(1.) challenge in these First Appeal Nos. 1886 of 2018, 1887 of 2018, 1888 of 2018, 1889 of 2018 and 160 of 2019, filed under Section 19 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986(hereinafter referred to as "the Act") by M/s. Arihant Shivank Infra Projects Limited (hereinafter referred to as the "Opposite Party Builder") is to the Orders dated 21.08.2018 and 20.11.2018 passed by the Rajasthan State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Jaipur (hereinafter to be referred to as the "State Commission"), in Complaint Nos. 03 / 2017, 20 / 2017, 21 / 2017, 22 / 2017 and 23 / 2017 whereby the Complaints were allowed and the Opposite Party Builder was directed to refund the deposited amount by the Complainants alongwith 18% interest from the date of deposit. The Opposite Party Builder was also directed to pay 2 lakh towards compensation for mental agony and 50,000/- towards cost of proceedings Since the facts and question of law involved in all these Appeals are similar except for minor variations in the flat number and dates and events, these Appeals are being disposed of by this common Order. However, for the sake of convenience, First Appeal No. 1886 of 2018 is treated as the lead case and the facts enumerated hereinafter are taken from Complaint No. 20 of 2017.
1.Succinctly put, the material facts, giving rise to filing of the Complaint, are that the Opposite Party Builder is engaged in construction activities of both Commercial and Residential Projects.It had launched its residential Project in the name and style of 'Dynasty' located at Village Ramsingpura @ Rampura, Tehsil Saganer, Jaipur (hereinafter referred to as 'the Project').The Representative of the Opposite Party Builder visited Pilani and conducted a seminar in respect of the Project and provided the detailed information and Brochure of the Project to the Complainants.On the basis of the information provided by the Opposite Party Builder, the Complainant entered into an Agreement to Sell dated 12.07.2012 with the Opposite Party Builder and booked a flat, i.e., Flat No. 324, having super built-up area 930 sq. ft. for a total sale consideration of 15,44,400/- plus Service Tax.The Complainant had paid the booking amount of 1,55,583/- and the balance amount of 13,82,590/- alongwith service tax was to be paid as per payment schedule.As per Clause 9 of the Agreement, the Opposite Party Builder was liable to hand over the possession of the Flat by 30.04.2015 with a grace period of 12 months, i.e., latest by 30.04.2016.As per demand of the Opposite Party Builder, the Complainant deposited a sum of 15,83,400/- instead of 15,44,400/- upto February 2014.The Complainant approached the Opposite Party Builder for obtaining the information about physical possession of the Flat, where she was assured by the Opposite Party Builder that the possession of the flat will be handed over very soon.The Complainant personally visited the site to see the progress of the construction where she was surprised to see that there was a simple structure and no construction activity was going on at the site and the material used in the construction was of very low quality.After completion of 12 months of grace period, she again approached the Opposite Party Builder for getting possession of the Flat but the Opposite Party Builder again gave a stereo-typed reply that possession will be handed over very soon.She again visited the site and found that there was no development in construction activity.The site was as it was when she earlier visited.Despite receiving the full sale consideration, the Opposite Party Builder failed to deliver the possession within stipulated period and seeing the pace of construction activity there was no possibility of getting the possession of the flat in near future, therefore, the Complainant alleging Unfair Trade Practice and Deficiency in Service on the part of the Opposite Party Builder filed a Consumer Complaint before the State Commission seeking the following reliefs:-
"(1) Compensation mentioned in para 19 to 23 of the Complaint, i.e. ,
19. That the Complainant according to her necessity booked a flat in DYNASTY, possession of which is not delivered by the Opposite Party Builder within stipulated time, due to which she is suffering loss for which she is entitled for Compensation of 20,00,000/- towards non-delivery of possession in time ;
20. Complainant had to made multiple visits to the Opposite Party Builder for which she is entitled for compensation of 1,00,000/- ;
21. Complainant and his family had to suffer mental agony for which she is entitled Compensation of 20,00,000/- ;
22. She is entitled for Physical possession of the flat from the Opposite Party ;
23. Complainant has deposited the amount with the Opposite Party after obtaining loan therefore, she is entitled for compensation in the form of Interest @18% p.a. on the deposited amount from the Opposite Party.
(2). Cost of Complaint and Advocate fees a sum of 1,00,000/- ."
(2.) The Opposite Party Builder contested the Complaint before the State Commission by filing Written Statement.In the Written Statement, the Opposite Party Builder submitted that the delay in completing the Project had been caused due to obtaining Environment Sanction from the State Government which was to be granted within 90 days but the State Government took 11 months' time to grant the Environment Sanction in the absence of which Construction activity could not be possible and it disturbed the Construction Schedule.Accordingly, the delay was caused due to the reasons which were beyond their control and, therefore, they are not liable to pay damages for delay in handing over the possession of the Flat.However, in terms of Clause 9 of the Agreement, they are liable to pay damages @ 5/- per sq. ft. per month for the delayed period and that too only in normal circumstances.The Opposite Party Builder further submitted that they are still ready to give the possession of the Flat to the Complainant.There is no deficiency in service or unfair trade practice on their part and prayed that the Complaint be dismissed.
(3.) During the proceedings, before the State Commission the Opposite Party Builder was granted time to file Evidence on record subject to payment of costs.But the Opposite Party failed to deposit the Cost, therefore, Evidence of the Opposite Party Builder was not taken on record by the State Commission.;