This is a discussion on India Trade Promotion Organisation within the Judgments forums, part of the General Discussions category; IN THE STATE COMMISSION: DELHI (Constituted under Section-9 Clause (b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986) Date of Decision: 30-03-2009 ...
IN THE STATE COMMISSION: DELHI
(Constituted under Section-9 Clause (b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986)
Date of Decision: 30-03-2009
Complaint Case No. C-115/2002
Anil Kumar Soni,
S/o. Late Shri Om Prakash Soni,
Proprietor, M/s. Megha Maria Collection,
C-116, Double Storey,
New Delhi 110015. ….. Complainant
India Trade Promotion Organisation,
A Government of India Enterprises,
Regd Office - Pragati Maidan,
New Delhi. …. Opposite Party
JUSTICE J.D. KAPOOR, PRESIDENT
MS. RUMNITA MITTAL, MEMBER
1. Whether Reporters of local newspapers be allowed to see the judgment?
2. To be referred to the Reporter or not?
JUSTICE J.D. KAPOOR (ORAL)
1. Alleging deficiency in service on the part of the Opposite Party (in short “O.P”) in as much as it failed to intimate the complainant about the exact rate of custom duty to be paid on the goods to be exported for an exhibition in a foreign country – Morocco, resulting in huge loss to the complainant, the complainant has sought a compensation of Rs. 16.66 Lacs from the OP.
2. The facts as alleged in the complaint in brief are that the complainant is engaged in the business of manufacture, sale and export of ready-made garments including rayon garments and is running a proprietory concern under the name and style of M/s Megha Maria Collection at C-116, Double Story Ramesh Nagar, New Delhi.
3. That the OP India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO), is a Government of India Enterprises holding and organizing Exhibitions and Trade Fairs in India and abroad and provides a broad spectrum of services to trade and industry so as to catalyze the growth of bilateral international trade, particularly India’s exports. To achieve this objective, the OP invites exporters for participating in such Exhibitions and trade Fairs and renders necessary service to them to enable them to display and make retail sale of their products in Trade Fair Exhibitions. The OP arranges for the dispatch of the products/ goods.
4. That the complainant, in response to the OP’s circular applied to participate in the International Trade Days of MOROCCO (J.C.I) CASABLANCA (MOROCCO) June 23 – July 8, 2001 for display and retail sale of readymade garments and handicrafts. The OP by its letter NO.EXN WN 17(6)/2001 dated 09.04.2001 approved the complainant’s application for participation and further informed the complainant that 9 Sq Mtr. net space had been reserved for display of the complainants products:-
5. That as per the letter dated 09.04.2001 of the OP, it was provided that the exporter participants should deliver exhibits to the OP’s Cargo agent at Bombay on or before 20.04.2001. However, the documents did not contain any information about the import customs duty to be levied in MOROCCO. The complainant was informed that the duty imposed on all products for direct selling was 80.25% of the declared value. The complainant made the necessary payment to the OP for booking the space in the said exhibition. The complainant went ahead with the arrangements for dispatch of goods and requested its business associate i.e. M/s Soni Fashion TORANTO to ship rayon garments comprising rayon skirts dresses etc of Indian origin to Morocco so that the goods reach Morocco in time and the complainant was in a position to display the same and make retail sale directly in the exhibition Pavilion in CASABLANCA. The invoice value of these goods was Rs. 1,55,725/- and the amount to be paid for freight was Rs. 31,500/-. Again the OP vide its letter dated 16-05-2001 informed the complainant that all the products for direct selling in the exhibition were taxable with 80.25% of the declared value. Thereafter the complainant arranged for air ticket from India to Morocco and back and also obtained foreign exchange equivalent to USD 5000 (INR 2,37,020/-) for payment of custom duty at Morocco and also for boarding and lodging etc. The OP accorded clearance of the consignment which was sent from Canada but the consignment could not be cleared since the duty assessed on the said consignment was made @ 1000 Dirham per dress. As the consignment contained 1500 such dresses the duty payable worked out to Rs. 72,00,000/- while as per the information provided by the OP the duty payable @ 80.25% worked out only to Rs. 1,28,000/- and as such the complainant could not clear the consignment. In order to minimize the loss the complainant was advised to dispose of his consignment somewhere else and as the complainant could get a buyer at Sofia the Director of the Trade Fair permitted him to send the consignment to Sofia.
6. According to the complainant due to the deficiency in service on the part of the OP in not correctly informing about the duty leviable on the consignment he had to dispose of the consignment at throwaway price and suffered a loss of Rs. 6,11,080/- on the consignment including commission, freight etc.
7. The complaint has been vehemently resisted by the OP on the ground that the OP neither concealed nor manipulated any information sought by the complainant. Pursuant to the request of the complainant it was conveyed to them that based on the information received by the OP from the Morocco Fair Authority at Casablanca vide letter dated 18-01-2001 all products for direct selling in the exhibition were taxable with 80.25% of the declared value. The OP had merely conveyed the information as received by them from the authorized government authority abroad. Further that the decision not to participate in the fair was exclusively a choice made by the complainant and no other participant failed to participate in the fair on account of liability to pay the custom duty or on the ground that the custom duty levied was too high. On the foregoing grounds the OP has denied any deficiency in service on its part resulting in any loss as alleged by the complainant.
8. As is apparent from the aforesaid conspectus of rival contentions of the parties, the solitary allegation of the complainant against the OP verging on the charge of deficiency in service is that the OP did not furnish correct information with regard to the custom duty to be levied on the products to be sold, particularly rayon garments, in the trade fair, in as much as, as per information given the total duty payable by the complainant was to the order of 80.25% of the value of the consignment, whereas when the complainant went for clearance of the consignment he was told that the duty on rayon garments was not 80.25% but it was 1,000 Dirham per piece. In this regard, the complainant has relied upon the letter dated 16-5-2001containing the same information for the guidance of the complainant which information was provided by the OP. Item No.9 of the said letter is as under:-
“Custom duty on all the products for direct selling shall be taxable with 80.25% of the declared value”.
9. As against this, the Ld. Counsel for the OP has relied upon letter dated 12-01-2001which is to the same effect that 80.25% of the declared value shall be levied on all products meant for direct selling at the exhibition. Apart from this, the counsel for the OP has also referred to a letter dated 26-06-2001. However, the letter dated 26-06-2001 being relied upon was purportedly issued by the OP to help and facilitate trans-shipment of the consignment of the complainant to Bulgaria.
10. It appears that there was some confusion regarding the information disseminated by the OP vide letter dated 18-01-2001 and letter dated 16-05-2001. However, the letter dated 16-05-2001 was given by the OP to the complainant when he approached the OP before leaving for Morocco as to what would be the rate of duty. Be that as it may, the fact remains that the complainant has suffered due to incorrect and incomplete information given by the OP and because of the exorbitant duty the complainant was not in a position to pay the said duty of Rs. 72.00 Lacs which was beyond comprehension and as such he could not participate in the trade fair and sold the consignment at discounted rate of fifty per cent.
11. We have accorded careful consideration to the aforesaid rival claims and contentions of the parties and heard the counsel for the parties at length.
12. Taking over all view of the matter and keeping in view the mental agony suffered by the complainant and the cost of the consignment being Rs. 1.75 Lac having sold at Rs. 75,000/- or so, we deem that a lump sum compensation of Rs. 1.00 Lac (One Lac) which shall include the cost of litigation shall meet the ends of justice.
13. Complaint stands disposed of in aforesaid terms. Order shall be complied with within one from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
14. Copy of Order, as per statutory requirement be forwarded to the parties and thereafter the file be consigned to record.