Court can sign transfer deed, if builder doesn’t
When a conveyance deed to transfer the land and building in favour of the co-operative society is not executed, it is possible to approach the consumer forum for a direction to the builder to execute it. What happens when the builder does not comply with a direction to to execute the conveyance deed? He can be punished and sentenced to imprisonment, but that will not solve the problem. So, in a landmark decision, the consumer court has ordered its own registrar to sign and execute the conveyance, in case the builder fails to execute the document.
Case Study: Shree Mangesh Apartments CHS had filed a complaint before the Maharashtra state commission as a builder had failed to convey the land and building in favour of the society. The grievance was that even though the original land owners had conveyed the land in favour of the developer-cum-builder, the property in turn was not conveyed to the society.
The commission considered the judgment of the Supreme Court in Kamlesh Aggarwal v/s. Narain Singh Dabbas & Anr., [IV (2015) CPJ 1 (SC)], where it had been held that the provisions Order XXI of Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) could be invoked for enforcement and execution of orders passed by the consumer fora. When a person against whom an order is passed fails to sign and execute a document such as the conveyance deed, he can be punished and imprisoned under the Consumer Protection Act. But what is important is that the decreeholder must get the signed document executed and registered in his favour. This can be done by taking recourse to the provisions of Rule 32 of Order XXI if the CPC which provide for empowering an officer appointed by the court to execute the document in favour of the decreeholder. This procedure is adopted only when all other remedies fail.
Accordingly, by its order dated March 11, 2015 delivered by Narendra Kawde for the bench along with Shashikant Kulkarni, the Maharashtra state commission ordered the builder to execute conveyance as required under the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act. Time of 90 days was given for compliance of the order. In case of failure to comply with the order within the stipulated period, the society was directed to provide a draft of the conveyance to the commission’s registrar (legal), who would examine and finalize it, and then execute it for and on behalf of the builder in favour of the society. In addition, Rs 25,000 was awarded as costs.
Conclusion: This judgment opens up a new avenue for aggrieved co-operative societies to get the conveyance executed and registered in their favour. The consumer fora can thus ensure that its order is complied with, and the society gets the conveyance without being left to the mercy of unscrupulous builders.
(The author is a consumer activist and has won the Govt. of India’s National Youth Award for Consumer Protection.