M/s Daddys Developers & Builders vs. Sri S. Kannan dated 2012-04-04
NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
REVISION PETITION No. 4002 OF 2011
(From the Order dated 19.09.2011 in Appeal No.3108/2011 of the Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Bangalore)
M/s Daddys Developers & Builders Petitioner
No.389, 9th Main, 7th Sector
HSR Layout, Bangalore-560029
By its partner Sri Bobby Sebastian
& Suresh Babu
Sri S. Kannan Respondent
S/o Sri V.N. Subramaniam
R/at No.13 A
12th Main, BTM 1st Stage
HON'BLE MR. ANUPAM DASGUPTA, PRESIDING MEMBER
HON’BLE MR. SURESH CHANDRA, MEMBER
For the Petitioner : Mr. C.B. Gururaj, Advocate for Mr. V.N. Raghupathy, Advocate
Pronounced on : 4th April 2012
PER SURESH CHANDRA, MEMBER
Challenge in this revision petition is to the order dated 19.09.2011 passed by the Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Bangalore (‘State Commission’ for short). By its order, the State Commission dismissed the appeal filed by the petitioner against the order dated 03.08.2011 passed by the Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Seshadripuram, Bangalore (‘District Forum’ for short) by which the District Forum had accepted the complaint of the respondent in terms of the following order:-
“Complaint is allowed.
OP is directed to provide alternative Villa and execute the registered Sale Deed of the same in favour of the Complainant in the same layout with same measurement within 60 days from the date of this Order. After taking the possession of the alternative Villa, Complainant has to reconvey the subject Villa in favour of the OP.
In the event of non compliance of the order by the OP within 60 days from the date of Order, OP shall have to pay Rs.5,000/- per month as compensation (loss of Rent) to the Complainant till handing over of possession of alternative Villa / House.
OP is also directed to pay Rs.2,000/- as costs of the present litigation to the Complainant.”
2. Briefly stated, the respondent herein who is owner of a plot measuring 1500 Sq.ft. situated in Anekal Taluk of Bangalore urban district entered into an agreement with the petitioner herein, for purchasing the said plot on 23.02.2005 and also a joint development agreement with the petitioner for the development of the said site. The sale deed was signed on 31.3.2005 and the respondent herein paid entire sale consideration of about Rs.25,00,000/- to the petitioner being the sale consideration of the site as well as towards the construction of a residential flat at the site. It is the case of the respondent that the petitioner agreed to hand over the property to him on 26.12.2007 and both the parties agreed to certain specifications to be followed in the construction but it was alleged that the petitioner failed to adhere to some of the specifications which led to the rain water flowing into the premises during the monsoon, i.e., in the month of August 2008 and the water stagnated up to the height of about 3 feet over and above the ground level. Even little rainfall would result in flowing of water towards the villa. Feeling inconvenienced by the improper construction of the house, the deficiency was brought to the notice of the petitioner initially orally and later by a letter dated 18.12.2008 but without response. After issuing a legal notice, the consumer complaint in question eventually was filed by the respondent praying for direction to the OP/petitioner to provide an alternate villa in the layout of the same measurement at a height where the rain water does not stagnate and also to pay Rs.5,00,000/- by way of compensation. The OP/petitioner resisted the complaint mainly on the ground that in case of any dispute between the parties, the party concerned should approach a civil court of jurisdiction and hence the complaint filed against it was not maintainable. After considering the evidence placed before it and hearing the parties, the District Forum allowed the complaint in terms of the aforesaid order.
3. We have heard Mr. C.B. Gururaj, Advocate for the petitioner and have perused the record placed before us. It is contended by learned counsel that the State Commission while passing the impugned order has failed to appreciate that the District Forum erred in accepting the complaint on the basis of the report given by the Court Commissioner even though the petitioner had raised the contention that because of the existence of a Joint Development Agreement between the petitioner and the respondent, the Parties in case of a dispute being raised in regard to the agreement will have to approach the Civil Court. It was also submitted by learned counsel that the construction was done according to the specifications given by the respondent and the constructed villa was handed over to the respondent in the year 2007 and hence the District Forum ought to have appreciated that the dispute in question was being raised by the respondent after lapse of one and a half years of the handing over of the constructed villa and three years after the signing of the agreement only with a view to harass the petitioner and extract some wrongful gains from it and hence the impugned order is liable to be set aside and the complaint be dismissed.
4. Having considered the contentions raised by learned counsel, we find that the main ground on which the petitioner is assailing the impugned order is in respect of the jurisdiction of the consumer forum to deal with the dispute in question. In view of the provisions of section 3 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 which lays that “the provisions of this Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force”, we cannot accept the plea regarding jurisdiction taken by learned counsel. It is well established law that the consumer fora have jurisdiction to deal with the dispute in question and there should not be any doubt about it in view of section 3 of the Act. As regards the deficiencies in service on the part of the petitioner, we find that the District Forum has looked into the matter in great detail after obtaining report of the Court Commissioner appointed by it. The petitioner got full opportunity of defending itself with reference to the specific defects and the findings thereon contained in the report of the Commissioner before the District Forum and the State Commission. The State Commission while dismissing the appeal of the petitioner and upholding the order of the District Forum has made the following observations in support of the impugned order:-
“7. On careful scrutiny of the reasons assigned by the DF, it is clear that a commissioner was appointed at the instance of the respondent which came to be allowed and the Executive Engineer, No.1, PWD, Building Division, Bangalore had been appointed as Commissioner. Asst. Executive Engineer was appointed as inspecting officer who inspected the building on 31.08.2001 i.e., Villa No. 131, Khata No. 3541, formed in Sy. No. 63 at Kammasandra village. Report came to be submitted stating that, the villa is located in low laying area of the layout formed and when there is downpour the water enters the villa as the drains provided are not functioning properly. The Asst. Executive Engineer has also noted in the report that, plinth level of the villa is at lower level than the villas at the rear side and also villas constructed on the opposite side of the villa. The layout area itself is situated just side of the Kammasandra and it is also noted that, surface water enter into the house when there is heavy downpour and the drains provided along with the road are not functioning properly. Therefore, considering the facts and circumstances of the case, in our considered opinion the DF by relying on the oral and documentary evidence placed on record by both the parties and the report of the Commissioner, allowed the complaint. Viewed from any angle, we don’t find any perverse or incorrect finding recorded by the DF. Hence, appeal is liable to be dismissed. Accordingly, we pass the following:
Appeal is dismissed at the stage of admission.”
5. We agree with the view taken by the State Commission. The order passed by the District Forum is a detailed and well-reasoned order based on the pleadings, documents and Commissioner’s report and hence has been rightly upheld by the State Commission vide its impugned order. We do not find any illegality, material irregularity or jurisdictional error in the same which would call for our interference. We, therefore, dismiss the revision petition at the threshold with no order as to costs.