Mr. Justice S.S. Chadha, Member
This Original Complaint by the Supreme Chemical Industries, a partnership firm and its three partners is direction against the Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation Ltd. Rajasthan Board for Prevention and Control of Pollution, Rajasthan Financial Corporation, State Bank of India and the New Indian Assurance Company Ltd.
2. Since we are not inclined to try this Original Complaint, we will notice the facts only briefly. The allegation of deficiency in service on the part of the Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation Ltd. (for short RIICO) is given in paras 1 to 15 of the complaint. The complaint in nutshell is that RIICQ allotted industrial plot No. G. 1/413, admeasuring 1000 sq. metres for Rs. 50,810/- to the complainants for establishment of their industry and possession delivered on 6.4.88, that RIICO had allotted the said plot near plot Nos. Gl/411 and Gl/412, owned by M/s. Arvind Syntex Pvt. Ltd. and M/s. Ajay Overseas Pvt. Ltd., whose Managing Directors are Shri R.K. Sharma and Shri H.R. Sharma, that the single act of RIICO by allotting industrial plot in a place which is being used for residential and commercial purposes and there was misuser of industrial plots by said influencial persons, who were instrumental in getting the plant of the complainants closed, that M/s. Arvind Syntex and M/s. Ajay Overseas were hob-nobbing with all the Government and
semi-Government authorities specially RIICO and the Pollution Board and that RIICO did not allot an alternative site to the complainants despite repeated requests. The plea is that if RIICO had allotted the industrial plot either in the corner of the Industrial Estate or in the vicinity of other chemical units, then neither Bhiwadi Manufacturers Association nor M/s. Ajay Overseas nor M/s. Arvind Syntex would have been in a position to make false reports against the complainants. The complainants pray the relief of a direction to RIICO to allot an alternative plot.
3. The details of defective service on the part of the Rajasthan Pollution Board (for short called Pollution Board) are given in paras l6 to 32ofthe complaint. After narrating the details of alleged mala fide acts of M/s. Arvind Syntex and M/s. Ajay Overseas (who are not parties to the complaint), filing of the complaints to the police, the initiation of the proceedings under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 (for short Air Act) and under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (for short called Water Act), the orders passed by the Pollution Board in exercise of the powers vested under the provisions of the said two Acts which orders of the Pollution Board are alleged to have been made with the mala fide intention to get the plant closed, the challenge in the nutshell is that the Pollution Board did not adhere to the provisions of the law and all orders were made with mala fide intention to get the plant closed, first from time to time and finally permanently with oblique motives or under political and bureaucratic pressures. The complainants alleged that they were put to a loss of Rs. 27,25,524/-, the details of which are given in Appendix 'A' to the complaint. The relief is sought against the Pollution Board for compensation for the loss suffered by the complainants.
4. The details of the defective service on the part of the Rajasthan Financial Corporation (for short RFC) are given in paras 33 to 40 of the complaint. RFC had sanctioned a loan of Rs. 13.98 lakhs on the terms and conditions of the sanction contained in the letter dated 4.1.89. The complaint is that the RFC disbursed the loan of Rs. 11.98 lakhs and Rs. 2 lakhs was retrained illegally under Clause 3 of the schedule. The complainants allege that this clause is harsh, impracticable and unjustified in the eye of law as it was clear cut case of under finance as a result of which the complainants suffered a loss of Rs. 2.40 lakhs. It is further pleaded that RFC did not supply information to the complainants for availing of the facilities of subsidy which was under consideration of the Rajasthan Government and thus the mount f subsidy of Rs. 4,68,750/- was lost and also the complainant suffered a further loss of Rs. 1 lakh on account of mental torture. Unfair trade practice is also alleged against RFC. It is pleaded that RFC issued order of taking over the unit of the complainants without affording an opportunity of effective hearing. It is further pleaded that the complainants were deprived of the natural justice to put up their case before the RFC and all the doors of restarting the industrial unit were closed down, that the action on the part of the RFC is the worst step of unfair trade practice, that the complainant had also invested Rs. 11.34 which caused ruination of the whole family and that the complainants are entitled for compensation of Rs. 19.38 lakhs from RFC.
