HYDERABAD: In a rarest-of-rare case, a builder from the city was sentenced to three years imprisonment and fined Rs 3,000 (non-payment of which would add three months more to the sentence) by the Hyderabad district consumer forum-II for non-compliance of its earlier order.
The execution application was filed by a 55-year old homemaker whose first petition dates back to 2010. The builder, M/s Sahitya Housing Pvt Ltd and its managing director T Veeraiah Chowdary, were directed by the same district forum in 2016 to compensate the woman. The forum invoked the powers of judicial magistrate and treated the execution application filed against the builder as a summons case.
Vankkanti Narasimha Rao, president of the Hyderabad district consumer forum-II, when contacted, said the respondent can file an appeal before the State commission within 30 days of order (dated April 4, 2018). “Under section 27(2) of Consumer Protection Act, we are conferred with powers of judicial magistrate of first class and section 27(3) says trial should be conducted in accordance with a summons case,” he said. Further, he added that, “the respondent is currently on bail after furnishing `5,000 with production of two sureties. Many people dont know that a petitioner can file an execution petition within 3 years for non-compliance of forum’s order.”
In the earlier order, the builder was directed to pay a sum of Rs 7,80,000 along with interest @ 12 per cent starting from October 2008 to October 2010 and subsequent interest at 9 per cent per annum on `7,80,000 from October 2010 to date of realisation. The complaint pertains to a plot the complainant, Mandadi Koteshwaramma, had purchased in Kothur mandal in Mahabubnagar district in 2008. She later found that the open plot was smaller and there were discrepencies with regard to relevant permissions for the layout.
Upon non-complaince of the order by the respondents, M/s Sahitya Housing Pvt Ltd, the complainant filed an execution application in 2016. Meanwhile, the respondents filed petition before the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC) and upon its dismissal, he also filed an revision petition before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), New Delhi. The NCDRC dismissed the petition in February 2018, following which trial in the execution application began at the Hyderabad district consumer forum-II.
Under section 27(1) of the consumer protection Act, 1986, conviction for non-compliance of order was sought by the complainant. After finding fault with the respondent for non-compliance of its earlier order under section 255(2) CrPC, the forum sentenced the managing director of the firm T Veeraiah Chowdary to three years imprisonment under section 428 of CrPC.