A. Beena Kumari, Member
Appellant is the 1st opposite party in C.C. No. 272/2014 on the file of Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Idukki and the respondent is the complainant.
2. Brief facts of the case are as follows: The complainant availed a loan of Rs. 70,000/- from opposite party bank on 16.07.2013 by pledging 56 gms of her gold ornaments. At the time of availing the loan, the bank authorities made her believe that the loan should be renewed each and every year. On 18.07.2014 when the complainant approached the opposite party bank for renewing the loan, the Secretary of the opposite party bank informed her that the gold ornaments which she had pledged were sold in an auction conducted by the bank. When she demanded the details of the auction, bank authorities abused and threatened her, with abusing words. She filed a petition on the next day before the Assistant Registrar (Co-operation), Udumbanchola, but no action was taken by them. Again she approached the opposite party and demanded back her gold ornaments. At that time the opposite party bank compelled her to take gold chain having 3 sovereign weight instead of the 8 sovereign gold necklace which she had pledged. Being aggrieved by this act of unfair trade practice and deficiency in service from the part of the opposite parties complainant filed the complaint.
3. The opposite party entered appearance and filed detailed version. Opposite party admitted the loan transaction with the complainant. Opposite party further contended that the complainant is a regular customer of opposite party bank. The loan was granted to her after executing receipt having terms and conditions of the gold loan. Opposite party further stated that as per the agreement, the term of the gold loan is six months. It is specifically stated in the loan agreement that the bank is having full authority to take any steps to clear their dues in defaulted cases. The complainant also knows this fact since she is a regular customer. It was the bounden duty of the complainant to renew the loan before six months. As per the loan agreement, the period allowed to the complainant for renewing or closing her loan was on or before 15.01.2014. Moreover, the opposite party bank intimated the complainant regarding the matter of loan dues on 17.01.2014 and on 28.02.2014 through registered letters with acknowledgement. Even though the complainant accepted the letter, she never cleared the dues. Before conducting the auction, the bank authorities published the matter with loan numbers in the Mangalam daily and Desabhimani daily which are newspapers having circulation there, as per the rules and regulations followed by the opposite party bank. After taking all these measures, the opposite party bank conducted the auction proceedings. Hence all the above proceedings were done by the bank with due care and caution and complying with all legal measures. The opposite party bank is not liable for the alleged loss suffered by the complainant and there is no deficiency in service or unfair trade practice from their part. Hence the complaint is liable to be dismissed with costs of the bank.
4. Complainant had produced Ext. P1 series and had not adduced oral evidence before the Forum since the complainant knows only Tamil. From opposite parties’ side DWs 1 & 2 were examined and Exts. R1 to R10 were marked. DW1 is the Secretary of the opposite party bank and DW2 is the Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Painavu. Ext. R1 is the loan application. Ext. R2 is theoffice copy of notice, Ext. R3 is the postal receipt, Ext. R4 is the A/D card, Ext. R5 is the copy of ledger, Ext. R6 is the copy of SB Account ledger, Ext. R7 is the copy of loan account register, Ext. R8 is the paper publication, Ext. R9 is the paper publication and Ext. R10 is the copy of previous loan register dated 21.11.2012.
5. On the basis of the evidence from both sides the District Forum found that the opposite party bank acted maliciously, without complying with the mandates of the Reserve Bank of India in conducting auction proceedings. But from the documents produced by the opposite parties we find that they had complied with all the lawful proceedings before the auction. Hence that finding of the District Forum is not correct. The District Forum further found that at the time of availing loan the complainant had pledged 56 gms of gold ornaments, each gram fetches an amount of more than Rs. 2500/-. At the time of loan also there is no change in the value of gold. The complainant had borrowed only Rs. 70,000/- against the gold ornaments having market value of more than Rs. 1,50,000/-. As per Ext. R7 loan account the amount is only Rs. 80,226/-. The opposite party bank auctioned the gold ornaments @ Rs. 17,400/- per sovereign and at that time the market value of one sovereign is Rs. 20,500/-. But the complainant has not produced any document to show that the price of one sovereign of gold at the time of auction was Rs. 20,500/- and also there is no pleadings in her complaint about this aspect.
6. The District Forum further concluded that the opposite party auctioned the gold at a price of Rs. 17,400/- per sovereign. But at that time price of the gold was Rs. 20,500/- per sovereign. The opposite party is entitled to get Rs. 80,266/- as per Ext. R7. As per Ext. R6 the balance amount deposited by the opposite party to the account of the complainant was Rs. 41,574/-. An amount of Rs. 1,43,500/- will be fetched by the sale of 56 gms of gold at Rs. 20,500/- per sovereign. After deducting the loan amount of Rs. 80,226/-, complainant was entitled to Rs. 63,274/- the balance amount. Therefore the District Forum found that the complainant was entitled to get the balance amount of Rs. 21,700/-. The District Forum also found that the act of the opposite party amounts to deficiency in service. Therefore they were liable to pay compensation to the complainant and allowed Rs. 10,000/- as compensation.
7. From the above mentioned discussions we find that the findings of the District Forum is not correct and there is no evidence to show that at the time of aucti
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on the price of one sovereign of gold was Rs. 20,500/-. Even if the gold rate were so, no one would get the value of new gold for old gold and moreover the value of the gold depends upon the quality of gold. Hence the finding of the District Forum is not correct. The appellant/ opposite party has by documents proved that the auction proceeding were in compliance with the legal formalities. Hence there is no deficiency in service on the side of appellant/opposite party. Hence the Order passed by the District Forum, Idukki in C.C. No. 272/2014 is set aside. In the result, this appeal is allowed and the Order passed by the District Forum is set aside. No order as to costs.