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Thread: Margadarsi Chit Fund Limited,

  1. #1
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    Default Margadarsi Chit Fund Limited,

    BEFORE THE ADDITIONAL BENCH OF A.P.STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION : AT HYDERABAD.



    FA.No.1140/2005 against CD.No.940/2004 District Forum-I, Hyderabad..



    Between:



    Sri G.Srinivas,

    S/o.G.M.G.K.Murthy, aged 35 years,

    Occ:Faculty in M.C.A., Institute,

    R/o.10-2-287/1, 306, Vijaya Towers,

    Shantinagar, Hyderabad-500 028. …Appellant/Complainant



    And



    1. Margadarsi Chit Fund Limited,

    Rep. by its Managing Director,

    5-10-195, Fathe Maidan Road,

    Opp:Police Control Room,

    Hyderabad-500 004.



    2. Margadarsi Chit Fund Limited,

    Rep. by its Manager,

    Lakdi-ka-pul Branch, Hyderabad-4. Respondents/opp.parties



    For the Appellant : Mr.G.Srinivas, Party in person.

    Counsel for the Respondent : Smt.N.R.Rao.



    QUORUM:SRI K.SATYANAND, HON’BLE MEMBER

    AND

    SRI R.LAKSHMINARASIMHA RAO, HON’BLE MEMBER.



    MONDAY, THE TWENTY NINTH DAY OF JUNE,

    TWO THOUSAND NINE.



    Oral Order (Per Hon’ble Sri K.SATYANAND, MEMBER)

    *******

    This is an appeal filed by the unsuccessful complainant before the District Forum-I, Hyderabad in C.D.No.940/2004.

    The facts of the case lie within a very narrow compass.

    The complainant claimed to have subscribed to a chit floated by the opposite party with a face value of Rs.10,00,000/- bearing No. LT 004 XL/5 which was started in the month of February,2000 and was marked to last for 50 months. The subscription was agreed to be paid in monthly instalments. The said chit was put to auction in December, 2002. The father of the complainant participated in the bid as his proxy. There was only one more bidder bearing No.35. The grievance of the complainant was no defaulted subscriber could be allowed to participate in the auction as per the agreement of chit. Inspite of the said fact, ticket No.35 holder was allowed to participate on the strength of a cheque issued by him towards the subscription although the said cheque was not encashed at the time of auction. The whole thrust of the complaint is that opposite parties were guilty of deficiency in service in as much as they permitted such a defaulter to participate in the bid who ultimately turned out to be successful bidder elbowing out the complainant or rather damaging his prospects of getting the bid amount. He further urged that he lost chance and was deprived of making use of the said amount for a better purpose and thereby sustained loss. He also alleged that the opposite parties were running the chit business contrary to the provisions, agreements and bye laws of the Chit Fund Act. Finally, he claimed an amount of Rs.2,16,000/- representing the damages for the loss, he allegedly suffered in the bargain.

    Opposite parties contested the claim by filing a counter in which the opposite parties mainly relied upon the fact that the ticket holder No.35 was given permission with the consent of the proxy that represented the complainant and even otherwise he had issued a cheque towards the monthly subscription on time though it was not encashed by the company at the time of auction. The opposite party also took the stand that the foreman has got the discretion of permitting such subscribers to participate in the auction and therefore his participation in the auction was not illegal and on that account no imputation of deficiency in service can be leveled against the opposite parties.

    In support of his case, the complainant relied upon Exs.A1 to A4 and the opposite parties on the other hand relied upon Exs.B1 to B6.

    On a consideration of the evidence adduced on either side, the District Forum dismissed the complaint holding to the effect that there was no deficiency in service.

    Aggrieved by the said order, the complainant filed this appeal reiterating the grounds urged by them and also contended that his father had no authority to give consent to allow ticket No.35 subscriber to participate even if the consent were true.

    The respondent counsel filed written arguments and there was no representation for the appellant.

    A perusal of the record throws up the following points for consideration 1)Whether the complainant could prove that the opposite parties were guilty of deficiency in service marked by the act of permitting an unauthorized person to participate in the auction in question. 2) Whether there are any good grounds to interfere with the order of the District Forum?

