NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
(From the order dated 10.9.2004 in F.A.No.58/02
of the State Commission, Andhra Pradesh)
Corporation Bank, P.B.No.55 Petitioner
Rep. By its Manager
DR. P.D. SHENOY, MEMBER
This revision is directed against the order dated 10.09.04 of A.P. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Hyderabad disposing of appeal reducing the rate of interest from 15% to 12% p.a. against the order dated 11.10.01 of a District Forum whereby petitioner/opposite party was directed to pay amount of Rs.50,000/- with interest @ 15% p.a. w.e.f 20.06.94 and cost to the respondent/complainant.
Facts giving rise to this revision lie
in narrow compass. Respondent had a
current account No. 276 with the petitioner bank. Cheque bearing No. 844418 dated 14.4.94 for Rs.50,000/- of
Andhra Bank, T. Nagar Branch,
Maintaining by the respondent of current account no. 276; depositing of cheque in question in that account for collection, cheque having been lost in transit and respondent having been intimated of the loss by the petitioner bank by the letter dated 22.11.94 are not in dispute. In written version, petitioner alleged that the cheque in question was earlier deposited for collection on 4.5.94 and was returned by Andhra Bank, T. Nagar, Madras with the endorsement dated 7.5.94 that there was no sufficient fund in the account of drawer - M/s. Savithri Movies. It is further alleged that the account of drawer was in-operative since 7.5.94 itself and even if the cheque was presented again it could not have been paid as there was no amount available in the account of said drawer. In support of this plea, Ms. Somati Anand for petitioner invited our attention to the cheque return memo dated 7.5.94 (copy at page 28) and letter dated 15.9.95 sent by the said branch of Andhra Bank to the petitioner (copy at page 30). Bare perusal of these documents would show that the cheque in question was returned for insufficient fund on 7.5.94 and account of the said drawer( CD 6672) was not in operation since 7.5.94. Though these two documents were not filed by the petitioner bank before the District Forum but their genuineness can not be doubted. These are even referred to in the written version. In interest of justice these are taken note of while deciding the present revision petition. Loss of cheque in question in transit was brought to the notice of respondent well within 3 years period of its issue. It was, thus, open to the respondent to have filed suit for recovery of the amount of cheque against M/s. Savitrhri Movies - drawer. Complaint under C.P. Act, 1986 can be filed only for compensation based on deficiency in service arising out of loss of cheque in transit but not for recovery of the entire cheque amount. This has also been the view taken by this Commission in the decision in State Bank of Patiala Vs. Rajinder Lal & Anr. IV (2003) CPJ 53 (NC). Particularly, taking note of the facts that cheque in question was dis-honoured for insufficient fund on 7.5.94 and drawers account was lying in-operative since then, we quantify the amount of compensation payable by petitioner bank at Rs.10,000/-. Order under challenge, therefore, cannot be sustained legally. Accordingly, while allowing revision the orders passed by fora below are modified and petitioner bank is directed to pay amount of Rs.10,000/- by way of compensation for deficiency in service on its part to the respondent. This amount will be remitted through a demand draft to the respondent within three weeks of the receipt of the copy of this order. No order as to cost.
( K.S. GUPTA )
( P.D. SHEONY )