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Gopalacharya Gautam v/s Chief Editor Himachal Dastak Media House & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- B K MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909MH2003PTC266323

Company & Directors' Information:- L AND C MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U92130TN2008PTC066197

Company & Directors' Information:- M C MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U92130MH1996PTC098640

Company & Directors' Information:- HIMACHAL DASTAK MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U93000CH2012PTC033575

Company & Directors' Information:- N D T HOUSE (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U33110MH2000PTC126194

Company & Directors' Information:- K P R MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900TG2015PTC099363

Company & Directors' Information:- HIMACHAL MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74300HP2011PTC031751

Company & Directors' Information:- ON THE HOUSE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101WB2000PTC091842

Company & Directors' Information:- D L MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U64204GJ2009PTC056328

Company & Directors' Information:- C D HOUSE INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC068483

Company & Directors' Information:- MEDIA 6 (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U22211TG2010PTC069036

Company & Directors' Information:- V L MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U22222UP2015PTC070065

Company & Directors' Information:- D A MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U22110DL2001PTC111926

Company & Directors' Information:- G & G MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900PN2013PTC149237

Company & Directors' Information:- H R MEDIA LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74300DL2005PLC143323

Company & Directors' Information:- J. M. MEDIA LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999DL2012PLC231621

Company & Directors' Information:- H. H. HOUSE PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U45201DL1981PTC012646

Company & Directors' Information:- N MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U92100TN2008PTC067723

Company & Directors' Information:- M C B HOUSE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52335DL1999PTC099967

Company & Directors' Information:- I E MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999MH1993PTC075096

Company & Directors' Information:- MEDIA HOUSE INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72900MH1995PTC084832

Company & Directors' Information:- J B MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74300TG2010PTC071519

Company & Directors' Information:- L K MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U22222UP2013PTC056644

Company & Directors' Information:- MEDIA INDIA LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74300BR1993PLC005422

Company & Directors' Information:- R G MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74999TG1994PTC018512

Company & Directors' Information:- A K HOUSE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70109WB1953PTC021083

Company & Directors' Information:- D. K. MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74900WB2012PTC187736

Company & Directors' Information:- U S MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74300DL1998PTC091530

Company & Directors' Information:- S & O MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U22190MH2010PTC211481

Company & Directors' Information:- N W MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U22219MH2008PTC178081

Company & Directors' Information:- K & V MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74300MH2008PTC188833

Company & Directors' Information:- K 4 MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74900TG2013PTC091049

Company & Directors' Information:- DASTAK MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U22219DL2015PTC288348

Company & Directors' Information:- K. P. MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72900DL2016PTC300245

Company & Directors' Information:- S & N MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74900BR2013PTC020667

Company & Directors' Information:- H A E MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999HR2011PTC042765

Company & Directors' Information:- R P MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U92130KA2013PTC071267

Company & Directors' Information:- M AND M MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74300DL2000PTC103350

Company & Directors' Information:- K MEDIA PVT. LTD. [Strike Off] CIN = U01222WB1991PTC053599

    First Appeal No. 163 of 2018

    Decided On, 04 July 2019

    At, West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Kolkata

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.S. RANA
    By, PRESIDENT
    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. VIJAY PAL KHACHI MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MS. SUNITA SHARMA
    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellant: Hoshiar Kaushal, Advocate. For the Respondents: None.



Judgment Text

1. Present appeal is filed under section 15 of Consumer Protection Act 1986 against order dated 25.05.2018 passed by Learned District Forum in consumer Whether reporters of the local papers may be allowed to see the order? Yes. complaint No.177/2016 titled Gopalacharya Gautam Versus The Chief Editor Himachal Dastak & Ors. Brief facts of consumer complaint:

2. Sh. Gopalacharya complainant filed consumer complaint under section 12 of Consumer Protection Act 1986 pleaded therein that on dated 13.04.2016 complainant visited office of opposite party No.2 to hand over some press note. It is pleaded that survey boy of opposite party No.2 was present in the office of opposite party No.3. It is pleaded that survey boy informed that Himachal Dastak Media Pvt. Ltd. has launched a scheme with one gift in the sum of Rs.450/-(Four hundred fifty) at the time of booking for supply of newspaper Himachal Dastak. It is pleaded that complainant was also informed that Himachal Dastak newspaper would be delivered continuously at the residence of complainant for six months at monthly rate of Rs.45/-(Forty five) per month. It is pleaded that complainant paid advanced amount of Rs.450/-(Four hundred fifty) to opposite party No.2 vide receipt No.115456 dated 13.04.2016. It is further pleaded that when in the month of June 2016 complainant did not receive newspaper then complaint was filed by complainant before opposite parties. It is pleaded that despite several requests newspaper was not supplied to complainant. It is pleaded that opposite parties committed deficiency in service. Complainant sought relief to the effect that opposite parties be directed to refund an advance amount of Rs.450/-(Four hundred fifty). In addition complainant also sought relief to the effect that opposite parties be directed to supply Himachal Dastak newspaper free of costs for a period of six months. In addition complainant sought relief of payment of compensation to the tune of Rs.10000/-(Ten thousand) alongwith interest @ 9% per annum. Complainant also sought any other relief which the Forum deems fit in the facts & circumstance of complaint. Prayer for acceptance of consumer complaint sought.

