Consumer Law | Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (GLADA) v. Vidya Chetal, S.L.P. (C) No. 4272 of 2015 16-09-2019 SC

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA | N.V. Ramana, Mohan M. Shantanagoudar & Ajay Rastogi, JJ. Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (GLADA) v. Vidya Chetal, S.L.P. (C) No. 4272 of 2015 16-09-2019 with S.L.P. (C) No. 5237 of 2015 Punjab Urban Development Authority v. Ram Singh.

Consumer Protection Act, 1986 – Sections 2 (1) (g) and 2(1)(o) - “deficiency” - “service” - meaning of - the determination of the dispute concerning the validity of the imposition of a statutory due arising out of a “deficiency in service”, can be undertaken by the consumer fora as per the provisions of the Act.

Those exactions, like tax, and cess, levied as a part of common burden or for a specific purpose, generally may not be amenable to the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum. However, those statutory fees, levied in lieu of service provided, may in the usual course be subject matter of Consumer Forum’s jurisdiction provided that there is a ‘deficiency in service’ etc. [Para 21 & 29]



Consumer Protection Act, 1986 – Not all statutory dues / exactions are amenable to the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum, rather only those exactions which are exacted for a service rendered, would be amenable to the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum.

Therefore, it is a clearly established principle that certain statutory dues, such as fees, can arise out of a specific relation. Such statutory dues might be charged as a quid pro quo for a privilege conferred or for a service rendered by the authority. As noted above, there are exactions which are for the common burden, like taxes, there are dues for a specific purpose, like cess, and there are dues in lieu of a specific service rendered. Therefore, it is clear from the above discussion that not all statutory dues/exactions are amenable to the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum, rather only those exactions which are exacted for a service rendered, would be amenable to the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum. [Para 20]

HUDA v. Sunita, (2005) 2 SCC 479 [Overruled]

Facts of the Case

The reference arises out of the order passed by a two­ Judge Bench of Supreme Court, wherein they expressed doubt as to the correctness of the judgment rendered in the case of HUDA v. Sunita, (2005) 2 SCC 479. The Supreme Court therein held that the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) had no jurisdiction to adjudicate the legality behind the demand of “composition fee” and “extension fee” made by HUDA, as the same being statutory obligation, does not qualify as “deficiency in service”. The decision held that NCDRC has no jurisdiction to adjudicate the legitimacy of the aforementioned statutory dues, was rendered without considering any of the previous judgments of Apex Court and the objects of the Act. Consequently, the law laid down in the aforesaid case does not hold good before the eyes of law, and is thereby overruled.

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