Published On: Sat, Nov 26th, 2011

Can a member approach consumer forum against their grievance?

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By Staff Reporter

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (the CPA 1986) is a Central Govt. Act applicable in all states of India, to provide for the protection of the interests of consumers and settlement of consumers’ disputes. ” Jaago grahak Jaago” is one of the Logo to wake up the consumer to fight against their grievance.
Housing is covered under the term “service” in the CPA 1986. The services provided by the builder to the members are comes under the the CPA 1986. The members of the Co-operative Housing Societies always face lot of problems with respect to rendering any services such as allotment of house, possession of house, maintenance services in relation to housing complex etc are covered by the CPA 1986 and a member can approach the Consumer Forums for claiming compensation and damages against the housing society/builder for rendering deficient in services.

Builders and developers play vital role in redevelopment of housing societies. The eal Estate sector has been growing at 25-30 per cent a year.
Housing society primarily being a cooperative society, the Society can provide housing loan to the members of the society. one of the Judgement of Supreme Court i.e. Secretary, Thirumurugan co-operative Agricultural Credit Society v/s. M.Lalitha, (2004) is applicable for the Co-Operative housing society for deficiency in servises retaining the title deeds.
The Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act, 1963, protects buyers against malpractices in the sale and transfer of flats. It gives homebuyers the right to inspect the builder’s documents such as the specifications that he has obtained from the authorities.
The member has to check if any changes are being made by the builder to the specifications mentioned in the agreement and the allotment letter. You must also ask for a copy of the sanctions that the builder has taken from the authorities to carry out the alterations.
Various complaints made by member against builder
1. Builder avoid to form a society.
2. Delay in possession
3. Seepage issues
4. Deficiency in service
7. The builder forcibly vacate the tenants by giving them less than 1/3rd of prevailing market rates in the area.
8. Drinking water provision & motor pumping to over head tank
9. parking problem
10. Improper earthling & low quality of electrical wiring of flats are damaging our consumer electrical and electronic goods.
11. Four side boundary wall
12. Occupation Certificate not provided
13. The builder have provided us poor quality of lift with no generator backup which very often doe not work and risky for life.
14. There are improper eminities in many flats
15. Therre is no proper exterior to the building.
16. Ceiling Leakage causing bad odor and particles falling down. causing unhygienic condition and a threat to decease.
17.No fire safety system completed.
18.The problem is of Drainage/Gutter Line. The drainage line is not officially connected with the corporation line.
1. There are various causes for delays by Builder
1. Due to the reason of cosntructions by sub contractor,
2. Delay by Material Suppliers.
3. late government approvals,
4. getting the completion certificate after a long wait,
5. cement and steel procurement,
6. 50 to 60 per cent shortfall in unskilled manpower in the market.
7. Delay in getting local approvals
2. Most of the developers face project delays and that a lot of the delays are not in the developer’s control. The delays on account of various reasons do affect the overall budget of a developer, increases the construction and storage cost and hit the brand image and future of the company. And this is the reason to direct impact on construction Companies.
3. The customers always rely on top class developers who are sure of their deliveries. The well-known construction companies who are trying to get more advanced technology for construction to match their deliveries. However, the cost of adopting such technologies in India is still very high and many developers are not able to get benefit from it. Small developers, sometime having funding issues therefore suffers from delay in possession.
When Customer can knock the door of consumer forum?
A consumer, as defined in section 2(1)(d) of the Act, can file a complaint in the consumer forum against his grievance. The properties buyers are considered as a consumers and finally have got a voice and a forum to air their grievances. Using consumer courts, buyers have been able to get back their money with interest or have been financially compensated besides allotment of flats by the builders.
The customer before going to the consumer forum first negotiate with the builder and ask him to carry out the repair work or to pay compensation for the deficient services in case you dont get any action/response from builder then you may go to consumer court.
In case of delay of possession of flat, the builder is liable to refund the amount paid with interest (for the period of delay) as there has been a breach of contract, the builder would attract penalty under both Consumer Protection Act and the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act.
In case false promise by the builder that he will give all the documents i.e original Floor plan etc. and fails to give customer should definitely go to consumer court and ask that the builder should stick to the original floor plans which was promised at the time of sale.
If the builder used defective raw materials for the construction and because of this reason leakage problems started or any other problems facing regarding quality of material you can go to the consumer court by moving it within two years from the day you take possession.
Any aggrieved party can approach civil courts for execution of awards passed by Consumer Courts.
How to file a complaint?
Property buyer can present their own cases in consumer courts and do not need to engage a lawyer. The property buyer must file his complaint within two years of the dispute arising, after which it becomes outdated. A written complaint, can be filed before the District Consumer Forum for property value of up to Rupees twenty lakhs, State Commission for value up to Rupees one crore and the National Commission for value above Rupees one crore.
If there is delay in possession of the flat and the default on the part of the builder would attract penalty under both Consumer Protection Act and the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act, 1963. The buyers must ensure that his agreement for purchase of flat includes the clause compensation from the builder for delay in possession.
A landmark judgment recently delivered by a State Commission has ensured redress for a harassed one couple. The State Commission found the builders guilty of ‘Deficiency in Service’. The Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission directed the Builders to pay Rs 7.86 lakh as damages to the said couple and hand over possession of the flat they had bought in 2006.
According to a top minister in Consumer Affairs Ministry the government has just implemented the technology solution to enable the electronic filing of consumer complaints in the country to bring transparency and efficiency in delivering consumer justice.
Builder fined Rs. 20 Lakh for delay : Consumer Court

