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Chennupati Anjamma v/s VVR Cold Storage Pvt. Ltd., rep. by its Chairman

    F.A.No. 110 of 2012 Against C.C.No. 21 of 2011 District Forum Guntur
    Decided On, 21 March 2013
    At, Andhra Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Hyderabad
    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. R. LAKSHMINARASIMHA RAO
    By, MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MR. THOTA ASHOK KUMAR
    By, MEMBER
    For the Appellant: M/s. Ch. Srinivasa Rao, Advocate. For the Respondent: M/s. V. Narayana Reddy, Advocate.


Judgment Text
Oral Order: (R. Lakshminarasimha Rao, Member)

1. The unsuccessful complainant is the appellant. She filed complaint seeking for return of the stock in goods in proper condition and in the alternative for payment of compensation, Rs.1,18,440/- with interest and damages of Rs.15,000/-.

2. The appellant is an agriculturist. The appellant through her husband preserved 47 bags of white Bengal gram of 60 kg each on 24.03.2007 with the respondent. The value of stock is Rs.62,4040/- and the respondent issued bond bearing number 3 of 48 and informed the appellant that the stock was insured. The appellant expressed her intention to take back the stock and found that the stock was damaged due to not maintaining proper temperature. The appellant got issued notice on 11.12.2010 demanding for return of the stock or the value thereof at Rs.4,200/- per 100 kgs.

3. The respondent resisted the claim on the premise that the appellant is not consumer and the complaint is not maintainable and that the respondent is not the director of the cold storage at the time of filing the complaint. It is contended that three directors resigned in the month of April,2009 and the directors left on board are Jitendra and Vijayakrishna and the complaint is bad for non-joinder of the two directors. It is contended that the complaint is barred by law of limitation. The appellant stored the stock in the month of March ,2007 and the claim has to be filed within two years there from. The appellant had not paid any consideration to the respondent company for storage of the stock. The appellant is not consumer.

4. As per condition no.18 of the terms of the Agreement, the claim should be filed in courts at Vijayawada. The District Forum at Guntur has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint. The stocks are stored for one season and the respondent company sent reminders to the appellant that the stocks could be stroed from March to December and they may not keep the stock for a long period. The respondent company reminded the appellant that the stocks would be damaged due his negligence. The entire negligence is on the part of the appellant for not taking delivery of stocks within season. The appellant internationally kept calm nearly for four years and by taking undue advantage avoided making payment to the respondent company. Hence, they sought for dismissal of the complaint.

5. The appellant has filed his affidavit and the documents Exs.A1 to A18. The filed its affidavit and no documents have been marked.

6. The District Forum dismissed the complaint on the premise that the complaint is not filed within the period of limitation. It is observed by the District Forum that according to the terms and conditions of the agreement, if the appellant fails to take back the goods within the prescribed period, the respondent company may remove them and sell them in public auction.

7. Feeling aggrieved by the order of the District Forum, the complainant has filed the appeal contending that the District forum has not considered the evidence in proper perspective and the relationship between the respondent and her is that of bailer and bailee u/s 148 of Indian Contract Act and as long as goods entrusted to the bailee are not delivered to the bailer, the bailee is the trustee and custodian of the goods. The complaint is filed within the period of three years from the date of refusal and as per Article 70 of Limitation Act, there cannot be any limitation.

8. The point for consideration for consideration is whether the order of the District Forum suffers from misappreciation of facts or law?

9. There is no dispute of the fact that the appellant stored 47 bags of white Bengal gram of 60 kgs worth of Rs.62,040/- with the respondent company on 24.3.2007. The respondent issued bond bearing no.3 of 48 in favour of the appellant. The respondent contends that as per the terms and conditions of the agreement the District Forum has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint and the courts at Vijayawada has jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the matter. The District forum has returned the finding that the respondent company is situated at Guntur and no transaction has taken place at Vijayawada. Both parties have not challenged the finding of the District Forum.

10. In regard to the limitation aspect, the appellant had handed over the stock to the respondent on 24.3.2007. The District Forum has observed that as per condition no.8 of storage bond, the goods are stored on season to season basis. Condition no.8 of the bond reads as under:

All goods are stored on month-to season basis unless otherwise provided. If months’ basis a storage month shall extend from a date in one calendar month to but not including. The same date of the next of succeeding calendar months but if there is no correspondent date in a next succeeding calendar month it shall extent to and include the last day of that next succeeding business day.

11. Thus, the appellant and the respondent proceeded on the premise that the stocks are stored on season to season basis i.e., from March to December of the year. The end of the year would be the starting point for reckoning the period of limitation for filing the complaint before the District Forum. The complaint was filed on 27.1.2011. The complaint has to be filed within two years from the date of cause of action.

12. The learned counsel for the appellant has contended that the respondent is custodian of the goods entrusted to it and the respondent failed to return the goods after issuance of notice on 11.12.2010 and the complaint is within three years from the date of refusal as per article 70 of the Act and two year under the C.P.Act, there cannot be any limitation

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. The contention fo the learned counsel has no substance in the absence of any steps taken by the appellant within two years from the date on which the time for storage of goods with the respondent company expired. 13. We do not find any infirmity in the District Forum pointing out the complaint as barred by limitation. The appellant has not shown as to how the limitation period can be reckon from the date of issuing of notice to the respondent company. The appeal is liable to be dismissed. 14. In the result the appeal is dismissed confirming the order of the District Forum. There shall be no order as to costs.
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