1. Vide this Revision Petition No.1023 of 2016, the petitioner/complainant- Rajiv Bal (complainant hereafter) has challenged the impugned order of the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (State Commission, for short) dated 19.01.2016, the operative portion whereof, reads as below:
“In view of above discussions, application for additional evidence is allowed. The case is remand back to the District Forum for considering the same afresh after allowing the OP1 to lead additional evidence on principles analogical to order 41 rule 23A CPC. It was held in (1987) I Orissa LR 442 that when no prayer is made under order 42 rule 27 CPC to consider additional evidence, the court would not exercise its power of remand back under Order 41 rule 23A moved and allowed, the court can exercise its power of remand under Order 41 rule 23A. This is what is being exactly done in the present case. Further it was held in AIR 2003 SC 3167 that when court has not dealt and not rendered any decision on the question of subsequent grant in favour of plaintiff/purchaser from Inamdar, issue of the fact and identity of land under the two grants is vital to the just decision of the case and therefore appeal court is empowered to remand whole suit for retrial. As abundant precautions it may be mentioned that in case the OP1 moves an application for amendment of Written Statement it will open to the District Forum to consider the same on the merits. Parties are directed to appear before District Forum on 15.02.2016.”
2. In challenge thereto, the petitioner has made the following prayer before the National Commission:
“(a) Set aside the order dated January 19, 2016, passed by State Commission;
(b)Uphold order dated July 14, 2011 passed by District Forum-VII, Sheikh Sarai, New Delhi in Complaint Case No. 349/09 titled as “Mr. Rajiv Bal V/s Harrison Industries and Others”;
(c) Grant interest @18% per annum to the Petitioner on the amount awarded in favour of the Petitioner by the District Forum in terms of Order dated July 14, 2011, from the date of making the payment to the respondents till its realization;
(d) Call for the records of the Appeal i.e. First Appeal No. 424 of 2011 titled as “Harrison Industries and Another V/s Rajiv Bal and Others” decided by the State Commission by an Order dated January 19, 2016 and records of complaint case No. 349/09 titled as “Mr. Rajiv Bal Versus Harrison Industries and Others” pending adjudication before District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-VII, Sheikh Sarai, New Delhi and is next listed on April 11, 2016;
(e) Grant Costs of the Petition; and
(f) pass such further order/orders as this Hon’ble Commission may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.”
3. Learned counsels for the parties were heard at some length on 23.10.2019. Each made out an elaborate case on behalf of their parties and argued as if the entire consumer complaint was to be decided by the Commission after hearing arguments on this RP. This was clearly not so as the RP, notwithstanding the elaborate prayer for relief made in it, is really quite limited in it’s scope. This RP basically challenges the impugned order of the State Commission which, finding merit in an application of respondent 1 & 2 herein/ appellant 1 & 2/ OP1 & 2 (hereafter OP 1 & 2) for permission to file additional evidence, had allowed the same, after hearing the parties, and remanded the matter to the District Forum, and directed the parties to appear before it on 15.02.2016. Instead of appearing before the District Forum on 15.02.2016, the complainant has chosen to file this RP, challenging the aforementioned order of the State Commission.
4. The only issue to be decided in this RP therefore is whether or not to permit OP 1 & 2 to file the additional evidence.
5. After hearing extensive arguments on behalf of the parties, I am of the considered view that the impugned order suffers from no infirmity.
6. In the normal course, filing of additional evidence at the appellate stage would not be permissible. However, this technicality can be set aside by a court if it is persuaded that it is necessary in the interest of natural justice and if it comes to the view that not allowing such evidence may hinder the dispensation of substantive justice. After all, courts are for adjudication aimed at delivering substantive justice for which procedures have been laid down. However, should the process and procedures stand in the way of substantive justice, court would be obliged to take remedial steps. This is precisely what the learned State Commission has done.
7. In the case at hand, the impugned order is detailed in it’s reasoning based on sound legal principles. The State Commission has noted the relevant period viz. 1999-2001, the period when ‘Novacrylic Surface’ was installed by OP 1 & 2 on the tennis court in the complainant’s farm house and the farm house was also used for shooting of a film, “Monsoon Wedding”, which was released in 2001. This fact had not been brought before the consumer forum. The State Commission then noted that OP 1 & 2 have submitted that they were not aware of this and came to learn about it only in the first week of Oct. 2013 when they watched the movie and could see that it had been shot at the complainant’s farm house. This may have been a significant factor having a bearing on the case and the OPs felt it was important enough to bring it on record. So, they sought permission to do so. Clearly, OPs could not have brought this up before the District Forum because they were not aware of it at the time; they could have brought it up only when they themselves became aware of it. So there was no question that this additional evidence had not been filed before for the very good reason that the OPs were not aware of it. Since this evidence needed to
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be also taken into consideration, the State Commission allowed the application and remanded the matter to the District Forum. Complainant had a choice : he could have accepted the order and appeared before the District Forum or he could have come in revision (appeal) against what is clearly an interim order in the entire proceedings. He chose the latter course. I find no reason to sustain this Revision Petition as I find no infirmity at all in the impugned order. 8. In view of the discussion above, this revision petition is dismissed. Parties are now directed to appear before the District Forum as per the State Commission’s order on 18.09.2020.