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UTI Infrastructure Technology & Services Ltd., Maharashtra & Others v/s U. Sandhya Sree & Others

    Revision Petition No. 3878 of 2010

    Decided On, 08 January 2021

    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. C. VISWANATH
    By, PRESIDING MEMBER

    For the Petitioners: Parveen Mehdiratta, Advocate. For the Respondents: M.S. Vijaya Prasad, GPA Holder.



Judgment Text

1. This Revision Petition is filed against the order passed by Andhra Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Hyderabad (in short, “the State Commission) dated 30.06.2010 in First Appeal No.126 of 2009.2. Facts of the case are that Respondents/Complainants are daughter of Sri MBG Shastry, who made several investments with the Opposite Parties, vide distinctive certificates of investment. Unfortunately, the legal heirs of Sri Shastry could not take possession of all these certificates as some of them were missing. Complainant No.1 received a certificate bearing No.304000010802 having 14652.015 units. Complainant No.2 received certificate bearing No.304000010000798 having 9157.509 units. There was another certificate in the name of Sri MBG Shastri without any nomination. Complainant No.1 opted for conversion of units into 6.75% tax free bonds scheme and the UTI had converted 14652.015 units into bonds by considering 5000 units as ‘A’ category and 9652.015 units as ‘B’ category, and issued a bond certificate having 1565 bonds, for which Complainant No.1 had not given any option. Opposite Parties also sent a cheque for Rs.1,46,520.15 with respect to 14652.015 ‘B’ category units. On a Complaint regarding non-receipt of payment with respect to ‘A’ category units, the Opposite Parties sent a separate cheque for Rs.10,000/-. Complainant No.1 alleged that as she had not received the redemption payment of initial units covering 5000 ‘A’ category units, the Opposite Parties should have paid at least Rs.60,000/- instead of Rs.10,000/- for settlement of lost certificate. Complainant No.2 stated that she surrendered the original investment certificate with the Opposite Parties but the Opposite Parties had not made payment for the same. Complainant No.2 further alleged that the Opposite Parties admitted the existence of another certificate of investment having 18809.524 units held by their father Sri MBG Shastri but they had not made payments against these certificates also. Complainants filed a Complaint before the District Forum with following prayer: -“a) Opposite Party is to pay the Complainant No.1, Rs.2,06,520.15ps in total for full settlement of the surrendered Bond certificate and the lost certificate of investment considered for part settlement by opposite party.b) Opposite party is to pay the penal interest @ 16% per annum from 1st June, 2003, on the amount of Rs.2,06,520.15ps for the delay in settlement of the Bond certificate and the lost certificate of investment.c) To release the 6.75% Tax free Bond Certificate jointly in favour of complainants that is having 1980 bonds worth Rs.1,98,00=00.d) To pay with penal interest of 16% per annum, the 1st instalment of interest due in December, 2003, 2nd instalment of interest due in July, 2004, 3rd instalment of interest due in December, 2004, 3th instalment of interest due in July, 2005 and to regularize.e) To pay Rs.5000/- towards the cost of this complaint.f) To order any relief or reliefs that the Hon’ble Forum may deem fit, proper and the complainants are entitled for.”3. Complaint was contested by the Opposite Parties by filing written statement. It was stated that the investment was made by Shri MBG Shastri, vide Membership No.304000010000801 and was allotted units under US-64 Scheme. The said scheme was consolidated into ID No.716141069. Opposite Parties further stated that as the Complainants have already availed repurchase under special package rate for Rs.5000 units, the relief sought by them was totally baseless and misconceived and the Complaint was liable to be dismissed.4. The District Forum after hearing the Parties and perusing the material on record allowed the Complaint, vide order dated 12.09.2007 with the following observation:-“In the result, the complaint is allowed by directing the opposite parties to refund an amount of Rs.1,56,500/- with interest at 16% p.a. from 07-08-1999 till the date of realization to the complainants and also pay Rs.5,000/- towards costs of the complaint. The above order shall be complied within one month from the date of receipt of copy of this order.”5. Against the order of the District Forum, Opposite Parties filed an Appeal before the State Commission. The State Commission after hearing the parties, affirmed the order of the District Forum on merits. However, the State Commission reduced the rate of interest from 16% to 9%.6. Aggrieved by the order of the State Commission, Petitioners/Opposite Parties have filed the present Revision Petition. Heard the Learned Counsel for the Petitioners and Mr. M.S. Vijaya Prasad, GPA holder on behalf of the Respondents/Complainants and carefully perused the record.7. Learned Counsel for the Petitioners submitted that since the Respondents/Complainants failed to give any option in respect of their balance amount, the Petitioners converted all units into Tax Free US-64 bonds carrying 6.75% interest and the Petitioners issued the respective bonds to the Respondents. Petitioners also paid the due amounts to the Respondents and the payments had been received by them.8. Mr. M.S. Vijaya Prasad, GPA holder on behalf of the Respondents submitted that the Opposite Parties paid only Rs.10,000/- for settlement of lost certificate instead of Rs.60,000/-. He further submitted that the Opposite Parties failed to make payment of the