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Dhanuka Agritech Ltd. & Another v/s Ram Chander

    Appeal No. 1107 of 2015

    Decided On, 20 March 2019

    At, Madya Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Bhopal

    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellants: Deepesh Shukla, Shantanu Rastogi, Advocates. For the Respondent: Mona Paliwal, Advocate.

Judgment Text

Dr. Monika Malik, Member

This appeal by the opposite parties/appellants, is directed against the order dated 6.8.2015, passed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Sehore (in short ‘the Forum’), in complaint case No. 16/11, whereby the complaint filed by the complainant was partly allowed and the opposite parties were directed to pay Rs. 20,000, as compensation for mental agony and financial loses, with Rs. 2,000 as litigation cost.

2. The case of the complainant is such that he had purchased 6 litres weedicide viz. Targa Super and Cloben from opposite party No. 1 manufactured by opposite party No. 2. He had purchased 5 litres of the aforesaid products on 23.7.2010 and 1 litre of the products was purchased by him on 17.7.2010. He intended to spray weedicide in 24 acres of his agriculture land. The complainant alleged that he had followed the prescribed procedure and had sprayed the weedicide in his agricultural land but the weeds were not destroyed and the crop yield was badly affected. He sustained losses to the tune of Rs. 1,80,000. Alleging deficiency in service on part of the opposite parties, he approached the Forum.

3. The opposite party No. 1 resisted the complaint stating that they thoroughly informed the complainant regarding usage of the aforesaid weedicide, which was purchased by him. The complainant had purchased the product after getting completely satisfied. Poor quality of seeds is also one of the reasons for poor crop yield and thus liability cannot be fixed on opposite party No. 1, without any credible evidence. The complainant had never informed them regarding the loss sustained by him, due to spray of aforesaid weedicide. No complaint was ever made by the complainant to the opposite party No. 1, apprising them regarding his grievance.

4. Opposite party No. 2 resisted the complaint stating that the complainant had not used the weedicide (which was purchased by him from the opposite party No. 1) after properly following the instructions. The complainant has nowhere specified in his complaint regarding the concentration in which he had used the aforesaid product. Since he had not utilized the product in prescribed manner, he himself is responsible for the alleged loss sustained by him.

5. Heard. Perused the record.

6. Learned Counsel for the appellants, i.e. opposite parties, vehemently argued that the appellant No. 1 is only the manufacturer of ‘Targa Super’ product and the other product viz. ‘Cloben’ is not manufactured by them. They further argued that there are various biological and non-biological factors affecting the growth of the crops, which include the nature and type of soil, nature and type of seeds, irrigation pattern and various climatic factors. Nature and age of weeds, application of the weedicides/herbicides and mode of their application also affects the results. They submitted that the Forum failed to appreciate that the respondent has not filed any concrete evidence, like photographs etc. to show that the crops were damaged due to aforesaid products. The respondent has failed to mention as to how he had sprayed the aforesaid product over the crops. He has also remained silent as regards to age of the crop and nature of weeds, at the time of spray of weedicide. The alleged Panchnama/report of Agriculture Development Officer cannot be trusted, as no notice of alleged inspection of fields was given to the appellants and none of the appellants could remain present in the fields at the time of alleged inspection. The inspection report, therefore, cannot be allowed to be genuine and its preparation is shrouded in suspicious circumstances. The Forum ought to have dismissed the complaint on this ground alone, as the liability of loss of the crop cannot be attributed to the product of appellant only and there can be variety of reasons including non-performance of other product i.e. ‘Cloben’. It is further argued that as per respondent’s submission he had sprayed only 6 litres of the product in 24 acres of his agricultural land, which is less than adequate and cannot yield desired results. Moreover, it is stated by the respondent that he had purchased 5 litres of the aforesaid product on 23.7.2010. The Panchnama was prepared on 28.7.2010 i.e. within five days of spray of the aforesaid product. The Panchnama is prepared as an after-thought and the respondent has not approached the Forum with clean hands. Counsel for appellants prayed for setting aside the impugned order.

7. Learned Counsel for the respondent argued that the farmers grow crops on the basis of age old practices and experience which they have accumulated over the years. No specialization courses are held for farmers in order to make them aware regarding usage of such products. She argued that the respondent had followed the instructions as given by the appellant No. 2, however, the crop yield got severely affected. The weeds could not be destroyed and the soyabean leaves also turned pale. The complainant/respondent needs to be compensated on aforesaid account.

8. Careful observation of the evidence on record reveals that there are bills dated 17.7.2010 and 23.7.2010, available on record. As per complainant’s/respondent’s submission, he had purchased 5 litres of the weedicide on 23.7.2010. In the Panchnama, which is prepared on 28.7.2010, it is mentioned that the respondent had sprayed ‘Targa Super’ weedicide on his soyabean crop, 12 days back. The findings recorded in the Panchnama are conflicting in relation to the complainant’s/respondent’s submission. If he had purchased the product on 23.7.2010, it is beyond comprehension that how he could have sprayed it on his agricultural land before 12 days of preparation of the Panchnama dated 28.7.2010.

9. We further observe that there is nothing on record to show that the complainant/respondent had intimated the appellants, regarding inspection of his agricultural land. There is no evidence on records to show that he had utilized the aforesaid weedicide in proper c

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oncentration to spray on his agricultural land. Inarguably, the weedicide has to be sprayed as per directions specified on the product. The appellants cannot be held liable for alleged poor crop yield, since the crop yield is attributed to various factors like soil, adequate irrigation and proper use of insecticide/pesticide. The complainant/respondent has not been able to substantiate his allegations with evidence. 10. Considering the facts and circumstances of the matter, the appeal is allowed and the impugned order, directing the appellants to pay compensation and cost to the respondent, is set aside. However, no order as to costs. Appeal allowed.