Rayala Janamma, W/o.Veerabhadra Rao, age: Major, occu: Agrl.,
r/o.@@@@ampalli village, Garla Bayyaram mandal, Khammam District.
1. The Madhucon Sugar Ltd., Rajeswarapuram, Nelakondapalli mandal,
Khammam District rep. By its General Manager.
2. The State Bank of Hydeabad, @@@@ampalli Branch, Garla Bayyaram
Mandal, Khammam District, rep. By its Branch Manager.
1. This complaint is filed u/s.12-A of Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The averments made in the complaint are that the complainant is an agriculturist, having his agricultural lands situated in @@@@ampalli village of Garla Bayyaram mandal, Khammam District. The opposite party No.1 has visited the land of complainant and offered him to grow sugar cane in his land and also promised to purchase sugar cane produce to their factory and also promised to forward his loan application to opposite party No.2, State Bank of Hyderabad for sanction of loan to meet the agricultural expenditure. Induced by the said offer and promise of opposite party No.1, the complainant agreed and switched over to sugar cane crop. Thereafter, the bilateral agreement is reached in between the complainant and opposite parties No.1 and 2. Opposite party No.1 has forwarded the loan application of complainant to the opposite party No.2 bank and the opposite party No.2 bank has sanctioned the loan to the complainant to meet the agricultural operations and deposited the amounts in the respective account of the complainant.
(per Sri. Vijay Kumar, President)
2. In the month of November, 2005, the opposite party No.1 has given publication in local news paper i.e. in Andhra Jyothi and also in Eenadu dialy newspaper of District Edition, inviting the sugar cane growers to supply their sugar cane produce to the factory of opposite party No.1 on or before 20-4-2006 as crushing period of the factory is going to be closed. Having noticed the said publication, the complainant approached the opposite party No.1 and requested to extend the time, as the sugar cane produce is not ready. At the request of the complainant, the opposite party No.1 has extended the time till 25-4-2006 and the same was intimated to the complainant to supply their sugar cane produce before stipulated time i.e. on 25-4-2006. But the complainant failed to supply the produce within the stipulated time on the ground that their produce is not ready. After the stipulated time, when the complainant offered to supply the produce it was returned by opposite party No.1 stating that the crushing period is already over and they are unable to purchase it. Hence, this complaint.
3. On receipt of the notice, the opposite party No.2 did not contest the matter. The opposite party No.1 has filed the counter and denied all the averments made in the complaint. It is submitted by opposite party No.1 that it had commenced the crushing of sugar cane in their factory from 10-11-2005 and closed the crushing season by 25-4-2006. The opposite party has given the publication in newspaper about commencement of crushing, production and also crushing season from time to time. It is further submitted that the complainant has taken permit from opposite party No.1 to supply sugar cane on or before 18-4-2006, but he did not supply sugar cane to the opposite party No.1. It is further submitted that the complainant intending to make joggery and hence he did not supply sugar cane to the opposite party No.1. This fact is suppressed by the complainants with a malafide intention to extract money from the opposite party No.1, after lapse of several months since the crushing season closed by 25-4-2006 and prayed to dismiss the complaint.
4. On behalf of the complainant, no witnesses are examined, but Exs.A.1 to A.6 are marked. Ex.A.1 is Xerox copy of loan application forwarded by opposite party No.1, Ex.A.2 is Xerox copy of tri partie agreement, Ex.A.3 is office copy of legal notice, Ex.A.4 is Xerox copy of reply notice, Ex.A.5 is summary statement of Bank account, Ex.A.6 is Xerox copy of paper statement in Vartha Daily news paper. On behalf of the opposite party No.1, R.J.Chandra Babu, Cane Manager of the opposite party No.1 Company is examined as R.W.1 and marked Exs.B.1 to B.7. Ex.B.1 is paper publication about the mill closure caution notice, dt.16-4-2007, Eenadu, Andhra joythi dt.19-4-2007, Ex.B.2 is the letter submitted to ACC regarding crushing of cane, Ex.B.3 is the letter submitted to ACC regarding B.Ashok Reddy’s request, Ex.B.4 empty agreement copy as per A.P. sugar cane Act, 1961, Ex.B.5 is empty document of irrevocable letter of authority tripartite agreement, Ex.B.6 is copy of agreement growers list which was submitted to ACC, Ex.B.7 is the reference copy of the Andhra Pradesh sugar cane (regulation of supply and purchase) Act, 1961. On behalf of the complainants, written arguments are filed.