The Maharashtra State Consumer Commission Mumbai recently directed a developer to shell out Rs. 20 lakh at the rate of Rs. 2,000 a day for a delay in giving possession of a shop premises to a purchaser.
The order passed by a three-member bench comprising president S B Mhase, S R Khanzode and D Dhamatkar it was held that developer was delay to give possession and occupancy certificate to the tenant. The tenant claimed damages for the delay at Rs. 2,000 per day as stipulated in the agreement. The tenant also faced grievance that a water connection wasn’t given to him. He took up the matter with the Thane district consumer forum, which ordered the builder to pay him Rs. 20,000 as an additional compensation for the “mental agony and financial loss’’.
In one of the recent judgment Mrs. Veena Khanna of New Delhi Vs M/s. Ansal Properties and Adharshila Towers, New Delhi: Before National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi:
Due to abnormal delay in handing over the possession of flat, the Complainant had demanded refund of the deposited amount with interest @ 18% which the Opposite party refused to pay. The State Commission, Delhi. directed the Opposite Party to refund the amount to the complainant with interest @ 13% p.a. from the date of deposit of the last installment till the date of payment of refund. In the alternative it also directed that if the Opposite Parties choose to handover the possession of the flat, the order of refund with interest will not come into operation. Complainant filed appeal the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission decided that the Complainant is required to be compensated for delay in construction of the flat and for not allotting the same to her.
Buyers can take recourse to Section 8 of the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act, 1963, which makes a developer liable to refund the money obtained from a customer with 9 per cent interest if he is unable to justify non-completion of his project.
Judgement of consumer court for non registeration of flat by builder
In the matter of M/s Universal Developers & ors v/s Mr. Indra Saini
This appeal filed against the order passed by Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Pune the builder demanded extra amount to register the sale deed. The order passed against the Developer that, Appeal stands rejected with cost of `5000/-. Cost shall be deposited in Legal Aid Fund of State Commission within three months from the date of receipt of free copy of this order. If appellant fails to deposit said cost, the Registrar shall see that certificate u/sec.25(3) is issued for recovery of said amount.
In The secretary, South Western Railway House Building Cooperative Society vs K.Velayudhan, RP No 454 of 2011, decided on 24-2-2011, it was held that a builder cannot refuse to pay interest on the refund, if such a refund is being sought on account of deficient service rendered by the builder, or on account of an unfair trade practise perpetrated by him.
In one of the landmark judgment in the case of the Lucknow Development Authority vs MK Gupta (CA No 6237 of 1990 decided on 5-11-1993), the Supreme Court had made it clear: “When possession of property is not delivered within the stipulated period, the delay so caused is denial of service.” A consumer who is a victim of such delay is entitled to compensation.
What is the remedy available to the Buyer?
A buyer should check the developer’s credibility, past projects, performance and delivery record. He should also ensure that the project is funded by a known bank and has all the approvals. A buyer is entitled to ask for a copy of the project’s drawings, duly stamped by the municipal authorities.
Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies :
These shall be established for the purposes of this Act, the following agencies namely: -
a Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum to be known as the “District Forum” established by the State Government with the prior approval of the Central Government in each district of the State by notification;
a Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission to be known as the “State Commission” established by the State Government with the prior approval of the Central Government in the State by notification; and a National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission established by the Central Government by notification.

