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Dlf Homes Panchkula (P) Ltd. … vs Sushila Devi on 26 February, 2019

CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2285-2330 OF 2019 (@ SLP(C) NOS.928-930, 932-938, 940-967 and 969-976 OF 2019)
DLF HOMES PANCHKULA (P) LTD. THROUGH ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY MR. SHIV KUMAR VS. SUSHILA DEVI AND ANR.

1

Reportable
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NOS.2285-2330 OF 2019
(Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.928-930, 932 TO 938, 940
TO 967 AND 969 TO 976 of 2019)

DLF HOMES PANCHKULA (P) LTD. THROUGH …Appellant
ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY MR. SHIV KUMAR

VERSUS

SUSHILA DEVI AND ANR. ETC. …Respondents

WITH

SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NOS.931, 939 AND 968 OF 2019

DLF HOMES PANCHKULA (P) LTD. THROUGH …Petitioner
ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY MR. SHIV KUMAR

VERSUS

MRIDULA SOOD ETC.. …Respondent

WITH

CIVIL APPEAL NO.2354 OF 2019
(Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.26519 of 2018)

RAVI DATT AGGARWAL AND ORS. …

Appellants

VERSUS

DLF HOMES PANCHKULA PVT. LTD. AND ORS. …Respondents
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2285-2330 OF 2019 (@ SLP(C) NOS.928-930, 932-938, 940-967 and 969-976 OF 2019)
DLF HOMES PANCHKULA (P) LTD. THROUGH ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY MR. SHIV KUMAR VS. SUSHILA DEVI AND ANR.

2

JUDGMENT

Uday Umesh Lalit, J.

1. Leave granted in all matters, except Special Leave Petition (Civil)

Nos.931 of 2019, 939 of 2019 and 968 of 2019.

Re: Appeals arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.928-976 of
20191 (DLF Homes Panchkula (P) Ltd. Through its Authorised Signatory Mr.
Shiv Kumar v. Sushila Devi and another2
[Except Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.931 of 2019, 939 of 2019 and 968
of 2019]

2. These appeals are directed against the final judgment and order dated

07.09.2018 passed by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal

Commission, New Delhi (hereinafter referred to as ‘the National

Commission’) in First Appeal Nos.382/2016, 447/2016, 453/2017, 648/2016,

649/2016, 650/2016, 651/2016, 767/2016, 879/2016, 881/2016, 1145/2016,

1146/2016, 1147/2016, 1158/2016, 1315/2016, 1347/2016, 1348/2016,

1349/2016, 1351/2016, 1352/2016, 1576/2016, 1577/2016, 1578/2016,

1579/2016, 1580/2016, 1581/2016, 1582/2016, 1583/2016, 1584/2016,

1586/2016, 1587/2016, 1589/2016, 1590/2016, 1591/2016, 1592/2016,

1

2
(Appeals by the Developer)
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2285-2330 OF 2019 (@ SLP(C) NOS.928-930, 932-938, 940-967 and 969-976 OF 2019)
DLF HOMES PANCHKULA (P) LTD. THROUGH ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY MR. SHIV KUMAR VS. SUSHILA DEVI AND ANR.

3

1593/2016, 1594/2016, 1595/2016, 1598/2016, 1599/2016, 1600/2016,

1601/2016, 1622/2016, 1623/2016, 1625/2016 and 1643/2017.

3. The original complainants had booked apartments in a project titled

“DLF Valley, Panchkula” situated in Panchkula, Haryana, which was to be

developed by the Developer. The Developer had promised to handover

possession within 24 months from the date of signing of the agreement.

Various complaints came to be filed by the Complainants submitting that

despite period of two years being over there was no substantial progress and

as such, the Developer was deficient in rendering service. Some of the

Complainants prayed for refund of all the moneys they had deposited from

time to time along with interest and compensation while others sought relief

in the nature of compensation for delayed delivery of possession but insisted

that the possession of the apartments be handed over to them.

4. The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, UT,

Chandigarh (hereinafter referred to as ‘the State Commission’) by its various

orders allowed the complaints and directed refund of the amounts deposited

by the concerned Complainants with interest @ 15% per annum in some cases

and with lesser rate in others and compensation. Similar directions were

passed in cases of delayed delivery of possession. These orders passed by the
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2285-2330 OF 2019 (@ SLP(C) NOS.928-930, 932-938, 940-967 and 969-976 OF 2019)
DLF HOMES PANCHKULA (P) LTD. THROUGH ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY MR. SHIV KUMAR VS. SUSHILA DEVI AND ANR.

