More than 23 years after he was allotted a flat, Vinod Kumar will finally be able to live in his own house. After his plea was turned down by the district forum, he knocked on the doors of the State Consumer Commission, seeking justice.
The State Consumer Commission has directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to allot Kumar a plot as well as pay him Rs 4 lakh as compensation and litigation charges after the land agency cancelled his allotment made in 1991.
Asserting that the DDA failed to provide its services in a span of 23 years, judicial member
N P Kaushik ordered the DDA to allot a plot measuring 34 sqm to Kumar anywhere in Delhi as well as pay Rs 3 lakh as compensation for causing mental agony and harassment to him and his family. The DDA was also asked to pay him Rs 1 lakh as litigation charges.
“In case, the DDA fails to pay compensation and litigation expenses within 30 days, it shall be liable to pay 10 per cent interest. In case, the DDA fails to allot the plot to him within the stipulated period, a penalty of Rs 1,000 per day shall be liable to be paid to Kumar,” Kaushik stated in his order.
Kumar had reportedly registered himself with the DDA in 1981 under the Rohini LIG Scheme. He was allotted a plot in 1991 and deposited the amount for the same. He tried to remain in touch with the DDA for the physical possession of the plot, but did not receive any letter from the agency informing him of the status of the allotment till 2003.
After he filed a series of complaints, the DDA eventually responded by saying that it had restored the registration for allotment of another plot in phase 3 or 4 of Rohini, subject to payment of restoration charges of
Rs 300 per sqm. After he accepted the offer, the DDA allotted Kumar a plot in Sector 16 in lieu of the old plot.
The DDA then demanded Kumar pay up premium apart from restoration charges.
Kumar filed a complaint against the DDA in December 2003, asking that he should be allotted the plot at old rates. However, the DDA sent him a showcause notice in 2004 that since he had failed to pay the first instalment of premium, his allotment would stand withdrawn and registration cancelled.
In its order, the court observed that Kumar did not default on making payments at any time. Moreover, the DDA had not replied to his letters.
The assistant director of the agency had told him that the documents he submitted were not traceable in their office. The complainant was verbally informed that his earlier allotment was cancelled on account of non-payment of the balance amount.
“DDA has failed to establish if there was any default on part of Kumar in making payments. Controversy regarding allotment of the old plot came to an end when the DDA offered the new plot on payment of restoration charges, which Kumar accepted. Now, the question arises whether the DDA is justified in asking for premium on the allotment of the new plot. It was DDA’s responsibility to state in the offer letter if it wished to charge the said premium. No such offer was made by the DDA while inviting his acceptance,” Kaushik said.
Ruling that it was not permissible for the DDA to come up with a letter later demanding the premium, Kaushik added that the DDA was merely rectifying its error as the old plot was not available with it when the complainant furnished his documents for the second time to DDA on its demand. “The demand for premium, therefore, is not justified.”