Objection Regarding Pecuniary Jurisdiction Of Consumer Forums Should Be Raised At The Earliest Opportunity, Reiterates SC [Read Judgment]

Objection Regarding Pecuniary Jurisdiction Of Consumer Forums Should Be Raised At The Earliest Opportunity, Reiterates SC [Read Judgment]J Abhay Manohar Sapre , J Dinesh Maheswari

"State Commission having already decided the matter on merits, such a technical objection as regards pecuniary jurisdiction could not have been countenanced before the National Commission."

The Supreme Court has observed that objection regarding pecuniary jurisdiction should be raised before the Consumer Forum/Commission at the earliest opportunity.

In M/s Treaty Construction vs. M/s Ruby Tower Co-op. Hsg. Society Ltd., the Supreme Court held that when the State Commission having already decided the matter on merits, such a technical objection as regards pecuniary jurisdiction could not have been countenanced before the National Commission.

In this case, the National Commission (NCDRC) had rejected the contention of the appellants that the State Commission had no pecuniary jurisdiction on the ground that the same was not urged before the State Commission and the matter was decided on merits.

In appeal, the bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari observed:

"The contention on the part of appellants as regards pecuniary jurisdiction has only been noted to be rejected. The National Commission has observed, and rightly so, that such a plea was not specifically raised before the State Commission at the earliest opportunity; and the State Commission having already decided the matter on merits, such a technical objection as regards pecuniary jurisdiction could not have been countenanced before the National Commission. We find no error in the National Commission rejecting this plea as being wholly untenable at the given stage."

The crux of the complaint was that several sale deeds were executed between a Co-operative Housing Society and M/s Treaty Construction during the period 1994 to 2002 whereby, its members purchased certain apartment units as also commercial units of varied sizes but, despite making payment over and above the agreed sale consideration, the builders failed to discharge their part of the contract inasmuch as the interior works remained incomplete; and they also failed to obtain the Completion Certification as also the Occupancy Certificate.

The bench upheld the part of the National Commission order directing the builders to pay 25,00,000/- to the society. However, the direction to pay compensation to the tune of Rs. 3,00,000/- was set aside.

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