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V. Munisamy v/s Sai Priya Constructions

    Revision Petition No. 690 of 2020

    Decided On, 17 November 2020

    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC


    For the Petitioner: Anita Ahuja, Advocate. For the Respondent: R2, Ramesh Cheruku, Advocate.

Judgment Text

Oral:The complainant/ petitioner entered into an agreement with respondent No.1 - Sai Priya Constructions for purchase of a residential flat bearing No.203 in Singareni Colony, Saidabad, Hyderabad vide agreement dated 11.09.2008. A perusal of the agreement executed by R. Devender Rao Managing Partner of Sai Priya Constructions in favour of the petitioner/complainant on 11.09.2008 would show that the petitioner had agreed to pay a sum of Rs.21,50,000/- as the total consideration. Out of this, Rs.11,50,000/- had been paid as advance and the balance amount was payable at the time of registration.2. The above-referred agreement was followed by a Memorandum of Understanding and it was agreed between the parties that the vendor had exchanged flat No.203 in the 2nd floor to flat No.303 in the 3rd floor. Vendor had agreed to arrange registration of flat No.303 within one week. He was to complete the remaining work in the flat failing which, he was to pay Rs.2 lakhs as compensation to the complainant.3. The complainant / petitioner approached the concerned District Forum by way of a consumer complaint, seeking several reliefs including registration of flat No.303 in his favour. The following were the prayers made in the consumer complaint:-“(a) To direct the Opposite Parties to register the Flat No.303, III floor of Sai Sarover Residency, Singareni colony, Saidabad, Hyderabad in favour of the complainant or in the name complainant’s daughter of by completing all the specifications as mentioned in the development agreement and inhabitant condition for dwelling.(b) To award an amount of Rs.1,40,800/- towards investment of cost of ceramic (marbles) tiles to the flat and also Rs.15,000/- towards additional investment made by the complainant for construction of grills.(c) To award an amount of Rs.3,00,000/- for incomplete works which is to be incurred by the Opposite Parties.(d) To award rent of Rs.6000/p.m from September, 2009 to till date on the ground of not completed the construction flat with in the stipulated period as agreed by the Opposite parties.(e) To award an amount of Rs.2,00,000 towards delay in handing over the flat and register the same as agreed by the Opposite parties.(f) To award an amount of compensation of Rs.2,00,000 towards damages and for mental agony sustained by the complainant and his family for delaying the registration of flat.(g) To award costs of Rs.5,000/- this complaint, and(h) To pass such other relief or reliefs as this Hon’ble Forum deems fit and proper in the interest of justice.”4. The District Forum vide its order dated 22.3.2016 dismissed the consumer complaint.5. Being aggrieved from the order passed by the District Forum, the petitioner / complainant approached the concerned State Commission by way of an appeal. Vide impugned order dated 17.3.2020, the State Commission dismissed the appeal holding that since the sale consideration of the flat was more than Rs.20 lakhs, the District Forum lacked pecuniary jurisdiction to entertain the consumer complaint. Being aggrieved, the petitioner / complainant is before this Commission.6. In terms of the Section 11 of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, the District Forum had pecuniary jurisdiction to entertain a consumer complaint where the value of the goods purchased or the services hired or availed and the compensation claimed by the complainant did not exceeds Rs.20 lakhs. It was held by a three-Members Bench of this Commission dated 7.10.2016 in CC No.97 of 2016 - Ambrish Kumar Shukla & Ors. Vs. Ferrous infrastructure Pvt. Ltd., the value of the services in such a case would mean the sale consideration agreed to be paid by the flat buyer to the builder. In the present case, a perusal of the agreement and the MOU executed between the parties clearly shows that the sale consideration for the flat was agreed at Rs.21,50,000/-. While changing the flat from 203 to 303 by way of MOU executed between Mr. R. Devender Rao and the complainant, the sale consideration which they had agreed for flat No.203 was not changed. This would mean that the builder was to provide flat No.303 in place of flat No.203 to the complainant for the same consideration. Thus the value and the services hired or availed by the complainant in this case was more than Rs.20 lakhs. Therefore, the State Commission rightly held that the District Forum lacked pecuniary jurisdiction to entertain the consumer complaint.7. However, in view of the decision of this Commission in Consumer Complaint No. 198 of 2015 – Dushyant Kumar Gupta Vs. Today Homes & Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. and connected matters decided on 31.1.2017, the State Commission instead of maintaining the order passed by the District Forum whereby the complaint was dismissed, ought to have returned the consumer complaint to the complainant for being presented before the State Commission which had the requisite pecuniary jurisdiction to entertain the consumer complaint, the value and the services hired or availed by the complainant/petitioner being more than Rs.20 lakhs.8. However, the Consumer Protection Act has since been repealed by the Consumer Protection Act 2019, if the consumer complaint is now retuned to the complainant, it has to be presented before the concerned District Forum and cannot be filed before the State Commission. Since the consumer complaint was decided by the District Forum on merits

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, no useful purpose will be served from retuning the consumer complaint for being presented before the District Forum. The appropriate course of action in these circumstances would be to remit back the matter to the State Commission to decide the appeal preferred by the petitioner/complainant on merits. The impugned order is, therefore, set aside and the appeal filed by the petitioner/complainant is remitted back to the State Commission to decide the same on merits. The parties are directed to appear before the concerned State Commission on 24.12.2020. The revision petition stands disposed of.