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K. Pydi Naidu vs. Maddi Ramanujayya dated 2012-10-16


 (From the order dated 14-02-2012 in Appeal No. 271/2010 of
State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Andhra Pradesh)
K. Pydi Naidu
S/o Late Narayana
R/o Plot No. 128, D.No.55-40-185
Simhadripuram, H.B. Colony
Visakhapatnam                                                            … Petitioner
Maddi Ramanujayya                     
S/o Late Venkata Ramaiah
R/o. D.No. 23-9-53/A
Rajappanaidu Street
Visakhapatnam                                                            … Respondent      
For the Petitioner    :      Mr. A. S. Rao, Advocate
Pronounced on_16.10.2012
1.                There is delay of 64 days’ in filing this revision petition. It is averred that the petitioner is an illiterate person and it took him time to find out the Delhi based Advocate to file this revision petition.
2.      We are not satisfied with the explanation given by the petitioner.  Such like pleas can be raised at any time by any litigant. The above said lame excuse does not impress us. This view is supported by the following authorities.
3.      In Anshul Aggarwal v. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority, IV (2011) CPJ 63 (SC), it has been held that “It is also apposite to observe that while deciding an application filed in such cases for condonation of delay, the Court has to keep in mind that the special period of limitation has been prescribed under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 for filing appeals and revisions in consumer matters and the object of expeditious adjudication of the consumer disputes will get defeated if this Court was to entertain highly belated petitions filed against the orders of the Consumer Foras”.       
4.      See also  R.B. Ramlingam v. R.B. Bhavaneshwari, I (2009) CLT 188 (SC)= I (2009) SLT 701=2009 (2) Scale 10, Ram Lal and Others v. Rewa Coalfields Ltd., AIR 1962 Supreme Court 361, Sow Kamalabai, W/o Narasaiyya Shrimal and Narsaiyya, S/o Sayanna Shrimal Vs. Ganpat Vithalroa Gavare, 2007 (1) Mh. LJ 807.
5.      Also see “Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. Versus Vasantkumar H. Khandelwal & Anr.”,  Revision petition No. 1848 of 2012 decided on 21.05.2012,  by this Commission, by the Bench headed by Hon’ble Mr.Justice Ashok Bhan.
6.      See also, recent authority, Balwant Singh  Vs.  Jagdish  Singh  &  Ors. (Civil Appeal  No. 1166 of 2006), decided on 08.10.2010, in which it was held that the party should show that besides acting bonafide, it had taken all possible steps within its power and control and had approached the Court without any unnecessary delay. The test is whether or not a cause is sufficient to see whether it could have been avoided by the party by the exercise of due care and attention.
7.      We have also gone into the merits of this case.  The facts are as follows. The house owned by Maddi Ramanujayya, the complainant was in a dilapidated condition. He wanted to build a new house. K.P.Naidu, the OP/petitioner is the contractor.  The above said parties entered into an agreement dated 23.03.2008, wherein the petitioner/OP agreed to construct a new house at the cost of Rs.5,55,000/-. The OPs started work on 25.03.2008.  The complainant paid the above said amount of Rs.5,55,000/- in eight installments, till 02.08.2008, except Rs.5,000/-.  Rs.5,000/- was to be paid after the completion of construction.  All these terms and conditions were stipulated in the agreement.
8.      Out of blue, the OP left the work incomplete and did not turn up for completion of the remaining work which was estimated to the cost of Rs.2,00,000/-.  Letter dated 22.09.2008 was sent to the OP. Legal notice dated 09.10.2008 was also sent.  Subsequently, the petitioner/OP got the estimation of the left out works from a registered valuer who came to the conclusion that the cost of the left-out work would go to Rs.2,33,000/-.  However, the complainant filed a complaint with the District Forum with the prayer that OP be directed to refund a sum of Rs.2,00,000/- together with interest @ 24% p.a. from the date of receipt of payments and Rs.10,000/- be awarded as compensation and Rs.5,000/- be awarded as costs of the case.    
9.      The District Forum vide its order dated 02.12.2009 allowed the complaint and directed the OP to pay Rs.2,00,000/- to the complainant with interest @ 9% p.a. from 22.09.2008 till the date of payment.  The OP was further directed to pay compensation of Rs.5,000/- to the complainant together with costs of Rs.3,000/-.  The Advocate fee was fixed at Rs.1,500/-. 
10.    The State Commission dismissed the appeal vide its order dated 14.02.2012.
11.    The learned Counsel for the petitioner made only one submission that 98% of the construction of house is complete. However, this assertion is contrary to the documentary evidence produced before the District Forum. The OP produced Ex.B-5 before the District Forum stating that the extra works were completed by him.  However, Ex.B-5 itself goes to show that there were incomplete works which would cost a sum of Rs.2,15,458/-.  There is estimate given by Licenced Civil Engineer, which clearly goes to show the extent of completed works, and, also reveals incomplete works which would cost a sum of Rs.2,01,874/- and further a sum of Rs.61,200/- was to be spent on modifications.  The Petitioner/OP also filed a civil suit for restraining the Complainant/respondent herein from making any further construction in respect of the house in dispute, till the construction work done by the petitioner/OP is measured by an approved Engineer.  Pendency of that civil suit does not affect the instant revision petition.
12.    Agreement Ex.A1 is a piece of evidence of prime importance. The appellant/petitioner/OP  has submitted that it is signed by him.  The story set up by OP does not just stack up.  A Builder will never sign the agreement without knowing its contents. It is well settled that men may tell lies, but the documents cannot. 
13.    The petitioner did not prove that he had incurred some amount on the extra work done by him. The case set up by him that he had incurred a sum of Rs.9,25,280/- is not supported by any evidence. Again there is no evidence that he had even spent Rs.5,15,000/-upon the construction.  He also could not produce any evidence to show that some changes were affected at the instance of the complainant. Consequently, we find the revision petition is ill-founded and therefore, the same is dismissed both on the grounds of delay as well as on merits.
     (J.M. MALIK, J.)
                                                        (VINAY KUMAR)

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