At, Andhra Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Hyderabad
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE GOPALA KRISHNA TAMADA
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. S. BHUJANGA RAO
By, MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MR. R. LAKSHMINARASIMHA RAO
For the Appellants: M/s. Laxminarayana & Associates, Advocates. For the Respondent: M/s. V. Manoj Kumar, Advocate.
Oral Order: (GopalakrishnaTamada, President)
The opposite parties 1 and 2 are the appellants and this appeal is directed against the order dated 26-11-2012 made in C.C.No.314/2012 on the file of District Forum-I, Hyderabad whereby the opposite parties i.e. appellants were set exparte and the complaint was allowed directing the opposite parties to issue NOC in respect of vehicle bearing No.AP 24 6218 to the complainant and further directed the opposite parties to pay compensation of Rs.25,000/- and costs of Rs.2,000/-.
The brief facts as set out in the complaint are that the complainant approached the opposite party No.2 for purchase of Earth Moving/Construction Equipment (TATA JD 315 SE BACKHOE LOADER) and after negotiations, opposite party No.2 offered to finance the said vehicle and an agreement dated 23-10-2001 was entered into between the complainant and opposite party No.2. The opposite party No.2 agreed to finance an amount of Rs.16,56,200/- and the complainant issued postdated cheques for the instalments as per the instructions of opposite party No.2. The complainant submitted that he purchased a Tata make vehicle and registered the same as AP 24 6218 and also insured the same with M/s Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company Ltd., as per the instructions of opposite parties. The complainant submitted that the opposite parties have encahsed all the 23 cheques which were issued towards instalments and there is no amount due to them and when he approached the opposite parties for issuance of NOC., the opposite parties issued demand notice asking to pay instalments and other charges by claiming huge amounts. The complainant got issued a legal notice dated 04-8-2011 calling upon the opposite parties to issue NOC and as there was no response, he approached the District Forum for a direction to the opposite parties to issue NOC in respect of vehicle bearing No.AP 24 6218 together with Rs.5,00,000/- towards mental agony and costs.
Though opposite party No.1 was served with notice, there was no representation on his behalf and as the notice sent to opposite party No.2 returned unserved, the complainant issued paper publication and the opposite parties were called absent.
After considering the evidence on record, i.e. Exs.A1 to A20 marked on behalf of the complainant, the District Forum allowed the complaint in part directing the opposite parties to issue NOC in respect of vehicle bearing No.AP 24 6218 to the complainant and further directed the opposite parties to pay compensation of Rs.25,000/- and costs of Rs.2,000/-.
As stated supra, the said order is under challenge before us.
The main contention of the learned counsel for the appellants is that the appellants were not served with any notice and in those circumstances only, they could not contest the matter. We are unable to appreciate the said contention for the reason that it is clearly mentioned in the order dated 26-11-2012 wherein the District Forum observed that inspite of service of notice on opposite party no.1, there is no representation on behalf of opposite party no.1 and hence called absent. So far as second opposite party is concerned, the District Forum observed that notice sent to opposite party No.2 returned unserved and paper publication was ordered and despite the said paper publication, he has not chosen to contest the matter. In those circumstances, it cannot be said that there is no service of notice. However, as this Commission is of the view that any dispute between the parties has to be decided on merits rather than on technicalities, we are of the considered opinion that an opportunity has to be given to the appellants/opposite parties to contest the sa
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id matter. Accordingly this appeal is allowed and the order impugned in this appeal is hereby set aside on payment of costs of Rs.5000/- to be paid to the respondent/complainant i.e. Mr.Vikram, Proprietor of P.N.V.Devi Stone Crusher Works. On ascertaining the fact that costs are paid, the District Forum shall restore the C.C. and proceed in accordance with law after giving opportunity to both sides.