Punjab consumer commission orders firm to pay Rs 90,000 for failing to hand over office space
The Punjab state consumer disputes redressal commission has directed C&C Tower Limited, ISBT-cum-commercial complex, Phase 6, Mohali, to pay Rs 60,000 as compensation for mental harassment and Rs 30,000 as cost of litigation to complainant Sanjay Khanna.
The commission in its order on August 3 also directed the firm to refund Rs 9.6 lakh along with 12% interest to Sector-18 resident in Chandigarh for failing to hand over the possession of the office space in the Busopolis project — a bus terminal along with commercial centre and hotel.
This is third such complaint where the commission has provided relief to the consumer.
Busopolis, considered to be one of the dream project of former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, is yet to be completed, more than 9 years after the work began and 7 years after its first deadline.
A Delhi-based company, C&C Constructions, had been given the project’s contract under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode and the work was initiated in April 2009 with an understanding that the project will be completed by 2011. Though Baba Banda Singh Bahadur ISBT was made operational in 2016, the project is far from over.
Sanjay Khanna had booked an office space in the commercial building of C&C Tower Limited, ISBT cum Commercial Complex, opposite Verka Milk Plant in Phase 6 in 2009 for Rs 27.45 lakh.
Khanna said he was issued allotment letter in November 2010 with an assurance that the unit was likely to be completed within 30 months from the date of start of lease period, that is December 2009.
In May 2015, Khanna through a letter was told that the construction would restart by July 2015 and the project will be completed by middle of 2017.
But Khanna alleged that construction work hasn’t been completed and it doesn’t seem likely to be completed in couple of years as well.
‘Changes in design, structure by govt caused delay’
Col Charan Vir Singh Sehgal, chief general manager, Commercial, contested the complaint on behalf of C&C Tower Limited, ISBT cum Commercial Complex, saying, “In such joint ventures, wherein there is public private partnership, it is not possible to fix a date for completion, as there is government intervention and role plan as well.”
C&C Tower limited said there are changes in design and structure by government of Punjab and Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the project in question is being developed by them on a piece of land owned by GMADA and due to this delay took place.
The company said they have all the requisite approvals for the construction of the complex on a design-build-operate and transfer basis with the GMADA.
Complaint falls in ambit of Consumer Protection Act: Commission C&C Tower Limited tried to press that the sole purpose of complainant is to earn profits by means of investment in booking this commercial space and he is not a consumer.
However the commission held,“Even commercial goods and commercial services, if purchased or hired by a person exclusively for the purpose of earning his livelihood by means of self employment bring him within the ambit of the Act.”