1. This is a complaint filed under Section l7(l)(a)(i) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 by the Complainant praying to direct the Opposite party to refund Rs. 45,15,000 received in excess of the works attended to, together with Interest @ 24% per annum from the date of complaint till realization; to pay compensation of Rs. 10,00,000; to reimburse the monthly rent of Rs. 1,00,000 from October 2017 onwards till date of refund of entire money and to pay costs of the complaint.
2. The ease of the Complainant, in brief, is that Complainant being a retired banker was previously employed in Dubai. Himself and his wife by name Sabiha Fatima Zaidi are the absolute owners, title holders and possessors of the villa “Ali Residence” bearing municipal No. 22-1-701, 702 to 705/B admeasuring 200 square yards, situated at Noor Khan Bazaar, Opposite Quli Qutub Shah Urban Development Authority office, Salarjung Museum Colony, Darushifa, Old City, Hyderabad having acquired the same through purchase by way of sale deed dated 18.11.2008 registered as document No. 1790/2008,
3. Lured by the claims of the opposite party claiming to be the proprietor/owner of Legend Interiors, situate at Plot No. 46, Madhapur, Hyderabad hosted on his website, the Complainant approached the opposite party to take-up the interior work in his Villa “Ali Residence” for carrying-out all the fixtures and fittings including teakwood, plywood, false ceiling, flooring, carpets, painting, polishing, wiring, wardrobes, laying of marbles, plumbing, kitchen hinges, etc., for which, the opposite party agreed to complete all the works for an amount of Rs. 50,00,000 within a period of 12 months. As against the same, the Complainant paid the token advance of Rs. 1,50,000 on 21.9.2016 by way of cheque. As Complainant was in hurry, to render his job, he could not seek Agreement from the opposite party.
4. The time was essence of the contract in between the parties and as agreed, the complainant paid the monies from time to time as detailed in the table shown in the complaint amounting to Rs. 54,50,000 on the promise of opposite party to complete the works on or before 30.9.2017. Having received such huge amount, the opposite party carried-on the works only to the tune of Rs. 9,35,000 by stopping the further works abruptly and kept stranded. For each and every time, except making the false promises the opposite party failed to complete the works and also did not evince any interest in carrying-out the works as agreed.
5. After waiting for considerable time, the Complainant got inspected the premises with a third parts agency by name M/s. MK Powers and Construction on 5.4.2018 which gave report to the effect that the electrical works are done to the tune of Rs. 1,20,500 on each floor. Altogether, the Opposite party stated to have retained the amount of Rs. 45,15,000 in excess of the works carried-out. As there was no response from the opposite party for repeated requests and demands, the Complinant lodged a complaint with Police Station, Dabeerpura on 27.3.2008 vide reference No. HYD/DBP-HYD/270318/ 00206, who in turn advised the Complainant to approach appropriate Court of law as the matter is ‘civil in nature’.
6. And that, for completion of the incomplete works, the Complainant is required to incur around Rs. 57,00,000 . All these have pained the Complainant apart from causing hardship, agony and inconvenience to him. Further, he was compelled to stay in a rented house paying huge rent of Rs. 1,00,000 per month. Hence the complaint,
7. Having received the notice, the opposite party failed to make his appearance and file any written version on his behalf refuting the claim of the Complainant. Hence, the matter is proceeded ex parte.
8. In order to substantiate his claim, the Complainant filed his affidavit evidence as PW1 and the documents Exs.Al to A9,
9. The point for consideration is as to whether there is any deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party and if so, whether the Complainant is entitled for the reliefs as prayed for? If so, to what relief.
10. Heard the Complainant appearing in person and perused the entire material on record.
11. The main stay of the case of the Complainant is that he entrusted the interior designing work of his Villa “Ali Residence’ to the opposite party and accordingly paid the total amount of Rs. 54,50,000. As against which, the Opposite party failed to complete the works as agreed but carried-out the works to the tune of Rs. 9,35,000 and for completion of the left over works, the Complainant requires a sum of Rs. 57,00,000. From Sx.Al, it is clear that the Opposite party acknowledged the receipt of carrying-out the interior works to the Villa ‘Ali Residence’ upon certain terms and conditions as per the payment schedule. The payment schedule requires the Complainant to pay advance amount of 50% of agreed amount immediately after entrustment of work and 25% of agreed’ amount after delivery of material and 20% of agreed amount after 15 days of commencement of wood work.
12. It is the case of Complainant that as he was employed in Dubai, he believed the version of opposite party and accordingly transferred the monies from time to time to the account of opposite party, which is borne by record and is evident from Ex.A4 to A6 statement of accounts. However, on making physical inspection of the subject Villa subsequently, having noticed all the pending works, the Complainant repeatedly requested the opposite party to complete the works, but in vain. Vexed with the false promises and assurances of the Opposite party, Complainant lodged a complaint with the Police Station, Oabeerpura which is evident from Ex.A2 intimation. Ex.A8 photographs would establish the incomplete state of the subject Villa.
13. During pending proceedings, on an application filed by the Complainant being IA No. 1419/2018, Advocate Commissioner was appointed by this Commission to inspect the building and note down the physical features of the subject Villa. In turn, the Advocate Commissioner filed his report reporting that most of the works including electrical, false ceiling, painting, flooring, wardrobes are incomplete and the photographs filed along with his report would establish the same.
14. The Complainant has, on facts, been found to have established wilful fault, imperfection,, shortcoming or inadequacy in service on the part of the opposite party. Hence, I see no reason to disbelieve the version of Complainant that the opposite party failed to complete the interior designing work as entrusted to him. Though the Opposite party acknowledged the receipt of notice sent by this Commission as also by the Advocate Commissioner, he failed to make his appearance and refute the claim of Complainant though he had an opportunity, In such a circumstances. I am inclined to allow the claim of Complainant for refund of Rs. 45,15,000 together with interest @ 18% per annum from the date of complaint till realization.
15. As the opposite party failed to comply with the agreed terms, the
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subject complaint is filed complaining deficiency in service and negligence on the part of the Opposite party claiming compensation and reimbursement of the rent in addition to seeking refund of amount. In view of granting interest on the amount sought for refund, I am not inclined to grant compensation or reimbursement of rent. Accordingly, the point framed for consideration is answered in favour of the Complainant and against the Opposite party. 16. In the result, the complaint is allowed in part directing the Opposite party to refund the amount of Rs. 45,15,000 together with interest @ 18% per annum from the date of filing the complaint i.e., 23.7.2018 till realisation and to pay costs of Rs. 5,000 within a period of four weeks. Complaint partly allowed.