whether a direction for the deletion of the second respondent was warranted. We may note the submission which has been urged on behalf of the appellants to the effect that under Section 2(zk) of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, the definition of the expression “promoter” would include the entity which is constructing the building as well as the entity which is selling the apartments or plots. Section 2(zk) reads as follows:- “(zk) “promoter” means,— (i) a person who constructs or causes to be constructed an independent building or a building consisting of apartments, or converts an existing building or a part thereof into apartments, for the purpose of selling all or some of the apartments to other persons and includes his assignees; or (ii) a person who develops land into a project, whether or not the person also constructs structures on any of the plots, for the purpose of selling to other persons all or some of the plots in the said project, whether with or without structures thereon; or (iii) any development authority or any other public body in respect of allottees of— (a) buildings or apartments, as the case may be, constructed by such authority or body on lands owned by them or placed at their disposal by the Government; or (b) plots owned by such authority or body or placed at their disposal by the Government, for the purpose of selling all or some of the apartments or plots; or 5 (iv) an apex State level co-operative housing finance society and a primary co-operative housing society which constructs apartments or buildings for its Members or in respect of the allottees of such apartments or buildings; or (v) any other person who acts himself as a builder, coloniser, contractor, developer, estate developer or by any other name or claims to be acting as the holder of a power of attorney from the owner of the land on which the building or apartment is constructed or plot is developed for sale; or (vi) such other person who constructs any building or apartment for sale to the general public. Explanation.— For the purposes of this clause, where the person who constructs or converts a building into apartments or develops a plot for sale and the persons who sells apartments or plots are different persons, both of them shall be deemed to be the promoters and shall be jointly liable as such for the functions and responsibilities specified, under this Act or the rules and regulations made thereunder;” On the basis of the material which is on record, it is not possible for the Court to conclude at the present stage that the second respondent is unconnected with the project or has been impleaded as a party to the proceeding without any reason or basis. The issue as to whether, and if so, what relief can be ultimately granted in the consumer complaint is a matter which will be determined during the course of the hearing of the complaint. Consequently, we are of the view that on the basis of the averments contained in the complaint as well as on the material which has been placed on the record by the second respondent, an order for deletion was not warranted at this stage.

1
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S). 259 OF 2019
ASSOCIATION FOR CONSUMER WELFARE AND AID Appellant(s)
VERSUS
GRANITE GATE PROPERTIES PRIVATE LIMITED & ANR. Respondent(s)
WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S). 1501 OF 2019
JUDGMENT
Dr. Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, J.
Civil Appeal No. 259 of 2019
Admitted.
By the impugned order dated 31 July 2018, the National
Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission1 directed that the second
respondent (Three C Universal Developers Private Limited) be
deleted from the array of parties. The complaint has been
admitted only against Granite Gate Properties Private Limited,
the first respondent to the present appeal.
The only ground on which the above directions have been
issued are spelt out thus:
“The consumers on whose behalf this complaint is
instituted did not hire or avail the services of
opposite party No. 1 and therefore, they cannot
be said to its consumers.”
Notice was issued in these proceedings on 7 January 2019.
1 “NCDRC”
2
A counter affidavit has been filed by the second respondent
which was ordered to be deleted by the NCDRC from the array of
parties.
The consumer complaint filed by the appellant, which is
an association representing the buyers, seeks diverse reliefs
including the grant of possession of flats to the allottees of
the real estate project together with common amenities and
restraining the respondents from charging additional amounts
for alleged increases in the area of the flats otherwise than
in accordance with the allotment letters. The averments in
paragraphs 5 and 13 of the complaint before the NCDRC read as
follows:
“5. That the Allotment Letters clearly provide
that the projects are being undertaken by
Opposite Part 2 (which is formed by Opposite
Party 1 specifically for the purpose of
construction of Lotus Panache). The entire
consideration amount for the project was required
to be paid to Opposite Party 2 by the allottees,
although the project was marketed by Opposite
Party 1 and the parties marketed themselves as
“The 3C Company” which is also evident from the
letterhead of the Company on which the Allotment
Letters were printed.”

