How To File A Complaint In Consumer Court?
Project delays, property frauds, defaults on agreement ― a home buyer would go through one of these things or more if he somehow ends up buying a project with a wrong developer. The lengthy trials in courts would only add insult to injury. Therefore, to make things easier, consumer courts have started accepting those real estate cases where the purchased good or services are even less than Rs 1 crore. You don't even need to hire a lawyer for filing a complaint in the consumer court.
So, what do you do?
Send a notice to the construction company/ developer, before filing a formal complaint. It is important for the consumer to give notice to the opposite party regarding the deficiency in service or unfair practice. This is to see if the other party is willing to offer the compensation to make the good the loss suffered by the consumer. If the developer refuses or neglects the notice, the you can approach the consumer court.
Submit a formal complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. You need not hire a lawyer for filing the suit. Fill this complaint form and submit it to the commission. On a plain paper, mention the details of the complainant and the opposite party. Otherwise, you can consult consumer grievance redressal forums which also help consumers in filing and forming petition at nominal charges. One such non-governmental organisation is International Consumer Rights Protection Council.
The consumer should file the complaint in the district forum which has under its jurisdiction the other party's residence or office of profit or the area where the project is located.
You can also file the complaint online: www.consumerhelpline.gov.in
You have to submit the fee through a demand draft. The consumer forum follows difference jurisdiction to entertain complaint:
- If the claim is for less than Rs 20 lakh, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum will hear the plea.
- If the claim is for more than Rs 20 lakh but less than Rs 1 crore, the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission will entertain the complaint.
- If the claim is more than Rs 1 crore, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission will attend to the plea.
For district forums
- Up to Rs 1 lakh: Rs 100
- Between Rs 1-5 lakh: Rs 200
- Between Rs 5-10 lakh: Rs 400
- Above Rs 10 lakh and up to Rs 20 lakh: Rs 500
For state forums
- Above Rs 20 lakh but less than Rs 50 lakh: Rs 2,000
- Above Rs 50 lakh and up to Rs 1 crore: Rs 4,000
For the National Commission
- A standard amount of Rs 5,000
Types of defaults you can complain against
- Sub-standard work
- Construction without approvals
- Construction on illegally acquired land
- Fraud in booking
- Change of land use, layout plan, structures with the approval of allottee
- Hidden charges
- Enhanced external development charges
- Cancellation of the project
- Forfeiture of the amount
- Delay in delivering possession
- Creation of third party interest
- Not providing completion certificate
You can also contact the Consumer Helpline number on 1800-11-4000 in the case of any confusion or to file a complaint on call.