    According to the complainant, the act of the opposite parties in permitting the person with ticket No.35 into the auction has marred his chances of getting the amount which he wanted to utilize for purchasing land and thereby the opposite parties rendered defective service in the matter. The grievance of the complainant can be appreciated as having substance if only the participation of chit No.35 subscriber is capable of being shown as illegal or irregular. In this regard what all the agreement marked as Ex.B1 stipulates is as follows:

    ‘Defaulted subscribers will not be allowed to participate

    in the auction’

    Whether ticket No.35 participant was a defaulter or not has to be decided by the foreman, who will, naturally have the exclusive knowledge about the status of payments. The opposite parties clearly stated that by the date of auction, the said so called unauthorized participant had paid the instalments by way of cheque and the realization or otherwise of the cheque was not decided by that time in as much as they stated that it was not encashed by them. The payment of instalment by way of cheque whether it was encashed or not by the recipient cannot be discounted as non payment in order to brand such person as a defaulter. Even otherwise, the opposite parties categorically stated that they had taken the consent of the proxy, namely, the father of the complainant, for allowing the said person. It does not lie in the mouth of the complainant to say that his father had no such authority. We could see Exs.B2 and B3 bear the signature of the father of the prized subscriber. The complainant made an attempt to take a ‘U’ turn to disown the role of his father, firstly by describing himself in the complaint as the one that had participated in the auction and later by saying that he had no authority to give any such consent. But in his own notice, Ex.B3, got issued through the counsel, he clearly admitted as follows:

    ‘…………..when recently conducted the auction in the month

    of December, 2002, there were only two members that is

    my client’s father with due authorization and another member

    holding ticket No.35 of the same chit series’.

    This prevaricating statements would naturally cast a shadow on his assertion that his father had no power to give consent on his behalf. There is absolutely nothing in the contract of rules preventing the Chit Fund Company from proceeding with the auction by taking consent from the other participants in respect of compliance with certain rules. Even otherwise, the subscriber, who tenders cheque cannot be branded as out right defaulter as the cheque is nothing but cash payment marked to be realized the moment the cheque is presented for encashment. If by any chance the cheque gets bounced it terminates the liability of debt on the foot of the bounced cheque, in such an event it serves the purpose of payment and also generates a cause of action in favour of the chit fund company to deduct the said unrealized amount from the prized amount and in any view of the matter, we do not see any deviation on the part of the opposite parties from the valid practices that are capable of being pronounced as unfair from the terms of the contract and the law behind the contract. We are unable to disagree with the finding of the District Forum as the order did not suffer from any infirmities.

    Accordingly the appeal is dismissed but without costs in the circumstances of the case.

  2. #2
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    Default Margadarsi Chit Fund

    Cheeday Venkata Bhaskara Trinadha Rao

    (Ch.V.B.T.Rao)

    S/o Bhogaiah, Hindu, male, aged 46 years

    Contractor, R/o Tunduru village, Bhimavaram Mandal

    W.G.Dist., -- Complainant


    1. The Manager, Margadarsi Chit Fund Ltd.,

    Undi Road, Opp. Kishore Theatre

    Bhimavaram Town, W.G. Dist.,

    2. The Managing Director

    Margadarsi Chit Fund Ltd.,

    Registered Office, 5-10-195

    Fateh Maidan Road, Hyderabad -04 -- Opposite Parties

    O R D E R

    This is a complaint filed by the complainant under Sec. 12 of the Consumer Protection Act with a prayer to direct the opposite parties to release the chit amount of Rs.1,00,000/- relating to the chit value of Rs.2,00,000/- bearing Chit No.LT5 PBV -16 and so also to refund of Rs.48,000/- relating to the Chit No. LTSPBV-16 for chit value of Rs.3,00,000/- and further sum of Rs.1,00,000/- towards compensation for mental agony for financial loss, inconvenience, negligence etc, caused to him and costs of the complaint. The averments of the complaint in brief are that :