5. Heard both sides. Perused the oral and documentary evidence, upon which the points that arose for consideration are,
1. Whether there is deficiency in service on the part of opposite party No.1
in non purchasing the sugar cane produce supplied by complainant?
2. Whether the complainant has suffered with monetary loss on account of
non purchase of sugar cane produce by opposite party No.1?
3. To what relief?
Points No.1 and 2:
6. It is an admitted fact that opposite party No.1 has published in local newspapers inviting sugar cane growers to supply their produce on or before 20-4-2006. On this aspect of the case, the opposite party No.1 has invited the attention of the farmers through Ex.B.1, publication given in Andhra Jyothi and Eenadu daily newspapers. The contents of Ex.B.1 clearly go to indicate that the opposite party has invited the sugar cane producers to supply their produce on or before 20-4-2006 as the crushing period of the sugar cane is going to be closed. After that at the request of complainant, the stipulated period is extended from 20-4-2006 to 25-4-2006 enabling the complainant to supply their sugar cane produce. But the complainant has not supplied their sugar cane produce on the ground that it was not ready by then.
In order to substantiate this aspect of the case, the complainant ought to have filed an application for appointment of court commissioner to ascertain the fact that the sugar cane produce in their lands was not ready. But from the side of complainant no steps have been taken to prove that his produce was not ready. On the other hand there is an allegation against the complainant that he has sold his produce and converted it into joggary. An adverse inference can be drawn on the complainants on this aspect of the case. Perhaps this may be the reason for non supply of his sugar cane produce to opposite party No.1 within the stipulated time.
Instead of supplying the sugar cane produce to opposite party No1 within the stipulated time, the present complaint has been filed. It is also an admitted fact that opposite party No.2 has advanced loan to the complainant to meet their agricultural expenditure. On this aspect of the case, opposite party No.1 refers to Ex.A.1, which is crop loan application forwarded by opposite party No.1 to opposite party No.2 recommending the sanction of amount to the complainants to meet their agricultural operations. Apart from this, the opposite party No.1 refers to bilateral agreement, which is marked as Ex.B.4, entered in between the complainants and opposite parties No.1 and 2. The burden lies upon the complainants to establish that as on the date of stipulated period by opposite party No.1, the sugar cane produce was not ready and owing to which they could not supply the produce to opposite party No.1, but there is no evidence on this aspect.
In the absence of any material it cannot be presumed or imagined that the complainant failed to supply the sugar cane produce to opposite party No.1, as it was not ready by then. Therefore, the opposite party No.1 cannot be found fault for non-purchase of sugar cane produce within the stipulated time.
7. The learned counsel for opposite party No.1 vehemently argued and submitted that under section 65 any dispute regarding the supply and purchase of cane between a factory and cane grower or between the members of the cane grower, the cane commissioner shall decide it himself or refer it to arbitration. In the instant case, instead of referring the matter to the commissioner, the complainants straight away filed the complaints before the forum, which are not maintainable.
8. In reply to the argument of opposite party No.1, the learned counsel for complainants placed reliance to a citation reported in 2007(5) ALT 27 (NC)(CPA) wherein their lordships have decided the similar matter and held that the District Consumers Forum has got jurisdiction to entertain the disputes between the cane growers and the factory and District Consumers Forum enjoys the jurisdiction to entertain the complaint. In the light of the above ruling the arguments of opposite party No.1 holds no water. In view of the above discussion, we are of the opinion that the complainant has failed to adduce any evidence to prove that they could not supply the sugar cane produce to opposite party No.1 factory within the stipulated period i.e. 25-4-2006 as their sugar cane produce was not ready by then, though the opposite party No.1 has extended the time from 20-4-2006 to 25-4-2006, the complainant could not avail this opportunity.
It is also on record that when the complainant approached the opposite party No.1 factory, it was intimated to the complainant on humanitarian grounds to supply his sugar cane produce to Ganapathy Crushers at Sangareddy, but the complainant did not supply the same for the reasons best known to him. As the complainant failed to supply sugar cane produce to opposite party No.1 factory within the stipulated period even after having notice by way of publication, hence, it is fault on the part of complainant, but not on the part of opposite parties. In view of the aforesaid reasons, we do not find any deficiency in service on the part of opposite party No.1. Hence, the complaint is liable to be dismissed.