The said facts of the case being so, it is well evinced that the test of ‘cause of action, wholly or in part’ is met in the instant case (i.e. the requirement of sub-section (2)(c) of section 17, “the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises”, is fulfilled.) 23. The State Commission has overlooked the material and relevant facts summarized above, and erred in holding that “No part of cause of action has arisen in Delhi”. 24. In the light of the above discussion, the bench has no hesitation in determining that, in the instant case, the territorial jurisdiction of the State Commission at Delhi is duly made out within the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 17 of the Act 1986. 25. The Appeal is allowed, the impugned Order dated 31.01.2017 of the State Commission is set aside, and the Complaint is remanded to the State Commission at Delhi for adjudication on merit, as per the law.
O R