    2. The 2nd opposite party is the registered office located at Hyderabad carrying on Chit Fund business by having its branches throughout the State of Andhra Pradesh. The 1st opposite party is the Agent and as well as one of the branches of the 2nd opposite party located at Bhimavaram. Having attracted by the offers made by the opposite parties, the complainant joined as member of the 1st opposite party under Chit No.LT5 PBV -16 for a sum of Rs.2,00,000/- agreeing to pay the monthly instalments at Rs.4,000/- per month for a period of 50 months beginning from 1-9-2006. The complainant also joined in another chit with the 1st opposite party under Chit No. LTS PBV -16 for an amount of Rs.3,00,000/- agreeing to the monthly instalments at Rs.6,000/- per month beginning from 1-9-2006 for a period of 50 months. The complainant is a prompt customer to the opposite parties and he never committed any default in payment of monthly instalments. In the month of May, 2007, the complainant became highest bidder for the chit bearing No. LT5 PBV -16 for the chit value Rs.2,00,000/- agreeing to forego Rs.75,000/- and the 1st opposite party is liable to pay the prize amount Rs.1,25,000/- to the complainant.

    The complainant offered two sureties to the 1st opposite party by producing salary certificate of the sureties namely 1. Jangam Venkateswara Rao who is working as a Senior Inspector in District Co-operative Audit officer, Eluru and 2. Palaparthi Khadheer Aruna kumar, Junior Inspector in District Co-operative Audit officer, Eluru. But the 1st opposite party did not release the chit amount of Rs.1,25,000/- to the complainant since May, 2007. Surprisingly, the 1st opposite party with a malafide intention instead of releasing the chit amount to the complainant, has deposited an amount of Rs.1,00,000/- as fixed deposit in the name of the complainant without his consent by holding the amount in the opposite party’s name and issued 4 receipts each for Rs.25,000/- with a maturity date as 5-3-2008, 5-9-2008, 5-3-2009 and 5-9-2009 respectively while adjusting the balance amount of Rs.25,000/- towards monthly instalments of the chit bearing No. LT5 PBV -16 for the value of Rs.2,00,000/- and after which, a sum of Rs.12,000/- was paid to the complainant.

    Due to negligent attitudes on the part of the 1st opposite party towards the said chit transaction, the complainant sustained lot of mental agony, inconvenience and financial loss and as such, he was constrained to close other chit for the value of Rs.3,00,000/- bearing Chit No. LTS PBV -16 though he paid 8 monthly instalments. Therefore both the opposite parties are liable to release the amount of Rs.1,00,000/- which was kept in their custody by way of fixed deposits besides the opposite parties are also liable to refund Rs.48,000/- relating to other chit of Rs. 3, 00,000/-. Inspite of making several rounds around the office of the opposite parties, the opposite parties did not pay the amount due to him. Thus the present complaint is filed for the afore said reliefs.

    3. The 1st opposite party filed its version which was adopted by the 2nd opposite party denying the averments mentioned in the complaint and stated that after paying 8th instalment, the complainant participated in the auction and became the successful bidder having agreed to forego a sum of Rs.75,000/- out of Rs.2,00,000/- for the chit bearing No.LT5 PBV -16 that thereupon when the complainant failed to furnish required sureties as per the rules, the 1st opposite party had sent letter after letter on 5-6-2007, 15-6-2007, 3-7-2007 and 17-7-2007 and requested the complainant to produced necessary sureties or to offer any acceptable security to withdraw the prize amount. Thereupon the complainant on 31-8-2007 while producing one surety to the satisfaction of the 1st opposite party, gave letter of 4 undertakings each for RS.25,000/- and requested the 1st opposite party to keep under deposit a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- out of the prize amount towards security for the future liability and also to pledge the amount paid in other undrawn chit bearing No. LTS PBV -16 worth Rs.3,00,000/- apart from the personal security of Mr. P.K. Arun Kumar, the Junior Inspector in the office of the District Cooperative Audit, Eluru, W.G. Dist., who also executed promissory note and guarantee bond towards security to the prize amount.

    Accordingly, the 1st opposite party had accepted an amount of Rs.1,00,000/- as security towards due payment of future subscriptions out of the chit amount of Rs.1,25,000/- and Rs.1,00,000/- was deposited towards future liability and an amount of Rs.11,897/- was paid to the complainant towards instalment amount due for the instalments 9th to 12th. Thus the complainant was paid the remaining amount of Rs.13,703/- by way of cheque bearing No.849863 dated 5-9-2007. Thus the complainant was been paid the total amount by the 1st opposite party towards the chit bearing No. LT5 PBV -16. Therefore, having received the total prize amount, the complainant had committed default in payment of the monthly instalments from 13th instalment onwards. Hence as per the stipulated rules and regulations, the complainant was served with letters dt. 16-10-2007 and 18-12-2007 requesting him to pay the default amount and despite of the same, the complainant did not choose to pay the instalment amount.

