You are here: Home » PF » Features » Others

No time limit for poor-service complaint

The district and state forums rejected the claims earlier because there was a delay of 15 years in filing the complaint

Joita Estate had constructed a building at New Alipore in Kolkata and sold flats to various home buyers. The owners were given possession of their flats in March 1999 and they have been residing in their respective flats since then. The builder had also got the mutation entries carried out in the records of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, which reflected the names of the flat purchasers as owners of their flats. However, the builder failed to execute the sale deed despite repeated demands.

After 15 years, nine flat purchasers filed individual complaints before the Kolkata District Forum against Joita Estates and its director Anjali Chakraborty, seeking a direction to execute the sale deed.

The forum passed a cryptic order, observing the flat purchasers had not approached the forum with clean hands. But, no reason was given for arriving at such a conclusion. The complaints were dismissed as being time-barred.

The flat purchasers then appealed to the West Bengal State Commission, which concurred with the view taken by the District Forum. The State Commission also observed there was a considerable delay of 15 years in filing the complaint, yet no application was made to condone the delay.

The home buyers finally approached the National Commission, which noted that the forum had not given any reason whatsoever for making adverse observations against the complainants. Similarly, the State Commission had also not given any justification for concurring with the view taken by the District Forum.

The National Commission pointed out that a mere delay in taking legal action would not amount to approaching the forum with unclean hands. The sale agreement of August 26, 1994, cast an obligation on the builder to execute a sale deed, and the failure to execute it would constitute a deficiency in service. The National Commission observed when the default continues on a day-to-day basis, the cause of action will continue till compliance of the statutory requirement. Hence, it was erroneous to consider the complaints as having been filed beyond the period of limitation.

Accordingly, by its order of October 3, 2016, delivered by the Bench of National Commission comprising its president Justice D K Jain and member M Shreesha held that the complaints were not time-barred. The dismissal orders were set aside and the complaints were remanded back to the District Forum for adjudication on merits.

A complaint regarding deficiency in service pertaining to non-compliance of statutory obligations such as the failure to obtain the occupancy certificate, or execute conveyance or sale deed, can be filed at any point of time. The limitation period of two years for filing of complaints would not be applicable to such disputes, as the cause of action continues on a day-to-day basis.


The author is a consumer activist

image
Business Standard
177 22
Business Standard

No time limit for poor-service complaint

The district and state forums rejected the claims earlier because there was a delay of 15 years in filing the complaint

Jehangir B Gai 

Joita Estate had constructed a building at New Alipore in Kolkata and sold flats to various home buyers. The owners were given possession of their flats in March 1999 and they have been residing in their respective flats since then. The builder had also got the mutation entries carried out in the records of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, which reflected the names of the flat purchasers as owners of their flats. However, the builder failed to execute the sale deed despite repeated demands.

After 15 years, nine flat purchasers filed individual complaints before the Kolkata District Forum against Joita Estates and its director Anjali Chakraborty, seeking a direction to execute the sale deed.

The forum passed a cryptic order, observing the flat purchasers had not approached the forum with clean hands. But, no reason was given for arriving at such a conclusion. The complaints were dismissed as being time-barred.

The flat purchasers then appealed to the West Bengal State Commission, which concurred with the view taken by the District Forum. The State Commission also observed there was a considerable delay of 15 years in filing the complaint, yet no application was made to condone the delay.

The home buyers finally approached the National Commission, which noted that the forum had not given any reason whatsoever for making adverse observations against the complainants. Similarly, the State Commission had also not given any justification for concurring with the view taken by the District Forum.

The National Commission pointed out that a mere delay in taking legal action would not amount to approaching the forum with unclean hands. The sale agreement of August 26, 1994, cast an obligation on the builder to execute a sale deed, and the failure to execute it would constitute a deficiency in service. The National Commission observed when the default continues on a day-to-day basis, the cause of action will continue till compliance of the statutory requirement. Hence, it was erroneous to consider the complaints as having been filed beyond the period of limitation.

Accordingly, by its order of October 3, 2016, delivered by the Bench of National Commission comprising its president Justice D K Jain and member M Shreesha held that the complaints were not time-barred. The dismissal orders were set aside and the complaints were remanded back to the District Forum for adjudication on merits.

A complaint regarding deficiency in service pertaining to non-compliance of statutory obligations such as the failure to obtain the occupancy certificate, or execute conveyance or sale deed, can be filed at any point of time. The limitation period of two years for filing of complaints would not be applicable to such disputes, as the cause of action continues on a day-to-day basis.


The author is a consumer activist

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

No time limit for poor-service complaint

The district and state forums rejected the claims earlier because there was a delay of 15 years in filing the complaint

The district and state forums rejected the claims earlier because there was a delay of 15 years in filing the complaint Joita Estate had constructed a building at New Alipore in Kolkata and sold flats to various home buyers. The owners were given possession of their flats in March 1999 and they have been residing in their respective flats since then. The builder had also got the mutation entries carried out in the records of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, which reflected the names of the flat purchasers as owners of their flats. However, the builder failed to execute the sale deed despite repeated demands.

After 15 years, nine flat purchasers filed individual complaints before the Kolkata District Forum against Joita Estates and its director Anjali Chakraborty, seeking a direction to execute the sale deed.

The forum passed a cryptic order, observing the flat purchasers had not approached the forum with clean hands. But, no reason was given for arriving at such a conclusion. The complaints were dismissed as being time-barred.

The flat purchasers then appealed to the West Bengal State Commission, which concurred with the view taken by the District Forum. The State Commission also observed there was a considerable delay of 15 years in filing the complaint, yet no application was made to condone the delay.

The home buyers finally approached the National Commission, which noted that the forum had not given any reason whatsoever for making adverse observations against the complainants. Similarly, the State Commission had also not given any justification for concurring with the view taken by the District Forum.

The National Commission pointed out that a mere delay in taking legal action would not amount to approaching the forum with unclean hands. The sale agreement of August 26, 1994, cast an obligation on the builder to execute a sale deed, and the failure to execute it would constitute a deficiency in service. The National Commission observed when the default continues on a day-to-day basis, the cause of action will continue till compliance of the statutory requirement. Hence, it was erroneous to consider the complaints as having been filed beyond the period of limitation.

Accordingly, by its order of October 3, 2016, delivered by the Bench of National Commission comprising its president Justice D K Jain and member M Shreesha held that the complaints were not time-barred. The dismissal orders were set aside and the complaints were remanded back to the District Forum for adjudication on merits.

A complaint regarding deficiency in service pertaining to non-compliance of statutory obligations such as the failure to obtain the occupancy certificate, or execute conveyance or sale deed, can be filed at any point of time. The limitation period of two years for filing of complaints would not be applicable to such disputes, as the cause of action continues on a day-to-day basis.
The author is a consumer activist
image
Business Standard
177 22

Upgrade To Premium Services

Welcome User

Business Standard is happy to inform you of the launch of "Business Standard Premium Services"

As a premium subscriber you get an across device unfettered access to a range of services which include:

  • Access Exclusive content - articles, features & opinion pieces
  • Weekly Industry/Genre specific newsletters - Choose multiple industries/genres
  • Access to 17 plus years of content archives
  • Set Stock price alerts for your portfolio and watch list and get them delivered to your e-mail box
  • End of day news alerts on 5 companies (via email)
  • NEW: Get seamless access to WSJ.com at a great price. No additional sign-up required.
 

Premium Services

In Partnership with

 

Dear Guest,

 

Welcome to the premium services of Business Standard brought to you courtesy FIS.
Kindly visit the Manage my subscription page to discover the benefits of this programme.

Enjoy Reading!
Team Business Standard