Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Supreme Court has ruled that flat owners can join hands to directly approach the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

Feb 22 2017 : The Times of India (Delhi)

SC lifts Rs 1cr bar, allows homebuyers' joint plea

Dhananjay Mahapatra

The Supreme Court has ruled that flat owners can join hands to directly approach the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) against builders.

As per the Consumer Protection Act, a plea can be filed in NCDRC directly only if the cost involved is more than Rs 1 crore. Amrapali Sapphire Developers had cited this rule to plead that 43 flat buyers, who had together moved the apex consumer forum against it for delay in handing over possession, were disqualified from filing a joint plea.

On August 30 last year, NCDRC member Justice V K Jain had ruled in favour of the flat owners, saying they could form an association to achieve the pecuniary limit of Rs 1 crore for approaching the NCDRC directly . The builder told the apex court bench of Justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar that the cost of each flat was way below Rs 1 crore, thus the owners were individually ineligible to approach NCDRC directly . “By joining hands, they have shown that the cost of their flats was above Rs 1 crore to maintain their plea in NCDRC, which was against the rule,“ the builder's counsel said.

The SC's rejection of Am rapali Sapphire Developers' plea will come as a boon to middle-class flat owners.

Responding to the SC ruling, Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (Credai) president Getamber Anand, who is also CMD of ATS Infrastructure, said, “Such broad directives can be misused also. This will adversely affect the sector, which is already facing a tough time.“

NCDRC member Justice Jain had said, “Once it is accepted that a consumer complaint on behalf of more than one consumer can be filed by a recognised consumer association, it can hardly be disputed that it is the aggregate value of the services which has to be taken for the purpose of determining the pecuniary jurisdiction of the consumer forum before which the complaint is filed.“

Referring to the 43 flat owners' joint plea through an association, the NCDRC had said that if the aggregate value of services in respect of the flat buyers, on whose behalf this complaint was filed, was taken, then it exceeded Rs 1 crore and hence NCDRC has jurisdiction to entertain their plea.

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31808&articlexml=SC-lifts-Rs-1cr-bar-allows-homebuyers-joint-22022017001046

No comments:

Post a Comment