4

State Commission were challenged by the Developer by filing

aforementioned First Appeals in the National Commission which were

disposed of by the National Commission vide its common order dated

07.09.2018. The National Commission affirmed the view taken by the State

Commission and dismissed all the appeals. Aggrieved thereby the present

appeals by special leave were filed by the Developer.

Re: Appeal arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.26519 of 2018
(Ravi Datt Aggarwal and others v. DLF Homes Panchkula Pvt. Ltd. and
others3

5. While the appeals as aforesaid were pending before the National

Commission, it was submitted by the Developer that there had to be at least

one Judicial Member on the Bench and in cases where there was not even one

Judicial Member on the Bench, the appeals could not and ought not to be

proceeded with. After hearing all submissions, the National Commission by

its order dated 01.08.2018 reserved the matters for orders. Thereafter,

Review Petitions were filed by the Developer which were rejected on

08.08.2018. The Developer then filed a petition under Article 227 of the

Constitution being CM(M)No.951 of 2018 in the High Court of Delhi

questioning said orders dated 01.08.2018 and 08.08.2018. While issuing

3
Appeals by original Complainants
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2285-2330 OF 2019 (@ SLP(C) NOS.928-930, 932-938, 940-967 and 969-976 OF 2019)
DLF HOMES PANCHKULA (P) LTD. THROUGH ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY MR. SHIV KUMAR VS. SUSHILA DEVI AND ANR.

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notice, the High Court by its order dated 20.08.2018 stayed the operation of

the order dated 08.08.2018 passed by the National Commission. The National

Commission, thereafter, passed a reasoned judgment on 07.09.2018 rejecting

all the submissions. However, in view of the fact that the order dated

08.08.2018 was stayed by the High Court, it observed that the operation of the

Judgment dated 07.09.2018 would remain stayed till further orders by the

High Court.

6. Some of the Complainants, being aggrieved, approached this Court by

filing Special Leave Petition (c)No.26519 of 2018 in which, while issuing

notice on 22.10.2018, this Court stayed the operation of the order dated

20.08.2018 passed by the High Court.

7. Thereafter, the appeals filed by the Developer and the Complainants

were taken-up together.

8. It may be mentioned that matters where the Developer had challenged

similar directions issued in other cases namely Civil Appeal Nos. 11097-

11138 of 2018, were disposed of by this Court on 19.11.2018. In those cases,

(Himanshu Arora case, for short) the State Commission had awarded interest
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2285-2330 OF 2019 (@ SLP(C) NOS.928-930, 932-938, 940-967 and 969-976 OF 2019)
DLF HOMES PANCHKULA (P) LTD. THROUGH ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY MR. SHIV KUMAR VS. SUSHILA DEVI AND ANR.

6

@ 12% which was reduced by the National Commission to 9%. After hearing

learned counsel for both sides, this Court had passed following directions: –

“8. Having regard to the above submission, we
indicated to the learned counsel appearing on behalf of
the flat purchasers that it would be appropriate if the
interest as ordered by NCDRC at 9% per annum is
made payable over the period which was determined
by the Order of the SCDRC. There is no objection by
the flat purchasers to the aforesaid modification being
made. Even otherwise, we are of the view that such a
modification would be required in the interests of
justice since it was the appellants who had questioned
the Order of the SCDRC before the NCDRC.

9. In the above facts and circumstances, we confirm
the direction of the NCDRC that the appellants shall
pay interest @ 9 per cent per annum. However, the
period over which interest shall be payable will be in
conformity with the order passed by the SCDRC.

10. We also direct that in computing the interest
payable in terms of the Order of the NCDRC to the
extent modified above, the appellants would be entitled
to credit for the compensation, if any, which has been
paid to any flat buyer in terms of Clause 15 of the flat
purchase agreements. In other words, the amount of
interest payable shall be computed after deducting any
amount that has been paid to the concerned flat buyer
under Clause 15 of the agreement.