    Hence, as per the stipulated rules, the chit bearing No. LT5 PBV -16 was cancelled after the expiry of the stipulated time and the company had deducted its commission from the instalments paid and the balance amount was adjusted to the prized chit in question for the instalments from 13th to 21st as per the letter of consent dt.13-1-2008 given by the complainant. Therefore, the instalment amount in the prized chit upto to 25th instalment were adjusted upto to October, 2008 and still an amount of Rs.5,747-70 ps., is only in the credit of the chit with the 1st opposite party and the same would be adjusted to the future instalments of the prized chit. Having paid upto to 25th installment, the complainants’ pending future liability would be 25 instalments at the rate of Rs.4,000/- per month making a total amount of Rs.1,00,000/- and the complainant’s security amount of Rs.1,00,000/- would be equal to the future liability amount hence, if the complainant does not pay the instalments hereinafter, the security amount and the balance amount would be adjusted to the equallent future liability. Therefore, under the said circumstances, having known fully about the procedure, the complainant has been trying to claim devious relief and has been trying to gratify the complainant’s unlawful desire of avoiding the commitment that can not be ineluctable.

    Thus the opposite party is prompt in delivering their duties all through and at no point of time they were negligent in discharging their duties as they have communicated with the complainant especially the 1st opposite party in all aspects at requisite time. The 1st opposite party has been very prompt in all aspects in discharging his duties and never had fallen in deficiency of discharging his duties. Hence as per the complainant’s demand, the opposite parties have no necessity to release Rs.1,00,000/- which was kept as security and also to refund Rs.48,000/- towards other chit No. LTS PBV -16 and neither of the opposite parties are responsible or liable for payment of Rs.1,00,000/- towards damages as claimed in the complaint and therefore, the complaint is liable to be dismissed.

    4. Thereupon, the complainant in support of his claim filed his proof affidavit and got marked Ex A.1 to Ex A.12. The opposite parties in support of his contentions mentioned in their versions, filed the affidavit of 1st opposite party and got marked Ex B.1 to B.32.

    5. The points for determination now are :

    1) Whether the deficiency in service as alleged against the opposite parties in rendering service to the complainant is proved ?

    2) Whether the complainant is entitled for the reliefs sought for by him ?

    3) To what relief ?


    POINT No: 1:

    As seen from the material placed on record filed by both the parties, there is no dispute with regard to the complainant joining as a subscriber in two chits bearing Nos. LT5 PBV -16 and LTS PBV -16 with the 1st opposite party which is the branch office of 2nd opposite party. There is also no dispute in the matter that the complainant after paying the amounts towards 8 instalments against 50 instalments, participated in the auction conducted by the 1st opposite party and became a successful bidder for the bid amount of Rs.1,25,000/- out of Rs.2,00,000/- under chit No. LT5 PBV -16 and subsequently became a defaulter in payment of the balance instalments. Likewise, there is also no dispute in the matter about the complainant after paying 8 instalments, became defaulter from 9th instalment on wards as against 50 instalments.

    As far as the Chit No. LT5 PBV -16 is concerned, it is the case of the complainant that after becoming successful bidder in the auction conducted by the 1st opposite party for the prized amount of Rs.1,25,000/- and that the 1st opposite party without of his consent converted an amount of Rs.1,00,000/- into fixed deposit and paid a sum of Rs.12,000/- after adjusting Rs.13,000/- towards 9th to 13th instalments fall in due from out of the balance amount of Rs.25,000/- and therefore the opposite parties are liable to pay a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- together with interest.

    Under the circumstances, the question that has to be seen now is whether there is any deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties in not paying such amount of Rs.1,00,000/- to the complainant after conducting the auction ?

