Consumer panel orders JIT to pay Rs 3.94 cr to 5 plot owners : The Tribune India

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Consumer panel orders JIT to pay Rs 3.94 cr to 5 plot owners

Consumer panel orders JIT to pay Rs 3.94 cr to 5 plot owners

A road in a dilapidated condition. Photo: Sarabjit Singh



Tribune News Service

Avneet Kaur

Jalandhar, June 8

In a major setback, the Jalandhar Improvement Trust (JIT) has suffered defeat in five cases filed with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

Garbage strewn on a street at Surya Enclave Extension in Jalandhar. photos: Sarabjit Singh

The Commission’s verdict, delivered earlier this week, found JIT’s actions falling under unfair trade practices and public deception. Consequently, it ordered the Trust to pay nearly Rs 3.94 crore in principal amount with 9 per cent interest compensation and litigation expenses for failing to develop a housing scheme, and not delivering possessions of plots to five allottees of Surya Enclave Extension.

The Commission further mandated that if JIT fails to pay the amount within 45 days, the Trust will incur an additional three per cent interest per annum.

The complainants—Anil Thakur, Anu Gupta, Shiv Kumar Yadav, Chander Shekhar Sharma, and Rakesh Chetal—filed their cases between 2020 and 2021. They claimed that JIT launched the ‘Surya Enclave Extension’ scheme and allotted plots on disputed land, despite the land being under litigation.

The complainants alleged that JIT had taken up to Rs 40 lakh from each of them but failed to demarcate the plots, which were still under cultivation and encroached by slum dwellers. They reported that no roads had been built according to the project’s plan, and the area intended for their plots had become a sewage pond and garbage dump.

Chander Shekhar, one of the complainants, stated that they had to stage protests, meet officials, and visit the JIT office repeatedly to demand the development of the scheme and possession of their plots. Despite their efforts, no development has occurred, and high-tension wires hang over some plots. The entire site has become a dumping ground, and the 45-ft road connecting Block C to the railway station is encroached by migrants.

The complainants expressed their frustration, noting that their repeated efforts to engage with the JIT officials and demand action had been futile. “Even as 13 years have passed since we purchased these plots, the JIT did not undertake any development work till date, prompting them to seek justice from the consumer forum”, they added.

In response to the complaints, the Commission issued a notice to the JIT. However, the JIT contested the complaints, arguing that they were not maintainable and constituted an abuse of the legal process. Nevertheless, the Commission found clear deficiencies on the part of the JIT and upheld the appeals of the allottees.

It ordered the Trust to refund the principal amount with nine per cent interest from the date of deposit until realisation.

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