SC:Compensation for not handing over possession to be under 1 head only

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 10thMay 2019, in the matter of DLF Homes Panchkula Pvt. Ltd  v. D.S. Dhanda, Etc. Etc. observed that awarding compensation under different heads on account of singular default of not handing over possession of flat is not sustainable.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

The District Forum under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is empowered inter-alia to order the opposite party to pay such amount as may be awarded as compensation to the consumer for any loss or injury suffered by the consumer due to the negligence of the opposite party including to grant punitive damages. But the forums under the Act cannot award interest and/or compensation by applying rule of thumb. (Para 16)

For delay in handing over possession, the consumer is entitled to the consequences agreed at the time of executing buyer’s agreement. (Para 16)

There cannot be multiple heads to grant of damages and interest when the parties have agreed for payment of damages at a specific price per month. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 16)

Once the parties agreed for a particular consequence of delay in handing over of possession then, there has to be exceptional and strong reasons for the SCDRC (State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission)/NCDRC (National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission) to award compensation at more than the agreed rate. (Para 16)

Awarding compensation under different heads on account of singular default of not handing over possession of flat is not sustainable. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 18)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_10th-May-2019

-Tushar Kaushik

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