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  1. ANUP SINGHAL says:

    DEAR SIR,
     
    YOUR REPLY IS VAGUE BASELESS CONTRATRY TO FACTS & SMACKS MALAFIDE INTENTION TO HARRASS & EXPLOIT A OLD LADY FROM SMALL TOWN HAVING A DREAM TO OWN A FLAT IN NCR.. YOU HAVE DELAYED THE PROJECT ALTHOUGH WE HAVE MADE 85% PAYMENT AS PER UR SCHEDULE & DEMANDS RAISED BY YOU FROM TIME TO TIME OVER FOUR YEARS BACK TILL AUG. 2008. NOW SINCE MY PRECIOUS MONEY I.E. A HUGE SUM OF RS. 19,15250/= & DREAM FOR A FLAT AT NCR  ARE STUCK WITH U , YOU R NEITHER GIVING DATES FOR POSSESSION OF FLAT EVEN NOW AFTER A LAPSE OF OVER FOUR YEARS& EACH TIME YOU HAVE DIFFERENT VERSION BECAUSE I WANT TO SETTLE AMICABLY & YOU ARE EXPLOITING OUR SITUATION & LIMITATIONS OF A LADY INVESTOR FROM A SMALL TOWN . U WANT TO EXPLOIT ME BECAUSE I AM A LADY AGED 58 YEARS & MY AROUND RS TWENTY LACS OF  PRECIOUS FUNDS ARE BLOCKED WITH YOU FOR A FLAT WHICH HAS TURNED MY DREAMS TO BE MINE NIGHT MARE. AT THE TIME OF BOOKING AS PER YOUR OWN COMMUNICATION & OPTED CLP  SENT TO ME THE POSSESSION OF FLAT WAS COMMITTED WITH IN 30 MONTHS FROM DATE OF  OUR BOOKING.

    PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU HAVE TO GIVE AS AGREED DURING MEETING & VISIT TO UR OFFICE COMPENSATION FOR HARRASSMENT & MENTAL AGONY & LOSS OF INTEREST & COST OF RENT I HAV TO INCUR FOR BLOCKING MY FUNDS FOR OVER FOUR YEARS &  HEAVY RENT I HAV BEEN FORCED TO PAY DUE TO NON DELIVERY & DELAY IN GIVING POSSESSION OF OUR FLAT. IN SHORT YOU HAVE MISREABLY FAILED TO PERFORM YOUR COMMITMENT & ARE NOW TWISTING & MISLEADING FACTS TO FURTHUR HARRASS US. WHEN DELAY IS FROM YOUR SIDE HOW DO YOU EXPECT POOR BUYER OF FLAT TO PAY FOR YOUR DELAY. I VEHEMENTLY DENY TO HAVE AGREED TO FALSE & CONTENTS COMMUNICATED IN BELOW MAIL BY YOUR OFFICE IN REFRENCE TO OUR MEETING with SHRI Nikhil JHA.
     
    I ONCE AGAIN REQUEST YOU TO PLEASE SETLLE OUR ISSUES IN A FAIR & JUSTIFIED MANNER & NOT CONFUSE & SIDE TRACK THEM BY RAISING BOGUS & ILLEGAL DEMANDS FAILING WHICH I WILL SEEK REDRESSAL FROM DESIGNATED AUTHORITY WHICH WILL ONLY COMPLICATE ISSUE & JEOPARDISE FURTHUR YOUR REPUTATION.

    AWAITING YOUR REPLY. PLEASE NOTE THAT NO ONE WILL WAIT INDEFINETELY.

    KUMKUM SINGHAL
    W/O ANUP SINGHAL
    ALLOT TEE FLAT NO 102, EMPIRE TOWER, NORTH AVENUE
    MIDLAND/MEERUT
    09837176043

  2. B,M,Das says:

    The case is  member of a housing society vs Management Committee who through a contractor build flats . The complainant went to state commission for relief and award was made Delhi State Commission of of dispute redressal  . But society never informed the general members , discussed in General Body Meeting but went to National Commission and got stay . Now the newly formed Management Committee likes to examine and discuss the matter in General body meeting . The question is that is the  matter  of case lying  under national Commission  can be discussed , decided in any General Body  other than the National Commission . 

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