Atul Kinra, husband of the complainant, entered into a contract for the purchase of a plot measuring 300 sq. yards with the Respondent and paid a substantial amount for it. However, later the Respondents have failed to transfer the said plot provisionally allotted another plot and Atul Kinra paid Rs. 38,77854 of Rs. 40,50,354 and the leftover amount was discounted for the reason of timely payment. The respondent in the plot buyers agreements (20.06.2007) promised to transfer the property by two years but not later than 3 years (19.06.2010). But even after 5 years, the husband of the complainant could not find much development has taken place.
compensation, in the sum of Rs.3,00,000/- for causing mental agony and harassment
The Respondent challenged the said complaint on the following grounds:
- Complainant is not a Consumer as the plot was transferred to her by her husband and wan not an original party to the Contract.
- Time is not the Essence of contract in the present case.
- As the Respondents were ready to transfer the plot therefore if the refund is claimed the forfeiture clause would be applicable.
- No jurisdiction of the Commission on the ground of existence of Arbitration Clause.
The Commission rejected the aforesaid pleas on the ground:
- Complainant is the Consumer as the requisite fee was paid and title of the Complainant was accepted.
- The Plot Buyers Agreement expressly provided the maximum period of 3 years which made time to be the essence for the expressly of the said deed.
- As the possession was offered too late, therefore, the Complainant was not bound to accept it and was required to be paid the interest @15% for the reason that had it been invested in some other business, the Complainant could have earned the substantial amount of return. The Commission also ordered the payment of Compensation for the mental agony and harassment caused.
- Existence of Arbitration Clause is no bar to filing the Complaint in the Consumer Forum.