This is an appeal filed under Section 15 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 by the Opposite parties in CC No.88/2012 on the file of District Consumer Forum, Warangal feeling aggrieved by orders dated 21.09.2017 in allowing the complaint and directing the Opposite parties jointly and severally to deposit a sum of Rs.50,000/- before the Forum towards crop loss with interest @ 7.5% per annum from the date of filing of the complaint i.e., 28.07.2011 till the date of realization, to pay Rs.20,000/- per acre towards the expenditure incurred by the Complainant and to pay Rs.1,000/- towards costs, granting time of one month.
2) For the sake of convenience, the parties are referred to as arrayed in the complaint.
3) The case of the Complainant, in brief, is that the Complainant being a farmer, purchased cotton seeds packet from Opposite parties by paying requisite consideration on the promise and assurance that the seed sold by them would give the yield of 15 to 20 quintals per acre. However, after sowing the same in his agricultural fields, he followed due procedure such as maintaining distance between plant to plant and row to row and took all measures, used/applied the pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers in appropriate volume. In spite of the same, the Complainant could not get proper yield. Hence, complaining loss of yield, filed the present complaint with the reliefs claimed therein, in the complaint.
4) Opposite party No.1 filed memo adopting the written version filed by Opposite party No.2 to be its version. Opposite party No.2’s written version is to the effect that the poor performance of cotton crop is only due to heavy rainfall and ineffective and insufficient control measures to contain infestation of jassids. They never assured that the seed sold by them would give the yield of 15 to 20 quintals per acre and that it will withstand and have the resistance of jassids and heavy rains. The alleged poor yield is on account of abnormal rainfall and unusual climatic conditions at the time of sowing which had lot of impact and effect over the germination and yield. The yield of crop would depend upon various factors including crop management, climatic conditions and application of fertilizers and pesticides. There is no deficiency in service on its part and accordingly prayed to dismiss the complaint.
5) During the course of enquiry before the District Forum, in order to prove his case, the Complainant filed his evidence affidavit and the documents Ex.A1 to A8. On behalf of Opposite parties, they got filed the evidence affidavit and the documents Ex.B1 to B7.
6) The District Forum after considering the material available on record, allowed the complaint bearing CC No.88/2012, by orders dated 21.09.2017, as stated, at paragraph No.1, supra.
7) Aggrieved by the said orders, the Appellant preferred the present appeal contending that the forum below failed to see the burden of proof and the doctrine of plead, lead and prove, and the Appellant cannot be expected to prove the contrary. It failed to consider the report dated 10.11.2010 of Scientist which goes to show that the prime cause for the low yield was ineffective control measures to contain the jassid infestation beyond Economic Threshold Level (ETL) and continuous rainfall experienced during August and September 2010 in Warangal district. Without there being any evidence on record, liability was fastened on the Appellant. Hence, prayed to allow the appeal by setting aside the orders impugned.
8) The point that arises for consideration is whether the impugned order as passed by the District Forum suffers from any error or irregularity or whether it is liable to be set aside, modified or interfered with, in any manner? To what relief ?
9) It is pertinent to state here that during pending proceedings before forum below, the Respondent No.1/Complainant passed away which fact was not brought to the notice of forum below and that he Respondents 2 and 3 herein are the sole legal heirs. Accordingly, the Respondents 2 and 3 are permitted to be brought on record vide orders dated 07.02.2020 in FAIA No.1162/2019 in FA No.513/2017)
10) The learned counsel appearing for both the Appellant as well as the Respondent/Complainant fairly submits that the facts and circumstances involved in this case are identical and similar to the one which was adjudicated by this Commission in FA No.372/2017 and batch and FA No.503/2017 and batch dated 19.04.2018. Against the order of the State Commission, the revision was preferred before the Hon’ble NCDRC which was dismissed confirming the Judgment of this Commission. As the matter now stands, the Judgment of this Commission in these two above batches have become final. It is not disputed that the facts and circumstances are in paramateria to the facts wherein this Commission awarded Rs.24,000/- per acre which was confirmed by the Hon’ble NCDRC. In view of the above, following the previous decisions of this Commission these batch of appeals are disposed of accordingly.
11) The impugned order is set aside directing the Appellants/Opposite parties to pay a sum of Rs.24,000/- per acre towards loss of yield together with interest @ 7.5% per annum from the date of filing the complaint i.e., 28.07.2011 till the date of realization and costs of Rs.1,0
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00/- to the Respondents/Complainants. The orders dated 21.09.2017 of the forum below passed in CC No.88/2012 is modified accordingly by set aside the order in other aspects. 12) In the result, the appeal is allowed in part by directing the Appellants/Opposite parties to pay a sum of Rs.24,000/- per acre towards loss of yield of crop together with interest @ 7.5% per annum from the date of complaint i.e., 28.07.2011 till the date of realization and costs of Rs.1,000/-. The order of forum below in other aspects is set aside but in the circumstances, there shall be no costs in this appeal.