'Housing society must pay for site allotment delay'

'Housing society must pay for site allotment delay'

A consumer court has ordered the BEML Employees' Cooperative Society to return the investments of three members made for the allotment of sites.

A consumer court has ordered the BEML Employees' Cooperative Society to return the investments of three members made for the allotment of sites.

In the judgment, the court directed the society to pay 18% interest per annum to each of the petitioners or to allot sites.

Vijay Kumar, VR Krishnappa and K Ramesh, all members of the society, had advanced an initial payment for the society’s housing scheme. The sites were to come up at the ninth stage at Hennur, Thanisandra and 10th A stage at Halagevaderahalli, Kengeri hobli. All the three had made the initial payments between 2002 and 2008.

The complainants said the society had denied them the sites despite their seniority. They also contended that many sites were registered in the name of non-members for a higher price.

"We approached the society several times for the execution of the sale deed, but they gave excuses and delayed the process. After a while, there was no response, which forced us to approach the court. The society was involved in the real estate business, for which sites were converted as capital," said Krishnappa, a complainant.

In its arguments, the society said all three complaints were filed after many years and no explanation had been offered for the inordinate delay.

The consumer court, however, highlighted the Supreme Court judgement that the provision of limitation in the act cannot be strictly constructed to disadvantage the consumer, especially in a case where a supplier of goods or services has himself caused the delay in settling the consumer’s claim.

The petitioners approached the court in 2017, after failing to get a response to their legal notice to the society on October 21, 2016.

"These actions of the society amount to deficiency in service and has resulted in grave mental pain, financial instability and loss," Krishnappa added. 

Several attempts were made to contact the society’s management, but they were not available for comment.