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Property Plus — Chennai

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Construction defects

Question: I had purchased a flat in July 2002 and while moving into the new flat, we could notice many defects. I wish to file a case in the consumer court. Kindly advise me which court should be approached and their address. Should I make a complaint on the basis of a surveyor's report or can I make my complaint direct to the court?

The snowcem applied to the walls are peeling off. There are air cracks. The floor is not symmetrical. There is lot of clearance between the tiles. If the doors are closed, there is a wide gap between the door and the door frame.

The builder has not yet given the completion certificate and the receipt for the deposit made with the Kadaperi electricity office. There is deviation between the plan and the actual construction.

K.R.G. Manian, Tambaram Sanatorium

Mr. Srinath Sridevan replies: The courts constituted under the Consumer Protections Act are divided as amongst themselves on the basis of two criteria: (1) Territorial Jurisdiction (2) Pecuniary Jurisdiction

Territorial Jurisdiction: Every district in the State has a consumer forum in the district headquarters.

You can choose to file your consumer complaint either in the place where the builder's office is located, or where your flat is located.

The address of each consumer court is different in each district, and you can obtain the address from the respective district court in question.

For instance, the consumer courts in Chennai are located on R. K. Mutt Road, Mylapore, Chennai-600 004. Of course, this is on the basis that your claim will be before the district consumer forum.

As you will see below, you can also file the claim before the State Consumer Commission or the National Consumer Commission, depending on the value of your claim. The State Consumer Commission is located in Chennai (and in other State capitals) and the National Consumer Commission is located in New Delhi.

Pecuniary Jurisdiction: The next criterion is on the basis of the claim you seek to make. If your claim is Rs. 20 lakhs or below, you must make your claim in the district consumer forum.

If your claim is between Rs. 20 lakhs and Rs. 1 crore, you must make your claim in the State Consumer Commission, Chennai.

If your claim is above Rs. 1 crore, you must make your claim before the National Consumer Commission, New Delhi.

You can make your complaint directly to the applicable consumer court. It would be helpful if you could enclose the surveyor's report, setting out the nature and extent of the various defects along with your complaint.

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Property Plus — Chennai

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