At, Supreme Court of India
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R. SUBHASH REDDY
For the Appellants: Ashwani Kumar, AOR, Rajesh Mahale, AOR, Daya Krishan Sharma, AOR. For the Respondents: Anoop Kr. Srivastav, AOR, R.N. Pareek, G. Shiv Kumar, Vijay Pal Sharma, P.K. Sinha, Advocates, Basava Prabhu S. Patil, Sr. Advocate, Shailesh Madiyal, AOR, Sudhanshu Prakash, Kartik Anand, Advocates.
R. Subhash Reddy, J.1. This civil appeal is filed, by the complainant(s) in Consumer Case No.1361 of 2015 filed before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (for short, ‘NCDRC’), aggrieved by the order dated 09.01.2017.2. The aforesaid complaint is filed by the appellant Monu Kumar and 32 others. In the joint complaint, it is alleged that there is deficiency of service on the part of the respondent-opposite party in respect of Buyer’s agreement executed between the respective complainants and the opposite party. As the complaint was filed under Section 12(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (for short, ‘the Act’), by number of consumers having the same interest, they sought permission to file a joint complaint by filing separate application. In the application for permission to file joint complaint in Consumer Case No.1361 of 2015, the following order was passed on 27.11.2015 :“Dated 27 Nov 2015ORDERLearned counsel for the complainants present. Arguments heard.The case stands admitted.Notice be issued to opposite party returnable on 2.8.2016 with the direction to the opposite party to file the written version within 30 days from the date of receipt of notice as per Section 13 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Time of 15 days can be extended by filing an application by the opposite party. In case, the written version is not filed within the aforesaid period, the right of the opposite party to file the written version shall stand forfeited.JJ.M. MALIK PRESIDING MEMBERJDR. S.M. KANTIKAR MEMBER”Having admitted the Consumer Case and issued notice, the impugned order is passed rejecting the application for grant of permission to file joint complaint under Section 12(1)(c) of the Act and consequently rejecting the complaint filed.3. We have heard learned counsels on both sides, perused the impugned order and other material on record. As much as complaint was filed on behalf of number of individual consumers, an application was filed seeking permission to file joint complaint and after hearing the arguments of the learned counsel, case was admitted and notice was issued. Though expressly it is not stated that permission is granted in the application seeking permission to file joint complaint, but in view of the fact that admission of the complaint is recorded in the order dated 27.11.2015 and notice was issued the permission is to be read as inherent in the order of admission. When the specific application was moved seeking permission for filing joint application and having passed order of admission by issuing notice on such application, the Commission ought not to have rejected the application by the impugned order. The grant of permission is to be read inherently into the order dated 27.11.2015.4. For the aforesaid
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reasons, the impugned order is set aside, matter is remitted back to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi with a direction to consider the matter afresh and dispose of the complaint case on its own merits. The civil appeal is accordingly allowed with a direction as indicated above.