NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
CIRCUIT BENCH AT
(From the order dated 15.7.2003 in appeal no. 737 of 2000 of the State Commission, Karnataka)
The Managing Director, Petitioners
Karnataka SC/ST Development Ltd. & Anr.
9th & 10th Floors,
Dr. Ambedkar Veedhi,
The District Manager,
Karnataka SC/ST Development Corporation Ltd.,
3rd Cross, JCR Layout,
M/s. Athreya Auto Agency,
11/1, New Santhepet,
HONBLE MR. JUSTICE. M.B.SHAH, PRESIDENT
MRS. RAJYALASHMI RAO, MEMBER.
For the Appellant : Mr. V.S.Kanuur, Advocate.
For the Respondent : N E M O
Respondent filed complaint No. CTA/DF/ 55 of 2000
before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Chitradurga,
Karnataka contending that the Petitioner Corporation is constituted to uplift
the SC/ST persons by providing financial facilities so that they can do some
business for their livelihood. On the application of the Complainant and on the
recommendation of the District Manager, Karnataka SC/ST Development
Corporation, Opposite Party No.1, sanctioned a loan on
16.5.1998 for purchase of Diesel Auto Passenger vehicle. The Complainant
deposited Rs.9,000/- as margin money by a demand draft
(D.D.) on 20.7.1998. On
Petitioner obtained quotation for the said vehicle from the dealer, who was Opposite Party No.3 before the District Forum. As the vehicle in question was not delivered even after repeated reminders and visits, the Complainant vide his letters dated 17.5.1999 and 23.9.1999 requested the Opposite Parties 1 and 2 to refund the margin money and discharge the mortgage deed. As the Opposite Parties paid no heed to his requests he had approached to the District Forum praying for directions to the Opposite Parties : (i) to refund the margin money of Rs.9,000/-; (ii) payment of Rs.5,000/- towards traveling expenses; (iii) reimburse Rs.5,000/- incurred for registration of mortgage deed; and (iv) Rs.10,000/- for harassment and mental agony.
Upon hearing both the parties excluding Opposite Party No.3, the dealer, who had neither put in appearance nor filed any reply, the District Forum found the Opposite Parties guilty of deficiency in service and allowed the complaint. The Opposite Parties 1 and 2 were directed to pay Rs.29,000/-, i.e. Rs.9,000/- for margin amount; Rs.10,000/- for mental agony; and Rs.10,000/- towards expenses. It was also ordered that margin money of Rs.9,000/- shall be refunded, with interest at the rate of 12% p.a. The Opposite Parties were further directed to discharge the mortgage deed. Rs.500/- were also imposed as costs. It was also directed that the above said compensation of Rs.29,000/- may be recovered from the Managing Director of the Karnataka SC/ST Development Corporation. Appeal to the State Commission was dismissed. Hence, the Opposite Parties are in revision before us.
At the time of
admission of this matter on
In our view, it cannot be disputed that the corporation is constituted for the upliftment of the SC/ST persons and to give them opportunity to have a decent living and earning. The entire scheme is frustrated by various lapses on the part of the officers of the Corporation.
For this purpose, it would be worthwhile to reproduce the observations of the District Forum.
Opposite Parties 1 and 2 have made agreement with Opposite Party No.3 for purchase of Vikram Diesel Auto Passenger Vehicle and have paid Rs.1,90,000/- in advance, even before the sanction of loan in favour of the Complainant. The fact is very very curious. In their version they have said they do not know the whereabouts of Opposite Party No.3. On 16.5.1998 the loan sanctioned in favour of Complainant is Rs.1,80,000/-. Even before the sanction Opposite Parties 1 and 2 have paid Rs.1,90,000/- to Opposite Party No.3 which is a very curious and unwarranted. That shows that there is a secret deal between Opposite Party No.1 and Opposite Party No.3. When Opposite Party 3 does not have any vehicle with him why Rs.1,90,000/- was paid in advance. It is only to cheat the Government. This shows that Opposite Party No.1 is there not for uplift of SC/ST persons but for uplift of cheats and rich people. These facts clearly show that there is deficiency of service.
The aforesaid facts found by the District Forum reveal that there was total irregularity in payment of Rs.1,90,000/- to a dealer before sanction of the loan.
Opposite Party No.3, dealer was favoured, he was paid
an amount of Rs.1,90,000/- before the sanction of the loan.
He was not having any vehicle for delivery. In such a case, the law laid down
The Court pertinently held :
It should further direct the department concerned to pay the amount to the complainant from the public fund immediately but to recover the same from those who are found responsible for such unpardonable behaviour by dividing it proportionately where there are more than one functionaries.
For better administration/governance the aforesaid law is required to be implemented so that the welfare schemes framed by the Government reach the common consumer and the objects of such schemes are not frustrated.
However, in the proceeding before the Consumer Forum it is difficult to arrive at the conclusion that there was a secret deal between the Petitioner and the dealer. Therefore, the observation that this shows that there is a secret deal between the Opposite Party No.1 and 3 is deleted, as there is no specific evidence on record to that effect. It would be open to the Petitioner Corporation to hold the necessary inquiry and arrive at a proper conclusion with regard to negligence of duties by the concerned officers and recover the amount from them.
In the result, with the aforesaid observation the Revision Petition is dismissed, with a direction that the Petitioner - Karnataka SC/ST Development Corporation Ltd., shall pay the amount as directed by the District Forum to the Complainant, if not paid by this time. There. In addition the petitioner shall pay Rs.1000/- as costs to the Complainant. Ordered accordingly.