COMPLAINANT Sri.N.Shripathi,Aged 58 years,S/o Late Ramakrishna Bhat,C-250, Peenya Industrial Estate,Bangalore – 560058Advocate – Sri.N.Sukumar Jain
OPPOSITE PARTY Punjab National Bank,No.15, 1st Cross, 1st Stage,Peenya Industrial Estate,Bangalore – 560 058.Rep. by itsChief ManagerAdvocate – Sri.H.C.Shivakumar
O R D E R
This is a complaint filed U/s. 12 of the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 by the complainant seeking direction to the Opposite Party (herein after called as O.P) to pay a compensation of Rs.3,00,000/- and for such other relief’s on an allegations of deficiency in service.
The brief averments, as could be seen from the contents of the complaint, are as under: Complainant issued a cheque for Rs.3,000/- on 05.08.2008 in favour of Bowring Institute, Bangalore. When the said cheque was presented it was dishonored with an endorsement of ‘Insufficient Funds’. As on the date of issuance of cheque and subsequently there to complainant had sufficient amount at his current account at OP, but still the said cheque was not cleared. It is all because of the carelessness and negligence on the part of the OP. Due to the bouncing of the said cheque complainant is put to greater hardship, prejudice and mental agony that too for no fault of his. He immediately contacted the OP to rectify the mistake but it went in vain. He caused legal notice on 11.09.2008 to OP again there was no response. Hence complainant felt deficiency in service on the part of the OP. Under the circumstances he is advised to file this complaint and sought for the reliefs accordingly.
2. On appearance, OP filed the version denying all the allegations made by the complainant in toto. According to OP the cheque is issued in the account of M/s.Metal Chem carrying on business at Peenya Industrial Estate. So the transaction is of commercial in nature. It is further contended that the Department of Commercial Tax freezed an amount of Rs.30,000/- in the account. So the balance available as on the date of presentation of the said cheque was only Rs.728-59. Hence the said cheque was returned and dishonored with an endorsement of ‘insufficient funds’. There is no deficiency in service on the part of the OP. OP has not received any communication of withdrawal of the said restriction by CTO nor complainant brought the said fact to the notice of the OP with regard to the lift of the said lien by the Commercial Tax Department. The other allegations made in the complaint are baseless. Complaint is devoid of merits. Among these grounds, OP prayed for the dismissal of the complaint.
3. In order to substantiate the complaint averments, the complainant filed the affidavit evidence and produced some documents. OP has also filed the affidavit evidence and produced the documents. Then the arguments were heard.
4. In view of the above said facts, the points now that arise for our consideration in this complaint are as under: Point No. 1 :- Whether the complainant has Proved the deficiency in service on the part of the OP? Point No. 2 :- If so, whether the complainant is entitled for the relief’s now claimed? Point No. 3 :- To what Order?
5. We have gone through the pleadings of the parties, both oral and documentary evidence and the arguments advanced. In view of the reasons given by us in the following paragraphs our findings on: Point No.1:- In Affirmative Point No.2:- Affirmative in part Point No.3:- As per final Order.
R E A S O N S
6. At the outset it is not at dispute that the complainant has got the current account at OP and issued one cheque in favour of Bowring Institute, Bangalore on 05.08.2008 for Rs.3,000/-. It is contended by the complainant that though he had sufficient amount at his current account, OP dishonored the said cheque on the ground of ‘insufficient funds’. Due to the dishonor of the said cheque complainant suffered both mental agony and financial loss and loss of reputation in the society and the community. It is all because of negligence on the part of the OP. When his repeated requests and demands made to OP to rectify the said mistake went in futile he even got issued legal notice on 11.09.2008. Copy of the legal notice is produced. Again there was no response.
7. As against this it is contended by the OP that the present transaction is a commercial transaction. We don’t find force in the said defence. It is further contended by the OP that there was a lien created by Department of Commercial Tax to the tune of Rs.30,000/- with respect to the said account of the complainant and after deduction of the said lien balance available was only Rs.728-59. Hence the said cheque was dishonored with an endorsement ‘insufficient funds’. As such there is no deficiency in service on the part of the OP.
8. We have gone through the documents produced by the complainant. Of course it is not at dispute that the said lien is created on 05.06.2008 for a total sum of Rs.28,863/-. The Commercial Tax Department addressed the letter to the OP on 27.06.2008 withdrawing the said lien. It is received by the OP. Under such circumstances OP can’t take the defence that the withdrawal of the said lien was not brought to their notice either by complainant or by the Commercial Tax Department. This kind of the defence set out by the OP itself amounts to deficiency in service.
9. We have also gone through the Bank statement and this disputed cheque issued on 05.08.2008 and the lien is withdrawn on 27.06.2008 itself. On 05.08.2008 at the complainants account a lump sum amount is at balance so as to honor cheque for Rs.3,000/-. So the contention of the OP that cheque was dishonored because of insufficient funds on the face of it appears to be baseless.
10. The evidence of the complainant which finds full corroboration with the contents of the undisputed documents appears to be very much natural, cogent and consistent. There is nothing to discard the sworn testimony of the complainant. As against this unimpeachable evidence of the complainant the defence set out by the OP appears to be defence for defence sake just to shirk the responsibility and obligation. There is a proof of carelessness and negligence on the part of the OP. The arbitrary act of the OP in dishonoring the said cheque though sufficient amount is available at the account of the complainant amounts to deficiency in service.
11. Of course complainant has claimed a compensation of Rs.3,00,000/-, there is no basis for the said huge claim. Having considered the facts and circumstances of the case justice will be met by directing the OP to pay a compensation of Rs.5,000/- with a litigation cost of Rs.500/-. With these reasons we answer point Nos.1 & 2 accordingly and proceed to pass the following:
O R D E R
The complaint is allowed in part. OP is directed to pay a compensation of Rs.5,000/- and litigation cost of Rs.500/-. This order is to be complied with in four weeks from the date of its communication.