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Department of Post, Through Superintendent of Post Offices, Jaipur v/s Babu Lal

    Appeal No. 1530 of 2009

    Decided On, 15 June 2011

    At, Rajasthan State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Jaipur

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE G.S. HORA
    By, PRESIDING MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MRS. VIMLA SETHIYA
    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellant: Banwari Lal Gupta, Advocate. For the Respondent: Sunil Kumar Soni, Advocate.



Judgment Text

G.S. Hora, Presiding Member-

1. This appeal arises out of order dated 30.6.2009 passed by the District Consumer Forum (DCF), Jaipur-I, Jaipur whereby the complaint was allowed in the manner that the Appellant was directed to pay to the Complainant a sum of Rs. 15,000 as compensation and Rs. 1,500 as cost of litigation and to pay the aforesa

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id amount within a period of one month failing which the Complainant is to receive interest @ 12% per annum from the date of the order.

2. The Complainant had sent a Demand Draft (DD) for Rs. 8,294 through registered post on 20.6.2007 but this registered letter never reached the destination. The amount of DD was meant for payment of premium of insurance policy. A registered legal notice was sent to the OP but there was no solution, hence the complaint.

3. The OP has admitted that the registered letter was sent through Jaitpura Sub-Post Office. As the letter could not reach the destination, an amount of Rs. 100 was sanctioned to be paid to the Complainant as a final settlement. The OP also invoked the provisions of Section 6 of Indian Post Office Act and stated that no compensation beyond the prescribed amount could be awarded. It was also stated that the complaint was filed without waiting for the outcome of decision of the competent authority.

4. We have heard both the Counsel and gone through the file. The learned Counsel for the Appellant while relying upon III (2006) CPJ 148, Superintendent of Post Offices v. Dhan Bahadur Gurung, I (2000) CPJ 516, Chief Post Master & Ors. v. M/s. Ensons Enterprises and, III (2006) CPJ 120 (NC), Union of India v. Dr. Puran Chandra Joshi, argued that the liability could be not more than Rs. 100 which amount had already been sanctioned. The learned Counsel has also attracted our attention to Section 6 of Indian Post Office Act which runs as under:

"6. Exemption from liability for loss, mis-delivery, delay or damage -

The Government shall not incur any liability by reason of the loss, mis-delivery or delay of, or damage to, any postal article in course of transmission by post, except insofar as such liability may in express terms be undertaken by the Central Government as hereinafter provided; and no officer of the Post Office shall incur any liability by reason of any such loss, mis-delivery, delay or damage, unless he has caused the same fraudulently or by his wilful act or default."

5. So far as the provision of Section 6 are concerned, no officer of the Post Office is to incur any liability by reason of any such loss, mis-delivery, delay or damage unless he has caused the same fraudulently or by his wilful act or default. It is difficult for the consumer to prove that there has been a fraudulent act or wilful act or default on the part of an officer. The Appellant has not come out with this version as to where the registered letter got lost and who was responsible for that. The Appellant should have fixed up responsibility of that officer who was responsible for the loss of the postal article. Besides this, there is no plausible explanation as to why the amount of Rs. 100 was not paid to the Complainant although the sanction was issued long back. All these facts go to show that there has been deficiency in service of the Appellant.

6. For the foregoing reasons, we find that there is no illegality or infirmity in the order passed by the learned DCF. Consequently, the appeal fails and the same is dismissed with cost on parties.

Appeal dismissed.
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