NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
(From Order dated 04.08.2004 of the
Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission,
Baljit Singh Petitioner
Dr. P. D. SHENOY, PRESIDING MEMBER
MR. ANUPAM DASGUPTA, MEMBER
For the Petitioner In Person
For the Respondent Ms C. K. Sucharita, Advocate
revision petition impugns the judgment and order dated 04.08.2004 of the Consumer
Disputes Redressal Commission,
2. Briefly, the facts of the case are that in response to an advertisement published by the PUDA in October 1989 regarding demand survey for social housing from Low Income Group (LIG), Middle Income Group (MIG) and High Income Group (HIG) applicants for free-hold, built up houses on hire-purchase basis in several cities and towns of Punjab, the complainant applied for an HIG house in S. A. S. Nagar and deposited the requisite registration fee of Rs. 3,000/- on 20.11.1989. However, in September 1996, the complainant received a cheque for Rs. 3,000/- from the PUDA, purportedly as refund of the said registration fee. He returned the said cheque to the issuing bank and wrote back to the PUDA that he had returned the cheque as he wanted to keep alive his registration for allotment of an HIG house. In October 1998, the PUDA informed the complainant that all applicants were being refunded the registration fee deposit and his registration for HIG house could not be continued. In February 1997, i.e., well before he received the above-mentioned communication from the PUDA, the complainant filed a complaint before the District Forum alleging unfair trade practice by the PUDA in denying him allotment of an HIG house. After considering the averments and documentary evidence adduced by the complainant and the PUDA, the District Forum held that the advertisement issued by the PUDA in October 1989 was only for a demand survey for the above-mentioned three category of houses, in several cities and towns of Punjab and did not, therefore, entitle the complainant to allotment of an HIG house in sector 70, Mohali, as claimed by the complainant. The District Forum, therefore, disposed of the complaint by ordering refund of Rs. 3,000/- by the PUDA to the complainant and interest thereon @ 10% for three years, in view of the ratio of the Apex Court’s judgment in Civil Appeal No. 7798 of 2003 (arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 3333/2000) along with costs of Rs. 550/-. As noted above, by its impugned order the UT Commission disposed of the appeal filed by the complainant, slightly modifying the order of the District Forum.
3. We have heard the parties and considered the documents filed before the lower Fora as well as those filed before us by the PUDA in response to the complainant’s application for production of certain documents by the former.
4. The complainant’s main contentions are the same as before the Fora below, viz., (i) the advertisement issued by the PUDA in October 1989 was for allotment of, inter alia, HIG houses in sector 70, Mohali for which he had duly paid the initial registration fee; (ii) in that advertisement, there was no mention of the need to deposit of Rs. 4,000/- for allotment of HIG houses; (iii) the contention of the PUDA before the Consumer Fora that the allotment of HIG houses in Mohali was in response to another, earlier advertisement requiring deposit of Rs. 4,000/- is untenable; and (iv) he is, therefore, entitled to allotment of an HIG house in Mohali. No documentary evidence in support of the substantive contentions regarding the entitlement to allotment of an HIG house, the main prayer all along, have, however, been filed by the complainant, either before the lower Fora or before us.
5. The PUDA, on the other hand, has filed documents in support of its contentions (as well as those requested by the complainant in the proceedings before us) that (i) the advertisement issued in October 1989 was only for demand survey for HIG, MIG and LIG houses in several cities and towns of Punjab; (ii) after assessment of the demand emerging from this survey, the proposal of constructing and allotting such houses in several cities was dropped; (iii) the allotment of single-storeyed HIG houses in Phase IX, S. A. S. Nagar was in response to an advertisement issued in February 1989 which required deposit of Rs. 4,000/- and the allotments were done September 1996, which was not relevant to the case of the complainant; (v) the two cases of allotment referred to by the complainant in support of his contention were, in fact, those in response to the earlier advertisement of February 1989 / allotments of September 1996 and done correctly; and (vi) the lower Fora have correctly held accordingly and awarded relief to the complainant in accordance with the ratio of the Apex Court’s relevant judgment.
6. After going through the averments and the documents before us, we are satisfied that the contentions of the PUDA are indeed valid, as held by both the lower Fora and that there is no reason for us to interfere with the orders of the UT Commission in the complainant’s appeal no. 158 of 2004. This revision petition is accordingly dismissed, being devoid of merit. There shall be no order as to costs.
( P. D. Shenoy)