BENGALURU: The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had to pay heavily for cancellation of sites that were allotted to a resident through e-auction, giving ‘lame excuse’. The allotment was cancelled after he expressed his inability to pay extra that was demanded by BDA on the ground that the measurement of the sites were not done properly before auction.
Now, the BDA has to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation for causing mental agony and Rs 20,000 litigation cost to T K Venkatapathy. Not only this, it has to pay 12% interest on the initial deposit made by him. The IV Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum comprising president S L Patil and member N R Roopa passed two separate orders recently after allowing the different complaints filed by T K Venkatapathy, resident of Chikkallasandra in city.
According to the orders, in response to an advertisement published on September 20, 2013, the BDA called for interested persons to participate in the bid for sites formed in Vasanatpura in BSK 5th stage on ‘As Is Where Is’ basis . Venkatapathy participated in the e-auction and bid for Rs 64,800 per sqmt having selected site No 86. The BDA declared him as the successful bidder and he deposited 25% of the bid amount. BDA confirmed the sale consideration of Rs 45.30 lakh.
While he arranging for money, BDA informed him that an error has been committed by it in proper identification of the site, its measurements extent and total extent of the site. It has also asked him to pay Rs 14.17 lakh extra saying that the actual extent of the said site was 21.88 sqmt over and above what was earlier stated.
However, the complainant contended that the error was a result of deliberate mal-administration. He also submitted that BDA has not only harmed him personally but the injury to the public is far more grievous.
In its reply, the BDA denied to pay the interest on the initial bid amount paid by the complainant. The BDA, in its letter dated October 11, 2013 informed the complainant that at the time of proposing the site, it was covered with anthills and with 8 to 13 feet tall shrubs, hence the site could not be measured properly. The site has since been cleared and the correct measurement of site is taken and revised correct dimension report was furnished, it said.
As per this, the site dimension exceeded by 21.88 sqmt and the total extent was 91.80 sqmt. The total cost of the site was worked out to Rs 59.48 lakh. Accordingly, the complainant was informed to pay the revised cost. As the complainant expressed his inability to pay the revised site value, BDA refunded Rs 11.32 lakh initial deposit as there was no provision to pay interest and the auction sale had been cancelled. Hence, there is no deficiency of service, the BDA claimed.
Taking exception to this, the consumer forum said, “The BDA has not specifically informed the exact measurement of the site. If the measurement was found to exceed, before the auction, it ought to have been get it ascertained and called for the auction. In that event, the complaint would think over the matter. When such is the case, the act of BDA cancelling the auction and returning the money deposited by the complainant without interest, amounts to deficiency of service”. The BDA also cancelled the allotment of Site No.86 to Venkatapathy.