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Dr. N. Rajendra Prasad & Others v/s Lingampally Srinivas & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- PRASAD CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32301TN1994PTC028160

Company & Directors' Information:- PRASAD AND CO. PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U67120DL1995PTC068088

Company & Directors' Information:- M. PRASAD AND CO LIMITED [Active] CIN = U67120WB1999PLC090325

Company & Directors' Information:- RAJENDRA LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U99999KA1943PLC000306

Company & Directors' Information:- H PRASAD & CO PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51109WB1944PTC011797

Company & Directors' Information:- RAJENDRA CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U17219TZ1948PTC000161

    CCIA Nos. 1195, 1285 of 2019 In CC No. 100 of 2019

    Decided On, 06 January 2020

    At, Telangana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Hyderabad

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE M.S.K. JAISWAL
    By, PRESIDENT & THE HONOURABLE MRS. MEENA RAMANATHAN
    By, MEMBER

    For the Petitioners: M/s. Gopi Rajesh & Associates, Advocates. For the Respondents: R1 R R2, V. Gouri Sankara Rao, R3 to R5, D. Suresh, R6 & R7, M/s. K. Raghava Reddy, Advocates.



Judgment Text


MSK Jaiswal, President

Oral:

CCIA No. 1195/2019:

This is an application filed by the Petitioner/Opposite party No.4 seeking to dismiss the complaint bearing CC No.100/2019 filed by the Respondents/ Complainants as not maintainable within the ambit of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

CCIA No. 1285/2019:

This is an application filed by the Petitioner/Opposite party No.5 seeking to dismiss the complaint bearing CC No.100/2019 filed by the Respondents/ Complainants as vexatious and frivolous.

2. These two applications are to be disposed of by a common order inasmuch as they arise and raise the similar question of facts and law.

3. Both the applications are filed by the Opposite parties questioning the maintainability of the consumer complaint on the ground that the Opposite parties are not amenable to the jurisdiction of the Consumer Court inasmuch as the services which they are rendering are absolutely free of cost and there is no consideration being paid so as to attract the provisions of Section-2(1)(d) (ii) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

4. Admittedly, the case of the Respondents/Complainants is that he underwent the treatment in the hospital of Opposite party No.1, which is a government run hospital. It is not as though that any of the services which the Opposite party No.1 is rendering on payment basis nor is there any allegation that there is any facility for any of the patients to avail the treatment. on payment basis. Therefore, it is a clear case where the Opposite parties are rendering the treatment to the patients free of cost and at the cost of the State.

5. It may be noted that as per the provisions of Section-2(1)(d)(ii) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, in order to attract the jurisdiction of this Commission. The Complainant should hire or avail services for a consideration. In the absence of any consideration, the Complainant cannot seek redressal of his grievance under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

6. While admitting the consumer complaint, the learned counsel appearing for the Complainant relied upon the decision of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, reported in AIR 2015 SC 2856, in the matter of V.Krishnakumar v. State of Tamilnadu and others, decided on 01.07.2015.

7. On appearance, the Opposite parties have filed the applications in hand contending that the main consumer complaint itself is not maintainable and it will be nothing short of vexatious harassment and untold hardship being caused to the Opposite parties if they are made to face the inquiry in the main complaint.

8. The learned counsel appearing for the Petitioners/Opposite parties relied upon a decision of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, in the matter of Indian Medical Association v. V.P. Shantha and another, decided on 13.11.1995 reported in 1995 Law Suit (SC) 1073, wherein, in paragraph-56 (1), a three Bench Judge of the Supreme Court observed as under:

"Service rendered to a patient by a medical practitioner (except where the doctor renders service free of charge to every patient or under a contract of personal service), by way of consultation, diagnosis and treatment, both medicinal and surgical, would fall within the ambit of 'service" as defined in Section-2(1)(o) of the Act."

(emphasis supplied)

9. A bare perusal of the above dicta laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India leaves no room for doubt that in order to attract the jurisdiction of the Consumer Protection Act, there should be a consideration paid and collected and if the services are rendered free, the same do not come within the purview of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

10. The decision reported in Indian Medical Association v. V.P. Shantha and another is rendered in the year 1995 but the Judgment is rendered by three Hon'ble Judges. Whereas, the Judgment relied upon by the Complainant is a decision of two Hon'ble Judges. Therefore, it is manifest that the Judgment rendered subsequently by a two Judges Bench of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in V. Krishnakumar v. State of Tamilnadu and others cannot be relied upon inasmuch as obviously the law laid down by Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in a larger Bench decision reported in Indian Medical Association v. V.P.Shantha and another was not brought to the notice of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. Therefore, we have no option except to rely upon the decision of the Supreme Court rendered by larger Bench in Indian Medical Association

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v. V.P.Shantha and another, wherein it is clearly laid down that any services availed by any consumer without there being any consideration cannot avail the remedies provided under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. 11. Therefore, we are not inclined to continue the proceedings further. Hence, the complaint is liable to be dismissed. 12. In the result, both the interlocutory applications are accordingly allowed and the consumer complaint is dismissed but in the circumstances, no costs.
O R







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