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Thread: Nationl Union of Seafarers of India

  1. #1
    adv.singh is offline Senior Member
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    Jan 2010
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    Default Nationl Union of Seafarers of India

    FA.No.748/2007 AGAINST C.D.No.162/2004 DISTRICT FORUM-II, VISAKAHAPATNAM.

    Between:

    1. General Secretary, National Union of

    Sea, Farers of India, NUSI Bhavan,

    No.4, Goa Street, Ballard estate,

    Mumbai-1.

    2. The Chairman, National Maritime

    Board Rehabilitation Trust Co.,

    National Union Seafares of India,

    NUSI Bhavan No.4, Goa Steet,

    Ballard estate, Mumbai-1.


    3. Odisala Sambhamurthy, Organizer, National

    Union of Seafarers of India C/o.HMS Union

    Complex, Kotha road near reading room,

    Main road, Visakhapatnam.-1. Appellants/ Opp.parties

    A N D

    K.Lokanatham, W/o.late Chinnaswamy,

    Hindu, aged 65 years, Residing at

    Door No.6-122/A, Ravindranagar,

    Old Dairy form, Visakhapatnam-10. Respondent/

    Complainant

    Counsel for the Appellants: Mr.G.Ramagopal



    Counsel for the Respondent:-Respondent served by publication.



    QUORUM: SMT.M.SHREESHA, MEMBER

    &

    SRI K.SATYANAND, MEMBER

    MONDAY, THE EIGHTEENTH DAY OF JANUARY,

    TWO THOUSAND TEN

    (Typed to the dictation of Sri K.Satyanand,Hon’ble Member)
    *
    This is an appeal filed by the opposite parties against whom the District Forum passed an order imposing liability to pay the amount claimed by the complainant along with costs and other benefits.

    The facts of the case are briefly as follows:

    The complainant, a sea farer, was a bonafide member of the opposite party No.1 association and served the ship C.V.Raman as his last voyage and signed off the said ship on 12-6-2002. As the complainant was suffering from kneecap disease, he underwent treatment till 20-11-2002 and as he was not fit for sea service, he tendered his voluntary retirement on 03-12-2002 by enclosing medical certificate which was accepted by the Director, S.C.O., Mumbai dated 4-12-2002. The complainant submitted that first opposite party issued guarantee Life Time Security which was made applicable from 01-4-2002 to 31-3-2004 and the complainant came to know of the said information in Mumbai. It is the case of the complainant that if the said information was passed to him, he would have taken voluntary retirement in June 2002 and would have got the benefit under the said scheme. Under clause 11 of the said scheme, the complainant was entitled to get Rs.70,000/- under the severance and redundancy compensation and since he took voluntary above the age of 58 years. However, the complainant was entitled to the compensation of the aid amount of Rs.70,000/- since the said scheme is applicable from 01-4-2002 to 31-3-2004. The complainant, therefore, got issued a legal notice to the opposite parties requesting to pay the said amount for which opposite party No.3 replied that the case pertains to opposite party no.1 and first opposite party replied that opposite party no.2 had to attend to it. Reminder legal notice was also issued but there was no reply. Hence the complainant approached the District Forum alleging deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties.