  1. The Companies registered project Lotus
    Panache under Uttar Pradesh Real Estate
    Regulatory Authority and M/s Granite Gate
    Properties Pvt. Ltd. was declared by the
    Companies as the Promoter of the project.
    However clearly as per the agreement, Three C
    Universal Developers Private Limited was the main
    company as it has formed the SPC (which was
    formed specifically for development of the
    project Lotus Panache and was the one which was
    marketing and executing the agreements),
    therefore having been vested the primary
    responsibility of the entire project together
    with all the other opposite parties who also are
    jointly and severally responsible for all the
    obligations contained herein.
    3
    Further, the details of Project Lotus Panache as
    obtained from the website of Uttar Pradesh Real
    Estate Regulation Authority clearly shows the
    proposed date of completion of the project as
    31.12.2022. Surprisingly, the original start
    date has been specified as 11.5.2010 and the
    modified start date for the project has been
    specified as 10.8.2017.”
    In sum and substance therefore, the case of the
    appellants before the NCDRC is that the second respondent,
    Three C Universal Developers Private Limited, is in fact the
    main promoter of the project and that it is vested with the
    primary responsibility of completing the project. Para 17.1
    of the complaint reads as follows:
    “17.1 The Opposite Parties state that the
    Allottees had entered into Agreements with only
    Opposite Party 2 and no one else. However,
    clearly Opposite Party 1 and Opposite Party 2
    have been acting as one and the same Company.
    Opposite Party 1 has admittedly marketed the
    Project and the Companies have represented
    themselves together as “The 3C Company”. The
    allotment letter names Opposite Party 1 as one of
    the Parties and the Builder Buyer Agreement
    specifically recognises that Opposite Party 2 is
    only a Special Purpose Company formed by the
    Opposite Party 1 for a particular purpose.“
    In the complaint before the NCDRC, Three C Universal
    Developers Pvt. Ltd. (the second respondent to the present
    appeal) is arrayed as opposite party No. 1, while Granite Gate
    Properties Pvt. Ltd. (the first respondent to the present
    appeal) is opposite party No. 2.
    In the counter affidavit which has been filed in these
    proceedings, the second respondent has stated that the first
    respondent was set up as a special purpose vehicle by a
    consortium of which the second respondent is a part. Moreover,
    4
    it has been stated that a construction agreement was entered
    into between the first and second respondents on 15 December
    2009.
    At the present stage, the limited issue with which this
    Court is concerned is whether a direction for the deletion of
    the second respondent was warranted.
    We may note the submission which has been urged on behalf
    of the appellants to the effect that under Section 2(zk) of the
    Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, the
    definition of the expression “promoter” would include the
    entity which is constructing the building as well as the entity
    which is selling the apartments or plots.
    Section 2(zk) reads as follows:-
    “(zk) “promoter” means,— (i) a person who
    constructs or causes to be constructed an
    independent building or a building consisting of
    apartments, or converts an existing building or a
    part thereof into apartments, for the purpose of
    selling all or some of the apartments to other
    persons and includes his assignees; or
    (ii) a person who develops land into a project,
    whether or not the person also constructs
    structures on any of the plots, for the purpose of
    selling to other persons all or some of the plots
    in the said project, whether with or without
    structures thereon; or
    (iii) any development authority or any other
    public body in respect of allottees of—
    (a) buildings or apartments, as the case may be,
    constructed by such authority or body on lands
    owned by them or placed at their disposal by the
    Government; or
    (b) plots owned by such authority or body or
    placed at their disposal by the Government, for
    the purpose of selling all or some of the
    apartments or plots; or
    5
    (iv) an apex State level co-operative housing
    finance society and a primary co-operative housing
    society which constructs apartments or buildings
    for its Members or in respect of the allottees of
    such apartments or buildings; or
    (v) any other person who acts himself as a
    builder, coloniser, contractor, developer, estate
    developer or by any other name or claims to be
    acting as the holder of a power of attorney from
    the owner of the land on which the building or
    apartment is constructed or plot is developed for
    sale; or
    (vi) such other person who constructs any building
    or apartment for sale to the general public.
