This revision petition has been filed by the petitioner Santosh Kumar Garg (deceased) through his son against the order dated 08.07.2015 of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Uttar Pradesh (in short ‘the State Commission) passed in First Appeal No.3202/2003.
2. Brief facts of the case are that on 28.02.1982 the petitioner deposited Rs.5000/- as the registration money for a house under Vashundhara Scheme Ghaziabad in which a house was to be given according to priority by Lottery/Draw. House was to be given on instalments of 12 years in 144 monthly instalments and approximate cost of MIG House was fixed between Rs.40,000/- to Rs.60,000/-. On 20.08.1985, respondent issued a letter to the revisionist further demanding Rs.5000/- upto 30.11.1985 along with previous original receipt to be filed and continuity of his registration in the Board for the MIG house. On 20.11.1985, revisionist deposited again Rs.5,000/- in compliance of letter dated 20.8.1985 of the respondent. On 08.07.1987, respondent issued registration certificate for Rs.10,000/- in the name of revisionist/complainant. On 30.07.1989, respondent/Board advertised in newspaper that 436 houses are ready and allotment will be done by lottery shortly, but revisionist/complainant’s name was not included in lottery. On 07.02.1990, respondent/Board informed the revisionist/complainant that again newly constructed 400 MIG houses will be allotted on 15.03.1990 by lottery. For this purpose, required consent letter with signature of acceptance was submitted by revisionist/complainant on 10.02.1990 in the office of respondent. Only house number was to be allotted to the registered person by way of lottery to be held on 15.03.1990. The officers of the respondent/Board allotted the house illegally and arbitrarily to some unregistered persons in 1982 while the revisionist/complainant was the registered person in 1982. The revisionist/complainant requested many times to allot the house number, upon which the respondent/Board sent a letter dated 15.02.1992 asking to submit the consent in writing upto 10.03.1992. The revisionist/complainant submitted his consent within time on 02.03.1992, but the house number was not allotted while houses were available. On 14.08.1995, after so many reminders to the respondent/Board sent by revisionist/complainant, the respondent/Board informed the revisionist/complainant that 42 houses are available in MIG category and again asked the written consent which was sent by the revisionist/complainant through registered post on 31.08.1995 to the respondent/Board but the house number was not allotted while houses were available. While revisionist/complainant being the registered person of 1982 was positively entitled for MIG house on the basis of priority, nobody could get the house who was not registered in 1982 prior to the revisionist/complainant. The complainant filed a consumer complaint before the District Consumer Protection Forum Ghaziabad, (in short the ‘District Forum’), which was dismissed vide its order dated 23.10.2003
3. Aggrieved with the above order of the District Forum, the complainant /petitioner filed an appeal before the State Commission, which was allowed vide its order dated 08.07.2015.
4. Hence the present revision petition.
5. Heard the learned counsel for both the parties and perused the record. Learned counsel for the petitioner stated that the original booking of MIG flat was made in the year 1982 and since then many times the respondent Board informed that flat number will be allotted to the petitioner/ complainant. However, every times no flat number was allotted to the petitioner. The District Forum dismissed the complaint without any basis and then the appeal was filed before the State Commission where the State Commission has allowed the refund of the paid amount of Rs.10,000/- along with interest @6% p.a. with effect from 30.11.1985. The fact is that the complainant deserves a flat. However, if it was not possible to allot the flat, the respondent Board should have refunded the amount along with 24% p.a. interest. The State Commission has not passed any order in respect of the allotment of flat, but has ordered refund of paid amount along with 6% p.a. interest only.
6. On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondent Board stated that though the complainant was given registration certificate for the scheme, however, there were about 9000 applicants and the houses were limited. The complainant did not succeed in the lottery draw and therefore, he could not be allotted a flat. As he wished that his registration should be continued, the same was being continued. Both the fora below have not found any merit in the request of the complainant for allotment of the flat. The State Commission has, however, allowed refund of deposited amount of Rs.10,000/- along with interest @6% p.a. The interest @6% p.a. is very reasonable and sufficient. The complainant does not deserve more interest than this.
7. I have carefully considered the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for both the parties and have examined the record. The State Commission has mentioned in its order that in one of the grounds of appeal the appellant before the State Commission has stated that if there was no possibility of allotting MIG flat then the respondent Board should have refunded the amount paid of Rs.10,000/- along with 24% p.a. interest from the date of deposit. Thus, it is clear that one of the requests of the complainant was to refund the amount paid by him as no flat could be allotted to him. In this light, there seems to be no illegality in the order dated 8.07.2015 of the State Commission and the State Commission has rightly ordered the refund of Rs.10,000/- along with interest. However, it is seen that the State Commission has only allowed interest @6% p.a. on the amount of refund, whereas this Commission and the Hon’ble Supreme Court are giving interest @9% -10% p.a. on the amount of refund. Hon’ble Supreme Court in Kolkata West International Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Deva Asis Rudra, II (2019) CPJ 29 (SC) has reduced
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the rate of interest on the amount of refund from 12% per annum to 9% per annum. Accordingly, complainant deserves atleast 9% p.a. interest on the amount of refund of Rs.10,000/-. In the facts and circumstances of the case, I deem it appropriate to allow 10% p.a. interest on the amount of refund. 8. Based on the above discussion, revision petition no.351 of 2016 is partly allowed and the order of the State Commission dated 08.07.2015 is modified to the extent that the amount of Rs.10,000/- will be refunded along with 10% p.a. interest instead of 6% p.a. interest as ordered by the State Commission. With this modification, order of the State Commission is upheld.