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M/s. Jain Irrigation System Ltd., Through its Authorized Signatory & Others v/s Ranjit Singh Jamwal

    First Appeal No: 34 of 2012

    Decided On, 25 March 2013

    At, Himachal Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Shimla

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE (RETD.) SURJIT SINGH
    By, PRESIDENT
    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. CHANDER SHEKHAR SHARMA
    By, MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MRS. PREM CHAUHAN
    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellants: S.C. Katoch, Advocate. For the Respondent: Chetan Viraj, Advocate.



Judgment Text

Oral:

Surjit Singh (Retd.), President:

1. Appellants are aggrieved by the order dated 21.11.2011, of learned District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Kangra at Dharamshala, whereby a complaint, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, filed against them, by respondent Ranjit Singh, has been allowed and they have been ordered to complete the construction of poly-house within 30 days and also to pay Rs.20,000/- as compensation for actual damage caused to baby plants, Rs.10,000/- on account of compensation for mental pain, harassment, inconvenience etc. and Rs.5,000/-, as litigation expenses.

2. Respondent Ranjit Singh, in accordance with a scheme of Department of Agriculture of Himachal Pradesh, wanted to construct a poly house. He submitted project report to the department concerned. His project was approved and the appellants, who were one of the selected agencies, for execution of the scheme, were required by the department to construct the poly-house for the respondent, who thereafter paid a sum of Rs.43,250/- to the appellants, in accordance with the scheme.

3. An agreement was executed on 13.08.2009, in terms of which construction of the poly-house was to be completed within 90 days of the delivery of the levelled site. Respondent alleged that despite his having delivered the site even before the execution of the aforesaid agreement dated 13.08.2009, construction of the poly-house had not been completed, due to which he suffered financial losses, as the saplings and baby plants, procured by him, got damaged. It is also alleged that the respondent felt harassed and was also subjected to inconvenience. Compensation was claimed on this count under separate head.

4. Appellants contested the complaint and pleaded that the site for construction of poly-house had been made available by the respondent much after the execution of the agreement, due to which construction started late. Also, it was stated that the site, which was handed over, was joint of the respondent and his brothers, with regard to which a civil suit had been filed against the respondent by his brothers, and this litigation was another reason for delay in the completion of construction.

5. Learned District Forum concluded that the appellants failed to complete the construction within the stipulated period of 90 days. With regard to the appellants’ plea that the site, on which poly-house was constructed, was in dispute, and a civil suit had been filed by the brothers of the respondent against him, learned District Forum has concluded that the civil suit was filed in the month of April, 2004, while according to the appellants, they had completed the construction in January, 2010. With these findings and observations, learned District Forum allowed the complaint and directed the appellants to complete the construction of the poly-house within 30 days and also to pay compensation and costs, as aforesaid.

6. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and gone through the record.

7. Admittedly, litigation between the respondent and his brothers started in the month of April, 2010. It is appellants’ own case that they had completed the construction of the poly-house on 11.01.2010. That means appellants’ plea that construction of the poly-house got delayed due to civil litigation between the complainant/respondent and his brothers, is nothing but a sly for the delay caused in the construction.

8. As per agreement executed between the respondent and the appellants, construction of the poly-house was to be completed within 90 days. Copy of the agreement is Annexure C-2. Appellants have not indicated the date, on which the site was handed over to them by respondent. Respondent has stated that the site already stood delivered to the appellants, when the agreement, Annexure C-2, was executed. Non-disclosure of the date of the delivery of the site by the appellants in their reply, lends support to the respondent’s plea that he had already handed over the site to the appellants, when the agreement was executed.

9. Date of the execution of the agreement is 13.08.2009. It is the appellants’ own case that they had completed the construction of poly-house on 11.01.2010, or say more-than 55 days after the expiry of 90 days’ time limit. There is no justification for this delay. Delay must have caused anxiety and a feeling of harassment to the respondent, for which he needs to be suitably compensated.

10. Though, there is no evidence in support of the allegation that seedlings and baby plants were purchased and they got damaged due to non-completion of the poly-house within time, yet the respondent deserves to be suitably compensated for non-utilization of the site of the poly-house for a period of 55 days and this must have caused some pecuniary loss to him. In the absence of any evidence, we assume the loss not to be more-than Rs.10,000/-. For the harassment, we feel that the respondent deserves to be awarded another sum of Rs.10,000/-. Thus, the total amount of compensation payable to him works out at Rs.20,000/-. Learned District Forum has awarded Rs.20,000/-, on account of damage caused to the baby plants. This

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part of the order is modified by the order that respondent is entitled to compensation of Rs.10,000/-, on account of non-utilization of the site of the poly-house for a period of 55 days. 11. With the aforesaid modification, appeal is partly allowed. It is made clear that order of the learned District Forum stands modified to the extent that appellant shall pay a total sum of Rs.20,000/- on account of compensation and costs of Rs.5,000/-, as awarded by the learned District Forum. 12. One copy of this order be sent to each of the parties, free of cost, as per Rules.
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