(1.) Aggrieved by the order in Appeal No. A/16/335 dated 04.09.2017 passed by Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (for short "the State Commission"?) First Opposite Party M/s A.M. Associates (hereinafter referred to as "the Developer"?) has preferred this Revision Petition under Section 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (for short "the Act"?). By the impugned order, the State Commission has party allowed the Appeal preferred by the Developer by way of reducing the awarded rate of interest from 18% p.a. to 12% p.a. However, the rest of the order, passed by the Thane Additional District Consumer Redressal Forum (for short "the District Forum"?), was maintained by the State Commission.
(2.) Briefly stated, the facts of the case are that the Developer, a proprietorship concern, is engaged in the business of construction. Complainant No. 1 is housewife whereas Complainant No. 2 is a retired Government servant. After retirement of Complainant No. 2 both the Complainants intended to purchase a shop for carrying on their livelihood. They approached property consultants Mr. Hilal A. Shiddhiki and Mr. Abdul Chacha. The said property consultants had shown them two shops bearing No. 3 and 4 situated at Sector-11, Taloja-Panchanand, Opp. Proposed Railway Station. The Developer agreed to sell shop No. 4 to the Complainants, assuring them that the Developer was the owner of the said shop. Hence, the Complainant agreed to purchase shop No. 4. On 31.07.2012, they paid in cash a sum of Rs.7,00,000/- and receipt No. 184 was issued. Subsequently, on 03.08.2012 a sum of Rs.6,75,000/- i.e. a sum of Rs.4,00,000/- by cheque and a sum of PREM NARAIN,2,75,000/- in cash, for which the Developer issued receipt No. 395. Thus in total the Complainants paid a sum of Rs.13,75,000/- subsequent to which, they were called to the office of Mr. Tendulkar, Advocate for the purpose of registration of the Agreement. When they visited the office of the said Advocate, they were told that shop No. 4 had already been sold. They again visited the office of the Developer which informed them that a mistake has occurred in respect of the number of shop and requested them to take shop No. 2 having the same area. Believing the version of the Developer, the Complainants agreed to purchase shop No. 2 instead of shop No. 4. They paid the stamp duty and registration charges to Mr. Tendulkar, Advocate who assured them that the Agreement of Sale would be registered very soon before the Sub-Registrar, Panvel.
(3.) On 16.10.2012, after about two months one Mr. Vilas Jadhav, an employee of the Developer called him to the registration office at Panvel for execution of the Agreement. At the Registration Office, the said employee asked the Complainants to sign the Agreement of Sale. When the Complainants asked him some time to read the contents of the said Agreement, they were told that there was a great rush at the Registration Office and if they took time for reading then their registration would be missed and that they should sign the same. Perused, the Complainants signed the same without verifying the contents of the said Agreement. The Second Opposite Party also signed on the said Agreement as Seller. When the Complainants questioned the Second Opposite Party in which capacity he was signing the Agreement, he informed them that he was an investor of the Developer. Mr. Vikas Jadav told them not to worry about the transaction. Thus Agreement for Sale was executed bearing Document No. 507 of 2012. The Complainant got the copy of the Agreement for Sale after 4/5 days which reflected that the transaction was with respect to Shop No. 4 at Flowers Apartment, Plot No. 109, Sector-14, Taloja-Panchnand, Navi Mumbai and not with respect to agreed Shop No. 2 at Sector-11, Taloja-Panchanand, Navi Mumbai. The consideration amount was shown only as Rs.4,00,000/-. Thereafter the Complainants approached the Developer for refund of the balance amount of Rs.9,75,000/- and possession of the sold shop but the Developer avoided the same. They sent a legal notice dated 28.08.2013 but there was no response. The Complainants then lodged an FIR with the Police who tried to settle the matter but as the Complainants' son died due to shock on account of the cheating of the Developer, they refused to settle the matter.;