    The contention of the learned counsel for the opposite parties is that in fact the opposite parties have been prompt in delivering their duties all through and at no point of time they were negligent in discharging their duties as they have communicated with the complainant especially the 1st opposite party in all aspects at requisite time and hence, the opposite parties have no necessity to release Rs.1,00,000/- which was kept as security towards future liability of the chit and no need to refund Rs.48,000/- towards other chit and neither of the opposite parties are responsible or liable for payment of compensation as claimed in the complaint and to establish the said contentions the opposite parties filed all the relevant documents and got them marked as Exhibits in B series on record.

    On perusing the documents got marked by the 1st opposite party, there is no truth in the case of the complainant with regard to the alleged deficiency on the part of the opposite parties for the reason that the documents got marked on behalf of the opposite parties clearly falsifies the case of the complainant and it appears that the complainant has not approached this Forum with clean hands.

    It is the case of the complainant that without of his consent, the 1st opposite party converted the chit amount of Rs.1,00,000/- into a fixed deposit and ultimately refused to pay the same which amounts to deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties.

    As admitted by the by the opposite parties, there is no dispute in the matter about the complainant becoming successful bidder for the prize amount of Rs.1,25,000/-. So, as per the terms and conditions of the chit agreement, it is the bounded duty of the complainant to produce requisite sureties to the opposite party for payment of the prize amount under the chit No.LT5 PBV -16. It is the contention of the opposite parties that as the complainant has not come forward with the requisite sureties, the 1st opposite party addressed number of letters to the complainant requesting him to furnish security for release of payment of the chit amount. Ex B.5, B.6, B.8 and B.9 are such letters addressed for the same to the complainant by the 1st opposite party. A perusal of the letters marked as Ex B.5, B.6, B.8 and B.9 clearly goes to show that when the complainant failed to furnish sureties, the 1st opposite party made such request to the complainant for his furnishing sureties. Ex B.18, 19, 20 and 21 are the undertakings each for Rs.25,000/- given by the complainant to the 1st opposite party.

    A perusal of the recitals of Ex. B.18 to B.21 clearly goes to show that the complainant on his own accord requested the 1st opposite party to keep a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- covered under them from out of the chit amount of Rs.1,25,000/- towards security for the future liability of the chit No. LT5 PBV -16 while furnishing one surety and the 1st opposite party accordingly issued 4 Receipts as under Ex A.3 to Ex A.6. It also appears from the record, that at the same time, the complainant requested to adjusted the balance amount of Rs.25,000/- out of the prize amount of Rs.1,25,000/- towards future instalments from 9th to 12th by making payment of the balance amount to him. Ex B.22 is such payment receipt passed by the 1st opposite party in favour of the complainant. Ex B.22 clearly goes to show that from out of the prize amount of Rs.1,25,000/-, Rs.1,00,000/- was retained by the 1st opposite party towards security offered by the complainant for his future liability and an amount of Rs.11,897/- was adjusted towards instalments due from 9th to 12th and the remaining amount of Rs.13,703/- was paid to the complainant by way of cheque bearing No. 849863 dt. 5-9-2007 and the complainant received the said amount without any protest. Therefore, as rightly contended to by the learned counsel for the opposite parties, the complainant was thus been paid the total prize amount by the 1st opposite party with regard to the chit bearing No. LT5 PBV -16.

    So, the correspondence made by the 1st opposite party with the complainant in time and making of payment of balance amount to the complainant by adjusting the remaining chit amount towards security for the future liability and the amount due for further instalments with the consent of the complainant clearly goes to show that there is no delay on the part of the opposite parties in making payment of the chit amount to the complainant. In fact the complainant purposefully suppressed the above facts of his giving undertakings etc., Hence we found that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties upto to this stage.

    It is the case of the opposite parties that the complainant once again committed default in making payment of the instalments from 13th onwards and thereupon the 1st opposite party promptly addressed letters to the complainant requesting him to make the payments of the default amount and when the complainant did not chose to pay the instalment amount, the 1st opposite party as per the stipulated rules, cancelled the chit in question after the expiry of the stipulated duration and adjusted the balance amount from out of the security deposit towards instalments due ie., utp to 25th instalment that too with the consent of the letter dt. 13-1-2008 given by the complainant and therefore there is no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties in serving the complainant. Ex B.24 to Ex B.25 are the letters said to have been addressed by the 1st opposite party to the complainant informing him that he became the defaulter in payment of the amount from 13th instalment onwards and so also requested to make payment of the defaulted amount.

