Kanpur Development Authority through its Vice-Chairman v Yogendra Nath Bhatt
National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
NEW DELHI BENCH
30 April 2013
Dr. B. C. Gupta (Presiding Member)
2013 Indlaw NCDRC 193
Subject: Consumer Protection
Revision Petition No. 2007 of 2012
The Order of the Court was as follows :
1. This revision petition has been filed u/s. 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 against the order dated 12.12.2011 passed by the Uttar Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Lucknow (hereinafter referred to as “State Commission”) in First Appeal No. 2025 of 2006 according to which, the appeal filed by the present petitioner against the order dated 25.11.2005 passed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Kanpur Nagar was ordered to be dismissed. The District Forum vide their order dated 25.11.2005 had allowed the consumer complaint No.1166 of 2003 filed by the complainant / present respondent.
2. The main issue involved in the present case is regarding the price to be charged for the additional area of land allotted to the complainant / respondent allottee of the petitioner. The complainant wants to pay the same price for the additional area at which the original plot was allotted to him, but the petitioner wants to charge higher rate for the additional area.
3. The brief facts are that the complainant / respondent was allotted plot No. M-13, M.I.G. Jarauli by the petitioner vide letter No. D/638/J.S. (111) 98-99 dated 22.07.1998. The complainant deposited the full value of the plot i.e. Rs. 1,30,000/-. He also deposited Rs. 15,600/- as lease rent and Rs. 320/- for stamps etc. However, the complainant was made to run from pillar to post for execution of the register deed, but it was not done. The complainant received a letter from the petitioner on 25.04.2003 saying that the area of the plot allotted was 180 sq. meter, but it had now become 342.38 sq. meter after increase, the total price of which was Rs. 3,67,604/- and in addition, the freehold fees of Rs. 44,424/- was to be charged. The complainant sought relief through his complaint, saying that the registration of the plot should be done by the petitioner in his name and that he should be paid interest @ 24% on the amount deposited with the petitioner and a sum of Rs. 2,00,000/- as compensation for mental harassment and Rs. 5,100/- as advocate fee and Rs. 300/- as cost of the case. The District Forum ordered that the additional land area of 162.38 sq. meter should be given to the complainant at the rates previously charged for original allotment. The registration of the plot should be got done within a period of sixty days, otherwise the complainant shall be entitled to get 12% interest on his deposit with the petitioner. The State Commission dismissed the appeal against this order, saying that the petitioner-Authority did not incur any additional expenditure on developing the additional land; hence there was no justification for them to charge the increased amount.
4. At the time of arguments before me, the learned counsel for the petitioner has drawn my attention to the application filed for condonation of delay, saying that the delay had occurred because of certain official formalities and heavy work within the office of the petitioner and should be condoned. On merits, he stated that it was made very clear in the allotment letter issued in the year 1998 that the area of the plot could increase or decrease. As a result of certain alteration in the site plan of the scheme, the area of plot in question had become 342.38 sq. meter against previous area of 180 sq. meter. The complainant / respondent was asked to give his consent for getting the increased area vide letter issued by the Authority on 06.03.2003. Vide another letter dated 25.04.2003, it was intimated to the respondent about the price of the additional land i.e. Rs. 3,67,604/- and 12% free hold fees i.e. Rs. 44,424/-. Another letter was sent on 29.08.2003 to the respondent, saying that he should give his consent within three days, otherwise the Authority could consider giving the increased area to some other plot-holder. The complainant / respondent however, wrote to the Authority saying that he wanted to take the remaining portion of the plot at the previous rate of the area allotted. The learned counsel pleaded that the Authority should be allowed to charge increased price for the additional area.
5. The learned counsel for respondent argued that the respondent had already deposited the entire amount of the plot with the Authority in time. Moreover, the respondent had been successful in the District Forum as well as the State Commission and the same order should be maintained. He pointed out my attention to the advertisement issued by the petitioner Authority in which it was stated in the ‘General conditions’ that the area and number of plots could increase or decrease. According to the learned counsel, the insertion of this clause makes it quite clear that the area of a plot could increase and hence the allottee shall be liable for paying the price at the previous rates only for increased area. He stated that the division of the plot as per the new site plan was not possible. He further argued that in the eventuality of decrease in area, the Authority would have paid him on the original price of plot and not at increased price. It is a natural corollary therefore, that the Authority should charge at the same price at which the original allotment was made.
6. I have examined the entire material on record and given thoughtful consideration to the arguments advanced before me. There is a delay of 39 days in filing the present petition, but an application for condonation of delay has been filed, saying that due to excess work, the concerned staff could not handle the case properly, resulting in delay in filing the petition. The application has been considered and the delay in filing the petition is condoned, keeping in view the interest of justice.
7. On merits of the case, it is very clear that as a result of the alteration of the site plan, there was increase in the area allotted to the respondent from 180 sq. meter to 342.38 sq. meter. It is a matter of general practice that at the time of giving physical possession of plot to an allottee, when the actual demarcation takes place, the area in question is bound to increase or decrease. In the instant case, however, there has been a large increase of 162.38 sq. meter. On behalf of the petitioner, no cogent reason has been advanced to indicate as to why they are asking the respondent to give higher price for the increased area. I do not find any reason to differ with the well- reasoned order passed by the District Forum and the State Commission.
The State Commission have taken the right stand that the Authority has not incurred any additional expenditure on developing the additional land allotted to the petitioner. In the light of these facts, I do not find any justification in making any alteration in the orders passed by the State Commission and the District Forum and these orders are sustained as they do not suffer from any illegality or irregularity.
8. The petition is therefore ordered to be dismissed with no order as to costs.
Revision petition dismissed