No leniency should be shown to “unscrupulous litigants” who file “meritless” petitions in different foras to cover up their faults, the apex consumer commission has held while asking a real-estate firm to pay Rs 7.7 lakh for not handing over possession of flat in time.
“No leniency should be shown to litigants who in order to cover up their own fault and negligence, go on filing meritless petitions in different foras.
“Equity demands that such unscrupulous litigants whose only aim and object is to deprive the other party of the fruits of the decree must be dealt with heavy hands,” the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission’s (NCDRC) said and imposed a cost of Rs 20,000 on the Delhi-based firm.
A bench presided by Justice V B Gupta made the observation while dismissing the plea of Dreamland Promoters and Consultants against the Delhi State Consumer Commission’s August 18, 2011 order, upholding a District Forum verdict.
The district forum had directed the real-estate firm to refund the Rs seven lakh paid by Pramod Kumar, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, for booking a two-bedroom flat in a housing project of the firm and to pay him Rs 50,000 as compensation.
Kumar in his complaint had said that he had booked a two bed-room flat in a housing scheme of the firm and had deposited a total of Rs seven lakh through two installments of Rs 3.5 lakh each, on June 6, 2006 and January 19, 2007.
The flat was to be delivered within 12 months from the date of application, however, even after three years, not only was the possession of the flat not delivered to him, but there was also ambiguity regarding the status of the construction, Kumar had alleged.
In its written statement, the firm while admitting it had received the Rs seven lakh, had contended that subsequent installments had not been paid by Kumar, who had filed the complaint only to harass and defame it.
The NCDRC while dismissing the firm’s petition said, “two fora below have given detailed and reasoned orders which do not call for any interference.”
The district forum while allowing Kumar’s plea had said that the firm had not filed any evidence to show or mention what was the status of the construction of the flats and that as per terms and conditions of the agreement between them, if possession was not delivered in 12 months, the advance amount was to be refunded.
The State Commission while upholding the district forum’s order had rejected the contention of the builder that it was not given any chance to defend itself, saying that on the face of the record, opportunity had been given to both parties to plead their case and the matter was disposed of only after hearing both parties.