    Opposite parties 1 and 3 filed counter and admitted that the complainant was a holder of C.D.C.No.A58929 and Regd. Book No.38525 and that National Union of Seafarers of India (‘NUSI’ for short) was providing benefit to seafarers and their families by way of bipartite agreement with shipping companies, training academy etc., They submitted that they circulated about the policy particulars pertaining to seafarers on 13-9-2002 itself to all shipping companies in India about applicability for only eligible seafarers under the NMB rehabilitation trust deed dated 25-12-1994. They contended that as the complainant’s application was not received within the stipulated time and as he crossed the age of superannuation, he was not eligible for rehabilitation from the trust. They denied that the complainant approached Mumbai office on 12-6-2002 and that NUSI office did not explain about the benefit under the severance and redundancy compensation and had they explained about the same, the complainant would have taken voluntary retirement in June, 2002 and got the benefit under the scheme. They contended that the complainant was not eligible for the benefit of Rs.70,000/- as per para 11 of NUSI circular dated 13-9-2002 under the severance and Redundancy compensation. They admitted that receipt of legal notice dated 13-1-2003 and stated that they replied stating that 2nd opposite party was the competent authority to consider the scheme. They further contended that the complaint was not maintainable as the complainant completed his voyage and underwent treatment at Mumbai and that the Forum had no territorial jurisdiction as the 2nd opposite party was situated at Mumbai and prayed for dismissal of the complaint.

    Second opposite party remained exparte

    In support of his case, the complainant filed his affidavit and relied upon documents marked as Exs.A1 to A8. On the other hand, the opposite parties 1 and 3 filed their affidavits and relied upon documents marked as Exs.B1 and B2.

    On a consideration of the evidence adduced by both sides, the District Forum gave a finding that there was deficiency in service and directed opposite parties to pay Rs.70,000/- with interest at 9% p.a. from 13-1-2003 till the date of realization together with damages of Rs.4,000/- and costs of Rs.1,000/-.

    Aggrieved by the said order, opposite parties preferred the present appeal contending that the complaint was misconceived and not maintainable as admittedly Exs.A1 to A3 are Xerox copies and have no validity under law. The District Forum did not consider the guidelines of NMB i.e. Ex.B1 and B2 which were clear about granting of “Redundancy severance compensation only for eligible sea farers not exceeded the age of 58 years. They further contended that the District Forum had no territorial jurisdiction to entertain the complaint. It wrongly interpreted clause 11 of guarantee life time security scheme under Ex.A8 and interpreted that the scheme was made applicable from 1st April, 2002 to 31st March, 2004 which was contrary to law. They further contended that the District forum erred in coming to the conclusion that the NMB guideless were of the year 1995 which were not made applicable to the guarantee life time security scheme of the year 1st April, 2002 to 31st March, 2004.

    Heard the counsel for the appellant who also filed written arguments.

    The points that arise for consideration in this appeal are:

    1) Whether the District Forum is devoid of territorial jurisdiction?

    2) Whether the complainant is entitled to the benefits contemplated by Ex.A8?

    3) Whether Ex.A8 prevails over Exs.B1 and B2.

    4) Whether the charge of deficiency in service against opposite parties is justifiable?

    5) Whether there are any good grounds to interfere with the order of the District Forum?

    The appellants attacked the very cognizance of the complaint by the District Forum on the ground that the District Forum had no territorial jurisdiction. For the said purpose, they relied upon the fact that opposite parties 1 and 2 were stationed in Mumbai and claim against opposite party No.3 was untenable as after all he was only the agent of opposite party No.1 at the most and in that view of the matter the complaint could not have been maintained against opposite party No.3 thereby knocking the very basis for instituting the complaint in Visakhapatnam while the affected opposite parties belong to Mumbai. But this argument suffers from the fallacy that it ignores the fact that the office of opposite party No.3 was set up at Visakhapatnam to carry out the objects for which opposite party No.1 came into existence. In that view of the matter, the allegation of the complainant that opposite party no.1 failed to pass on the information to him holds good. Naturally opposite party No.3 was meant to operate at the contract level. In so far as the complainant is concerned, it is between opposite party No.1 and opposite party No.3 to apportion the responsibility and the fact remains that opposite party No.3 was set up in Visakhapatnam for the avowed purpose of carrying out the objects for which opposite party no.1 stood. So the failure on the part of opposite party No.1 and opposite party No.3 to pass on the beneficial information to the complainant did occur equally at Visakhapatnam where opposite party No.3 was performing its operations in terms of the objects of opposite party No.. In this view of the matter, the stationing of opposite party No.3 coupled with the factum of arisal of cause of action in Visakhapatnam by way of inaction on the part of opposite party No.1 equally attributable to opposite party No.3 to communicate the beneficial information affords the District Forum at Visakhapatnam with all the territorial jurisdiction, if one goes by a test of arisal of part of cause of action occurring within the territorial limits of the District Forum concerned. Thus, there is no force in the criticism against the territorial jurisdiction of the District Forum.

