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Raj Kumar Sareen v/s Skipper Towers (P) Ltd.

    Case No. Ex-318 of 1994
    Decided On, 01 November 1995
    At, Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission New Delhi
    By, MEMBER
    For the Applicant: P.K. Verma, Advocate. For the Respondent: J.S. Rawat, Advocate.

Judgment Text
A.P. Chowdhri, President:

1. This order would dispose of two applications made by Prabhjot Singh, respondent No. 3. The first application is undated but bears verification dated 1.8.95 and the second application, which is more comprehensive, is dated 28.9.95.

2. The facts giving rise to these applications are that in complaint filed by Raj Kumar Sareen, bearing number as C-302/93 an ex-parte final order was passed by this Commission on 4.5.94 directing the opposite parties to pay a sum of Rs. 8,64,000/- with interest @15% p.a. from the date of filing the complaint till the date of payment. Arrayed as opposite parties in the aforesaid complaint were (1) M/s. Skipper Tower (P) Ltd., (2) Tejwant Singh, Managing Director, (3) Prabhjot Singh, Director. It appears that a written statement was filed, on behalf of the aforesaid opposite party-3 Prabhjot Singh to the effect that he had resigned as a Director and was not liable to pay the amount. Notwithstanding the above objection, however, this Commission disposed of the complaint as stated in the earlier part of this order. The complainant applied for recovery of the amount u/Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act. During the pendency of the said application both the above-mentioned miscellaneous applications have been made by respondent No. 3, Prabhjot Singh. His plea is that he had resigned as a Director of respondent No. 1 company w.e.f. 29.7.93 and he had informed the Registrar of Companies under the Companies Act, 1956 about his resignation in the prescribed form. His plea, therefore, is that he is not liable to pay the amount. In support of his plea he has filed a copy of the intimation sent to the Registrar of Companies and an affidavit of Tejwant Singh, who was and is the Managing Director of respondent No. 1.

3. Reply to both the applications have been filed by the applicant. Various pleas have been taken. It has been stated that it is not open to this Commission to review the order dated 4.5.94 which having not been challenged by way of appeal, has attained finality. It is also pleaded that the question of liability of respondent No. 3 alongwith the other respondents had become res-judicata and cannot be re-agitated again. The application is stated to be barred by limitation and that it amounted to an abuse of the process of law. It has further been stated that by order dated 4.5.94 this Commission had not exonerated opposite party 3 and opposite party 3 alongwith the remaining opposite parties was jointly and severally liable to comply with tlie directions given in the order. The fact that opposite party 3 had resigned from the Board of Directors w.e.f. 29.7.93, was denied for want of knowledge but assuming that he has resigned, as alleged, the resignation was of no consequence because the resignation related to period long after the time when cause of action accrued in favour of the complainant.

4. We have heard Counsel for both the parties. In the order dated 4.5.94 the word ‘respondent’ has been used in singular while giving direction to pay Rs. 8,64,000/- etc. This however, appears to be a mere typographical error as in the next following sentence the Commission has made it clear that if the amount was not paid within three months, 'they' implying all the three opposite parties, shall be liable to be prosecuted u/Section 27 of the C.P. Act. We, therefore, hold that the order dated 4.5.94 makes the three opposite parties jointly and severally liable to refund the amount.

5. No doubt there is no discussion in the order dated 4.5.94 about the resignation of opposite party 3 and its effect on his liability but it is equally clear that Prabhjot Singh has not been exonerated of his liability and as pointed out in the foregoing paragraphs, he alongwith remaining opposite parties has been held jointly and severally liable to refund and pay the amount. It follows that on a reading of whole of the order and taking into consideration the circumstances just pointed out Prabhjot Singh was held liable alongwith remaining opposite parties. This finding operates as res-judicata and cannot be permitted to be reagitated. The principle of resjudicata is based on public policy and there is no reason why the same should not be made applicable in the present case. It is settled law that resjudicata applies not only in case of a subsequent proceeding but in later stages of the same proceeding in which the matter has been decided. Reference in this behalf may be made to Satyadhyan Ghosal and Others v. Smt. Deorajin Debt and Anr., AIR 1960 SC 914 and Y.B. Patil and Others v. Y.L. Patil, AIR 1977 SC 392.

6. The Commission constituted under the Consumer Protection Act exercises quasi-judicial powers and the power o

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f review has not been conferred by the C.P. Act. It follows that the Commission does not have power of review and the finding regarding liability of Prabhjot Singh cannot, therefore, be reviewed. For these reasons, the name of respondent No. 3 cannot be deleted and he is jointly and severally liable to comply with the order. 7. For these reasons both the applications are dismissed. To come up for further proceedings on 13.11.95. A copy of this order be communicated to both the parties. Application dismissed.