investment certificate surrendered by Complainant No.2. It was also submitted that the orders passed by both the Fora below are justified and Revision Petition be dismissed.9. Brief facts of the case are that father of the Complainants, Sri MBG Shastry, made several investments with the Opposite Parties, vide distinctive certificates of investment. Unfortunately, the legal heirs of Sri Shastry could not take possession of all these certificates as some of them were missing. Complainant No.1 received a certificate bearing No.304000010802 having 14652.015 units. Complainant No.2 received certificate bearing No.304000010000798 having 9157.509 units. There was another certificate in the name of Sri MBG Shastri without any nomination. Complainant No.1 opted for conversion of units into 6.75% tax free bonds scheme and the UTI had converted 14652.015 units into bonds by considering 5000 units as ‘A’ category and 9652.015 units as ‘B’ category, and issued a bond certificate having 1565 bonds, for which Complainant No.1 had not given any option. Opposite Parties also sent a cheque for Rs.1,46,520.15 with respect to 14652.015 ‘B’ category units. On a Complaint regarding non-receipt of payment with respect to ‘A’ category units, the Opposite Parties sent a separate cheque for Rs.10,000/-. Complainant No.1 alleged that as she had not received the redemption payment of initial units covering 5000 ‘A’ category units, the Opposite Parties should have paid at least Rs.60,000/- instead of Rs.10,000/- for settlement of lost certificate. Complainant No.2 stated that she surrendered the original investment certificate with the Opposite Parties but they had not made payment against that certificate also.10. District Forum after hearing Parties and perusing the record, observed that the Opposite Parties had condensed 5000 units as “A” category valued at Rs.12/- per unit. The remaining 9652.015 units were valued at Rs.10/- per unit. The Opposite Parties mentioned that the number of units are 1.565 having a face value of Rs.100/-, the value of bond certificate amounting to Rs.1,56,000/-. If these bond certificates are discharged, the amount comes to Rs.1,56,000/-. Though the Opposite Parties stated that the Complainant had already availed repurchase under special package rate for Rs.5,000/- units, they failed to file any documents to show that the Complainants have already availed repurchase under special package rate. In the absence of any documents, The District Forum held that the contention of the Complainant had to be believed and the Opposite Parties have to refund an amount of Rs.1,56,000/- to the complainants with interest at 16% p.a. These facts and view of the District Forum were concurred by the State Commission.11. On facts, there are concurrent findings of both the Fora below. However, the State Commission rightly modified the order of the District Forum reducing the amount of interest from 16% to 9% p.a, as the interest awarded by the District Forum was on the higher side.12. Jurisdiction of this Commission under Section 21 (b) is very limited. This Commission is not required to re-appreciate and reassess the evidences and reach to its own conclusion. The Court can intervene only when the petitioner succeeds in showing that the Fora below has wrongly exercised its jurisdiction or there is a miscarriage of justice. It was so held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Mrs. Rubi (Chandra) Dutta Vs. M/s United India Insurance Co. Ltd. (2011) 11 SCC 269 has held as under: -“13. Also, it is to be noted that the revisional powers of the National Commission are derived from Section 21 (b) of the Act, under which the said power can be exercised only if there is some prima facie jurisdictional error appearing in the impugned order, and only then, may the same be set aside. In our considered opinion there was no jurisdictional error or miscarriage of justice, which could have warranted the National Commission to have taken a different view than what was taken by the two Forums. The decision of the National Commission rests not on the basis of some legal principle that was ignored by the Courts below, but on a different (and in our opinion, an erroneous) interpretation of the same set of facts. This is not the manner in which revisional powers should be invoked. In this view of the matter, we are of the considered opinion that the jurisdiction conferred on the National Commission under Section 21 (b) of the Act has been transgressed. It was not a case where such a view could have been taken by se

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tting aside the concurrent findings of two fora.”13. Same principle has been reiterated by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Lourdes Society Snehanjali Girls Hostel and Ors. Vs. H & R Johnson (India) Ltd. and Ors. (2016 8 SCC 286 wherein Hon’ble Supreme Court has held as under:-“23. The National Commission has to exercise the jurisdiction vested in it only if the State Commission or the District Forum has failed to exercise their jurisdiction or exercised when the same was not vested in their or exceeded their jurisdiction by acting illegally or with material irregularity. In the instant case, the National Commission has certainly exceeded its jurisdiction by setting aside the concurrent finding of fact recorded in the order passed by the State Commission which is based upon valid and cogent reasons.”14. I see no reason to disagree with the concurrent findings of both the Fora below. There is no infirmity or illegality in the impugned order, warranting interference under Section 21 (b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Revision Petition is dismissed with no order as to costs.
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