At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE K.S. CHAUDHARI
By, PRESIDING MEMBER
For the Petitioner: Harshit Sanwal, Advocate. For the Respondent: Amandeep Singh, Vinay Ranjan, Advocates.
1. This revision petition has been filed by the petitioners against the order dated 4.9.2014 passed by the W.B. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Kolkata (in short, ‘the State Commission’) in Appeal No. 141/2013 – Max New York Life Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Sudeep Kumar Chakaraborty by which, appeal was dismissed in default.
2. Brief facts of the case are that Complainant/Respondent filed complaint before District Forum and District Forum vide order dated 31.10.2012 allowed complaint against which, appeal was filed by OP/petitioner before State Commission which was dismissed in default by impugned order against which, this revision petition has been filed.
3. Heard learned Counsel for the parties and perused record.
4. Learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that Advocate of the petitioner neither appeared before State Commission, nor gave NOC for appointing another Advocate, hence, petitioner could not engage another Advocate and appeal was dismissed in default which may be restored. On the other hand, learned Counsel for the respondent submitted that since last many dates, petitioner was not appearing before State Commission and delaying fruits of order passed by District Forum; hence, revision petition be dismissed.
5. Perusal of record reveals that Counsel for the petitioner was present before State Commission on 21.2.2013, 21.3.2013, 19.4.2013, 26.7.2013, 4.9.2013 and 23.10.2013, but Counsel for the petitioner was not present before State Commission on 16.4.2014 and on that date one of the Members was not present and matter was adjourned. Counsel for the petitioner did not appear on 12.8.2014 and 4.9.2014 and appeal was dismissed in default.
6. It is true that petitioner or his Counsel should have appeared before State Commission on 12.8.2014 and 4.9.2014, but learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that Counsel for the petitioner expressed some personal difficulty in conducting the case, but she did not give NOC for engaging another Advocate and petitioner was under an impression that his Advocate will continue to represent till another Advocate is engaged, but she did not appear and in such circumstances, there was no negligence on the part of petitioner and impugned order be set aside. This fact has not been controverted by learned Counsel for the respondent that petitioner’s Counsel appearing before State Commission has declined to conduct proceedings further. Petitioner’s Counsel should have either appeared before State Commission or should have given NOC for engaging another Advocate and in such circumstances; order dismissing appeal in default is to be set aside.
7. Learned Counsel for the respondent placed reliance on judgment of this Commission in R.P. 1269 of 2012 – M/s. Ram Engineering Vs. Shri Nagorao P. Gangaram Mirkute & Ors. in which application for condonation of delay was dismissed as no reason was given for non-appearance before State Commission for four hearings. In the case in hand there is no delay in filing revision petition and only on two occasions Counsel for the petitioner did not appear before State Commission for which, reasonable explanation has been given by the petitioner in revision petition. He has also placed reliance on judgment of this Commission in R.P. No. 3048 of 2011 – M/s. Arihant Builders & Ors. Vs. Gaurav Anand Co-op. Hsg. Society Ltd. by which, delay of 288 days in filing revision petition was not condoned and it was also observed that there was gross negligence on the part of petitioner in not appearing before State Commission. Facts of the aforesaid case are not applicable to the present case as there is no delay in filing revision petition and reasonable explanation has been given for absence.
8. In the light of aforesaid discussion the revision petition is to be allowed and impugned order is liable to set aside.
9. Consequently, revision petition filed by the petitio
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ner is allowed and order dated 4.9.2014 passed by the State Commission in Appeal No. 141/2013 – Max New York Life Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Sudeep Kumar Chakaraborty is set aside subject to payment of cost of Rs.5,000/- to the respondent on or before the date before the State Commission and State Commission is further directed to proceed as per law. 10. Parties are directed to appear before the State Commission on 16.02.2015.