IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 664950 OF 2018
M/s. Supertech Ltd. …Appellant
Rajni Goyal …Respondent
J U D G M E N T
INDU MALHOTRA, J.
1. The present Civil Appeals have been filed under Section 23 of
the Consumer Protection Act, 19861
to challenge the
Judgment and Order dated 22.03.2018 in Review Application
No. 94 of 2018 and the Judgment and Order dated
1 Section 23. Appeal – Any person, aggrieved by an order made by the National Commission
in exercise of its power conferred by subclause (i) of clause (a) of section 21, may prefer an
appeal against such order to the Supreme Court within a period of thirty days from the date
of the order:
Provided that the Supreme Court may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the
said period of thirty days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it
within that period.
07.02.2018 in Consumer Complaint No. 708 of 2017 passed
by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission at
2. The factual matrix of the present case, briefly stated, is as
2.1. The Appellant – Builder was developing a project
named ‘Capetown’ in Sector 74, Noida. The Respondent –
Purchaser booked a residential flat with the Appellant –
Builder in the said project.
2.2. On 22.05.2012, the Appellant – Builder vide Allotment
Letter allotted Flat No. 1606 to the Respondent –
Purchaser. As per the Allotment Letter, possession would
be handed over in October 2013. This period could be
extended due to unforeseen circumstances by a
maximum of 6 months.
The Agreement also provided for escalation charges if
there was any fluctuation in the price of construction
materials and/or labour costs during the course of
construction, payable by the Respondent – Purchaser.
The Agreement provided for payment of maintenance
charges by the Respondent – Purchaser for maintenance
and upkeep of the complex. These maintenance charges
were payable from the date of issuance of a ‘Letter of
Offer of Possession’.
2.3. The Appellant – Builder was not able to hand over
possession of the flat in October 2013 as per the
Allotment Letter dated 22.05.2012.
2.4. The Appellant – Builder issued a PrePossession Letter
on 12.10.2015 to the Respondent – Purchaser for
completion of formalities, before possession could be
handed over. The PrePossession Letter stated that upon
completion of formalities as specified in the Letter,
possession of the flat would be offered to the Respondent
– Purchaser. The Respondent – Purchaser was called
upon to pay Rs. 12,35,656/– towards the balance cost of
the flat, maintenance charges, labour welfare charges,
water connection charges, escalation costs, etc. The
Respondent – Purchaser was called upon to deposit the
charges on or before 11.11.2015.
2.5. The Respondent – Purchaser failed to pay the charges
demanded as per the PrePossession Letter by the
Appellant – Builder.
2.6. That after over 15 months, on 15.03.2017, the
Respondent – Purchaser filed a Consumer Complaint
under Section 21(a)(i) of the Consumer Protection Act,
before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal
Commission [hereinafter referred to as “the
Commission”]. The Respondent – Purchaser challenged
the PrePossession Letter on the ground that on the date
of issuance of the PrePossession Letter, the Appellant –
Builder had not obtained the Occupancy Certificate. The
Respondent – Purchaser also challenged the various
charges demanded by the Appellant – Builder in the PrePossession
2.7. The Commission vide Judgment and Order dated
07.02.2018, partly allowed the Consumer Complaint of
the Respondent – Purchaser.
2 Section 21. Jurisdiction of the National Commission – Subject to the other provisions of
this Act, the National Commission shall have jurisdiction—
(a) to entertain—
(i) complaints where the value of the goods or services and compensation, if any,
claimed exceeds rupees
one crore; and
(ii) appeals against the orders of any State Commission; and
(b) to call for the records and pass appropriate orders in any consumer dispute
which is pending before or has been decided by any State Commission where it appears to
the National Commission that such State Commission has exercised a jurisdiction not
vested in it by law, or has failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested, or has acted in the
exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.
The Commission held that out of the charges mentioned
in the PrePossession Letter dated 12.10.2015, the
Appellant – Builder was entitled to payment of the
following amounts –
i) An amount of Rs. 3,166/– towards interest on
ii) Water connection charges if paid to the concerned
Authority, on proportionate basis subject to
furnishing proof of such payment, in terms of this
iii) Labour welfare charges subject to furnishing proof
and computation with respect to the said charges in
terms of this order.
iv) Escalation charges + service tax amounting to Rs.
However, the Commission held that since there was a
delay in handing over possession of the flat to the
Respondent – Purchaser, the Appellant – Builder was
liable to pay Interest to the Respondent – Purchaser by
way of compensation. The scheduled date for handing
over possession was 31.10.2013. The Appellant – Builder
had issued the PrePossession Letter on 31.10.2015. As
per the Respondent – Purchaser, the Appellant – Builder
did not have the Occupancy Certificate on that date.
The Commission directed the Appellant – Builder to
pay compensation in the form of Simple Interest @8%
p.a. from 01.11.2013 till the date on which possession
was actually offered to the Respondent – Purchaser.
2.8. Aggrieved by the Order dated 07.02.2018, the
Appellant – Builder filed a Review Petition. The said
Review Petition was dismissed by the Commission vide
Order dated 22.03.2018.
2.9. Aggrieved by the Order passed by the Commission in
the Consumer Complaint as also in the Review Petition,
the Appellant – Builder has preferred the present Civil
Appeals before this Court under Section 23 of the
Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
3. We have heard the Counsel for the parties, and perused the
pleadings of the case.
4. The Appellant – Builder inter alia submitted that –
Possession of the flat was offered to the Respondent –
Purchaser in December 2015 after obtaining the Completion
Certificate for the building.
Even though the Agreement provided for delivery of
possession by 31.10.2013, the delay occurred because of
various legal impediments in timely completion of the project
because of various Orders passed by the National Green
Tribunal. The delay ought to be computed from 6 months
after 31.10.2013, i.e. from 01.05.2014 by taking into
consideration, the 6 months grace period provided in the
Furthermore, the period of Interest should close on April
2016 when the Full Occupancy Certificate was obtained as
per the admission of the Respondent – Purchaser herself in
Para 4(j) of the Consumer Complaint, wherein she has
admitted that the Appellant – Builder had obtained the
Completion Certificate as late as April 2016. The Respondent
– Purchaser could not have any further grievance after April
2016 with respect to delay in handing over possession. The
Respondent – Purchaser ought not to be allowed to reap the
benefits of her own delay in taking possession.
5. In light of the aforesaid discussion, the period of
compensation of Interest must be computed from 01.05.2014
till 30.04.2016 at the rate awarded by the Commission.
6. The Order of the Commission is modified only to the extent
7. The Appeals are disposed of accordingly.
(ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE)
October 23, 2018.