At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE V.K. JAIN
By, PRESIDING MEMBER
For the Appellant: Rekha Aggarwal, Advocate Amicus Curiae. For the Respondent: Veera Kaul Singh, Pankaj Singh, Advocates.
The complainant/review applicant applied for the allotment of a house under a Self-Financing Scheme of the respondent, in the year 1984 depositing a sum of Rs.7,000/- as the registration amount. A house was allotted to him at an estimated cost of Rs.65,000/- required to be paid in four installments. MIG House No. A-1649 was allotted to the complainant vide letter dated 26.7.1988 at the final cost of Rs.158964/-.
2. The Govt. of Uttar Pradesh introduced a One Time Settlement Scheme (OTS) on 30.10.2002 and the complainant applied for settlement of his dues under the aforesaid scheme. The case of the complainant is that instead of processing his request under the OTS Scheme, the respondent demanded a sum of Rs.338278/- from him. The OTS Scheme was later extended upto 31.3.2009 and the penal interest was waived under the said scheme. The complainant again applied under the said OTS Scheme but was asked vide letter dated 17.2.2009 to deposit a sum of Rs.211885.40 in two installments, which was paid by him. The complainant later sent a letter on 1.12.2009 to the respondent seeking refund of the excess amount alleged to have been charged as interest from him.
The Govt. of Uttar Pradesh relaxed stamp duty for those whose sale deeds were executed upto 31.3.2010. The complainant sought execution of the sale deed in order to take benefit of the stamp duty rebate. He was asked to complete the formalities but the sale deed was not executed in his favour. Being aggrieved, he approached the concerned District Forum by way of a consumer complaint.
3. The complaint was resisted by the respondent which interalia stated that the complainant did not deposit the amount which had been demanded from him vide letters dated 25.3.2008 and 26.3.2008 and, therefore, penal interest was charged from him. It was admitted that the complainant had opted under the OTS Scheme and was asked to deposit a sum of Rs.211885/- in two installments, excluding the water charges and lease rent. It was alleged that the complainant deposited the aforesaid amount but did not deposit the other charges and, therefore, the sale deed could not be executed in his favour.
4. The District Forum directed the respondent to inform the dues including stamp duty to the complainant and execute the sale deed within 60 days of payment by the complainant.
5. Being aggrieved from the order passed by the District Forum, the complainant approached the concerned State Commission by way of an appeal. The said appeal having been dismissed, he approached this Commission by way of a revision petition.
6. When this revision petition came up for hearing on 29.9.2016, the complainant stated that all the charges including lease rent and water charges had been duly paid by him and nothing more than stamp duty was payable, which he was ready to pay. He also maintained that execution of the title deed in his favour is the only issue involved in this petition.
7. When this matter came up for hearing on 24.1.2017, the respondent expressed willingness to execute the title deed in favour of the complainant on his furnishing the stamp duty papers of appropriate value. The respondent was directed to intimate the value of the stamp duty to the complainant within two weeks from the date of the order. The complainant was required to submit the stamp duty papers within one month of receiving the said intimation and the title deed was to be executed within two weeks of receiving the stamp duty papers. The revision petition was disposed of in terms of the aforesaid directions given by this Commission. The complainant has thereafter filed this review application seeking review of the order of this Commission dated 24.1.2017.
8. The grievance of the complainant seems to be that despite he having paid the entire amount demanded by the respondent vide letter dated 17.2.2009, the sale deed was not executed soon thereafter and the relaxation given by Govt. of Uttar Pradesh in payment of the stamp duty having lapsed in the meanwhile, as a result of which he will have to pay a higher stamp duty. His contention is that had the sale deed been executed immediately after payment by him, he would have got benefit of the concession in payment of the stamp duty.
9. In compliance of the order of this Commission dated 17.10.2017, the respondent has filed an affidavit giving breakup of the amount of Rs.211885.40 and also sought to explain as to why the sale deed / lease deed in favour of the complainant was not executed soon after 17.2.2009 despite he having paid the entire amount demanded from him. I have perused the aforesaid affidavit filed by the respondent. The affidavit filed by the respondent shows that the amount demanded from the complainant comprised Rs.79172.40 as the principal sum and Rs.132713/- towards interest. The principal amount represented the unpaid installments, whereas the interest was charged on account of delay in payment of the said installments. The affidavit filed by the respondent, however, is conspicuously silent as to why the sale deed in favour of the complainant was not executed soon after 17.2.2009, despite he having paid the entire amount demanded by the respondent. It is evident that despite the specific direction of this Commission dated 17.10.2017, the respondent has failed to explain why the sale deed / lease deed was not executed soon after the demanded amount had been paid by the complainant. The obvious inference, therefore, is that the respondent has no explanation to offer, for its inaction in the matter. Had the respondent acted with promptitude and executed the sale deed / lease deed in favour of the complainant soon after the aforesaid deposit of the demanded amount, the benefit of concessional stamp duty would have been available to the complainant, the said benefit being available till 31.3.2010. In the affidavit of the respondent, there is reference to an RTI query from the complainant. The complainant having already deposited the entire amount demanded by the respondent, the RTI query could not and should not have come in the way of the execution of the sale deed / lease deed in favour of the complainant. It is only on account of the failure of the respondent to execute the sale deed / lease deed soon after payment by the complainant that the benefit of concessional stamp duty was lost by the complainant. Not executing the sale deed in favour of the complainant soon after payment of the entire amount demanded from him, constituted a deficiency in service and the respondent, therefore, must compensate the complainant for the loss which he suffered on account of concession in stamp duty having lapsed on 31.3.2010.
10. For the rea
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sons stated hereinabove, the review application is hereby disposed of with a direction to the respondent to pay as compensation, the difference between the concessional stamp duty applicable till 31.3.2010 and the current stamp duty payable on the sale deed / lease deed to be executed in his favour. The aforesaid amount shall be paid to the complainant within eight weeks from today. On receipt of the aforesaid amount, the complainant shall furnish the current stamp duty papers, required for execution of the sale deed / lease deed in his favour. The sale deed / lease deed in favour of the complainant will be executed within four weeks of the deposit of the requisite stamp duty. 11. The fee of the amicus curiae be paid as per rules.