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M.Satyanarayana & Others v/s M/s Farm Vision Agritech Rep. by its Managing Partner Obileshu & Others


    Decided On, 04 March 2011

    At, Andhra Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Hyderabad


    For the Appellant : K.Parandhama Chary, Advocate. For the Respondent : V. Ravindranath Reddy, Advocate.

Judgment Text

Oral Order (As per Sri R.Lakshminarasimha Rao, Hon’ble Member)

1. The unsuccessful appellants are the appellants.

2. The brief facts of the case as seen from the complaint are that on 29.5.2004 the appellant no1 purchased 300 packets of kaddi variety of F1 Hybrid chilli seeds @ `220/- per packet and on 3.6.2004 they had purchased 30 packets of same variety of each weighing 10 grams by paying a total amount of `72,600/- from the respondent no.1. The respondent no.3 is the manufacturer of the seeds. After purchase of the seeds the appellants have planted the seedlings in their lands by following the instructions of the respondents no.1 and 2. The appellants have applied manure and pesticides as directed by the respondents no.1 and 2. The appellants spent a total amount of `7,25,000/- for raising chilli crop in Ac.29.10 towards cultivation expenses apart from the cost of the chilli seeds. The appellants have taken all the steps by using fertilizers and pesticides, and they appellants got only 2 to 3 quintals of chillies per acre and also the size and length of the chilli did not grow to the size as mentioned in the pamphlet issued by the respondents no.1 and2. The weight of the each chilli is below one gram. The plants are withering and chillies are of light weight and the colour of the chillies was also entirely different. There is no market for the chillies crop of the appellants. The appellants requested the respondents no.1 and 2 to inspect the lands, they failed to do the same. If the lands have been leased out to the third parties, the appellants would have got `10,000/- to `12,000/- per acre. The appellants sustained loss of `2,90,000/- towards lease amount. There is a deficiency in service on the part of the respondents in supplying the duplicate seeds to the appellants.

3. The respondent no.3 filed counter which was adopted by the respondents no.1 and 2. The respondent no.3 contended that they had not assured about the yield of the crop and marketable rates of the crop. The yield of the crop depends upon the application of manure, fertilizers, water source, controlling of pests and diseases to the crop and over all these, nature of soil. The respondent no.2 has no concern to do with the field work and he is only distributor of third respondent company for Anantapur District. The appellants have not filed any evidence that they are the owners of the lands and they cultivated the chilli crop. The respondents visited the plot at Adoni in the month of April, 2003 and satisfied themselves with the yield of the crop and the appellants no.2 to 5 had not purchased the seeds. The appellant no.1 purchased 3300 grams of the seeds from the respondent no.1 which covers 33.00 acres but not Ac.29.10. The crop duration of the chilli is six months from the date of sowing and the crop would have been completed by the month of December 2004. The complaint was filed in the month of March 2005. The appellants have not quantified and assessed their claim for `14,37,600/-.

4. The appellant no.1 filed affidavit on his behalf and on behalf of the appellants no.2 to 5 and Exs.A1 to A13 and MO1 were marked. On behalf of the respondents, T.C.Narasimhulu, Field Assistant of respondent no.3 filed his affidavit and no documents were marked on their behalf. Exs.C1 to C9 were marked.

5. The District Forum dismissed the complaint on the ground that except the self serving statements of the appellants that the seeds are of inferior quality there is no other material to show that the seeds are defective and that the appellants incurred pecuniary loss.

6. Feeling aggrieved by the order of the District Forum, the appellants preferred the appeal contending that the respondents no.1 and 3 had cheated them by selling spurious seeds and that all the respondents are liable to pay the amount towards compensation as also that the advocate’s commissioner’s report had given their case staunch support as to the substandard quality of seeds.

7. The respondents filed their written arguments.

8. The point for consideration is whether the respondents no.1 to 3 had rendered deficient service and whether the respondents sold defective seeds to the appellants?

9. The appellants are owners of the lands at Kalludevalapalli village of bommana hal Mandal. In the month of May 2004, the appellants had purchased 330 packets chilli seeds from the respondent no.1 which was manufactured by the respondent no3 and they found that the crop had not come within 75 days and yield had not started after 45 days as mentioned by the respondents no.1 and 2 despite the fact that they had used the proper pesticides and fertilizers.

10. An advocate commissioner was appointed and he had reported that the crop was more than 180 days old and harvest period of crop was over by the time he inspected the field and he found that the crop was infested with dried branches, without any foliation and fruits.

11. The appellants had not informed the respondents no.1 to 3 as to the shortage of yield and the fruitless plant at any time till they filed the complaint and got the commissioner appointed to inspect the field. By the time the commissioner visited the field harvest was over. The District Forum has recorded its finding that the commissioner had exceeded his power than what was conferred on him by virtue of the warrant. The District forum opined that in case of failure of crops two tests necessarily have to be conducted of which the first one is yield test and the next one is laboratory test.

12. The Laboratory Test was not conducted either by the appellants or by the respondents. Insofar as the yield test is concerned, a competent officer or a scientist only can be considered as eligible person to express his opinion as to the examination of leaves and inspection of fruits as also whether proper distance is maintained between the plants and whether the appellants had administered pesticides and fertilizers besides the provision of irrigation which are all mandatory for coming to a conclusion as to the nature of substandard quality of the chilli seeds supplied by the respondents to the appellants.

13. The counsel for the appellant had placed reliance on the following decisions:

1. South Eastern Seeds Corporation Vs. R.Shekhar @ Sridhar reported in I (2008) CPJ 158 (NC)

2. M.Subba Rao Vs Avula Venkata Reddy reported in I (2008) CPJ 269 (NC)

13. The decisions relied upon by the counsel for the appellants are not applicable to the facts of the case.

14. In Syngenta India Ltd., (Earlier Novartis India Ltd.,) Vs Velaga Narasimha Rao and others reported in 2010 CTJ 381, the National Commission held that in the absence of any proof that the seeds are defective, it cannot be held that the complainant is entitled to the finding that there was deficiency in service and the seeds sold by the producer and the dealer are defective. It was held that

' the State Commission came to the finding of deficiency in service under the following words ' Taking into consideration the fact of low yield and also that the seed is effected (SIS) by virus, we are of the consideration opinion that there is deficiency of (SIC) service on the part of the opposite party'. The impugned order contains no discussion of the 'service' that the state commission had in mind far less of the 'deficienc

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y' therein……. It is also not that the State Commission should come to a finding of defective seeds, for there was no possibility of such finding in the absence of proper testing of seeds and the seeds in question were certainly not tested at any stage'. In the light of the decision of the National Commission and in view of the complainant’s failure to get tested the seed or crop by an Agricultural Officer or a Scientist, it is difficult to find any defect in the seeds supplied or any deficiency in service rendered by the respondents no.1 to 3. We do not see any reason to interfere with the findings recorded by the District forum. 16. In the result the appeal is dismissed confirming the order of the District Forum. In the circumstances of the case, there shall be no order as to costs.