    Next coming to the right of the complainant that came to be negligently handled by opposite parties 1 and 3 and ofcourse opposite party No.2, the complainant relied upon Ex.A8, superseding the conditions that were hither to adverse to the complainant under Exs.B1 and B2. Ex.A8 dispensed with several objections raised by the opposite parties. It provided for severance and redundancy compensation to a maximum of Rs.70,000/- even in the case of persons who had taken voluntary retirement after crossing 58. In the instant case, the claimant was born on 19-1-1943 as per Ex.A3. He had taken voluntary retirement with effect from 04-12-2002, thus he crossed 58 and was still entitled to claim the benefit in terms of Ex.A8. Ex.A8 also dispensed with the requirements of cancelling the registration under the redundancy clause and the minimum age requirement of 40 years under the severance clause as both the fetters were abolished. Thus, Ex.A8 clearly conferred the benefit contemplated even to the persons situated in conditions applicable to the complainant. So clearly Ex.A8 superseded Exs.B1 and B2 to the extent there was repugnancy. It is rather naïve for the appellants to rely upon Exs.B1 and B2 even after the advent of Ex.A8. They ought not to have taken recourse to such kind of tactice of relying upon documents which came to be subsequently amended. Thus there is absolutely no difficulty in coming to the conclusion that the complainant was entitled to the new benefits as all the impediments attaching to persons like him were removed by Ex.A8.

    Now coming to the charge of deficiency, the complainant attributed to the inaction on the part of opposite party No.1 and consequently opposite party no.3 in appraising him of the benefit that admittedly came to their knowledge if not on 01-4-2002 atleast by 13-9-2003. It was contended by the opposite parties that they were not under an obligation to give any such information to the complainant as after all he was member of a union like an organization which is opposite party no.1 in this case and therefore he cannot make out a case of consumer dispute. There is any amount of fallacy in this argument for the simple reason that he did pay amount by way of membership subscription and the opposite party No.1 owes an obligation to keep him informed of the developments beneficial to him. Thus the minimum service that is expected of by the association as after all the members pay subscription to the association only for that purpose and an abdication of duty in this regard cannot but be treated as deficiency and particularly deficiency in service as the union opposite party association owes service to its members and the type of service that was expected by the complainant in the present case answers the description of service that the opposite party No.1 was obligated to render. Thus there is deficiency in service on the part of opposite parties 1 and 3 as both of them were simultaneously responsible for keeping the members informed of the developments especially when they bring in some kind of benefit to the members.

    Next coming to opposite party No.2, opposite party No.2 remained exparte and in fact it is opposite party no.2 that had actually to process the claim and in fact it remained totally indifferent though it was under an obligation to facilitate the benefit to the complainant. In this view of the matter, there is no hesitation to hold that opposite party no.2 was equally guilty of deficiency in service. Thus viewing from all angles, it is abundantly clear that the finding of the District Forum does not suffer from any illegality or irregularity and on the other hand it is quite sound. Thus we do not see any grounds to interfere with the order of the District Forum.

    Accordingly the appeal is dismissed and there shall be no order as to costs in the circumstances of the case. Opposite parties 1 to 3 shall comply with the order of the District Forum within six weeks from the date of receipt of this order.

  2. #2
    ds.dsuku@gmail.com Guest

    Default request review wage scale sence 2008

    i here by request u to kindly arrange to review the wages nusi rating for CBA. science it was revised 2008 hope u may understand the seafarers problems

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