At, Kerala State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Thiruvananthapuram
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S.S. SATHEESACHANDRAN
By, PRESIDENT & THE HONOURABLE MR. V.V. JOSE
For the Appellant: Abdul Shukkur Arakkal, Advocate. For the Respondents: K.P. Jayakrishnan, Advocate.
S.S. Satheesachandran: President
Opposite party in C.C.No.358/14 on the file of District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum for short “CDRF Malappuram” has filed this appeal challenging Order of the Forum directing him to refund Rs.1399/-, stiching charge of Rs.250/- and compensation of Rs.3000/- to complainant.
2. Complainant is an autorickshaw driver. He
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purchased a churidar bit from appellant’s shop paying a sum of Rs.1399/- as its price. That material was purchased for stiching churidar for his wife, and, accordingly it was stitched paying cost of Rs.250/-. On the first washing its colour spread over and it became useless. He approached appellant for replacement, but, it was turned down since he could not produce the bill. He thereupon filed the complaint claiming compensation.3. Opposite party resisted the claim contending that the case presented by complainant was false and no churidar material was purchased from his shop.4. Evidence consisted of the affidavit of complainant, counter affidavit of opposite party and also the churidar material identified as MO.1.5. Appreciating the materials, District Forum upheld the claim of complainant and directed opposite party to refund Rs.1399/- to complainant as price of churidar with stiching charge of Rs.250/- and compensation of Rs.3000/-. Appeal is against that Order.6. Appeal coming up for hearing, appellant alone was represented by his counsel. We heard the counsel for appellant.7. Despite the challenge of appellant disputing the case of complainant over the purchase of churidar material from his shop, no material was produced to establish the purchase by complainant, submits the counsel. Claim unsupported by bill of purchase ought not to have been accepted by the Forum is the further submission.8. We need only point out that before the Forum none of the parties has any indefeasible right of cross examination as available in a regular court of law to impeach the credit of opposite party. Furthermore consumer complaints are to be dealt with summarily within the time limit statutorily fixed. The forum which had the opportunity to see the complainant and watch his demeanor and deportment as well found his case creditworthy. He has also sworn an affidavit in support of his case. Forum has rightly observed that the complainant, an autorickshaw driver, would not have ventured to file a complaint of this nature unless he had a justifiable grievance to be redressed. He had also produced before the forum churidar material purchased, which was identified as MO.1. Non production of bill of that purchase pales into insignificance when the case of complainant is shown to be genuine. Totality of facts and circumstances involved has to be appreciated to examine whether the complaint involves a true claim. We find no reason to differ from the view taken on the materials placed by the lower forum that the complainant’s case is creditworthy and believable.9. Now coming to the reliefs granted to complainant, we find that refund of price of churidar i.e. Rs.1399/- and also cost of stiching charge incurred by him Rs.250/- by the forum is proper and valid. However granting of compensation of Rs.3000/- with respect to purchase of a material for Rs.1399/- is excessive and it is reduced to Rs.1000/-. Appeal is allowed only with respect to the reduction of compensation as indicated above.10. Amount deposited by appellant to entertain his appeal shall be released to appellant and it shall be given credit in the sum ordered to be paid by appellant. Appellant has to pay the balance amount due to complainant within a period of one month from today by deposit before the forum, failing which it shall carry interest at 12% per annum till realization.Appeal is disposed directing both sides to suffer their respective costs.