1. The present Revision Petition has been filed by the New Nagpur Mahila Gramin Vikas Credit Co-operative Society ( Petitioner-1/ OP- 1 herein after referred to as “Society”) and the manager of Society (Petitioner-2/ OP-2) being aggrieved by the order passed by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Maharashtra, Circuit Bench, Nagpur (hereinafter referred to as “State Commission”) which had decided the First Appeal No. 13/2014 in favor of the complainant Suman Balaji Thakre (hereinafter referred to as “Respondent/Complainant), who was original complainant before the Additional Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Nagpur (hereinafter referred to as “District Forum”).
2. Brief facts that, the Complainant/Respondent Suman B. Thakre deposited Rs.1,00,000/- for a period of one year from 27.12.2005 to 27.12.2006 with OP-1 Society. It was to be repaid with interest at the rate of 12% per annum. However, the Manager of the society, Deorao Shyamrao Gharjale (OP-2) did not repay the amount with interest. The OPs did not pay heed to the legal notice from the complainant, therefore the complainant filed a Consumer Complaint in the District Forum against the OPs and prayed to repay Rs. 1,00,000/- with interest at the rate of 12% per annum from 27.12.2005 and also to pay her compensation of Rs.1,00,000/- with cost of the complaint.
3. The OPs resisted the Complaint by filing their common written version. The preliminary objection was that the Complaint was barred by limitation. The OPs admitted the deposit and it was to be repaid with interest at the rate of 12% per annum. It was further submitted that the complainant lost her original fixed deposit receipt (FDR) and on her application dated 28.10.2006, the society issued a duplicate FDR. The complainant surrendered the said duplicate receipt and the society refunded Rs. 1,00,000/- after adjusting her loan of Rs.78,800/- taken from the Society and paid the interest and balance amount in cash to her. Hence prayed for the dismissal of the complaint on this ground.
4. The District Forum, on hearing the parties and considering the evidence on record, held the OPs liable by partly allowing the complaint. It directed the OPs to refund Rs. 1,00,000/- with interest at the rate of 12% per annum from 27.12.2005 till realization of the actual amount and also to pay her compensation of Rs.10,000/- for harassment and cost of Rs.2,000/-.
The District Forum observed as below:
As the Non- applicants have not refunded the amount to the Complainant after maturity of fixed deposit, the Forum is of clear view that Complainant is ‘consumer’ of Non- applicants. So also the act of Non- applicants to retain the amount for a long period after maturity and not to return the amount to the Complainant in time shows deficiency in service. Hence, Forum is of clear view that complaint of Complainant can be admitted.
5. Aggrieved by this Order, the Petitioners - OPs filed First Appeal No. FA/13/14 before the State Commission.
1. The State Commission dismissed the Appeal with following observation:
9. It is thus not disputed that the respondent deposited with the Appellant Rs.1,00,000/- initially for the one year from 27.12.2005 to 26.12.2006 and it was to be repaid with interest at the rate of 12%p. a . It is the case of the appellant that the it paid monthly interest over the said amount to the respondent and lastly and on the request of the respondent loan of Rs.78,800/- was advanced to her and on her request the said amount of loan was adjusted in her loan fixed deposit amount and balance amount out of Rs.1,00,000/- was paid to her and accordingly her signature was obtained on duplicate fixed deposit receipt.
10. However we find that fixed deposit receipt does not show that the interest was to be paid monthly the respondent. It is also not the case of the appellants that they paid monthly interest over Rs.1, 00,000/- as per request of the respondent. In our view when the respondent made no request for payment of monthly interest to her over Rs.1,00,000/-, it cannot be believed that the appellants paid monthly interest over Rs.1,00,000/- from time to time to the respondent.
11. Moreover we also find that there is no application from the respondent praying to pay her loan of Rs.78,800/-. In the absence of any such application in regular form from the respondent it cannot be believed that the respondent had demanded loan of Rs.78,800/-from the appellants and that accordingly the said loan was paid to her by the appellant. It is the case of the appellants that loan of Rs.78,800/- was obtained by the respondent from the appellant for the payment of the same to the husband of the appellant No.2 as he was admitted in hospital for treatment and as he is the brother of the respondent. The said fact cannot be believed when it is not explained by the appellant No 2 that she was not having money to meet the expenses required for treatment of her husband. Therefore on this ground also it can not be believed that respondent had demanded loan of Rs.78,800/- and it was paid to her by the appellants.
12. It is also pertinent to note that though the appellants alleged that vouchers and duplicate fixed deposit receipt bear signatures of the respondent, but those signatures are denied by the respondent as belonging to her. The appellants have not referred those documents to hand writing expert to seek his opinion about those signatures. Moreover perusal of the copies of the said documents and Forum after considering the same has rightly held that those documents are not reliable. Thus under these facts and circumstances we hold that simply by producing those documents it cannot be proved they bear the signatures of the respondent and that the amounts mentioned on those vouchers and duplicate deposit receipts were actually paid by the Appellant to the Respondent.
13. The copies of cash book produced by the Appellant showing payment of interest, loan and balance money to the respondent also cannot be believed since those accounts are not duly audited and since they do not bear signatures of Account Officer and entry of said cash book are not supported by cogent and reliable documents.
7. Hence, the present revision petition.
8. Counsel for both the sides made oral arguments. I have perused the material on record.
9. I find the Order of the State Commission to be well-appraised and well-reasoned. The State Commission concurred with the findings of the District Forum. Within the meaning and scope of section 21(b), I find no grave error in appreciating the evidence by the two fora below, as may cause
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to require re-appreciation of the evidence in revision. I note in particular the extracts of the respective observations made by the two fora quoted, verbatim, in paras 4 and 6 above. I find the award made by the District Forum (quoted in para 4 above), and as affirmed by the State Commission, to be just and appropriate. And, on the face of it, I find no jurisdictional error, or a legal principle ignored, or miscarriage of justice. 10. The revision petition, being misconceived and devoid of merit, is dismissed. 11. Needless to add that the District Forum shall undertake execution as per the law. 12. A copy each of this Order be sent to the District Forum and to the complainant by the Registry within ten days.