This Appeal is filed against the order dated 05.02.2020 of the Uttar Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Lucknow (in short "the State Commission) in CC/263/2017, whereby the State Commission dismissed the application filed by the Appellant/Opposite Party for taking on record written statement filed by it and listed the mater for further proceedings on 05.06.2020. State Commission observed as follows: -
"Hon'ble National Commission in its order dated 13.01.2020, while dismissing the review application has ordered that "The Order dated 17.12.2019 stands as it stood." Hence, under this circumstance, it is not possible to understand other meaning by State Commission in the order passed by Hon'ble National Commission.
List for date already fixed for further proceedings on 05.06.2020."
2. The only issue in this Appeal relates to foreclosure of right of the Opposite Party to file written statement. The merits of this case, therefore, need not be discussed. Initially State Commission, vide order dated 03.10.2017 foreclosed the right of the Opposite Party with following observation: -
"The lawyer advocates present on behalf of the Complainant. Nobody is present from the opposite Party. Notice was sent to the opposite Party by registered post dated 18.8.17 which has not been returned as undelivered. Hence the notice on the opposite Party is considered delivered. The proceedings will be heard unilateral while ending the opportunity of written statement. Date 8.1.2018 for filing of evidence by Complainant."
3. Opposite Party challenged the said order of the State Commission by filing First Appeal No.2371/2017 before this Commission. This Commission, vide order dated 17.12.2019 set aside the order passed by this State Commission and allowed the Opposite Party/Appellant one more opportunity to file its written statement before the State Commission within 30 days from the date of order subject to payment of Rs.75,000/- to the Complainant. Order dated 17.12.2019 reads as follows: -
"5. In the interest of justice, and for holistic and comprehensive adjudication of the case on merit in the forum of original jurisdiction, the impugned Order dated 03.10.2017 of the State Commission is set aside. The Appellant - Opposite Party is allowed one (more) opportunity to file its written version before the State Commission within 30 days from today, subject to suitable/just terms/cost of Rs. 75,000/- to be paid by the Appellant - Opposite Party to the Respondent - Complainant directly in his name by way of 'payee's a/c only' demand draft within the same period of 30 days from today.
6. The Appellant - Opposite Party is sternly advised to conduct its case professionally before the State Commission.
7. Both sides are directed to appear before the State Commission on 25.02.2020.
8. The State Commission is requested to take the written version of the Opposite Party on record, if duly filed within the period stipulated above, subject to the above-mentioned cost being duly paid within the period stipulated above, to give opportunity to the Complainant to file his rejoinder thereto, and to proceed further with the adjudication of the case in the normal wont as per the law.
9. The Registry is directed to send a copy of this Order to the State Commission within seven days.
'Dasti', in addition, to facilitate timely compliance."
4. Opposite Party not satisfied with the order dated 17.12.2019, filed Review Application No.RA/5/2020. This Commission, vide order dated 13.01.2020 dismissed the review application. After dismissal of the review application, Opposite Party appeared before the State Commission and filed an application for taking on record written statement. State Commission, vide order dated 05.02.2020, dismissed the said application. Hence, the Appellant has filed the instant Appeal with following prayer: -
"A. Stay the proceedings before the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Uttar Pradesh at Lucknow in Consumer Complaint No.263 of 2017 pending the hearing and final disposal of the Appeal;
B. Pass an interim ex-parte orders in terms of prayers (A) above; and
C. Pass such and further orders as this Hon'ble Commission may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case."
5. Heard the Learned Counsel for the Appellant and carefully gone through the record. Learned Counsel for the Appellant submitted that the State Commission failed to appreciate the fact that the Appellant filed a Review Application before the National Commission against the order dated 17.12.2019, which was dismissed vide order dated 13.01.2020. Time of 30 days, therefore, should have been counted from 13.01.2020, the date on which the review application was dismissed and not from 17.12.2019. It was also submitted that even though the Appellant handed over a demand draft of Rs.75,000/- to the Respondent/Complainant in compliance of the order dated 17.12.2019 passed by this Commission, the State Commission did not allow the Appellant/Opposite Party to file its written statement.
6. On the issue of filing of written statement, law is very categoric. Three Judges Bench of Hon'ble Supreme Court in the matter of New India Assurance Co. Ltd. vs. Hilli Multipurpose Cold Storage Pvt. Ltd. SLP (C) No.2833 of 2014 & SLP (C) Nos.11257-11258 of 2014 decided on 4.12.2015 had an occasion to interpret the scope of period of limitation for filing written statement, wherein Hon'ble Supreme Court held as under: -
"17. We are, therefore, of the view that the judgment delivered in the case of Dr. J J Merchant (supra) holds the field and therefore, we reiterate the view that the District Forum can grant a further period of 15 days to the opposite party for filing his version or reply and not beyond that.
18. There is one more reason to follow the law laid down in the case of Dr. J J Merchant (supra). Dr. J J Merchant (supra) was decided in 2002, whereas Kailash (supra) was decided in 2005. As per law laid down by this Court, while deciding the case of Kailsh (supra), this Court ought to have respected the view expressed in Dr. J J Merchant (supra) as the judgment delivered in the case of Dr. J J Merchant (supra) was earlier in point of time. The aforesaid legal position cannot be ignored by us and therefore, we are of the opinion that the view expressed in Dr. J J Merchant (supra) should be followed."
7. This Commission, vide order dated 17.12
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.2019 granted 30 days time to the Appellant/Opposite Party to file written statement before the State Commission. Appellant, instead of filing written statement, filed review application before this Commission, which was dismissed, vide order dated 13.01.2020. Even after dismissal of review application on 13.01.2020, Appellant/Opposite Party had some time to file written statement before the State Commission, which it failed to do so. 8. For the foregoing discussion, I am of the view that the order passed by the State Commission is justified. Appellant failed to show any illegality or irregularity in the impugned order warranting interference in the appellate jurisdiction. Appeal is dismissed with no order as to costs.