NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
(From the order dated 24.11.2000 in Appeal No.436/2000
of the State Commission Haryana)
Pushpa Jain & D.K. Jain Petitioners Vs.
Haryana Urban Development Authority Respondent
A N D
(From the order dated 24.12.1998 in Appeal No.559/97
of the State Commission Haryana)
Haryana Urban Development Authority Petitioner Vs.
Mahesh Kumar Respondent
HONBLE MR. JUSTICE D.P. WADHWA,
HONBLE MR. JUSTICE J.K. MEHRA, MEMBER
MRS. RAJYALAKSHMI RAO, MEMBER.
MR. B.K. TAIMNI, MEMBER.
Housing - Government Development Agencies - HUDA and the like - Orders of the Consumer Forum becoming final - No further stay either from the appellate body or the Supreme Court - Duty of the Estate Officer to comply with the order - Guidelines laid.
For HUDA in both the petitions : Mr. B.S. More and Ms. Prasuna Rao, Advocates
& Mr. Pradeep Kumar, Estate Officer, HUDA
For the petitioner in RP 753/00 : N E M O
For the respondent in RP 1751/2000 : In Person
O R D E R
DATED THE 13th December, 2002.
JUSTICE D.P. WADHWA, J.(PRESIDENT)
These two cases showed dismal state of affairs in the office of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) where consumers who are allottees of land, are subjected to a great deal of harassment and suffering by the Estate Office, in spite of their having succeeded right upto the level of National Commission.
We are of the view that some guidelines have to be laid by the Chief Administrator, HUDA to be followed strictly by the Estate Officer and the staff working in the Estate Office. We cannot be oblivious to the agony of the consumers visiting the offices of the Estate Office, HUDA time and again and still subjected to all sorts of illegal gratifications or otherwise even after success in redressal agencies. We cannot shy away from noticing the fact of rampant corruption in the development bodies be that be in HUDA, DDA, GDA or any similar body while dealing with consumers. But then relief is also not forthcoming quickly for the consumer when he approaches District Forum under Section 25/27 of the Act. When District Forum finds even after 30 days of the order of the State Commission or National Commission which has become final or on the expiry of the time, if any, given by the State Commission or National Commission, there has been default in complying with that order it should call for the report from the Estate Office for which notice could be issued. Report must contain the reasons for the delay and the names of all the officers who dealt with the file. When there is no proper explanation forthcoming exemplary costs should be imposed on HUDA to be recovered from the officers dealing with the file after getting their clarification, if any. It will, however, be not necessary to have a detailed inquiry. It may also be taken note by the District Forum that if order requires refund of any amount a proper account payee cheque thereof be sent to the consumer or requested to come to the office to collect the cheque on a particular day.
REVISION PETITION NO.753/2002:
In the case of Pushpa Jain & D.K. Jain vs. HUDA we imposed cost of Rs.10,000/- when the Estate Officer delayed making of payment to them and recorded that this case shows gross impropriety on behalf of the HUDA in not complying with the order of the State Commission and leaving the petitioners-complainants to knock at the doors of the District Forum and then the District Forum adjourning the matter on the request of HUDA without appreciation of the issue involved in the cause and thus causing a great deal of harassment and mental agony to the complainants, an old couple.
The order of the State Commission in appeal is dated 24.11.2000. Till 3.5.2002 no amount was paid to the complainants when they addressed their grievances to the President of the National Commission and ultimately because of intervention of the National Commission it was on 11.10.2002 that an amount of Rs.5,37,761/- was paid to the complainants. As noted above, cost of Rs.10,000/- was also imposed.
We have examined the file maintained in the Estate Office. When there was no stay of the order of the State Commission there was no question of withholding the amount payable to the complainants. Grievance of the complainants had not been properly addressed in the Estate Office and the office file shows indifference to the plight of the complainants. We feel anguished the way office file of the HUDA reflect the consideration of the case of the complainants. No reason whatsoever is forthcoming why the amount was not paid for over two years when there was no stay order either of the National Commission or of the Supreme Court. It is stated by the Estate Officer that complainants were asked to give an affidavit and an undertaking to refund the payment in the event of success of HUDA in the SLP filed by it in the Supreme Court. This was not a proper thing to do and no such type of undertaking could have been called for from the complainants. We make it clear that once an order is passed which is not appealed against and no stay obtained, HUDA cannot hold on the amount so ordered to be refunded to the complainant.
To be listed again on 8.1.2003.
REVISION PETITION No. 1751/2000
In the case of HUDA vs. Mahesh Kumar , complainant again approached the National Commission stating that though the order was to refund the money paid by him in excess, the amount had not been refunded in spite of the order dated 9.11.2001. On our notice being issued it is submitted before us that possession of the plot was given on 13.5.94 and on 17.5.94 an amount of Rs.1,53,933 was paid when the cost of the alternative plot as per decision of the National Commission worked out to 91,444/-. The amount, therefore, to be refunded comes to Rs.62,489/-. It was submitted by Mr. Mor that it may be recorded that the amount is being paid subject to the decision of the Supreme Court in the Special Leave petition filed by HUDA. We reject this sort of contention. The order of the National Commission, as noted above, is dated 9.11.2001 and till this date there is no stay from the Honble Supreme Court. Such type of request which Mr. Mor has made brings the whole process and function of the Estate Office in disrepute.
We direct that the amount of Rs.62, 489/- be refunded to the complainant-respondent with interest @ 12% per annum from 17.5.95 within 30 days from the date of receipt of this order.
A copy of this order shall also be sent to Chief Administrator HUDA, Panchkula. Copy of this order may also be given Dasti to the Estate Officer HUDA
(J.K. MEHRA )