This is a discussion on The Mapusa Urban Co-op Bank of Goa Ltd. within the Judgments forums, part of the General Discussions category; THE STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION PANAJI-GOA Present: Smt. Sandra Vaz e Correia…Presiding Member Smt. Caroline Collasso, ... Member Appeal ...
THE STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
Smt. Sandra Vaz e Correia…Presiding Member
Smt. Caroline Collasso, ... Member
Ramesh M. Dessai,
r/o 82/D-10, Vidhya Nagar,
Near Saraswat Vidhyalaya,
Khorlim, Mapusa Goa. …Appellant
The Mapusa Urban Co-op Bank of Goa Ltd.,
Having its registered office at “Nandadeep”
Through its General Manager,
(Original Opposite Party) … Respondent
Appellant present in person.
For the Respondent …Shri M.P. Mulgaonkar, Advocate.
and none present at the time of order.
[Per Smt.Caroline Collasso, Member]
1. This appeal challenges judgment/order dated 09-04-2008 in consumer case No.9/2005 of District Forum North Goa at Porvorim. The appellant herein is original Complainant and Respondent Mapusa Urban Co-operative Bank of Goa Ltd., is the original Opposite Party before the District Forum.
2. Brief facts necessary to decide this appeal is that the Appellant was an employee of Respondent Bank. During his service he had availed of two loans, one being a housing loan of Rs.2 lakhs and the other a car loan of Rs.1,42,000/-. It was his case that at the time of his retirement the Opposite Party had erroneously calculated and charged a higher rate of interest than which was permissible under the agreement. Hence the complaint seeking refund of the excess amount quantified at Rs.65,854/- along with interest @ 8% p.a. from 10-03-2004 till final payment.
3. In reply the Opposite Party challenged the jurisdiction of the Forum that Complainant was not a consumer within the definition of “consumer” under the Consumer Protection Act, besides other factual issues. Affidavit-in-evidence of both parties reiterated what was stated in complaint and written version.
4. Order of the District Forum explicates the brief facts of the case and finally opines at para 8: “Deciding quantum of interest to be charged is not the function of a consumer Court”, hence dismissed the complaint.
5. It may be noted that the term service is defined inter alia to includes the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance etc. u/s 2(1)(o) of Consumer Protection Act. Hence it is seen that Banking and financing services are specifically included in the definition clause after defining service in general terms. The inclusive words in the definition clause do not limit the definition but clearly widen and expand the concept of the services. When bank/financing agencies advance loans they undoubtedly render a service. Therefore, payment of interest on overdraft, interest on lending rate etc. claimed by the appellant from the Respondent bank are covered in the definition “service”. The District Forum appears to have misdirected itself by relying on section 21A of the Banking Regulation Act 1949 which it has incorporated in para 6 of its order and transcribed hereunder including the portion emphasized by the impugned order:
“Section 21-A-Rules of interest charged by Banking Companies not to be subject to the scrutiny by Courts – Notwithstanding anything contained in the Usurious Loans Act 1918 (10 of 1918) or any other law relating to indebtedness in force in any state, a transaction between a Banking Company and his debtor shall be reopened by any Court on the ground that rate of interest charged by the Banking Company in respect of such transaction is excessive.”
6. In doing so, the District Forum has overlooked section 3 of the Consumer Protection Act which states “that the provisions of this Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force.
7. Once it is held that loans and similar transaction come under the ambit of the term service it is natural that the interest is of paramount importance and becomes part of a decision to be taken by the fora.
Hence the judgment/order is quashed and set aside. Matter remanded to District Forum, North Goa to be disposed off in accordance with law. Since the Appellant/Complainant is a senior citizen, matter be disposed off expeditiously.