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Oriental Bank of Commerce, Mall Patiala v/s Mandhir Singh Anand

    Revision Petition No. 1973 of 2015
    Decided On, 10 December 2020
    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
    For the Petitioner: H.P. Bhardwaj, Advocate. For the Respondent: Mukesh Arora, Advocate.

Judgment Text
Taken up through video conferencing.1. Heard learned Counsel for the Petitioners No. 1 and No. 2, Oriental Bank of Commerce (the ‘Petitioner Bank’) and learned Counsel for the Respondent (the ‘Complainant’).Perused the entire material on record.2. Learned Counsel for the Petitioner Bank submits that the Oriental Bank of Commerce has since merged with the Punjab National Bank.The same is taken on record.3. The complaint relates to allegations of deficiency in service against the Petitioner Bank for failing to make good the maturity value of two fixed deposits of Rs.30,000/- and Rs.25,000/-.4. The District Forum vide its Order dated 31.05.2011 dismissed the Complaint on contest with cost of Rs. 10,000/- imposed under Section 26 ‘Dismissal of frivolous or vexatious complaints’ of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (the ‘Act 1986’).5. The District Forum summed-up its findings in para 12 of its Order, quoted below for ready reference:12. In view of the plea taken up by the ops corroborated by the documentary evidence led by the ops, it would appear that the complainant approached the Forum with a false plea and having concealed the material facts that he had got the original FDR renewed for a period of six years and 9 months and he further got the FDR issued jointly in his favour and also in favour of Smt. Harbans Kaur and got the amount of the FDRs adjusted in the saving bank and loan account of Smt. Harbans Kaur. We hardly find any substance in the submission made by the learned counsel for the complainant that the ops have failed to produce in evidence any application to have been filed by the complainant to transfer the amount of the FDRs in the saving bank and loan accounts of Smt. Harbans Kaur because the complainant has not disclosed the true facts before the Forum that he had got the FDRs renewed and further got the amount of the FDRs invested in the joint name of himself and Smt. Harbans Kaur. Had the complainant come forward with a plea that the amount of his FDRs was adjusted in the account of Smt. Harbans Kaur without his consent, there would have been a justification to direct the enquiry in that direction, but in view of the complaint filed by the complainant that the ops failed to encash his FDRs we are constrained to hold that the complaint is based on false facts with an ulterior motive and consequently the complaint is hereby dismissed burdening the complainant with a cost of Rs. 10000/- under Section 26 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.6. The State Commission vide its impugned Order dated 16.03.2015 allowed the appeal of the Complainant and set aside the Order of the District Forum. The Petitioner Bank was proceeded against ex parte before the State Commission (“A notice was issued to the respondents / OPs by the Commission but nobody appeared on their behalf and as such OPs were proceeded ex-parte.”).7. A perusal of the entire record, including inter alia specifically the Complaint filed by the Complainant before the District Forum, the Written Version filed by the Petitioner Bank before the District Forum, the District Forum’s Order passed on contest [dismissing the Complaint (as frivolous and vexatious) with cost of Rs.10,000/- under Section 26 of the Act 1986] and the State Commission’s Order passed ex parte against the Petitioner Bank [setting aside the District Forum’s Order and allowing the Complaint], evinces that the facts and specificities of the case are such that it required to be adjudged by the appellate Forum after affording due / reasonable / adequate opportunity to the Petitioner Bank, a scheduled nationalized bank, functioning under the superintendence of the RBI, against which the Complaint had been dismissed in the Fora below as frivolous and vexatious.8. To prevent miscarriage of justice, the facts and specificities of the case being such that it requires to be holistically and comprehensively adjudicated, on facts and law, on merit, in the Forum of appellate jurisdiction, the Order dated 16.03.2015 of the State Commission is set aside and the case is remanded to the State Commission for adjudication afresh. The State Commission is requested to afford opportunity to the Petitioner Bank (in addition to the Complainant) and to decide the appeal afresh.9. This Commission has consciously refrained from entering into the consumer dispute, or making any critique of the facts and specificities of the case, or recording any observations or comments etc., since the appeal has as yet to be adjudicated on merit by the appellate Forum and this Commission does not in any manner want to colour the vision of the State Commission on remanding the case back for decision afresh.10. The parties are directed to appear befo

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re the State Commission on 20.01.2021.11. The Petitioner Bank is sternly advised to conduct its case professionally before the State Commission. Towards this end, a copy of this Order may be sent by the Registry within three days to the Chief Executive of the Petitioner Bank with advice to consider fixing accountability and to imbibe systemic improvements for future.12. The Registry is directed to send a copy of this Order to the State Commission and to all parties within three days.‘Dasti’, in addition, to all parties.