The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has slapped a cost of Rs. 30,000 on the Karnataka Housing Board, Bangalore, for “abuse” of process of law in questioning orders of the State commission and the district consumer forum in a case pertaining to allotting KHB sites by illegally collecting different prices from allottees.
A Bench of the NCDRC comprising presiding member V.B. Gupta and member Rekha Gupta dismissed the appeals filed by the KHB while terming the appeals as “nothing but gross abuse of the process of law and same are meritless and have no legal basis.”
A Gadag consumer disputes redressal forum in 2009-10 penalised the KHB for collecting Rs. 20 per sq. ft in excess over the the originally announced price of Rs. 60 per sq. ft for sites.
Moreover, the district forum had also found that the KHB was charging different rates — Rs. 60 per sq. ft for some and Rs. 80 per sq. ft for some others — for those who had applied for allotment of sites at the same time during 2008.
Terming this practice of the KHB collecting different rates from various persons who apply for sites during same period as “improper business conduct”, the district forum had asked the KHB to refund with 10 per cent interest Rs. 20 per sq. ft collected in excess besides directing payment of Rs. 5,000 as special compensation to each of the complainant-allottees. The district forum had passed the order on a complaint from Shankuntala (64) and others. The State commission did not interfere with the district forum’s order.
Now, the NCDRC said the KHB failed to show any legal error in the orders passed by the lower authorities and penalised the board for approaching the national commission without sufficient cause.