If you have any problem with your builder, and plan to approach the Andhra Pradesh State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (APSCDRC), then make sure that your complaint reaches the body within two years, because as per consumer laws, all complaints filed after the period will not be admitted.

This important piece of the consumer laws was what settled a dispute on December 6 between Amsri Central Court Owners and Residents Welfare Association, Amsri Central Court, which filed a complaint against AMSRI Builders, the construction company, which built the former a building at Old Lancer Lines in Secunderabad in 2008.

The bench which heard the complaint at the APSCDRC dismissed the case as the complaint came four years after issued cropped up between the parties.

Some of the residents filed a complaint at the commission on Dec. 21, 2012, stating that the builders had also promised to install a third lift, a fire fighting system, an install intercom facility to all flats as well as security gate, or instead pay up a little more than Rs.35 lakh as monetary compensation for the amenities, apart from Rs.5 lakh for the ‘mental agony’ suffered by the members due to failure on the part of the builder to fulfil his promises.

The residents also asked the commission to settle other disputes in the building between them and the builders

After scrutiny, the APSCRDC bench ruled that as per section 24-A of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, which reads: “The District Forum, the State Commission or the National Commission shall not admit a complaint unless it is filed within two years from the date on which the cause of action has arisen.”

The complaint by the residents was void as they failed to bring the matter to the commission’s notice within the first two years of the dispute i.e. by 2010, and asked the grieving parties to bear their own costs.

Valid reason

However, a provision exists in the Act, which will enable a complaint to be filed after two years if the complainant satisfies the district Forum, and the State Commission, that he or she had a valid reason cause for not filing the complaint within the period, it said.

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