Dr. B.C. Gupta, Presiding Member
This revision petition has been filed under section 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 against the impugned order dated 17.04.2017, passed by the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (hereinafter referred to as ‘the State Commission’) in M.A. No. 755/2017, filed in First Appeal No. 247/2017, vide which the said MA, seeking condonation of delay in filing the appeal, were ordered to be dismissed and consequently, the main appeal No. 247/2017 was also dismissed. The said appeal had been filed against the order dated 20.07.2016, passed by the District Consumer Redressal Forum Mohali in CC No. 47/2016, vide which, the consumer complaint filed by the present respondent had been allowed.
2. Briefly stated, the facts of the case are that the respondent/complainant M.L. Bhardwaj, who was working as Chief Manager in Vijaya Bank Bangalore, upon his retirement, hired the services of the Petitioner/Opposite Party (OP) for packing and moving his household articles and car etc. from Bangalore to Zirakpur near Chandigarh. A sum of Rs.69,398/- was charged by the OP for the said service from the complainant. Upon delivery at the destination, the articles in the consignment were found to be badly damaged and also drenched in rain water. The complainant took-up the matter with the OP on telephone/e-mail etc., whereupon he was assured by the OP that the articles shall be repaired and compensation for loss would be given. A representative of the OP visited the house of the complainant and prepared a report on the damaged articles. The complainant alleged that the OP did not take adequate steps to provide compensation etc. There was also delay in the delivery of the car etc. The complainant filed the consumer complaint in question, seeking refund of a sum of Rs.69,398/- spent for transportation and Rs.4,000/- as unloading charges and compensation of Rs.1 lakh for mental agony etc. alongwith Rs.30,000/- towards cost of litigation. A sum of Rs.10,000/- was also demanded as compensation for the late delivery of the car, saying that the complainant had to arrange a private transport during the period of late delivery.
3. In proceedings before the District Forum, the petitioner/OP-1 did not put in appearance despite due service of notice upon them. The District Forum vide their order dated 20.07.2016 allowed the consumer complaint and gave the following directions to the OPs :-
'(a) to refund a sum of Rs.69,398/- (Rs. Sixty nine thousand three hundred ninety eight only) alongwith interest @9% per annum w.e.f. 02.04.2015 till realisation, charged for transportation in order to indemnify the complainant against all the damages caused to the household articles during transportation.
(b) to pay a lump sum compensation of Rs.50,000/- (Rs. Fifty thousand only) on account of mental agony, harassment and cost of litigation.'
4. Being aggrieved against the above order of the District Forum, the petitioner challenged the same by way of an appeal before the State Commission. Miscellaneous Application No. 755/2017 was filed before the State Commission, seeking condonation of delay of 166 days in filing the said appeal. Vide impugned order, the State Commission did not find any sufficient ground for the condonation of huge delay of 166 days in filing the said appeal and rejected application No. 755/2017. Consequently, the main appeal was also ordered to be dismissed. Being aggrieved against the order of the State Commission, the petitioner is before this Commission by way of the present revision petition.
5. The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner was heard in detail. There is a delay of 68 days in filing the present revision petition as well. An application seeking condonation of delay in filing the petition has been filed in which, it has been stated as follows:-
'3. That the impugned judgment of the Ld. State Commission, Punjab, was passed on 17.04.2017, which was not within the knowledge of the Revisionist/Petitioner as the same was not informed by the counsel of the petitioner.
4. That the petitioner came to know about the aforesaid order when the recovery warrant was received at the head office of the petitioner.
5. That after come into his knowledge, without any further delay, the instant Revision Petition is being instituted.'
6. A perusal of the impugned order dated 17.04.2017 made by the State Commission reveals that Sh. Nilesh Kumar, Advocate was present before the State Commission on behalf of the petitioners on that day. The petitioners are, therefore, supposed to be in the knowledge of the impugned order made by the State Commission against them. The contention of the petitioner in the application for condonation of delay, that their counsel did not covey the order dated 17.04.2017 to them, cannot be accepted as the petitioners have not attached any statement or affidavit of the said Advocate, which could justify the plea taken by them. It is held, therefore, that there are no convincing and cogent reasons, which may justify the contention of delay of 68 days in filing the present revision petition and hence, the revision petition is ordered to be dismissed on grounds of delay alone.
7. Further, a perusal of the order of State Commission also reveals that there was a delay of 166 days in filing the appeal before the State Commission. On record, a copy of the application for condonation of delay made before the State Commission, has also been attached, in which it has been stated that the impugned order of the District Forum was not received by the petitioners/OPs and they came to know of the same on 01.03.2017 during execution proceedings. The petitioners/OPs have, however, failed to explain, as to why they did not appear before the District Forum, when notice of the consumer complaint was sent to them. The order passed by the District Forum reveals that a registered notice was duly sent to both the OPs. The AD card for the service of notice upon OP-1 was received back with their signatures. The service was also affected on petitioner No. 2/OP-2, as per tracking report of the India Post. In the light of these facts, the State Commission have rightly observed that there were no sufficient grounds for the condonation of delay of 166 days in filing the appeal before the State Commission. Further, the State Commission rightly relied upon a judgment made by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in 'Anshul Aggarwal vs. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority', [IV (2011) CPJ 63 (SC)]. We have no reasons to differ with the conclusions arrived at by the State
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Commission. 8. It is evident from the above facts that the petitioners chose not to appear before the District Forum in the first instance, despite delivery of notice to them. They have nowhere denied that the said notice was not received by them. Further, there was a delay of 166 days in filing appeal before the State Commission and now, there is another delay of 68 days in filing the present revision petition. Based on all these facts, we are not inclined to grant any relief to the petitioners/OPs in the present revision petition. The revision petition is ordered to be dismissed on grounds of limitation as well as on merits and the impugned order passed by the State Commission is upheld. There shall be no order as to costs.