SC: Failure to obtain occupation certificate Deficiency in service

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13

Holding that failure by a builder to obtain a business certificate under the Consumer Protection Act amounted to “deficiency in service”, the Supreme Court has observed that if home buyers were to pay higher taxes and water charges If compelled, the builder will be liable to refund the money. I want such certificate.

Custody: Children’s welfare is paramount

Observing that parental rights are irrelevant in deciding the legal battle over child custody, the SC has observed that the welfare of the child is of paramount importance. “The issue of custody of a minor, whether in a petition seeking habeas corpus or a custodial plea, has to be decided on the basis of the principle that the welfare of the minor is of paramount importance,” the top court said. tns

A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud set aside an order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), which had dismissed a co-operative housing society’s plea against the builder and asked it to approach higher tax-levying authorities. was asked to do.

The cooperative housing society had approached the NCDRC, alleging deficiency in service on the part of the builder, seeking refund of additional taxes and fees paid to the municipal authorities.

The petitioner society alleged that the builder failed to take steps to obtain business certificate from the municipal authorities and in the absence of business certificate, the flat owners were not eligible for electricity and water connection.

After much effort, the flat owners were given temporary water and electricity connections, but they had to pay property tax 25 per cent more than the normal charges.

The NCDRC dismissed the society’s complaint stating that it is restricted by limitation and not maintainable as it is in the nature of recovery process and not consumer dispute.

However, the apex court overturned the NCDRC’s decision, observing that “…the respondent was liable to transfer the ownership of the flats to the society along with the occupancy certificate. Failure to obtain occupation certificate by the respondent is a deficiency in service.” for which the respondent is liable. The members of the co-operative housing society were within their rights as ‘consumers’ to demand compensation for the default on the part of the builder.