K.T. Sangameswaran

Consumer commission says Board's appeal lacks merit

CHENNAI: The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has dismissed an appeal, filed by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board, against the order of a district forum.

The Commission said the appeal lacked merit.

S. Venkateshan, of Ganapathy Post, Coimbatore, complained to the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Coimbatore, that the board had allotted him a flat after receiving Rs.3, 000 as registration fee and Rs.41, 200 towards initial payment. After a long wait, the board gave the key order in February 1995 and he took possession. He noted several defects in construction and repeatedly requested the board to rectify these. But his pleas fell on deaf ears. He carried out the repairs on his own, spending Rs.28, 000. The board should return the amount. The board also demanded payment of monthly instalments from April 1994. Mr. Venkateshan refused to comply.

The Executive Engineer, Special Division II, TNHB, Cowly Brown Road, R.S. Puram, and the board chairman were cited as opposite parties. The Executive Engineer said though the house was ready for occupation in January 1994 and all allottees were informed, the complainant did not take possession. While taking possession, he had agreed to pay the instalments from April 1994. The defects he pointed out had been rectified. A sum of Rs.6,728 due to him from the board would be adjusted against his payments. The complainant was liable to pay interest for belated payment of instalments.

The district forum directed the board to pay the complainant eight per cent interest on Rs.3,000, another eight per cent on Rs.41,200, Rs.28,000 he spent on repairs, Rs.5,000 as compensation and Rs.1, 000 as costs.

Against this, the board filed the appeal.

The Commission Bench comprising Justice K. Sampath, president, and R. Vanaroja and Pon. Gunasekaran, Members, said the board did not produce any document to show the complainant was asked to take possession before February 1995.