5. The allegations of defective service on the part of the State Bank of India are contained in paras 41 to 49 of the complaint. The State Bank of India had granted a cash credit limit for Rs. 9 lakhs which was later increased to Rs. 14 lakhs against hypothecation of raw material and finished goods. It is pleaded that the Bank was bound to get the stocks insured with 10% above the sanctioned limit for Rs. 17.60 lakhs as per terms of the arrangement letter as the complainants were having cash credit limit for Rs. 16 lakhs and in fact that they were having the stocks of the said amount. It is pleaded that the neighbour of the complainants ransacked the plant on 25.12.1993 and destroyed /looted the stocks, raw material, finished goods and packing material of Rs. 13,54,358/-. It is pleaded that the State Bank of India got the stock insured with the Insurance Company at much less market value of the stock stored in the premises of the industrial unit and at the time of insurance specially when the complainants had the cash credit limit and current account to the tune of Rs. 13.42 lakhs and that since the State Bank of India got the stocks insured for Rs. 8.5 lakhs they are bound to pay whole damages on account of loss by terrorism and on account of its lapses for not getting the stock insured for full market value.
The complainants claimed a compensation of Rs. 50,000/- on account of mental torture, harassment, agonies, Rs. 5,04,358/- for the amount of loss suffered and interest at the rate of 20% which comes to Rs. 1.80 lakhs. The complainants allege deficiency in service on the part of the State Bank of India and claimed that the complainants are entitled to compensation on account of unfair trade practice of the State Bank of India of getting the stock insured below market value for which an additional compensation to the tune of Rs. 1 lakh was claimed.
6. The details of defective service on the part of the Insurance Company are given in paras 50 to 53.It is stated that it was the duty of the State Bank of India to pursue the matter of the claim as the Bank got the stock insured and loss occurred during the subsistence of the policy of insurance. It is pleaded that there is clear cut deficiency on the part of the Insurance Company's service and it is certainly an act of unfair trade practice in not settling the just claim of the complainants. A relief of compensation of Rs. 50,000/- on account of mental torture plus the claim money of Rs. 8.50 lakhs plus interest at the rate of 20% which comes to Rs. 1.13 lakhs is claimed as a relief against the Insurance Company.
7. The complainants have made, in our view, serious allegations of mala fide against Shri R.K. Sharma and Shri H.R. Sharma of M/s. Arvind Syntex Pvt. Ltd. and M/s. Ajay Overseas Pvt. Ltd. who are not parties to this complaint, being responsible for having the complainant's unit closed down. The allegations are that these Sharma brothers by connivance or otherwise with the officers of the Pollution Board got the orders passed by the Pollution Board for closing the unit of the complainants. A bare perusal of the provisions of the Air Act and Water Act, prima facie, show that the Pollution Board is a Regulatory Statutory Body created for the purpose of regulating air pollution within the ambit of Air Act. Similarly the Pollution Board was constituted for the prevention and control of water pollution and the maintaining and restoring of wholesomeness of water. The functions discharged by the Board are statutory. The services of the Pollution Board are not hired for consideration within the meaning of the Consumer Protection Act and the complainants are not consumers qua the Pollution Board when it is discharging statutory functions. The complainants did not make payments to RFC and therefore in exercise of its statutory power under Section 29 of the State Financial Corporation Act, RFC took over the assets of the complainants and all the assets namely land, building, plant, machinery etc. which were mortgaged with RFC have now been vested in RFC. The defence of the State Bank of India is that the complainants are responsible for their own failures and cannot blame the State Bank of India for any compensation for it. The Insurance Company repudiated the liability of the alleged theft on appreciation of the in vestigation report of Shri Anil Juneja who informed the Insurance Company that no theft had taken place in the factory of the complainant and hence the claim was not payable and repudiated.
8. As already noticed, the complainants have alleged that the orders passed by the Board under the provisions of Air Act and Water Act have been made with mala fide intention to get the plant closed. Allegations of mala fide against Shri R.K. Sharma and H.R Sharma who are not parties to the complaint have been made as being responsible for having the complainants' unit closed down and they by connivance or otherwise got the orders passed by the Polluti
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on Board for closing the unit of the complainants. The dispute and issues raised in the complaint involve intricate issues which require extensive evidence as is apparent from the copies of the documents filed by the complainants on the record, besides the documents filed by the opposite parties. At the time of hearing the complainants stated that the allegation against the Pollution Board may be taken as deleted but the allegations of the complainants against RIICO and Pollution Board, are so intricately interwoven that they cannot be separated. In our view, the case involves complicated questions of fact which cannot be tried and adjudicated in the time bound proceedings under the Consumer Protection Act. 9. We would, therefore, dismiss the complaint without trial and leave the complainants to seek their remedies in appropriate Civil Court or other appropriate Authorities or Tribunal Any observation made will not prejudice either of the parties, as they are made only for appreciating the complex nature of the issues involved in the complaint. The parties will bear their respective costs.