Ghaziabad Development Authority Vs. Subhash
Gupta  Insc 412 (28
N. Variava & Arijit Pasayat. S. N. Variava, J.
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.
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.
this case the Respondent was allotted a plot of 90 Sq. Mtr. under Karpuripuram
Scheme in the year 1991. The Respondent paid all dues. Yet possession was not
offered. The Respondent thus filed a complaint.
District Forum has directed delivery of possession and awarded interest on the
deposited amount at the rate of 18% p.a. from 1st July, 1994 till date possession is given. The District Forum has also
directed payment of Rs. 2,000/- as compensation for mental agony.
Appellants appealed to the State Forum. We are informed that pending Appeal the
Appellants deposited not just the amounts awarded but also the amounts paid by
the Respondent to them.
State Forum confirmed the Award in the Appeal filed by the Appellants.
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 has
increased the rate of interest to 18% p.a.
reasons set out in the Judgment in the case of Ghaziabad Development Authority
vs. Balbir Singh (supra), the order of the National Commission cannot be
sustained. As stated in that Order in cases 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. In this case the
Appellants have deposited the amount in the District Forum on 12th February, 1994.
Respondent has not withdrawn the amount as, according to him, the Order of the
District Forum was to give possession and pay interest. He correctly submits
that the Appellants could not have, contrary to the Order of the District
Forum, chosen to not give possession and seek to return amounts paid by
depositing the same in the District Forum. We find that the Appellants, on
their own, deposited all amounts, without any Order of any Forum. They did not
even point out, in the pending Appeal before the State Forum, that the Scheme
was cancelled. The State Forum in its Order also directs delivery of
possession. Thus by deposit, contrary to Orders of the District and State
Forums, the Appellants cannot get any benefit. We have by our earlier Order
permitted cancellation of Scheme on payment of interest at 18%. The Respondent
must thus get interest till he receives his monies. We therefore permit
Respondent to withdraw the monies deposited. He must do so within one week from
date of this Order. If the District Forum has invested the amounts then
Respondent will be entitled to the accrued interest also. If the amounts are
lying uninvested, then Appellants will pay to the Respondent interest at the
rate of 12% from 12th
February, 1999 till
date the monies are withdrawn by the Respondent.
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.
amounts deposited with the District/State Forum are lying uninvested, they must
automatically invest these amounts in nationalized banks and keep them invested
till they have to be returned / paid out.
Appeal is disposed off in above terms. The Appellants will pay to the
Respondent costs of this Appeal fixed at Rs. 5,000/-.