11. The amount which has been deposited in this Court
in pursuance of the order dated 18.5.2018, shall be
transferred by the Registry to the Registrar of the
SCDRC, Chandigarh. The appellants shall, within a
period of two weeks from today, file a detailed
computation with reference to each of the flat buyers
and the amount which is due and payable in pursuance
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2285-2330 OF 2019 (@ SLP(C) NOS.928-930, 932-938, 940-967 and 969-976 OF 2019)
DLF HOMES PANCHKULA (P) LTD. THROUGH ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY MR. SHIV KUMAR VS. SUSHILA DEVI AND ANR.

7

of the above directions. The amount shall be duly
verified before disbursal, on proper identification, to
each of the flat buyers. After completing the above
exercise, in the event, that any amount (inclusive of the
accrued interest) remains surplus, it shall be refunded
to the appellants.

12. Upon the transfer of the amount, the SCDRC shall
keep the amount in a short term fixed deposit until the
stage of disbursement is reached.

The civil appeals are disposed of.”

9. When the present appeals were taken up, all the parties agreed that these

appeals be disposed of in terms with the directions issued by this Court in

Himanshu Arora’s case. We, therefore, directed the Developer to file a Chart

in consultation with all the complainants and indicate what modalities be

adopted. After such Chart was filed, it was agreed that wherever

compensation was to be awarded, it should be in the form of interest @ 9%

and the governing principles be as under:-

(a) In all Refund cases, the award of interest @ 9% would be payable in

respect of deposits from the day they were made till the date of refund.

(b) In cases where, upon transfer, a subsequent purchaser had stepped

into the shoes of the original allottee and had prayed for Refund, the

reckoning date for computing the interest be from the date of his transfer

in respect of all the amounts that were deposited by the original allottee
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2285-2330 OF 2019 (@ SLP(C) NOS.928-930, 932-938, 940-967 and 969-976 OF 2019)
DLF HOMES PANCHKULA (P) LTD. THROUGH ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY MR. SHIV KUMAR VS. SUSHILA DEVI AND ANR.

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and if any subsequent deposits were made by the transferee, from the

dates of such deposits;

(c) In cases where Possession was sought, the period available to the

Developer under the agreement being three years (that is to say original

period of two years which was extendable, at the option of the

Developer, by further period of one year) ought not to be computed

while calculating compensation in the form of interest. Therefore, the

period to be reckoned shall be after expiry of three years from the date of

agreement and in respect of such period the compensation shall be at the

same rate of 9%.

(d) In Possession cases, if there was any transfer and the transferee had

stepped into the shoes of the original allottee, the compensation shall be

paid from the date of expiry of three years from the agreement as

aforesaid or from the date of transfer, whichever is later.

10. The matter was, thereafter, adjourned so that the parties could check and

reconcile all the concerned amounts and present a mutually acceptable

statement of figures. Accordingly, the Chart has been presented which is

appended to this Judgment as Annexure-A.

CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2285-2330 OF 2019 (@ SLP(C) NOS.928-930, 932-938, 940-967 and 969-976 OF 2019)
DLF HOMES PANCHKULA (P) LTD. THROUGH ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY MR. SHIV KUMAR VS. SUSHILA DEVI AND ANR.

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11. Column No.13 of the tabulated chart denotes element of interest @ 9%

while Column No.16 denotes the amount that had been received by the

Developer. Column No.14 shows the amounts of FDRs deposited by the

Developer in respect of every Complainant, while Column No.17 shows

amount payable to every Complainant or recoverable from such Complainant

wherever excess amount was deposited. According to the Chart, Serial Nos.1

to 17 are Refund cases where Possession was not prayed for. Out of these 17

cases, those at serial nos. 9 and 16 were already settled and as such their

cases4 shall not form part of this group of appeals. Case at serial no.17 was a

transfer case in the category of Refund cases and as such would be governed

by principle (b) as stated hereabove. Rest of the cases in the Refund category

will be governed by principle (a) stated hereinabove except the case of

Colonel Naresh Kumar Kohli, whose name is at Serial No.14 which will be

subject to modification as stated hereafter.

