Authority Vs. Shashi Kant Bhalla & Ors  Insc 464 (18 August 2004)
S. N. Variava & Arijit
Pasayat S. N. Variava, J.
Before this Court a large number of Appeals have been filed by the Haryana
Urban Development Authority and/or the Ghaziabad Development Authority
challenging Orders of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission,
granting to Complainants, interest at the rate of 18% per annum irrespective of
the fact of each case. This Court has, in the case of Ghaziabad Development
Authority vs. Balbir Singh reported in (2004) 5 SCC 65, deprecated this
practice. This Court has held that interest at the rate of 18% cannot be
granted in all cases irrespective of the facts of the case. This Court has held
that the Consumer Forums could grant damages/compensation for mental
agony/harassment where it finds misfeasance in public office. This Court has
held that such compensation is a recompense for the loss or injury and it
necessarily has to be based on a finding of loss or injury and must co-relate
with the amount of loss or injury. This Court has held that the Forum or the
Commission thus had to determine that there was deficiency in service and/or
misfeasance in public office and that it has resulted in loss or injury. This Court
has also laid down certain other guidelines which the Forum or the Commission
has to follow in future cases.
This Court is now taking up the cases before it for disposal as per
principles set out in earlier judgment. On taking the cases we find that the
copies of the Claim/Petitions made by the Respondent/Complainant and the
evidence, if any, led before the District Forum are not in the paper book. This
Court has before it the Order of the District Forum. The facts are thus taken
from that Order.
In this case the Respondent was allotted a plot of land in July 1991. The
Respondent paid all dues. Yet possession was not delivered. The Respondent thus
filed a complaint.
The District Forum directed payment of interest at the rate of 18% per annum
from the date of deposit to the date of payment. The District Court also
awarded payments of Rs.5,000/- for mental agony and Rs.1,000/- as costs.
The State Forum confirmed the Award, in the Appeal filed by the Appellants.
The Respondent did not go in Revision before the National Commission. The
Appellants filed a Revision before the National Commission. For the first time
they now claimed that the Karpuripuram Scheme was cancelled. The National
Commission has not dealt with the aspect of cancellation of Scheme but awarded
interest at the rate of 18% per annum.
As stated in the Judgment, in the case of Ghaziabad Development Authority
vs. Balbir Singh (supra), where the Scheme is cancelled interest must be paid
at the rate of 18%. The Respondent is thus entitled to get back his money with
interest at the rate of 18% p.a. It is claimed by the Appellants that they have
paid interest at the rate of 18% p.a. to the Respondent. The Respondent
complains that interest at the rate of 18% has not been paid from the date each
amount was deposited with the Appellants. He handovers to this Court and to the
Advocate of the Appellants calculation showing what amount has remained
The Appellants are directed to recalculate and pay to the Respondent
interest at the rate of 18% p.a. on the deposits made by the Respondent from
the date of each deposit till payment. It is clarified that amounts, if any,
paid would first go towards payment/repayment of interest and the balance, if
any, towards principle. The Appellants must, along with their payment, handover
to the Respondent the calculation sheet showing how they have calculated the
We clarify that this Order shall not be taken as a precedent in any other
matter having been passed on account of the special features of the case. The
Forum/Commission will follow the principles laid down by this Court in the case
of Ghaziabad Development Authority vs. Balbir Singh (supra) in future cases.
The Appeal is disposed off accordingly.