NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
FIRST APPEAL NO. 471 OF 2011
(Against the order dated 22.9.2011 in Complaint Case No.68 of 2010 of the State Commission, Rajasthan)
Dr. Veena Singhal
Wife of Dr. Brijendra Singhal,
Resident of 152/11,
1. Chairman Rajasthan Housing Board,
Bhagwan Das Road, Jaipur
2. Deputy Housing Commissioner Rajasthan
Housing Board Jaipur Circle Sector-5
Pratap Nagar, Sanganer, Jaipur
3. Estate Manager Rajasthan Housing Board,
Jaipur Circle, Jaipur ………Respondents
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE V.B. GUPTA,
HON’BLE MR. VINAY KUMAR, MEMBER
For the Appellant : Mr. S.K.Bhattacharya , Advocate
With Ms. Niraz Booby Poonam, Advocate
PRONOUNCED ON: 10.05.2012
PER MR.VINAY KUMAR, MEMBER
This appeal arises from the order of the Rajasthan State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Consumer Complaint No.68 of 2010. The complaint related to purchase of a bungalow from the respondent/Rajasthan Housing Board under the Raj Angan Scheme, which was a prestigious scheme for NRIs. It was alleged that the possession was handed over with a delay of almost three years. Therefore, it was claimed that the complainant was entitled to receive interest for the period of delay, with solatium.
2. The State Commission has dismissed the complaint observing that—
“Under such schemes by a public body the houses are constructed on contract basis and in every contract fix norms and specifications are mentioned in the agreement with the contractor. If any major changes are sought by the allotee, there has to be some modification in the terms and conditions in the agreement with the contractor. In such circumstances delay in giving the possession of the complete house cannot be attributed to the Housing Board and in our opinion it was the complainant who was responsible in getting the construction of the particular house in time and getting the possession. After taking the possession of the house without any protest the complainant cannot be allowed to put the entire blame on the Housing Board so as to claim any interest or solatium as per terms and conditions of the allotment under a particular scheme.”
3. The Appellant/Complainant was given a registration letter on 23.1.2003, which was followed by an allotment letter of a bungalow under this scheme from the respondent/RHB on 12.2.2008. The claim for interest and solatium was based on conditions number 16 and 18 in the letter of registration—-
“16 The RHB shall endeavour to give possession of the house to the intending allotee (s) within thirty months from the date of reservation.
18. The intending allotees(s) agrees that, as a result of any legislation, order or rule, after allotment the RHB is unable to complete the house/or to deliver possession thereof to the intending allottee(s), the only responsibility and liability of RHB will be to pay the intending allotee(s) and several other persons who have purchased or who may purchase hereafter houses and other portions in the same building(s). The total amount (attributed to the said house) that may have been received by the RHB at the time along with interest @ 6% per annum on the above amount, in the manner as may be decided by the RHB and save as aforesaid, neither party shall have any right or claim against the other under or in relation to this agreement. If however, the RHB delays in allotment, the RHB shall pay solatium @ 6% per annum on the amount paid by the intending allottee (s) to the RHB after expiry of the indicative delivery period mentioned in the foregoing paragraph 16 for the period of delay.”
4. As observed by the State Commission, the Complainant first accepted actual possession of the Bungalow on 11.4.2008, without any protest and thereafter filed a consumer complaint on 19.10.2010. While the complaint, as seen from the record, acknowledges possession on 11.4.2008, it is silent on whether it was accepted with protest or not. In any case, there was an obvious delay of over two and half years in filing the complaint. This has rightly been objected to by the respondent Rajasthan Housing Board, in the written response before the State Commission. The written response also clearly states that acceptance of possession by the Complainant was without any protest.
5. Respondent, Rajasthan Housing Board, has given full details before the State Commission of the number of changes in the standard construction plan, which were effected between start of construction in January, 2003 till its actual completion in 2008. The relevant correspondence between the Complainant, on one hand and the respondent/respondent’s representatives, detailing those modifications and the manner in which cost of modifications was to be accounted, was also placed on record. We have perused the same. Learned counsel for the appellant was heard. He could not go beyond the provision in conditions 16 and 18 and only repeated the claim of the appellant, there under.
6. In the appeal memorandum the same ground of entitlement to interest for delay in delivery of possession have been reiterated. The appeal memorandum contains only one reference to the issue of modifications in the construction plan. This relates to the modification discussed in the meeting of 21.10.2003. There is no reference to a long list of other modifications sought in June 2003, February 2004 and July 2005. This is nothing but a deliberate attempt to hide the fact that there were several other modifications, which were sought by the appellant/Complainant even after June, 2003 and till July, 2005.
7. On the other hand, in the written response of the respondent/RHB before the State Commission, it is clearly stated that at every stage of the work, the Complainant required some changes in the given specification. But, the details were not provided. This resulted in the work getting delay. It is claimed that the RHB had given the contractor 12 months to complete the constructions as per the standard type plan. If no changes were made in the plan and the specifications, the work would have been completed within the given time limit.
8. From the details above we find that the decision of the State Commission is based on correct appreciation of the evidence placed before it. We find no substantial ground for filing this appeal. In our opinion it is nothing but an abuse of the process of law in as much as the appellant had completely failed to substantiate her case before the State Commission. The appeal is therefore, dismissed with cost of Rs.20,000/- (Rupees Twenty Thousand). The same shall be paid by the appellant to the respondent/Rajasthan Housing Board, within a period of three months. Delay, if any, will carry interest @ 10% per annum.