NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
FIRST APPEAL NO. 95 OF 2007
(From the order dated 13.12.2006 in
of the State Commission,
Anil K. Jain and another Appellant
HONBLE MR.JUSTICE M.B. SHAH, PRESIDENT
MRS. RAJYALAKSHMI RAO, MEMBER
For the Appellant : Mr. Puneet Jain, Advocate with
Mr. Anurag Jain, Advocate
Heard the learned counsel for the appellant.
Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the State Commission ought not to have transferred the complaint to the District Forum for consideration because the claim of the complainant was for a sum of Rs.34 lacs. He submitted that the State Commission had no jurisdiction to decide at admission stage that the claim of the complainant was exaggerated and it was for the complainant to justify its claim at the time of hearing of the complaint before the State Commission by leading necessary evidence.
In our view, the impugned order passed by the State Commission does not call for any interference.
Admittedly, the appellant purchased a plot in auction which was held on 14.2.2002. He deposited the amount of Rs.51 lacs on 30.11.2002 and the lease deed was executed only on 3.5.2006. Learned counsel, therefore, submitted that because of the delay in execution of lease deed, complainant has suffered (i) by way of escalation in cost of construction and (ii) because he was required to pay rent for the premises which he had taken on rent.
In our view, only for the
delay in executing the lease deed, prima facie, it is apparent that the claim
for a sum of Rs.34 lacs as damages is
exaggerated. It is open to the
complainant to approach the District Forum or in any case the
Under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the Consumer Fora have to find out whether the complaint is maintainable or not and with regard to the admissibility of the complaint, Consumer Fora are required to decide within 21 days from the date on which the complaint was received, as provided in Second Proviso to Section 12(3), which requires that admissibility of the complaint shall ordinarily be decided within 21 days from the date on which the complaint was received. Section 18 provides that State Commission is required to follow the said procedure. Hence, it was the duty of the State Commission to decide
whether the complaint was required to be entertained on the ground of pecuniary jurisdiction and that has been done in the present case.
However, learned counsel for the appellant relied upon the decision rendered by the Apex Court in case of Charan Singh V/s. Healing Touch Hospital and others, (2000) 7 SCC 668. In our view, the main reason why the Apex Court interfered with the order passed by the National Commission was that the complaint was rejected by the National Commission after a lapse of six years on the ground that the claim was exaggerated, unrealistic or excessive and hence, the Apex Court observed that the National Commission ought not to have taken the ground after a lapse of six years. and on that basis, observations are made that at that time court ought not to have observed that the claim was exaggerated or unrealistic. Court has also specifically observed that pleadings were complete in the said case and, therefore, National Consumer Forum should have taken the complaint to its logical conclusion by asking the parties to adduce evidence and rendered its findings on merits. In our view, on the basis of the said judgement, it cannot be held that in all cases even though the claim is prima facie exaggerated, the State Commission or National Commission should decide the matter on merits. Observations made in the said judgement are on the basis of the facts of that case.
In our view, that procedure is required to be followed by the State Commission as provided under Section 18 of the Act. Hence, this appeal is dismissed.