A.P. Bhangale, President
1. The appellant has questioned legality and validity of the quantum of compensation in Award granted in favour of the complainant by order dated 4.8.2015 in consumer complaint No. 256 of 2013 pursuant to findings recorded by the learned South Mumbai District Forum. The Award was passed in the sum of Rs. 50,000 towards loss of original registered sale deed bearing No. BDR/3/8895/2001 dated 1.12.2001. Opponent was also directed to pay sum of Rs. 5,000 towards mental anguish and Rs. 5,000 towards litigation costs. Furthermore, opponent was directed to issue a certificate in favour of the complainant regarding loss/ misplacement of original sale deed document No. BDR/3/8895/2001 dated 1.12.2001 executed and registered before the Sub-Registrar Kurla on 7.12.2001 and which was kept with the opponent for security of house loan of flat number B-3, 301, Lok Nisarg C.H.S., G.P.Road, Vaishali Nagar, Mulund (W), Mumbai.
2. It appears that the complainant had approached for house loan to the Standard Chartered Bank at its Fort Branch. Loan in the sum of Rs. 9,12,000 was obtained on 7.5.2004 at Lower Parel, Mumbai Branch. While availing of the loan original document original agreement for sale dated 1.12.2001 was deposited by the complainant creating mortgage of the said loan. It is not in dispute that complainant has repaid all EMI and repaid the loan and also obtained ‘No Dues Certificate’ from the opponent bank. However, the opponent failed to return original title deed in respect of flat of the complainant. In the result, it is case of the complainant that complainant could not sale the flat and continuously suffering losses as because prospective purchasers in respect of the flat would not agree to purchase the flat without perusal of original documents of title. It is submitted that this continuing loss or anguish on the part of the complainant was not considered by learned Forum below though finding regarding deficiency in service on the part of the bank and negligence was recorded against opponent. Even till today the opponent has failed to trace the original document for agreement of sale. Learned Advocate representing the respondent submitted that, opponent had already issued No Dues Certificate and is also ready to issue certificate as to Loss or Misplacement of the title deed deposited by complainant while creating security of house loan for the aforesaid flat. According to the learned Advocate for respondent compensation in the sum of Rs. 50,000 was just and adequate.
3. Our attention is invited to the ruling of Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission reported in I (2017) CPJ 180 (NC), in Bank of India v. Mustfa Ebrahim Nadiadwalla by learned Advocate for appellant. In that case, Hon’ble National Commission held that the Bank was liable to pay compensation to the complainant because the value of the property is bound to be affected if the original title deeds had been lost. In the facts and circumstances of that case, bank was directed to take necessary steps to issue NOC in favour of the complainant and to pay compensation in the sum of Rs. 5,00,000 for the loss of title deed. In that case, the subject matter of the consumer dispute was term loan in the sum of Rs. 10,48,000 and equitable mortgage was created in respect of the said flat by depositing two Conveyance Deeds dated 2.2.1990 and 2.4.1990 with the said bank. Bank did not return the original documents despite direction. Bank had also failed to file written version and affidavit in evidence. Here, in the present case it is not uncontested complaint but according to the opponent it is ready to do the needful to ensure that the complainant is able to sale or transfer the flat in question and can also take advantage of increasing prices in respect of the flat. However, to make that possible it is but essential that the opponent shall do the needful as early as possible to trace the documents if they are misplaced and return the original to the complainant or in the event of failure to trace the document or found in the bank, they shall issue Loss/misplacement of Document Certificate and also obtain copy from the Sub-Registrar concerned in respect of the agreement for sale of original title deeds which were deposited by the complainant with the bank. Unless this is done as early as possible it would not be feasible for the complainant to enter into transaction of transfer with third party in respect of the flat in question. In the present case, opponent was already directed to issue a certificate in favour of complainant regarding Loss/Misplacement of original sale deed document deposited with it as security for the home loan availed of. Learned Advocate for respondent states that since complainant has filed appeal this direction (iv) of the final order dated 4.8.2015 of learned District Forum is not yet complied with. In our view, this is not excusable on the part of the bank not to issue certificate in favour of the complainant as directed merely because complainant decided to challenge the award or insufficiency thereof. Considering the nature of grievance that complainant was unable to enter into any transaction for sale or transfer of flat bearing No. B-3, 301, Lok Nisarg C.H.S., G.P. Road, Vaishali Nagar, Mulund (W), Mumbai. We think that considering the increasing prices of the flats in Mumbai, the complainant may suffer on account of not reselling of the flat and to get the full and expected consideration though prices of the immovable property in Mumbai are on the rise. Therefore, balanced view has to be taken to direct the opponent bank to issue a certificate regarding loss or misplacement of original sale deed document as mentioned in the operative part (iv) of the impugned order by learned Forum below. Compliance of this direction shall be made within 90 days from the date of this order failing which he opponent bank shall pay compensation in the sum of Rs. 50,000 per month to the complainant till the direction (iv) of the impugned order is complied passed by the learned District Forum. Compensation on account of mental anguish which was granted in the sum of Rs. 5,000 is increased to sum of Rs. 50,000 (Rupees fifty thousand only) apart from the compensation already granted and modified as above in respect of Clause (iv) of the impugned order of the learned District Forum. We, therefore, partly allow the appeal and modify order as follows:
(1) Appeal is partly allowed and modified as under—
“In direction (iv) of the impugned order the opponent is directed to pay to the complainant sum of Rs. 50,000 (Rupees fifty thousand only) towards mental agony caused and sum of Rs. 5,000 (Rupees five thousand only) towards costs of complaint. We also award costs of appeal in the sum of Rs. 10,000 (Rupees ten thousand only) payable by opponent bank to the complainant and further direct in terms of (iv) that the direction in the opera
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tive part of the final order of learned District Forum below shall be complied with within 90 days from today. Failing which opponent Bank shall pay compensation in the sum of Rs. 50,000 (Rupees fifty thousand only) per month for each defaulting month together with interest @ 9% p.a. shall be paid to the complainant till the direction (iv) mentioned in operative part of the final order passed by learned District Forum, is complied with. Opponent bank may approach Sub-Registrar to obtain the certified copy of the original sale deed and may supply the same to the complainant. For compliance of order by the bank necessary cooperation shall be extended by the complainant.” Certified copy of this order be supplied to the parties. Appeal partly allowed.