Special Leave Petition[C] 29852 of 2009 [CC No. 11768]. Case: Urban Improvement Trust, Bikaner Vs Mohan Lal. Supreme Court (India)

Case NumberSpecial Leave Petition[C] 29852 of 2009 [CC No. 11768]
CounselFor AppellantAruneshwar Gupta, Ad
JudgesR. V. Raveendran & G. S. Singhvi, JJ.
IssueConsumer Protection Act, 1986; Constitution of India, 1950 - Article 136
Citation2010 (1) AWC 994 SC, JT 2009 (14) SC 355, 2010 (4) LW 110, 2009 (8) MLJ 1547 (SC), 2009 (13) SCALE 671, 2010 (1) SCC 512, 2010 (1) SCC (LS) 178, 2009 (16) SCR 550
Judgement DateOctober 30, 2009
CourtSupreme Court (India)

Judgment:

R. V. Raveendran, J.

  1. The petitioner before us is the Bikaner Urban Improvement Trust. It allotted a Plot (A-303) measuring 450 sq.ft. under its Karni Nagar Scheme to the respondent in the year 1991. Respondent paid the allotment price (lease premium) of Rs.3,443/- in 1992 and took possession in 1997. In the year 1998, the petitioner-Trust allotted to respondents and delivered possession of the adjacent strip measuring 150 ft.

  2. Thereafter, the Trust without notice to the respondent and without resorting to any acquisition proceedings, laid a road in the said plot. The layout map prepared and made available by the Trust in the year 2002 did not show the existence of Plot A-303 or its adjoining strip. Feeling aggrieved, the respondent met the officers of the Trust and complained to them. He also gave a written complaint seeking restoration of the plot. As there was no response, he approached the District Consumer Forum in 2005, praying for restoration of the plot or for allotment of an alternative site and award of damages of Rs.200,000/-. The District Forum disposed of the complaint directing refund of the allotment price paid with interest at 9% per annum. The State Commission allowed the appeal filed by the respondent and directed allotment of an alternative plot and also awarded Rs.5,000/- as compensation. The National Commission dismissed the revision petition filed by the petitioner Trust. Special leave is sought to challenge the said order of the National Commission.

  3. The Trust does not dispute any of the facts. It has no explanation to offer for its negligence or highhanded action of taking over the allotted plot without notice, acquisition, or consent.Nevertheless, the Trust challenges the relief granted, on three technical grounds:

    (i) As the respondent was negligent in protecting his possession and did not protest or complain when the Trust laid the road in his plot, he is not entitled to any relief.

    (ii) The action of the Trust, even if it was an illegal encroachment, did not amount to 'deficiency in service' and therefore the respondent could not invoke the jurisdiction of the forum under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

    (iii) The complaint was barred by limitation as it was filed beyond two years from the occurrence of the cause of action, and the respondent did not show sufficient cause for condonation of delay.

    These contentions have been rejected. The decision of the State Commission...

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