Le­gal Mat­ters

made the book­ing only for in­vest­ment sake to earn more yield on our money. We had booked th­ese flats at peak time as­sur­ing that money will mul­ti­ply with your es­teemed or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

Consumer Voice - - Legal Matters -

DLF in its de­fence raised the ques­tion of ju­ris­dic­tion of the Con­sumer Com­mis­sion, on the plea that the com­plainant was not a con­sumer be­cause he had in­vested the money for com­mer­cial pur­pose and could not be treated in the fo­rum as a con­sumer.

DLF’s coun­sel re­ferred to Sec­tion 2 (o) d of Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act, the clause that was added to the act via an amend­ment in 2002. Ref­er­ence was also made to the ear­lier de­cided cases on the sub­ject. One of those cases was Chilkuri Adarsh ver­sus Ess Ess Vee Con­struc­tions, wherein it was held that when a con­sumer booked more than one unit of res­i­den­tial premises, it amounted to book­ing of premises for com­mer­cial pur­pose. A sim­i­lar view was taken in the case of Jag­mo­han Chabraand and oth­ers ver­sus DLF Univer­sal as also in Su­nil Gupta ver­sus To­day Homes In­fra­struc­ture – in both th­ese cases, the com­plainant had booked flats for com­mer­cial pur­poses.

Com­ing back to the case in ques­tion, the only fact to ex­am­ine be­fore the Com­mis­sion was to check facts and es­tab­lish if the present case fell un­der the cat­e­gory of com­mer­cial pur­pose. Dur­ing the pro­ceed­ings, a let­ter writ­ten by the com­plainants was pro­duced by DLF. In the let­ter, writ­ten in the com­plainants’ let­ter­head, it was stated that they had in­vested in prop­er­ties for the pur­pose of yield­ing profit and the de­lay was caus­ing them loss. The con­tents of the let­ter fur­ther in­cluded: “…you would re­call that we had

The let­ter proved that the com­plainant had booked flats solely for the pur­pose of yield­ing prof­its and that they were not en­ti­tled to be treated at par with the con­sumer who would have been strug­gling to get pos­ses­sion of the house to live in it.

Post this ver­dict, the Na­tional Com­mis­sion held that if more than one flat was booked with one or more de­vel­op­ers, it had to be treated as book­ing meant for in­vest­ment pur­pose even if the na­ture of property was res­i­den­tial. The Com­mis­sion also stated that the state and the dis­trict fo­rums had the right to re­frain from en­ter­tain­ing such com­plaints.

The Com­mis­sion made the said judge­ment to en­sure that it did not spend time in re­solv­ing is­sues re­gard­ing com­mer­cial pur­poses – it would rather fo­cus on the cases of in­di­vid­u­als who were strug­gling to get pos­ses­sion of their houses from de­vel­op­ers. Many in­di­vid­u­als across In­dia are fight­ing to get pos­ses­sion of their houses, for which they are al­ready pay­ing equated monthly in­stal­ments in ad­di­tion to pay­ing the rent of the houses that they are cur­rently liv­ing in. The pri­or­ity of con­sumer fo­rums will al­ways be to help such in­di­vid­u­als in­stead of property deal­ers or agents.

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