At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. DINESH SINGH
By, PRESIDING MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE KARUNA NAND BAJPAYEE
For the Petitioner: Himanshu Sharma, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1, S.L. Gupta, Ashish Sharma, Neeraj Srivastava, Advocates, R2, Ex-parte (vide Order dated 29.01.2014).
1. This revision petition has been filed under Section 21(b) of the Act 1986 in challenge to the Order dated 21.02.2012 of the State Commission in appeal no. 1214 of 2004 arising out of the Order dated 26.04.2004 of the District Commission in complaint no. 457 of 1999.
We have heard the learned counsel and perused the record.
2. The matter relates to repudiation of an insurance claim.
The District Commission vide its Order dated 26.04.2004 partly allowed the complaint and ordered the opposite party insurance co. to pay the complainant Rs.1,08,722/- with interest at the rate of 10% p.a. from 06.08.1997 till the date of realization along with Rs.500/- as cost of litigation.
The State Commission vide its impugned Order dated 21.02.2012 allowed the appeal filed by the insurance co. and set aside the Order of the District Commission, resultantly the complaint stood dismissed.
The complainant has preferred the instant revision before this Commission.
3. Learned counsel for the complainant (the petitioner herein) submits that the complainant was duly participating in the appellate proceedings before the State Commission as the respondent no. 1 therein. However he did not get intimation of the date on which the final arguments were heard. He draws attention to paragraph 4 of the State Commission's Order in which it is mentioned that: "At the time of hearing of the appeal, the respondent/complainant preferred to remain absent, even though, the date of fixing the appeal was notified on the notice board and on internet as well as by way of abundant precaution an intimation was sent by post on 31/01/2012. In fact, the intimation sent to him on his registered address mentioned returned unserved since he was not found there. No other address is known from the record. Under the circumstances, we prefer to hear the appeal on its own merit in his absence. Heard learned counsel for the insurance company as well as official present for the respondent No. 2, Jan Kalyan Sahakari Bank Ltd. Perused the record".
Learned counsel submits that it has itself been recorded by the State Commission that intimation sent to him on his registered address had been returned unserved. He also submits that in fact he was actually not aware of the date of final arguments as is stated to have been notified on the notice board and on the internet. Learned counsel argues that since he was the affected party even the principles of natural justice would require that a matter like this be decided by affording him the due opportunity of advancing his arguments. He has also tried to dwell upon the merits of his case and has attempted to show that he has fair chances of success if given the opportunity to argue his case before the State Commission on merits. The submission is that the District Commission had decided the case in his favour and the appellate forum overturned its Order without affording him opportunity to make his arguments. Learned counsel requests that in justice the matter be remanded to the State Commission for affording him opportunity to argue on the merits.
4. Learned counsel for the insurance company (the respondent no. 1 herein) submits that, seeing that the intimation sent at the registered address of the complainant was returned unserved, as recorded in the State Commission's Order itself, in all fairness an opportunity may be provided to the complainant to argue his case before the State Commission. As such he has no objection if the matter is remanded to State Commission for deciding it afresh after affording opportunity to all parties to advance their arguments.
5. In the facts and circumstances of the case we find it appropriate and judicious both to remit the matter back to the State Commission for decision afresh. The State Commission is requested to afford opportunity of advancing their arguments to all parties in the appeal and to decide it anew on merit as per the law. The parties are directed to appear before the State
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Commission on 31.01.2022. 6. The Registry is requested to send a copy each of this Order to all parties in the petition (including the respondent no. 2 bank herein, which was proceeded against ex parte in the instant revisional proceedings before this Commission) and to the learned counsel as well as to the State Commission within three days. The stenographer is requested to upload this Order on the website of this Commission immediately.