At, Tamil Nadu State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Chennai
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE A. RAMAN
By, THE HONOURABLE MRS. R. VANAROJA
By, MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MR. PON. GUNASEKARAN
For the Appellant: S.L Rajesh, Advocate. For the Respondent: M/s. Sarvabhauman & Associates, Advocates.
A. Raman, President
1. The complainant deposited two cheques with the opposite party for collection each for Rs. 35,000/-. The amount was not collected and credited to the complainant’s account. Therefore, the complainant wrote to the opposite party. As there was no response, the complainant issued a notice through the Consumer Council. As it had no effect, the complainant sent another notice. The complainant is running a small unit. Therefore, the non-collection and crediting of the amount has seriously affected his business. Hence the complaint.
2. The opposite party contended that on 13.1.1997 a cheque for Rs. 35,000/- has been deposited by the complainant with the opposite party and another cheque for a sum of Rs. 35,000/- on 20.1.1997. The cheques were transmitted to New Delhi for collection through Karur Vysya Bank, Tirupur and from there to New Delhi Branch for realization from Bank of Maharashtra. The cheques were returned back to the opposite party Bank on 3.2.1997. The complainant after taking them back from the custody of the Bank, once again represented the same on 4.2.1997 and at the instance of the complainant the cheques were again sent for realization through the Karur Vysya Bank, New Delhi Branch. The cheques once again bounced. The cheques were returned to the opposite party from their New Delhi Branch and were handed over to the complainant. The complainant was thus aware that the cheques were not realized for want of funds. The cheques were returned on 17.3.1997 under certificate of postings with a covering letter. There is no deficiency in service. The opposite party is not liable in any manner to the complainant.
3. The lower Forum accepted the complaint and directed the opposite party to pay a sum of Rs. 20,000/- as compensation for mental agony and monetary loss and also a sum of Rs. 1,000/- as cost of the proceedings.
4. The opposite party would state that they returned the cheques on 17.3.1997 under a covering letter. Ex. B2 is the letter dated 17.3.1997 informing about the returned cheques and stating that they are being sent under certificate of posting. They have reiterated the same in their reply on 5.6.1997. In the proof affidavit filed by the complainant the complainant has not chosen to deny that the cheques were originally handed over to the opposite party on 13.1.1997 and 20.1.1997 and they were returned and again they were sent for collection at the insistence of the complainant. The complainant does not dispute the fact that the cheques were not realized. On both occasions, we find that the opposite party has collected Rs. 150/- each as charges for collection and debited the complainant’s account. The complainant has not chosen to mention anything about it. The lower Forum has made a mistake. It has rather considered a question which did not arise for consideration at all. There is nothing to show that there is any deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party. From the very fact that they have not responded to the letters of the complainant, no adverse inference can be drawn. We have proof in the shape of Ex. B-2 to the effect that the dishonoured cheques were returned to the complainant under certificate of posting. Then a presumption would arise and it is for the complainant to dislodge the presumption. But the complainant has failed to discharge the burden. The fact that no previous occasions the cheques were sent and were returned to the complainant since they were not honoured has been suppressed by the complainant, would show that the complainant has not come to the Forum with clean hands. It is also to be pointed out that the complainant has not chosen to take any steps against the person who issued those cheques. Perhaps, finding that he cannot make
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a claim against that person, he has chosen to rope in the opposite party. Hence, in the circumstances, we do not find any valid reason to sustain the order of the lower Forum. 5. Consequently this appeal is allowed, but in the circumstances without costs. The order passed by the lower Forum is set aside. The complaint will stand dismissed, but in the circumstances, without costs. Appeal allowed.