By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President
The complainantís case is as follows:
The complainant had joined a kuri vide passbook No.161 in the respondent Sabha. The complainant auctioned the kuri and deposited Rs.1,15,000/- on 28/4/01. The respondent agreed to give 14% interest for the deposit. But on 28/5/04 onwards the respondent reduced the rate of interest to 10%. The reduction of the rate of interest is a deficiency in service and the complainant sent a lawyer notice on 30/9/205. The facts stated in the reply notice are not correct and untenable. Hence this complaint.
2. The averments in the version filed by respondents are that:
Complaint is filed without bonafides and with the dishonest intention of making unlawful gains to the complainant. The respondents have never insisted kuri security deposit. If the complainant was aggrieved by the reduction in the rate of interest he could withdrawn the deposit by furnishing proper security for the future instalments of the kuri. There has not been any stipulation that interest will be paid to the kuri security deposit at the rate of 14% per annum till the termination of the chit. Ti me to time Reserve Bank of India is prescribing the rate of interest payable on the deposit and receivable on loans. Reduction of rate of interest is not a unilateral act and the respondents done the things according to the directions of Reserve Bank of India. The averments in the complaint are against law and also against the directions issued by the R.B.I. Kuri security deposit was accepted for a period of 37 months. Accordingly from 28/4/2001 to 27/5/2004 interest was paid to the deposit at the rate of 14% per annum. There after deposit was renewed for 37 months. At that time rate of interest payable on deposit was 10% only. This fact was made known to the complainant. He had not offered any other security and opted to renew the deposits. From 28/5/04 interest was paid for the deposit at the rate of 10%. The complainant had accepted interest till 28/4/05. When the rate of interest was reduced the interest accrued on deposit became insufficient to remit the instalments of the chit. Up to the 35th instalments complainant paid the balance amount by cash after adjusting the interest on deposit, for remitting the instalment to the chit. He has not remitted the instalment amount after the 35th instalment. The complainant had accepted the interest at the reduced rate and also consented to it. By the said act, the complainant is estopped from challenging the reduction of rate of interest. He has acquiesced to the rate of interest by conduct. At no point of time Sree Narayana Dharma Sabha has offered interest at the rate of 14% till the termination of the chit. Hence dismiss.
3. The points for consideration are
1) Is there any deficiency in service ?
2) If so reliefs and costs ?
4. The evidence consists of Exhibits P1 to P3 and Exhibits R1 to R4.
5. Points : The complainant had subscribed a ticket in the chit conducted by respondents. He had auctioned the chit and accepted amount and deposited Rs.1,15,000/- as kuri security on 28/4/01. The rate of interest payable on kuri security deposit was 14% per annum at the time of the said deposit. But on 28/5/04 the respondents reduced the rate of interest to 10%. The case of the complainant is to restore the interest as 14% till the termination of the kuri from 28/5/04 onwards. In the counter the respondents stated that they reduced the rate of interest as per the directions of Reserve Bank of India and no bank is paying interest at the rate at which it was paid earlier. So the respondents also reduced the rate of interest. But they did not produce the direction of R.B.I to show that reduction of rate of interest was as per that regulations. So the respondents have no right to reduce the rate of interest. The deficiency in service on the part of the respondents are proved.
6. In the result the complaint is allowed and the respondents are directed to provide interest at the rate of 14% per annum from 28/5/04 till the termination of the kuri. The respondents are further directed to pay Rs.1000/- (Rupees One thousand only) as compensation and Rs.500/- (Rupees Five hundred only) as cost within one month.