[Per Smt Sandra Vaz e Correia, Presiding Member]

1. The appellant is the complainant in Consumer Dispute no. 131/2008 before the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (District Forum) North Goa. He preferred a complaint against the opposite party/respondent alleging deficiency in legal services rendered to him. The District Forum disposed his complaint at the admission stage by order dated 30-12-2008 expressing an opinion that as the opposite party happens to be ex-President of the Forum, the complaint cannot be tried before the Forum. The complainant was directed to approach this Commission. Hence this appeal.

2. Heard the appellant present in person and Ld Adv Shri B V Sukhtanker on behalf of the respondent. Parties also filed written arguments. Records and proceedings of the lower forum were called and perused. The submissions of the appellants were largely on the merits of his case. On the other hand, although the respondent fairly conceded that there is no bar for trying the complaint in the District Forum North Goa, he pressed for transfer of the complaint to District Forum South Goa in terms of Section 17A.

3. Mere fact that one of the parties is an ex-President of the District Forum does not take away the jurisdiction of the Forum to entertain, try and decide a complaint by or against such party. We do not find any merit at all in the impugned order. In the circumstances, there is no case for transfer either.

4. The order dated 30-12-2008 is hereby set-aside. The matter stands restored to its file. The District Forum shall re-consider the complaint on its admissibility as per law.

Pronounced in the open court.