National consumer commission dismisses complaint against Noida builder
Dismissing the complaint, the NCDRC—which only hears cases with value exceeding above Rs 1 crore— stated the flat buyer had demanded excess compensation without any legal basis and directed the complainant to approach the Uttar Pradesh commission instead.Updated: Jul 26, 2020 10:33 IST
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) on Friday dismissed the complaint of a homebuyer against a Noida developer as the total value of the suit, including the interest amount, did not exceed Rs 1 crore.
Dismissing the complaint, the NCDRC—which only hears cases with value exceeding above Rs 1 crore— stated the flat buyer had demanded excess compensation without any legal basis and directed the complainant to approach the Uttar Pradesh commission instead.
The complainant had booked a flat in a Noida housing project on August 7, 2011. The total cost of the flat was Rs 55.97 lakh, and the complainant said she had paid Rs 48.08 lakh to the developer till the filing of the complaint. She had alleged in her complaint that the possession of the flat was not been to her by the builder.
Her counsel had pleaded that the national commission should direct the builder to hand over the possession of the flat and pay interest at the rate of 24% per annum on the deposited sum of Rs 48.08 lakh.In her plea, she claimed the interest amount would be around Rs 78 lakh and the total consideration amount would exceed Rs 1 crore.
The counsel stated that the complaint was earlier filed before the Delhi state commission and the same was returned on the ground of territorial jurisdiction. Satisfying the territorial jurisdiction, the complaint was then filed before the Uttar Pradesh state commission in 2018. The UP state commission returned the complaint on the ground of pecuniary jurisdiction—referred to the jurisdiction of a court over a suit based on the value of its subject matter—as they only hear cases where the value of compensation is below Rs 1 crore, following which the complaint was filed with the NCDRC.
The NCDRC on Friday observed that the main prayer in the complaint was for possession of the flat. In such a case the compensation is calculated from the date of scheduled possession ( which was May 2015 in the case) and not from the date of booking.
The commission stated demand for a higher interest would be an exaggerated and inflated claim without any legal basis and cannot be taken into consideration for the purpose of determining the pecuniary jurisdiction.
If compensation in the form of interest at the rate of 18% per annum is awarded, it will cover the losses of all kinds, including the financial loss and distress and mental agony caused to the flat buyer, since the financial loss would not be more than 10-11% per annum, considering the rates of interest prevailing during the relevant period, the commission observed.
“The NCDRC on Friday stated the consumer complaint is not maintainable before it for want of pecuniary jurisdiction and therefore the complaint is dismissed,” advocate Aditya Bhati, who is also the representative of district consumer forum advocates association, said on Saturday.