Housing Board & Anr Vs. P. Parthasarathi  INSC 1250 (4 October 1996)
O R D
have heard learned counsel for both the parties.
appeals arise from the orders of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal
Commission. New Delhi in First Appeal Nos.252 and 307 of
1993, dated February 9,
admitted position is that the respondent had applied for allotment of a plot by
the appellant on March
1,1966. He was
selected for allotment of the plot or land on February 6, 1967 subject to his depositing 25% of the cost of the plot. It
was accordingly communicated to him. In furtherance thereof, the respondent had
deposited the requisite amount on March 28, 1967. On April 12, 1967 plot No.1350 in Anna Nagar, Madras was allotted to the respondent. He had executed
lease-cum-sale agreement within two months from the date of allotment. The bone
of contention thereafter is that the appellant had not delivered the possession
to the respondent and, therefore, he did not comply with the payment of the
balance amount in six half-yearly installments. The contention of the
respondent is that he had discharged his obligation but the appellants had not
delivered the possession. Be that as it may, the position now remains that the
plot is not available for allotment since, admittedly, it was converted into a
road for public purpose. On 30.12.1974, when the respondet was directed to deposit
the balance amount of Rs.8, 593.80.
however, had on April
22, 1975, deposited
only Rs.593 and kept quite. The respondent then made an application on July 13, 1981 requesting the Board to hand over
the possession of the plot indicating his willingness to take the same though
admittedly it was not in existence. By a letter dated March 4, 1985, the Board was threatened to take
legal action for non delivery of possession. In 1985, the respondent purchased
a flat. by a communication dated July 21, 1989, he was informed that the plot was not available for
allotment since it was already used for Public purpose.
it asked the respondent to give a letter of undertaking that he did not own any
flat or plot in the city. In furtherance thereof, he gave an undertaking on
November 1589 stating that he did not own any flat or plot either in his own
name or in the name of his dependents. It is now an admitted position that he
owns flat No.23 in Paramount Apartments, Mount Road, Madras.
he filed an application on April 16, 1992
before the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission claiming compensation of
Rs.10 lakhs for omission on the part of the appellant-board to render service
to him, the State Commission returned the application on the ground that it did
not have pecuniary jurisdiction of Rs.10 lakhs.
the respondent amended the claim petition restricting his claim to Rs.9 lakhs
by application dated November
13, 1992. The
Commission, after considering the respective contentions, allowed the petition
on May 24, 1993 granting a sum of Rs.5 lakhs as compensation
with interest at 12% per annum. On appeal by the appellant as well as by the
respondent denying liabilities and claiming balance amount separately, the
National Commission while dismissing the appeal of the appellant, allowed the
appeal of the respondent and enhanced the rate of interest from 12% to 18% per
annum. Thus these appeals by special leave.
question is: whether the State Commission as well as the National Commission have
correctly appreciated the true legal position when there was no deficiency in
service on the part of the appellant to the respondent? It is seen that from
1967 to 1981 the respondent had not raised his little finger as to what had
happened to the allotment of plot to him. Suddenly, he woke up in 1981 seeking
allotment of the plot but by that date the plot was already utilised for public
purpose, viz., laying the load. Thereby the plot was no longer available for
allotment to the respondent. But when the Board was willing to accommodate him
by allotting another plot available under their jurisdiction, he was asked to
give an undertaking that he did not possess any flat in the city. He gave an
undertaking which is now found to be a false statement, as on his own
admission, he owns a flat in the aforesaid place as mentioned hereinbefore.
there is no deficiency in service rendered by the appellant. On the other hand,
the conduct of the respondent, as narrated above, militated against him to seek
any compensation from the appellant.
appeals are accordingly allowed. The order of both the Commissions stand set
aside, but in the circumstances, without costs. The appellants are directed to
return the money deposited by the respondent within one month from the date of
the receipt of the order.