    Explanation.— For the purposes of this clause,
    where the person who constructs or converts a
    building into apartments or develops a plot for
    sale and the persons who sells apartments or plots
    are different persons, both of them shall be
    deemed to be the promoters and shall be jointly
    liable as such for the functions and
    responsibilities specified, under this Act or the
    rules and regulations made thereunder;”
    On the basis of the material which is on record, it is
    not possible for the Court to conclude at the present stage
    that the second respondent is unconnected with the project or
    has been impleaded as a party to the proceeding without any
    reason or basis. The issue as to whether, and if so, what
    relief can be ultimately granted in the consumer complaint is a
    matter which will be determined during the course of the
    hearing of the complaint.
    Consequently, we are of the view that on the basis of the
    averments contained in the complaint as well as on the material
    which has been placed on the record by the second respondent,
    an order for deletion was not warranted at this stage.
    6
    We accordingly, allow the appeal and set aside the
    impugned order of the NCDRC dated 31 July 2018. The second
    respondent is accordingly restored as a party to the
    proceedings before the NCDRC. The complaint shall stand
    admitted against both the first and second respondents for
    final disposal.
    We however, clarify that all the rights and contentions
    of the parties are kept open to be urged before the NCDRC.
    The appeal is, accordingly, disposed of. There shall be
    no order as to costs.
    Pending application(s), if any, shall also stand disposed
    of.
    Civil Appeal No. 1501 of 2019
    Admitted.
    For the reasons indicated by this Court while disposing
    of the companion civil appeal (Civil Appeal No. 259 of 2019),
    the order of the NCDRC dated 20 July 2018 directing the
    deletion of Three C Universal Developer Pvt. Ltd. is set aside.
    The appeal shall stand disposed of in similar terms as
    the order passed in the companion appeal. There shall be no
    order as to costs.
    Pending application(s), if any, shall stand disposed of.
    ………………………..J.
    (DR. DHANANJAYA Y. CHANDRACHUD)
    …………………………J.
    (HEMANT GUPTA)
    NEW DELHI
    MARCH 25, 2019
    7
    ITEM NO.44 COURT NO.8 SECTION XVII
    S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
    RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
    Civil Appeal No(s). 259/2019
    ASSOCIATION FOR CONSUMER WELFARE AND AID Appellant(s)
    VERSUS
    GRANITE GATE PROPERTIES PRIVATE LIMITED & ANR. Respondent(s)
    (IA 183287/2018, IA 183289/2018)
    WITH
    C.A. No. 1501/2019 (XVII)
    (IA 620/2019)
    Date : 25-03-2019 These matters were called on for hearing today.
    CORAM : HON’BLE DR. JUSTICE D.Y. CHANDRACHUD
    HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE HEMANT GUPTA
    For Appellant(s)
    Mr. Avi Tandon, Adv.
    Mr. Anish Agarwal, Adv.
    Mr. Omar Waziri, Adv.
    Ms. Vanshika Gupta, Adv.
    Ms. Meghna Tandon, Adv.
    Ms. Vibhooti Malhotra, AOR
    For Respondent(s)
    Mr. Dhananjai Jain, AOR
    Mr. George Thomas, Adv.
    Mr. Dhananjay, Adv.
    Mr. Nakul Dewan, Adv.
    Mr. Arush Khanna, Adv.
    Ms. Nooreen Sarna, Adv.
    Mr. Lakshay Mehta, Adv.
    UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following
    O R D E R
    Admitted.
    The appeals are disposed of in terms of the signed order.
    Pending application(s), if any, shall stand disposed of.
    (MANISH SETHI) (SAROJ KUMARI GAUR)
    COURT MASTER (SH) BRANCH OFFICER
    (Signed reportable judgment is placed on the file)