If you ever felt that your apartment is not the size the builder had promised but did not know what to do about it, there is help at hand. The Legal Metrology Department whose responsibilities is to certify the weighing scales can be of some help.
The Weights and Measures / Legal Metrology Act, 2009
This is an act to establish and enforce standards of weights and measures, regulate trade and commerce in weights, measures and other goods which are sold or distributed by weights, measure or number and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The Legal Metrology Department
The department says, If consumer gets short delivery of the commodity or thing than it is paid for or contracted for, similarly in the services also, it amounts to an offence. However, not many consumers know about remedies available to them to get justice. Such consumers can easily file a complaint before the Legal Metrology Organization (weights and measures).
“The Legal Metrology Act has clear provisions to punish those who sell below the quantity of measure promised. In case of short selling of space, we will verify such complaints and will take strong action”. They say upon receipt of a complaint, the department will measure space independently to establish whether a buyer has indeed been cheated.
1) Recently, the flat owners claimed that the builder had delivered 40 to 50 square feet less carpet area per flat than was shown in the agreement. Builder had also not constructed towers as per plan approved by BMC. Not only did builder charge as per built-up area instead of carpet area, but even the built up area turned out to be 94 square feet less.
Buyer complained to the Legal Metrology department to check if builder had delivered smaller flats than promised. Six officials with three witnesses raided and measured an apartment in the building and they found that builder had delivered 7 square feet less carpet area. Deputy Commissioner of Police, who leads the Weights and Measures (Legal Metrology) department, wrote to the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, and also Municipal Commissioner to take action against builder. Officials of the Weights and Measures department found that the builder had cheated flat owners by delivering smaller flats than what he had promised. Later, an FIR was registered against builder.
2) In another case, the members of the building had submitted a complaint to the Legal Metrology department, claiming that the area of the house that they had been given was not what the builder had promised. A team from the department visited the houses in the society and found out that the flats were only around 875 sq ft in area (each room was 71.38 sq metres and the attached balcony was 10.04 sq meters, making up 81.42 sq metres, or 876.4 sq ft, in all), compared to the 935 sq ft allegedly promised by the builder.
How will it help you
In our opinion consumer courts are the best way to get relief for such matters. However, most of the time they are not cost effective and takes long time. Individual buyer often do not even raise their voice against such malpractices. In such cases, you can try this approach which doesn’t look expensive and time consuming. It would be the duty of Metrology Department to pursue the case.
This route can also be explored if the Super Area increase is not justified.
How do I file a Complaint
The above listed case studies are from Mumbai – Maharashtra, where the department us very proactive in handling builder related cases. If you are from Maharashtra, a complaint can be filed at :-
Controller of Legal Metrology, Maharashtra State Mumbai, Free Press Journal Marg, Nariman Point, Mumbai-400021
Uttar Pradesh / Delhi NCR and other parts of India
The Department of Consumer Affairs overlooks the Metrology Department. This is an unexplored area for us and one need to do some research to locate and file the complaint against developers in NCR region.
New Delhi: Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures) Government of NCT of Delhi, 117-118, C-Block, Vikas Bhavan, N.Delhi – 110 002 Ph: 011-23379266 Fax: 23379267 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Uttar Pradesh: Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures) Government of Uttar Pradesh, 7, Walaquad Road, Lucknow – 1 (Uttar Pradesh) Ph: 0522-2628063/2225997 Fax:0522-2610967/2275902 Email: email@example.com
Address of Metrology Departments in various states: Legal Metrology Departments in Various States
More details can be obtained from there: http://www.metrologycentre.com/ and http://consumeraffairs.nic.in/forms/contentpage.aspx?lid=700