At, Andhra Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Hyderabad
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. R. LAKSHMINARASIMHA RAO
By, MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MR. THOTA ASHOK KUMAR
For the Appellants: M/s. Ch. Srinivasa Rao, Advocate. For the Respondents: M/s. V. Narayana Reddy, Advocate.
Oral Order: (R. Lakshminarasimha Rao, Member)
1. The complaint has filed appeal F.A.No.109 of 2012 for enhancement of compensation whereas the opposite party company has filed appeal F.A.No.119 of 2012 challenging the order of the District Forum. The parties are referred to as they are arrayed in the complaint.
2. The complainant is an agriculturist. The complainant preserved 200 bags of white Bengal gram of 60 kg each on 17.03.2007 with the respondent. The value of stock is Rs.2,64,000/- and the respondent issued bond bearing number 2 of 30 and informed the complainant that the stock was insured. The complainant expressed his intention to take back the stock and found that the stock was damaged due to not maintaining proper temperature. The complainant 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 opposite party 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 complainant 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 complaint 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 opposite party company sent reminders to the appellant that the stocks could be stored from March to December and they may not keep the stock for a long period. The respondent company reminded the complainant that the stocks would be damaged due to his negligence. The entire negligence is on the part of the complainant for not taking delivery of stocks within season. The complainant internationally kept calm nearly for four years and by taking undue advantage avoided making payment to the opposite party company. Hence, they sought for dismissal of the complaint.
5. The complainant has filed his affidavit and the documents Exs.A1 to A19. The filed its affidavit and no documents have been marked.
6. The District Forum allowed the complaint on the premise that the opposite party has not followed the term no.10 of the agreement and did not take steps to issue to the complainant and sell the stock in public auction. The District Forum allowed in respect of the stocks stored on 9.4.2008 and dismissed the claim in respect of the stocks stored in the year 2007.
7. The opposite party has filed appeal F.A.No.119 of 2012 contending that the Director resigned from the post of Managing Director and that the complaint is barred by limitation.
8. The complainant has filed appeal F.A.No.109 of 2012 feeling dissatisfied with the order of the District forum, 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.
9. The point for consideration for consideration is whether the order of the District Forum suffers from misappreciation of facts or law?
10. There is no dispute of the fact that the complainant stored 200 bags of white Bengal gram of 60 kgs worth of Rs.2,64,000/- with the opposite party on 17.3.2007 under bond no.2 of 30 and he had taken delivery of 169 bags on 7.1.2008 keeping the remaining 31 bags with the opposite party. The complainant stored another 145 bags of Bengal gram of 60 kgs with the opposite party on 9.4.2008. The opposite party 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.
11. 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 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.
12. 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.
13. The complainant stored 200 bags of Bengal gram with the opposite party on 16.3.2007. He took delivery of 169 bags on 7.1.2008 keeping the balance 31 bags with the opposite party. The complainant stored 145 bags of Bengal gram with the opposite party on 9.4.2008.
14. Insofar as the time in regard to stocks stored on 16.3.2007, as per condition no.8 of the bond, would expire by March 2008 and limitation for filing the complaint starts from April 2008 for a period of two years which will expire by April 2010. The complaint is filed on 27.1.2011. Therefore, the District Forum was right in holding that the claim in regard to stocks stored on 16.3.2007 is barred by law of limitation.
15. The District Forum held the claim in regard to the stocks stored on 9.4.2008 as well within the period of limitation. The limitation period for the claim would start from 9.4.2009 for a period of two years which would expire on 8.4.2011. The complaint was filed on 27.1.2011. Thus, there is no infirmity in the finding of the District forum that the claim insofar as the stocks stored on 9.4.2008 is concerned, is not barred by law of limitation.
16. The deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party is manifest by its failure to follow the term no.10 of the agreement. The opposite party has not issued any notice to the complainant inspite of taking consistent stand that the goods were required to be stored for the longer than year. The opposite party has also not taken any steps for sale of the stock by conducting auction. In all aspects the condition no.10 of the agreement is floated by the opposite party. The District forum h
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as rightly found deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party insofar as the failure of the opposite party in abiding the condition no.10 of the agreement is concerned. 17. The complainant has not shown any cause as to how his claim in respect of the stock stored on 16.3.2007 is within the period of limitation. On that score, the appeal filed by him is liable to be dismissed. In the same fashion, the opposite party has not shown any reason for not sticking to the terms and conditions of the agreement and failed to render service to the complainant causing loss to the complainant to the tune of Rs.3,65,400/-. Both appeals as such are liable to be dismissed. 18. In the result both appeals are dismissed confirming the order of the District Forum. There shall be no order as to costs.