3. Opposite party No.1 did not file version and opposite party No.1 also did not appear before learned District Forum despite notice. Opposite party No.1 was proceeded ex- parte by learned District Forum. Per contra version filed on behalf of opposite parties No.2 & 3 pleaded therein that complainant is not consumer and complainant has no cause of action to file the consumer complaint. It is admitted that Himachal Dastak has launched a scheme in order to give incentives to subscribers and readers of Himachal Dastak newspaper. It is also admitted that complainant became subscriber of Himachal Dastak newspaper for a period of six months at the rate of Rs.45/-(Forty five) per month. It is pleaded that paper was to be delivered by agent Shri Narender. Prayer for dismissal of consumer complaint sought.

4. Complainant filed rejoinder and reasserted the allegations mentioned in the complaint. Learned District Forum dismissed consumer complaint. Feeling aggrieved against order passed by Learned District Forum complainant filed present appeal before State Commission.

5. None appeared on behalf of respondents before State Commission despite notice. Respondents were proceeded ex-parte by State Commission. We have heard learned Advocate appearing on behalf of appellant and we have also perused entire record carefully.

6. Following points arise for determination in present appeal.

1. Whether appeal filed by appellant is liable to be accepted as mentioned in memorandum of grounds of appeal and whether concept of res ipsa loquitur is attracted in the present matter and whether master is vicariously liable for the act of his agent?

2. Final order.

Findings upon point No.1 with reasons:

7. Complainant filed affidavit of Shri Narinder Kumar in evidence. There is recital in affidavit that deponent is running book stall in the name & style of Narinder Book Stall in Mandi town for the last several years. There is recital in affidavit that complainant is well known to deponent and deponent is supplying newspapers i.e. Amar Ujala and The Tribune regularly to complainant for last 7-8 years. There is recital in affidavit that deponent did not supply Himachal Dastak newspaper to complainant. There is recital in affidavit that Himachal Dastak Media Pvt. Ltd. or the agent of Himachal Dastak Media Pvt. Ltd. did not ask deponent to supply Himachal Dastak newspaper to complainant.

8. Opposite party No.3 filed affidavit of Shri Dharam Chand in evidence. There is recital in affidavit that deponent is posted as Bureau Chief/Reporter Himachal Dastak Lal Bhawan Building No.2/11 Seri Bazar District Mandi H.P. It is admitted that Himachal Dastak has launched a scheme in order to give incentive to subscriber or readers of Himachal Dastak newspaper. There is recital in affidavit that name of complainant is not recorded as subscriber of Himachal Dastak in official record. There is recital in affidavit that controversy is between complainant and supplying agent of newspaper who used to deliver newspaper in local area. There is further recital in affidavit that controversy is between Sh. Narinder Kumar Proprietor of book stall and complainant. There is recital in affidavit that complainant has no cause of action against opposite party No.3.

9. Submission of learned Advocate appearing on behalf of complainant that opposite parties did not supply Himachal Dastak newspaper to complainant despite receipt of advanced consideration amount of Rs.450/-(Four hundred fifty) from complainant on dated 13.04.2016 vide receipt No.11545 and order of learned District Forum warrants interference by State Commission is decided accordingly. State Commission has carefully perused cash receipt No.11545 dated 13.04.2016 issued by survey boy on behalf of Himachal Dastak Media Pvt. Ltd. It is proved on record that opposite parties have received advanced consideration amount from complainant to the tune of Rs.450/-(Four hundred fifty) @ Rs.45/-(Forty five) per month for supply of newspaper i.e. Himachal Dastak w.e.f. 01.05.2016 to 31.10.2016. It is also proved on record that opposite parties did not supply newspaper i.e. Himachal Dastak to complainant w.e.f. 01.05.2016 to 31.10.2016 despite receipt of advanced consideration amount to the tune of Rs.450/- (Four hundred fifty).

10. Complainant has filed affidavit of Sh. Narinder Kumar who is running book stall in the name & style of Narinder Book Stall in Mandi town. Sh. Narinder Kumar has specifically mentioned in his affidavit that complainant is well known to him and he is supplying newspaper i.e. Amar Ujala and The Tribune regularly to complainant for last 7-8 years. Sh. Narinder Kumar has specifically mentioned in his affidavit that no newspaper of Himachal Dastak was supplied to complainant by Sh. Narinder Kumar. Sh. Narinder Kumar has specifically mentioned in his affidavit that Himachal Dastak Media Pvt. Ltd. or agent of Himachal Dastak Media Pvt. Ltd. did not tell Sh. Narinder Kumar to supply Himachal Dastak newspaper to complainant.