    A perusal of such letters Ex B.24 and Ex B.25 clearly establishes the contentions of the opposite parties that there is promptness in reminding the complainant for making payment of the default amount. Ex B.27 is the letter given by the complainant giving consent for adjusting the balance amount towards default amount due by him. A perusal of Ex B.27 also clearly goes to show that the complainant himself had consented to set off the defaulted amounts from the amount kept towards security for the future liability and accordingly the said amount was adjusted upto 25th instalment. So, the above circumstances in making correspondence with the complainant by the opposite parties and the complainant in response to it giving his consent clearly establishes that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties in complying the request made by the complainant. Therefore, we found that there is no further deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties in serving the complainant upto to this stage.

    It is the case of the opposite parties that the complainant again committed default in making payment from 26th instalment onwards as against the 50th instalment. The above said acts of the opposite parties in addressing letters at each and every stage and his giving consent letter is not dispute by the complainant. It is not the case of the complainant that he had not received any such remainders from the 1st opposite party for adjusting his security amount etc., towards his future instalments amount.

    It is the case of the 1st opposite party that still the complainant fell due in payment of the instalments amount from 26th instalment onwards as against 50 instalment and the same is not disputed by the complainant. So, the reason for not making payment of Rs.1,00,000/- to the complainant by the 1st opposite party clearly establishes that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties . In other words, it can clearly be said that the complainant is the person who suppressed the real facts, came forward with the present complaint without clean hands by taking a plea that the 1st opposite party without of his consent converted Rs.1,00,000/- into fixed deposit.

    Therefore for the reason stated, we hold that the complainant failed to establish that there is deficiency on the part of the opposite parties in refunding an amount of Rs.1,00,000/- to him. As such the complainant is not entitled for refund of Rs.1,00,000/- with regard to the transaction under Chit LT5 PBV -16.

    As far as the 2nd chit bearing No. LTS PBV -16 is concerned, admittedly the complainant after making payment for 8 instalments voluntarily closed his chit but the contentions of the complainant that he made a sum of Rs.48,000/- and on his demand the opposite parties failed to refund the said amount. But on perusing the documents produced by the 1st opposite party, we found that there is no truth in the contentions of the complainant. Ex B.27 dt. 13-1-2008 is the letter admittedly given by the complainant to the 1st opposite party with a request to settle his account by canceling the chit in question. Ex B.28 is the payment voucher dt. 19-1-2008 passed by the 1st opposite party in favour of the complainant settling the amount by canceling the chit. A perusal of the recitals of the said voucher Ex B.28 clearly goes to show that the 1st opposite party within no much time, settled the account by paying a sum of Rs.40,296 under Chit No. LTS PBV -16 to the complainant towards refund of the cancelled chit in question which was also established by Ex B.25.

    It also appears from Ex B.28 that the complainant without any hesitation received the said amount under acknowledgement. There is also no material placed on record by the complainant as to how the amount of Rs.40,296/- paid to him under Ex B.28 is not correct. The complainant having passed the acknowledgement receipt for Rs.40,296/- under Ex B.28 towards settlement of the chit No. LTS PBV -16 closed by him, came forward with a plea that the opposite parties have not refunded Rs.48,000/- paid by him towards 8 instalments towards Chit No. LTS PBV -16 itself falsify the case of the complainant and in other words, it can clearly be said that the complainant has not approached this Forum with clean hands. Therefore the plea of the complainant that there is deficiency in service can not be accepted. Hence, we found that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties in settling the amounts under the Chit No. LTS PBV -16. As such the opposite party are not liable to pay an amount of Rs.48,000/- in question to the complainant.

    On careful consideration of the entire material placed on record by both sides and for the reasons stated supra, we hold that the complainant has totally failed to establish the deficiency in service alleged against the opposite parties. The point is answered accordingly.

    POINT NO: 2:

    In view of the finding given under Point No.1, we hold that the complainant is not entitled for the reliefs sought for by him and thus the complaint is liable to be dismissed without costs.

    In the result, the complaint is dismissed. No order as to costs.

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