At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. B.K. TAIMNI
By, PRESIDING MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE DR. P.D. SHENOY
For the Appellants: Govind Kaushik, R.K. Kapoor, M.K. Verma, Advocates. For the Respondents: S.K. Pattjoshi, Advocate.
B.K. Taimni, Presiding Member:
1. Appellant was the complainant before the State Commission, where he had filed a complaint alleging deficiency in service on the part of the respondents.
2. Very briefly the facts of the case are that the complainant who retired from service of State Bank of India invested his savings to purchase a commercial space in building called Sampark No. 1 at plot No. 195, Sector 5 Panchkula. The requisite price was paid but from time-to-time the area of the plot was also the price was being changed by the respondents. Aggrieved by this deficiency in service, a complaint was filed for refund of amount as well as payment of compensation. The matter was contested by the opposite party and State Commission after hearing the parties passed the order, operative part of which is as follows:
'.......After hearing the learned Counsel for the parties at length and having one through the evidence of the parties, we are of the considered view that as the dispute raised in the complaint is with regard to various clauses of the agreement entered between the parties, its alleged breach by the opposite party in various assertions and the meticulous compliance and specific performance asserted by the opposite party, the dispute can more appropriately be gone into and adjudicated upon in a regular suit before the Civil Court and certainly not under the limited jurisdiction conferred by the Consumer Protection Act. Consequently, following the law laid down by the Hon’ble National Commission in the case of U.P. Housing and Development Board v. Smt. Madhushila Singh (supra) we decline to entertain the complaint and relegate the complainants to seek redress of their grievance before the Civil Court. The complainant stands disposed of with no order as to costs......'
3. Aggrieved by this order this appeal has been filed before us.
4. After perusal of material on record and hearing the parties, we see that the order of the State Commission cannot be sustained, especially in view of the judgment passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Dr. J.J. Merchant & Ors.v. Shrinath Chaturvedi,III (2002) CPJ 8 (SC)=IV (2002) SLT 714=(2002) 6 SCC 635. The Consumer Fora are headed by an experienced judicial officer and in the case of State Commission, Higher Judicial level officers and Section 13 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 lays down the procedure of getting evidence by way of affidavit and, if parties or the Fora considers appropriate they can also be cross-examined orally or through interrogatories; hence such cases thus can be decided by Consumer Forums, following laid down procedure. It does not become of Consumer Forums to relegate such case to a Civil Court. It is for us to decide the case on merits, i.e., relating to deficiency in service on the part of one of the parties.
5. In the aforementioned circumstances, we are unable to sustain the order passed by the State Commission which is set aside. The case is remanded back to the State Commission to pass the orders on merits after following the procedure laid down in Section 13 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and giving both the parties opportunity to lead evidence/additional evidence, if i
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t is so desired. 6. All the parties are directed to appear before the State Commission on 10.8.2006. Since this is an old case and the complainant is a senior citizen, the State Commission is requested to dispose of the case at the earliest preferably within 6 months from the first appearance before the State Commission. Ordered accordingly.