The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked a housing society to refund Rs 2.58 lakh and pay a compensation of Rs 15,500, including costs of litigation, to a complainant for deficiency in services.
The complainant, Ravi Jain, a resident of Sector 37, stated in her complaint that she had approached the housing society for allotment of a flat and had deposited Rs 1,63,000 on July 10, 2003, through cheque. She had also deposited Rs 90,000 and
Rs 5,000 subsequently through cheques—the total amounting to Rs 2.58 lakh against which she received a receipt in accordance with the schedule provided by the society.
Jain was issued a share certificate (No. 106 of “A” Category) showing Folio No. 615 on August 5, 2003. He kept on contacting the society to inform her about the schedule of payment to be deposited regarding the flat, but received no response.
On January 18, 2006, Jain gave an application to the society for allotment of flat and to inform her about the progress and as to when she was required to pay the remaining installments. In the said application, she also mentioned that she met the president of the society personally and offered to make periodical payments.
However, the president advised her not to make further payments as some clarifications have been sought in the matter pending before the Chandigarh Administration. On January 23/24, 2007, Jain gave a representation to the society regarding allotment of the flat and the schedule of payment, but to no effect.
It has been averred that neither the flat was handed over to her nor the amount was deposited from her. She received a letter dated September 13, 2011, from the society to collect her deposited money from the society office on any working day.
In response to the letter, Jain informed the society that she was not interested in refund of the money—rather she be allotted the flat. It has been alleged that the president of the society took money from members of the society, but she neither deposited the same with the Chandigarh Housing Board nor allotted the flats to the consumers.On June 8, 2015, she gave an application to the tehsildar-cum-administrator of the society to allot her Flat No. 2255 which has been surrendered by Kulwant Singh, the earlier president of the society, or refund the deposited amount with interest.
In reply to the letter, she was informed by the society office (memo dated June 11, 2015) that Kulwant Singh is still behind bars and the office has already requested police to bring him to the society office so that he could hand over the record to the administrator in their presence. And therefore, at this stage, the request of the complainant could not be considered.
It has been alleged that thereafter, although other consumers were handed over their flats, Jain was excluded from the process. According to the complainant, non-delivery of the flat or non-refund of the deposited money amounts to deficiency in service and indulgence in unfair trade practice on part of the society. A notice was served to the society officials, but they did not depose before the forum, and hence ex-parte proceedings were initiated against them.