11. State Commission is of the opinion that after receipt of advanced consideration amount by opposite parties to the tune of Rs.450/-(Four hundred fifty) opposite parties were under legal obligation to supply Himachal Dastak newspaper to complainant regularly w.e.f. 01.05.2016 to 31.10.2016. Deficiency on behalf of opposite parties for non supply of newspaper i.e. Himachal Dastak to complainant after receipt of advanced consideration amount is writ large in the present matter. Affidavit filed by Sh. Narinder Kumar is trustworthy, reliable and inspire confidence of State Commission. Opposite parties did not send any interrogatories to Sh. Narinder Kumar as per provision of Consumer Protection Act 1986. Hence adverse inference is drawn against opposite parties.

12. Affidavit filed by Shri Dharam Chand Bureau Chief/Reporter of Himachal Dastak Media Pvt. Ltd. is not helpful to opposite parties because material witness namely Shri Narinder Kumar has refuted the facts by way of counter affidavit. Opposite parties did not file any independent corroborative evidence in support of their version. Even opposite party No.3 did not send any interrogatories to Sh. Narinder Kumar as per Consumer Protection Act 1986.

13. State Commission is of the opinion that learned District Forum has wrongly applied ruling given by State Commission announced in F.A. No.353/2016 titled Hi Tech Satluj Motors Pvt. Ltd. v. Mr. Sonu & Anr. State Commission is of the opinion that facts of F.A. No.353/2016 titled Hi Tech Satluj Motors Pvt. Ltd. v. Mr. Sonu & Anr. and facts of present consumer complaint are entirely different and order announced by State Commission in F.A. No.353/2016 is distinguishable in the present matter.

14. State Commission is of the opinion that concept of res ipsa loquitur (The things speaks for itself) is operative in the present matter. It is well settled law that Consumer Protection Act 1986 is a special Act enacted by Parliament of India in order to protect interest of consumers. State Commission is of the opinion that learned District Forum and State Commission are under legal obligation to protect the interest of consumers on the concept of res ipsa loquitur as per laws and proved facts.

15. Plea of opposite parties No.2 & 3 in version that complainant has no locus standi and cause of action against opposite parties No.2 & 3 is decided accordingly. It is proved on record that Himachal Dastak Media Pvt. Ltd. has received advanced consideration amount from complainant on dated 13.04.2016 vide cash receipt for supply of newspaper i.e. Himachal Dastak for six months through its agent. State Commission is of the opinion that after receipt of advanced consideration amount for supply of newspaper for six months opposite parties could not be exonerated from liability. Opposite parties have not refuted cash receipt issued on behalf of Himachal Dastak Media Pvt. Ltd. dated 13.04.2016 in favour of complainant by authorised agent. State Commission is of the opinion that opposite parties No.1 & 3 are vicariously liable for the act and conduct of their agent. It is well settled law that master is vicariously liable for the act and conduct of his agent on the concept of vicarious liability. State Commission is of the opinion that it is not expedient in the ends of justice and on the principle of natural justice to exonerate opposite parties No.1 & 3 from liability. See III (2006) CPJ 8 (NC) titled K.G. Sathyanarayan v. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. & Ors., Also see 2005 (1) CPC 313 NC titled Neha Kumari & Anr. v. Apollo Hospital and Others, In view of above stated facts point No.1 is decided accordingly.

Point No.2: Final Order

16. In view of findings upon point No.1 above appeal is partly allowed. Order of learned District Forum is set aside. It is ordered that opposite parties jointly and severally shall refund advanced consideration amount of Rs.450/-(Four hundred fifty) to complainant alongwith interest @ 9% per annum from the date of institut

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ion of complaint till actual payment. 17. It is further ordered that opposite parties jointly and severally shall pay compensation to complainant aged 66 years who is Senior Citizen of India for mental agony and harassment to the tune of Rs.10000/-(Ten thousand). In addition it is ordered that opposite parties jointly and severally shall pay litigation costs to complainant to the tune of Rs.10000/-(Four hundred fifty). Opposite parties will comply the order within one month after the receipt of certified copy of order. Other relief sought by complainant declined in the ends of justice and on the principles of natural justice. 18. Cash receipt No.11545 dated 13.04.2016 issued by Himachal Dastak Media Pvt. Ltd. in favour of complainant for supply of newspaper for six months w.e.f. 01.05.2016 to 31.10.2016 through authorised agent shall form part and parcel of order. File of learned District Forum alongwith certified copy of order be sent back forthwith and file of State Commission be consigned to record room after due completion forthwith. Certified copy of order be transmitted to parties forthwith free of costs strictly as per rules. Appeal is disposed of. Pending application(s) if any also disposed of. Appeal disposed of.
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