Collectively filing suit against builder in NCDRC for not refunding


We have booked flat in 2012 in one of project at Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Builder has cancel the booking and not giving refund, against that we want to file case in NCDRC as we had already made the group of 7 people & going on. Request suggestion for clarity u/s 12 (1) (C), in our case each one has paid 7 lac in 2012 & agreement value of each flat is 32 lac. Builder has constructing very slow & currently stopped the construction, even though he has not been responding our various registered letter. The agreement was executed as per payment plan till 12th floor however after five years till he has not received higher floor approval plans from competent authority. We want to understand can we go to NCDRC with association as per Amrapali decision. Our combine flat value is more than 1 crore however with interest combined compensation is less than 1 crore. Pls suggest urgently.

Answers (1)


100 votes

A complaint under Section 12 (1) (c) is maintainable before the NCDRC where the aggregate value of the all the apartments combined and the total compensation claimed in respect of all the buyers exceeds Rs. 1 crore. The value of each individual apartment is wholly irrelevant in such a complaint. c. So long as the grievance of the buyers is common and an identical relief is claimed for all of them, the cost, the size, area of the flat/plot and the date of booking/allotment/purchase would be wholly immaterial. The relief claimed will be the same if for example, in a case of delay in possession, refund, or possession or in the alternate refund, with or without compensation, is claimed for all the buyers. Different reliefs for one or more consumers on whose behalf or for whose benefit the complaint is filed cannot be claimed in such a complaint.
Court’s observation (technical interpretation) Issue No. (i) A complaint under Section 12 (1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act can be filed only on behalf of or for the benefit of all the consumers, having a common interest or a common grievance and seeking the same / identical relief against the same person. Such a complaint however, shall not be deemed to have been filed on behalf of or for the benefit of the consumers who have already filed individual complaints before the requisite permission in terms of Section 12(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act is accorded. Issue No. (ii), (iii) and (iv) 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.1.00 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. Reference dated 11.8.2016 Issue No. (i) It is the value of the goods or services, as the case may be, and not the value or cost of removing the deficiency in the service which is to be considered for the purpose of determining the pecuniary jurisdiction. Issue No. (ii) The interest has to be taken into account for the purpose of determining the pecuniary jurisdiction of a Consumer Forum. Issue No. (iii) The consideration paid or agreed to be paid by the consumer at the time of purchasing the goods or hiring or availing of the services, as the case may be, is to be considered, along with the compensation, if any, claimed in the complaint, to determine the pecuniary jurisdiction of a Consumer Forum. Issue No. (iv) In a complaint instituted under Section 12(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act, the pecuniary jurisdiction is to be determined on the basis of aggregate of the value of the goods purchased or the services hired or availed by all the consumers on whose behalf or for whose benefit the complaint is instituted and the total compensation claimed in respect of such consumers. Issue No. (v) & (vi) A complaint under Section 12(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act can be instituted only by one or more consumers, as defined in Section 2(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act. Therefore, a group of Cooperative societies, Firms, Association or other Society cannot file such a complaint unless such society etc. itself is a consumer as defined in the aforesaid provision. Issue No. (vii) More than one complaints under Section 12(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act are not maintainable on behalf of or for the benefit of consumers having the same interest i.e. a common grievance and seeking the same / identical against the same person. In case more than one such complaints have been instituted, it is only the complaint instituted first under Section 12(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act, with the requisite permission of the Consumer Forum, which can continue and the remaining complaints filed under Section 12(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act are liable to be dismissed with liberty to join in the complaint instituted first with the requisite permission of the Consumer Forum. The individual complaints instituted before grant of the requisite permission under Section 12(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act can continue despite grant of the said permission but it would be open to such complainants to withdraw their individual complaints and join as parties to the complaint instituted in a representative character. However, once the requisite permission under Section 12(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act is granted, an individual complaint, expressing the same grievance will not be maintainable and the only remedy open to a consumer having the same grievance is to join as a party to the complaint instituted in a representative character.


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