12. According to Colonel Kohli, the fact that he had deposited

Rs.62,04,014/- was not disputed at any juncture either before the State

Commission or the National Commission and in fact FDR in that sum already

stood deposited by the Developer. However, in his case Column No.16

wrongly mentioned figure of Rs.60,54,812/- and consequently the amount
4
SLP (C) No.931 and 939 of 2019
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2285-2330 OF 2019 (@ SLP(C) NOS.928-930, 932-938, 940-967 and 969-976 OF 2019)
DLF HOMES PANCHKULA (P) LTD. THROUGH ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY MR. SHIV KUMAR VS. SUSHILA DEVI AND ANR.

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payable in Column No.17 was wrongly shown as Rs.24,60,356/-. We heard

learned counsel for the Developer and Colonel Kohli on this issue and find

that the submission made by Colonel Kohli deserves acceptance. We,

therefore, correct the figures in Column Nos.16 and 17 to be Rs.62,04,014/-

and Rs.26,09,558/- respectively. He shall be entitled, over and above the

amount deposited in FD namely Rs.62,04,014/-, an amount of Rs.26,09,558/-

as well.

13. We now turn to Possession cases which are tabulated from serial nos.

18 to 48 (except case at serial no. 32). Let the case of Mr. Gautam Kashyup

at Serial No.32, namely Special Leave Petition (Civil)No. 968 of 2019 be

listed before a regular Court. All other matters in Possession category stand

disposed of in terms of the directions (c) and (d) as issued above.

14. Except to the extent any exception or modification stated in this

Judgment every person in Refund and Possession categories is aggregable to

the disposal of their matters in terms of the understanding as above and the

governing principles set out earlier.

15. It is directed that, on the strength of this order and upon proper

identification to the satisfaction of the State Commission, the amounts

standing in Fixed Deposit Receipts against each of the Complainant along
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2285-2330 OF 2019 (@ SLP(C) NOS.928-930, 932-938, 940-967 and 969-976 OF 2019)
DLF HOMES PANCHKULA (P) LTD. THROUGH ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY MR. SHIV KUMAR VS. SUSHILA DEVI AND ANR.

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with interest, if any, accrued thereon be made over to said complainant within

six weeks from today. We also direct the Developer to make over to each

complainant the amount in Column No.17 marked as “Amount

Recoverable/Payable” within six weeks. In two cases i.e. in appeals arising

out of Special Leave Petition (Civil)Nos.928 of 2019 and 936 of 2019 where

the excess amount has been deposited, the Developer will be entitled to have

such excess amount recovered from the amounts presently lying in deposit.

16. In respect of the matter at serial No.8 relating to original allottee named

Arun Yadav, certain additional directions are called for. Said original allottee

is no more. While making the booking he had mentioned the name of his

wife as a nominee. He has left behind his widow, two children and mother.

The widow and the mother are individually claiming refund of the amount

deposited by him. At this stage, the entitlement of either side cannot be gone

into and the parties must be left to agitate this issue in a properly instituted

matter before a competent court. However, considering the fact that the

mother, the widow and two children, going by normal law relating to intestate

succession for Hindus, would share the property of the deceased person

equally, we direct ¾ of the sum to be made over to the widow who shall take

said sum for herself and on behalf of two children while the remaining ¼ of

the sum shall be made over to the mother. They must however execute
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2285-2330 OF 2019 (@ SLP(C) NOS.928-930, 932-938, 940-967 and 969-976 OF 2019)
DLF HOMES PANCHKULA (P) LTD. THROUGH ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY MR. SHIV KUMAR VS. SUSHILA DEVI AND ANR.

12

indemnity bonds agreeing to return the sum that they had received in whole or

in part, in case a declaration as to their entitlement by a competent court were

to go against them.

17. Since, the matters are being disposed of on an agreed understanding

and since no order of compensation was passed in Himanshu Arora, no

compensation other than what has been dealt with earlier, need be paid to the

Complainants.

18. Finally, we direct:-

(a) SLP(C) Nos.931 and 939 of 2019 stand disposed of as having been
settled by the parties.

(b) SLP(C) No.968 of 2019 be listed for consideration before
appropriate Bench in due course.

(c) All the appeals stand disposed of in terms indicated above.

(d) No costs.

………..…..……..……J.

(Uday Umesh Lalit)

..………….……………J.

(Hemant Gupta)
New Delhi,
February 26, 2019.

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