Pulling up Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) for wrongly forfeiting the amount paid for allotment of residential plot, Chandigarh state consumer disputes redressal commission directed the development authority to pay `25,000 each as compensation to two city residents.
Disposing of two appeals filed by Anil Diwan, a resident of Sector 19, and Arun Goel, a resident of Sector 27-C, the commission has directed HUDA to refund `34,505 each deposited by Anil and Arun, along with 10% interest to each individual. HUDA must also pay `5,000 each to both as the cost of litigation.
Anil Diwan and Arun Goel had both had applied for a residential plot of 14 Marlas in Sector 23, Sonepat, in 1991 and deposited `23,020 as 10% earnest money. Vide allotment letters dated August 1991, they were asked to deposit `34,505, equivalent to 15% of the total price of the allotted plot.
Pankaj Chandgothia, the counsel for the complainants, contended that while the said amounts were deposited, no further were made payments made after HUDA failed to develop the plots. Chandgothia contended that HUDA cancelled the allotment and wrongly forfeited the entire amount deposited by each complainant.
Refuting the charge of deficiency of services, HUDA said that the allotment of plots was cancelled according to the terms and conditions of allotment after both Diwan and Goel failed to pay the instalments.
Unconvinced, the commission, on June 27, said, "HUDA's act of forfeiting the entire 25% of tentative price of the plot, in our opinion, was wrong. When the plot was not developed for a number of years, the forfeiture of the entire 25% deposit was not justified on the basis of equity also."