w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



Joint Labour Commissioner & Registering Officer & Another v/s Kesar Lal


Company & Directors' Information:- KESAR CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999MH1941PTC003348

Company & Directors' Information:- C. LAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909HR2012PLC046499

    Revision Petition No. 2312 of 2019

    Decided On, 25 October 2019

    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. PREM NARAIN
    By, MEMBER

    For the Appearing Parties: Vishal Meghwal, Milind Kumar, Advocates.



Judgment Text


1. The brief facts of the case are that the petitioner herein is a Welfare Board in the State of Rajasthan and runs a scheme of financial assistance to workers for their daughter's marriage. The case of the petitioner is that the respondent complainant applied for financial assistance under the scheme and his application was rejected on the ground that the application was not submitted before 90 days from the date of marriage as per provisions of the said scheme. It was further stated that against the rejection order, there is a provision in the scheme to file an appeal before the Secretary of the Welfare Board, however, that facility was not availed and a consumer complaint was filed before the District Forum being CC No.545/2014. The petitioner has taken an objection that the complainant is not a Consumer and District Forum dismissed the complaint by its order dated 06.10.2016. The complainant has preferred an appeal being FA No.1497 of 2016 and the State Commission has allowed the appeal vide its order dated 20.08.2019.

Hence the present revision petition.

2. Learned counsel stated that if the application is not filed in time, the same has to be rejected the Board. There is a provision that an appeal can be filed before the secretary of the Board, but no appeal was filed. Definitely, the complainant is not a consumer as per the provision of Consumer Protection Act, 1986. A sum of Rs.60/- has been paid under the scheme as fees for the identity card under the scheme and hence no consideration has been paid for availing the financial assistance and moreover the Welfare Board is not a service provider.

3. I have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner at the admission stage. It is seen that the State Commission has allowed the complaint and has directed the petitioner to pay Rs.51,000/- as per the provision of the scheme for financial assistance and has awarded Rs.10,000/- as compensation for mental agony and cost of Rs.5,000/-. For these amounts, the State Commission has awarded 18% p.a. interest also from the date of filing of the complaint. It is seen from the record and the same has been verified by the learned counsel for the petitioner that no communication was sent to the complainant by the petitioner before rejecting the application advising him to file the application for condonation of delay or to explain the reason for delay.

4. If the petitioner is working as a Welfare Board, it was the duty of the Welfare Board to have apprised the complainant about his mistake and should have advised to rectify the same, however, it seems that this was not done and straightaway, the application was dismissed.

5. Coming to the question of complainant not being a consumer, it is seen that a sum of Rs.60/- has been charged as premium under the scheme and therefore it cannot be said that there is no consideration for the scheme. Clearly, the financial assistance is being paid by the Govt. but this does not mean that a legible person can be denied benefit under the scheme. Further it is seen that the order is for only Rs.51,000/- which is not a big amount and the petitioner herein is Govt. agency. In this context, it is important to note that Hon'ble Supreme Court in Gurgaon Gramin Bank Vs. Khazani & Anr., (2012) 4 CPJ 5 (SC), as paltry amount is involved, has observed the following:

"2. Number of litigations in our country is on the rise, for small and trivial matters, people and sometimes Central and State Governments and their instrumentalities Banks, nationalized or private, come to courts may be due to ego clash or to save the Officers' skin. Judicial system is over-burdened, naturally causes delay in adjudication of disputes. Mediation centers opened in various parts of our country have, to some extent, eased the burden of the courts but we are still in the tunnel and the light is far away. On more than one occasion, this court has reminded the Central Government, State Governments and other instrumentalities as well as to the various banking institutions to take earnest efforts to resolve the disputes at their end. At times, some give and take attitude should be adopted or both will sink. Unless, serious questions of law of general importance arise for consideration or a question which affects large number of persons or the stakes are very high, Courts jurisdiction cannot be invoked for resolution of small and trivial matters. We are really disturbed by the manner in which those types of matters are being brought to courts even at the level of Supreme Court of India and this case falls in that category ."

6. The Apex Court further held;

"10. The Chief Manager stated in the affidavit that no bill was raised by the counsel for the bank for conducting the matter before the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission. We have not been told how much money has been spent by the bank officers for their to and fro journeys to the lawyers' office, to the District Forum, State Forum, National Commission and, to the Supreme Court. For a paltry amount of 15,000/-even according to the affidavit, bank has already spent a total amount of 12,950/- leaving aside the time spent and other miscellaneous expenses spent by the officers of the bank for to and fro expenses etc. Further, it may be noted that the District Forum had awarded 3,000/-towards cost of litigation and compensation for the harassment caused to Smt. Khazani. Adding this amount, the cost goes up to 15,950/-. Remember, the buffalo had died 10 years back, but the litigation is not over, fight is still on for 15,000/-.

11. Learned counsel appearing for the bank, Shri Amit Grover, submitted that though the amount involved is not very high but the claim was fake and on inspection by the insurance company, no tag was found on the dead body of the buffalo and hence the insurer was not bound to make good the loss, consequently the bank had to proceed against Smt. Khazani.

12. We are of the view that issues raised before us are purely questions of facts examined by the three forums including the National Disputes Redressal Commission and we fail to see what is the important question of law to be decided by the Supreme Court. In our view, these types of litigation should be discouraged and message should also go, otherwise for all trivial and silly matters people will rush to this court.

13. Gramin Bank like the appellant should stand for the benefit of the gramins who sometimes avail of loan for buying buffaloes, to purchase agricultural implements, manure, seeds and so on. Repayment, to a large extent, depends upon the income which they get out of that. Crop failure, due to drought or natural calamities, disease to cattle or their death may cause difficulties to gramins to repay the amount. Rather than coming to their rescue, banks often drive them to litigation leading them extreme penury. Assuming that the bank is right, but once an authority like District Forum takes a view, the bank should graciously accept it rather than going in for further litigation and even to the level of Supreme Court. Driving poor gramins to various litigative forums should be strongly deprecated because they have also to spend large amounts for conducting litigation. We condemn this type of practice, unless the stake is very high or the matter affects large number of persons or affects a general policy of the Bank which has far reaching consequences.

14. We, in this case, find no error in the decisions taken by all fact finding authorities including the National Disputes Redressal Commission. The appeal is accordingly dismissed with cost of 10,000/- to be paid by the bank to the first respondent within a period of one month. Resultantly, the Bank now has to spend altogether 25,950/- for a claim of 15,000/-, apart from to and fro travelling expenses of the Bank officials. Let God save the Gramins."

7. From the above observation of Hon'ble Supreme Court, it is clear that for a small amount, it is not necessary for a Govt. agency to challenge the same and spend further money for two stages of litigation, as the total money spent may be more than what has been ordered by the court.

8. I

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n this context, this Commission would not like to interfere with the order passed by the State Commission which in any case seems to be a valid and legal order except that the interest granted on different amounts @ 18% p.a. is very high for which there is no justification and the same is reduced to 9% p.a. 9. This order is being passed without notice to the respondent so that the respondent does not spend any further amount in litigation. However, even if respondent is aggrieved by this Order, he can approach this Commission. 10. Based on the above discussion, the order of the State Commission is modified to the extent that the petitioner shall pay interest @ 9% p.a. instead of 18% p.a. as awarded by the State Commission on all the amounts ordered. Rest of the order of the State Commission remains unchanged. 11. The revision petition No.2312 of 2019 is accordingly disposed of.
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