Sunday July 20 2008 11:53 IST
NEW DELHI: Land owners who enter into agreements with builders can approach the consumer forum for breach of conditions, as the builders are deemed to be "service provider" under the Consumer Protection Act, the Supreme Court has said. However, there is no such remedy under the Act for the builder against the land owner, as the former has to move only a civil court for appropriate remedy, a bench of Justices R V Raveendra and L S Panta said.
The bench passed the ruling while quashing the orders of the Delhi District Forum, State Commission and the National Consumer Redressal Commission (NCDRC) which had all held that a land owner is not a "consumer" under the Act. The land owner Faqir Chand Gulati had filed the appeal in the apex court against a builder Uppal Agencies Pvt Ltd.
Gulat's grievance was that he had entered into an agreement with the builder for construction of apartments in the land owned by him at L-3 Kailash Colony. Under the agreement, after completion of the apartment Gulati would be entitled to the entire ground flood consisting of three bedrooms with attached bathrooms, a drawing-cum-dining hall, one store room, a kitchen, a rear terrace, parking space, besides a servant quarter.
However, Gulati alleged that the builder made several deviations from the original sanctioned layout plan and refused to rectify the same, following which he filed a complaint with the district forum.