In July 2007, Ranjalkar purchased a flat in ‘Kumar Prithvi’ scheme, developed by Sukumar Township Development Private Limited in Bhavani Peth, for Rs 28.7 lakh.
The district consumer court has ruled that an occupancy certificate issued by the municipal corporation in favour of a flat buyer is sufficient to hold that construction activity is completed as per the sanctioned plan.
The court also held that a flat occupant cannot seek his case to be treated as a “representative complaint” without complying with the requirements of such a plaint. Section 12 (1) (c) of the Consumer Protection Act requires publication of a notice at the time of filing of complaint for the latter to be treated as a representative case.
A bench of V P Utpat, O G Patil and Kshitija Kulkarni on Wednesday rejected the complaint by Kondhwa Khurd resident Anand Ranjalkar, who alleged that the builder of their housing scheme delivered him a flat, which was of lesser area than agreed for, and had failed to secure a completion certificate. He also referred to common reliefs relating to the developer’s “failure” to form a society and execute a conveyance deed.
In July 2007, Ranjalkar purchased a flat in ‘Kumar Prithvi’ scheme, developed by Sukumar Township Development Private Limited in Bhavani Peth, for Rs 28.7 lakh. The construction firm delivered possession of the flat to him on March 3, 2009.
In July 2011, over two years after getting possession, Ranjalkar filed a consumer complaint alleging the carpet area of the flat was 39.87 sqft lesser than the area committed to in the agreement. He cited the measurements done by an architect.
Lawyer Sunita Kinkar, representing the firm, argued that Ranjalkar was bound by the purchase agreement, to refer any dispute to an arbitrator and that he did not comply with the norms for converting his complaint into a representative case for seeking common reliefs.
The bench had rejected Ranjalkar’s application, filed after arguments, for publication of notice for a representative complaint and held that the matter is treated as an individual complaint. “The complainant, in his individual capacity, cannot seek relief as regards formation of society and execution of conveyance deed, etc. Grievances of complainant will remain only as regards shortfall in area and completion certificate,” it held.
The bench held that the architect’s certificate furnished by the complainant for showing shortfall in area of flat was not supported by an affidavit. On the other hand, the construction firm had furnished two certificates from two different architects showing that the area of flat was correct as promised in the agreement, it said. “It is significant to note that municipal corporation has issued occupancy certificate pertaining to the complainant’s flat. This fact itself is sufficiently eloquent to hold that construction activity is completed as per the sanctioned plan,” the bench added.
The bench also held that the complaint relating to shortfall in area of flat was filed after two years and, hence, was time barred as per the limitation law. The complainant also did not file an application for condonation of delay and has failed to establish deficiency on the part of the construction firm, it ruled.
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