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Dhananjay Singh & Others v/s Manager, Sheel Biotech Ltd. & Another

    Revision Petition Nos. 2419 of 2015, 2420 of 2015, 2421 of 2015
    Decided On, 24 August 2016
    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
    For the Petitioners: Mohammad Sajid, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1, Suman Tripathy, Advocate, R2, Nemo.

Judgment Text
Since the facts and the point of law involved in these Revision Petitions are identical, these are being disposed of by a common order. By these Revision Petitions, under Section 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (for short 'the Act'), the Complainants question the correctness and legality of three orders, all dated 19.05.2015, passed by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Uttar Pradesh at Lucknow (for short 'the State Commission') in First Appeals No.2098, 2104 and 2105 of 2011. By the impugned orders, the State Commission has upheld the orders, all dated 02.09.2011, passed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Bairaj (for short 'the District Forum') in Complaint Case No.228, 229 and 221 of 2009. By the said orders, the District Forum had dismissed the Complaints wherein while alleging that the banana seedlings supplied by Opposite Party No.1 in the Complaint, namely, M/s Sheel Biotech Limited, were defective, resulting in less yield to the extent of 70%, the Complainants had prayed for compensation for the loss suffered by them. The District Forum had come to the conclusion that the Complainants had failed to produce any evidence to prove that the seedlings in question were not of G-9 type or that these were inferior in quality or that these were dead before or after being sown.

As noted above, the State Commission has affirmed the said finding. Hence, the present Revision Petitions.

Having heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the documents on record, particularly, the report dated 06.03.2009 submitted by the Committee constituted by the Horticulture Directorate, I am of the view that the Revision Petitions deserve to be allowed.

In the Written Version filed on behalf of the District Horticulture Officer, Opposite Party No.2 in the Complaint, it was stated that on receipt of the Complaint from one of the Complainants regarding the non-flowering of the banana saplings, Opposite Party No.1 was intimated about it but there was no response from their side and further, with reference to the Complaints received from several other farmers/growers in respect of the banana seedlings supplied by the said Opposite Party, Directorate of Horticulture had constituted an enquiry Committee. The said Committee, after surveying various fields, had found that the banana seedlings supplied by the said Opposite Party were bad in quality. Though in the order passed by the District Forum, there is reference to the said report, but unfortunately, I am unable to find from the said order as also from the impugned order, any reason as to why the said report had no relevance to the issue raised in the Complaint.

Learned Counsel appearing for the Opposite Party no.1, Respondent No.1 herein, submits that since the Complaint made by the Petitioners pertained only to type G-9 of the saplings, it cannot be inferred from the report that it covered the said saplings as well, particularly, when the specific allegations of each of the growers had been noticed in the report itself. It is thus, submitted that the said report cannot be accepted as conclusive evidence with regard to the quality of saplings, allegedly purchased by the Petitioners, more so when the complainants, named in the report, happened to be from other Districts.

Regard being had to the specific averment in paragraph (4) of the reply filed by the Horticulture officer, I am unable to persuade myself to agree with the learned Counsel appearing for Respondent No.1. Prima-facie, it appears from the said paragraph that the Complaints pertained to the non-flowering of the banana seedlings and saplings, supplied by Respondent No.1 and therefore, it can be safely inferred that the Complaints made by the Petitioners were also taken into consideration while constituting the said Committee. However, since I propose to remit the matters back to the District Forum for fresh adjudication, I refrain from recording final conclusion on the relevance of the said report insofar as the cases of the Petitioners are concerned.

Consequently, all the Revision Petitions are allowed; the impugned orders are set aside and the cases are remanded back to the District Forum for fresh adjudication, in particular, on the question of relevance of the said report by the Committee constituted by the District Directorate of Horticulture, to the facts of the present cases.Since t

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he Complaints were filed as far back as in the year 2009, it is expected that the District Forum would try to dispose of the same as expeditiously as practicable, after affording opportunity to the parties to lead additional evidence, if so advised. Parties/their Counsel are directed to appear before the District Forum on 05.10.2016 for further proceedings in accordance with law. The Revision Petitions stand disposed of in the above terms with no order as to costs.