Sujit Kumar Banerjee
Vs. M/S Rameshwaran & Ors.  INSC 1089 (10 July 2008)
NON-REPORTABLE IN THE
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.7577 OF
2005 Sujit Kumar Banerjee ... Appellant M/s. Rameshwaran & Ors. ...
appeal by special leave by the land-owner challenges the rejection of his
complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (`the Act' for short) against
the builder, as not maintainable.
No.21/2002 filed by the appellant before the State Consumer Disputes Redressal
Commission, Jharkhand on 2.8.2002 was allowed by the State Commission by order
dated 15.11.2002 with a direction to the respondents (builder) to pay
Rs.11,03,787/- to the appellant with costs. The appeal filed by the respondents
before the 2 National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi, was
allowed on 4.7.2005. The National Commission, following its decision in Faqir
Chand Gulati v. M/s. Uppal Agencies Pvt. Ltd., (Revision Petition No.1878 of
2000 dated 3.2.2004) held that the appellant is not a consumer and therefore
the complaint was not maintainable. The complainant has challenged the said
order in this appeal.
appeal against the decision of the National Commission in Faqir Chand Gulati
(supra) and this appeal were heard together. We have rendered a separate
decision today in Faqir Chand Gulati v.M/s. Uppal Agencies Pvt. Ltd. - (C.A.
No.3302 of 2005), allowing the appeal and holding the complaint maintainable.
the tests laid down by us in Faqir Chand Gulati (supra), we find that the
agreement between the parties in this case is not a joint venture agreement but
an agreement for construction of a residential building and delivery of an
agreed percentage of the constructed area to the landowners. In fact, the
agreement [Article IX(1)] clearly states that it is not a joint venture. 3
Consequently, the appellant is a consumer and respondents are `service
providers' and the complaint of the appellant is maintainable.
the National Commission has not dealt with the matter on merits but has
disposed of the matter on a preliminary point, we allow this appeal, set aside
the order of the National Commission and remit the matter to the National
Commission for fresh disposal on merits, in accordance with law.
(R V Raveendran)