U.B.I., Kalindi (West)
This is a discussion on U.B.I., Kalindi (West) within the Judgments forums, part of the General Discussions category; State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission West Bengal BHABANI BHAVAN (GROUND FLOOR) 31, BELVEDERE ROAD, ALIPORE KOLKATA – 700 027 S.C. ...
- 08-31-2009, 12:11 PM #1
U.B.I., Kalindi (West)
State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
BHABANI BHAVAN (GROUND FLOOR)
31, BELVEDERE ROAD, ALIPORE
KOLKATA – 700 027
S.C. CASE NO. : FA/09/85
DATE OF FILING : 25.02.2009 DATE OF FINAL ORDER: 30.07.2009
Mr. Pranab Kumar Mondal
1132 R.N.Tagore Road,
U.B.I., Kalindi (West) Branch
BEFORE : MEMBER : MR. P.K.CHATTOPADHYAY
MEMBER : MR. S.COARI
FOR THE PETITIONER / APPELLANT : In person
FOR THE RESPONDENT / O.P.S.: Mr. S.N.Gupta, Ld. Advocate
: O R D E R :
MR. S.COARI, LD. MEMBER
The present Appeal has been directed against the judgement and order dt. 21.1.09 passed by the Ld. District Forum, North 24 Parganas in C.C. No. 126/2008 wherein the Ld. District Forum allowed the application dt. 21.11.08 filed by the OP thereby seeking dismissal of the complaint on the point of limitation.
The complainant/Appellant’s case before the Ld. District Forum, in brief, was that the complainant issued an Account Payee Cheque dt. 31.8.05 drawn on UBI, Kalindi (West) Branch in favour of Modern High School for Girls amounting to Rs. 7,000/- towards payment of school fees, etc. in respect of his daughter’s studies in the concerned school. According to the complainant’s case, 31.8.05 was a half-holiday in the said branch of the Bank and thereafter on 1.9.05 the bank remained closed towards routine half-yearly closing day. On 2.9.05 the complainant had been to the concerned bank and updated his passbook and also enquired about the fate of the Account Payee Cheque. Thereafter on 3.9.05 the complainant deposited a sum of Rs. 7,000/-, but to his utter surprise on 7.9.05 he was informed by the school authorities that the cheque was returned on the ground of insufficient fund. According to the complainant, due to malafide action on the part of the bank authorities his prestige has been belittled before the educational institution which tantamounts to deficiency in service and hence, the petition of complaint.
The OP/Bank contested the case by filing written objection thereby denying all the material allegations of the petition of complaint contending inter alia that the case is hopelessly barred by limitation as the complaint case has been instituted long after the statutory period.
The Ld. District Forum while disposing of the complaint case has observed that there is no escape from the admitted position that though the cause of action arose on and before 7.9.05, but due to the reasons best known to the complainant the petition of complaint was filed beyond the statutory period of two years, for which the complainant has utterly failed to put up a cogent and reliable case in support of such delay in lodging the petition of complaint and accordingly, dismissed the petition of complaint on the ground of limitation.
The only moot question that revolves round the present Appeal is as to whether the Ld. District Forum was justified enough in disposing of the case in the manner as discussed above.
DECISION WITH REASONS
At the time of hearing it has been submitted on behalf of the Respondent that there was absolutely no laches on the part of the Respondent/Bank so far as it relates to dishonouring of cheque issued by the complainant/Appellant. There was no laches or deficiency in service at the instance of the Respondent company as when the cheque was considered for realization/encashment, there was insufficient balance in the savings account of the complainant. According to the Ld. Advocate for the Respondent, it is the Complainant/Respondent to be blamed for this state of affairs as he was not diligent enough to see that there was sufficient balance in the Savings Bank account through which the Account Payee Cheque was drawn by the complainant. While summing up his submissions the Ld. Advocate for the Respondent has submitted that there is nothing irregularity or illegality in the impugned judgement as the Ld. District Forum has followed the actual legal part while disposing of the petition of complaint. When it is an admitted position that the petition of complaint was filed long after the expiry of the statutory period and in absence of any cogent and reliable case in support of the delay, there was no alternative left before the Ld. District Forum but to dismiss the petition of complaint on the ground of limitation and the same was rightly done by the Ld. District Forum.
We have duly considered the submissions put forward on behalf of the Respondent and have gone through the materials on record including the impugned judgement and find that it is an admitted position that the complainant did deposit the Account Payee cheque on 31.8.09 which admittedly was the half holiday in the concerned branch of the bank and that the very next date was a half-yearly closing day being 1st September of the said year. Now, from the materials on record we also find that there is a case of touch and go so far as it relates to deposit of Rs. 7,000/- at the instance of the complainant and realization/encashment of the Account Payee cheque drawn by the complainant in respect of his savings bank. As it has been observed by the Ld. District Forum in the impugned judgement that there is no application for condonation of delay at the instance of the complainant, there was no alternative but to dismiss the petition of complaint on the ground of limitation. If that be the position, we are of the opinion that simply because a few hours of time is involved in the controversy between the parties and also keeping in mind that Consumer Protection Act is a benevolent legislation, it was not proper on the part of the Ld. District Forum to outright dismiss the petition of complaint on the point of limitation without affording the complainant a chance to justify the delay so far caused in filing the petition of complaint. In view of such discussion, considering the present Appeal in the light of above observation we think that there is some merit in the present Appeal and ends of justice would be met if the Appeal be sent back on remand with an opportunity to the Appellant/Complainant to file a proper application for condonation of delay before the Ld. District Forum and the Ld. District Forum after receiving such application for condonation of delay and affording opportunity to the other side should hear out the application and dispose of the matter as expeditiously as possible.
Hence, it is ORDERED that the Appeal succeeds on contest without any order as to cost. The impugned judgement is set aside and the case is sent back on remand with a direction upon the Ld. District Forum to afford opportunity to the complainant/Appellant to file appropriate application for condonation of delay in filing the petition of complaint and after hearing the other side on the point of limitation shall dispose of the matter as expeditiously as possible preferably within three months from the date of receipt of this order.
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