H.P. Housing Board Vs.
Janak Gupta  INSC 627 (26 March 2009)
JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6346 OF 2002 H.P. Housing Board .. Appellant(s)
Versus Janak Gupta .. Respondent(s) WITH CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6352 of 2002 Himachal
Pradesh Housing and Urban .. Appellant (s) Development Authority Versus R.P.
Kapur .. Respondent(s) CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6349 OF 2002 Himachal Pradesh Housing
Board .. Appellant (s) Versus S.K. Monga .. Respondent(s) ORDER
appeals by Himachal Pradesh Housing Board/ Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban
Development Authority are directed against final order dated 18th April, 2002
passed by the National Consumers Disputes Redressal Commission, New
Delhi(hereinafter referred to as the `Commission'), awarding ..
Etc...contd. to the complainants before it interest @ 18 per cent per annum on
the amount deposited, for a period of one year, on account of delay in delivery
of the possession of the flats allotted to the applicants.
a common issue is involved in all these appeals, these are being disposed of by
have heard learned counsel for the parties.
counsel for the appellants has submitted that the Commission has awarded
interest at a flat rate of 18 per cent per annum in all the cases by placing
reliance on its order in the case of Haryana Urban Development Authority vs.
Darsh Kumar (R.P. 1197/1998). Learned counsel points out that the view taken by
the Commission in the said case has not been accepted by this Court in
Ghaziabad Development Authority vs. Balbir Singh-I, (2004) 5 SCC 65.
Balbir Singh's case, this Court, while disapproving the award of interest at a
flat rate of 18% granted by the Commission, has held that the question of award
of interest is to be considered on the facts and circumstances of each case and
interest cannot be awarded in all cases at a uniform rate of 18 per cent per
annum, as was done in Darsh Kumar's case. Yet again, in Ghaziabad Development
Authority vs. Balbir Singh-II, (2005) 9 SCC 573, the same question has been
..3/- CA 6346/2002 Etc..contd.. considered again and the view expressed in
Balbir Singh's-(I) case (supra) has been reiterated. It has been observed as follows
Counsel submits that in case of delivery of possession, albeit belatedly, the
rate of interest could be different from non-delivery of
possession/cancellation of scheme/offer of alternative plots/flats at higher
price which has already been dealt with by this Court in Balbir Singh case.
Normally, a case of delivery of possession,though belatedly, stands on a
different footing from non- delivery of possession at all because in case of
delivery of possession, though belatedly, the allottee also enjoys the benefit
Generally, in such a
situation the rate of interest, should not exceed 12%. However, as already
observed by this Court in Balbir Singh case no hard-and-fast rules can be laid
down. In a specific case where it is found that delay was culpable and there is
no contributory negligence by the allottee resulting in harassment/injury, both
mental and physical, the Forum/Commission would not be precluded from making an
award in excess of 12% interest per annum. Such order must, however, be
supported with reasons."
may note that in Haryana Urban Development Auhority vs. Darsh Kumar (2005) 9
SCC 449, this Court has said that in future the Forum/Commission will follow
the principles laid down by it in the case of Balbir Singh-I(supra).
the light of the aforenoted decisions, the order of the Commission, awarding
interest at the rate of 18% per annum cannot be sustained. We are of the view
that having regard to the facts and the circumstances of the instant ..4/- CA
case, award of
interest @ 12% per annum would meet the ends of justice. We may note that while
granting leave, it was ordered that interim stay of the impugned order will be
subject to payment of interest @ 12%. Learned counsel for the appellant submits
that interest @ 12% per annum has already been paid to the respondents.
the appeals are partly allowed and the order of the Commission is modified to
the extent indicated above with no order as to costs.
[ D.K. JAIN ]
[ R.M. LODHA ]