Builders: NCDRC to take up di­rect pleas

Consumer Voice - - In The News -

In a land­mark judge­ment, the Na­tional Con­sumer Dis­putes Re­dres­sal Com­mis­sion (NCDRC) has stated that con­sumers seek­ing com­pen­sa­tion worth Rs 1 crore and more or a group of con­sumers with sim­i­lar griev­ances against a builder can now ap­proach the na­tional com­mis­sion.

This judge­ment will help ex­pe­dite jus­tice de­liv­ery as now con­sumers can get to­gether and ap­peal di­rectly to the na­tional com­mis­sion in­stead of go­ing through the long-drawn, three-tier process of district and state com­mis­sions be­fore reach­ing the na­tional com­mis­sion.

A larger bench of the na­tional com­mis­sion was in­ter­pret­ing Sec­tion 12 (1) (c) of the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act on a ref­er­ence to an or­der by a smaller bench in Au­gust this year. Al­though the judge­ment has been de­liv­ered in the con­text of a real es­tate case, ex­perts say it will cer­tainly have im­pli­ca­tions in class ac­tion cases.

In­ter­pret­ing the rel­e­vant sec­tion, in ref­er­ence to a con­sumer case – Am­br­ish Ku­mar Shukla ver­sus Fer­rous In­fra­struc­ture, a three-judge bench of NCDRC said that “a com­plaint un­der Sec­tion 12 (1) (c) of the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act is main­tain­able be­fore this com­mis­sion where the ag­gre­gate of the value of the goods pur­chased or the ser­vices hired or availed of by all the con­sumers on whose be­half or for whose ben­e­fit the com­plaint is in­sti­tuted and the to­tal com­pen­sa­tion, if any , claimed in re­spect of all such con­sumers ex­ceeds Rs 1 crore. The value of the goods pur­chased or the ser­vices hired and availed of by an in­di­vid­ual con­sumer or the size, or date of book­ing/al­lot­ment/pur­chase of the flat would be wholly ir­rel­e­vant in such a com­plaint where the com­plaint re­lates to the sale/al­lot­ment of sev­eral flats/plots in the same project/build­ing.” At present, con­sumers have to move the district fo­rum, fol­lowed by the state com­mis­sion and then the na­tional com­mis­sion.

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