Indian Post

adminadmin Administrator
edited October 2013 in Miscellaneous
Consumer Case No. 56 of 2008


Ashok Kumar Sharma s/o Khajana Ram Sharma
R/o Qr. No.-1018, sector-IV/B, P.S.- Sector-4, B.S.City,
Dist.- Bokaro.
Versus
1.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Superintendent of Post Master,
Post Office- Sector-2, Main Branch, Bokaro.
2.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Sr. Superintendent of Post,
Dhanbad Division, Dhanbad.
Before-
S.M.Alam, President
Vijay Bahadur Singh, Member
Shabnam Praveen, Member
Date of Judgment-: 01 April, 2009.
Date of case filing-: 01July, 2008.
-: Judgment:-
The complainant has filed this case against the opposite parties for grant of Rs. 100000/- towards total claim against the opposite parties.
2 Brief fact of the case is that the complainants sent a parcel to his daughter at Jaipur (Rajashthan) on 07.07.2007 through Post Office vide Postal Receipt No. EPP-EE878308989 In. The said parcel not reached ever after 4 days, as such the complainant wrote a letter in the name of Post Master on 17.07.2007, and subsequently a application has been sent to the Superintendent of Post Office on 14.09.2007 at Dhanbad Division. The opposite parties replied the letter and assured the complainant that Department is in search of the said parcel and at movement it would be found will be was sent to the addressee. But in spite of best efforts the opposite parties failed to trace out the said parcel and ultimately on 07.03.2008 the complainant sent a legal notice to Sr. Superintendent of Post Office at Dhanbad and again opposite party assured the complainant to trace out the parcel. The complainant suffered mental and physical agony on account of none delivery of said parcel to his daughter and the purpose of sending the said parcel has also been frasted the complainant as because; the date of reaching of parcel has expired. The opposite parties did not work properly caused immense loss to the complainant and also caused loss of Rs. 50000/- due not delivery of the said parcel to his daughter. Therefore, there is apparently negligence and deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties and the opposite parties are liable to pay the aforesaid amount to the complainant.
3 Upon issuance of notices the opposite parties appeared but failed to file their written statement, as such the case is preceded without written statement of the opposite parties.
4 Heard both the parties. While going through the entire case records and documents filed by the parties it is found that the complainant had sent a parcel from the Head Post Office, Bokaro Steel City to Jaipur (Rajashthan) vide receipt No. EPPEE -878308989 dated 07.07.2007, the weight of the parcel being 2.840 gm and the parcel charge being Rs.85/-. The said parcel did not reach its destination. No action was taken by the opposite parties in the matter even after several representations including legal notice of the complainant. In view of the above we, therefore, hold that the opposite parties have been negligent and deficient in service towards the complainant and hence they are held liable to pay relief to the complainant.
5 Under the facts and circumstances of the case the opposite parties are directed to refund the parcel charge of Rs. 85/-(Rupees eighty five only) to the complainant within 30 days from the date of this order. The opposite parties are also directed to pay compensation of Rs. 200/-(Rupees two hundred) only to the complainant within 30 days from the date of this order.

Comments

  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    Narinderjit Singh son of Dharam Singh, aged 28 years, r/o V. Mechhriwal, Tehsil and Distt. Hoshiarpur.


    ......... Complainant
    versus


    Post Master/Incharge Post Office, Hariana, District Hoshiarpur.


    ........... Opposite Party


    Complaint u/S 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.


    Quorum: Sh. P.D. Goel, President,
    Sh. A.S. Jauhar, Member,



    Present: Sh. Anil Walia, Counsel for the complainant.
    Sh.K.C.Katnoria, Counsel for the opposite party.


    PER P.D. GOEL, PRESIDENT:


    1. The complainant namely Narinderjit Singh has filed the present complaint, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (as amended upto date) “hereinafter referred as the Act”. Stated briefly, the facts of the case are that the complainant sent Admission Form alongwith Bank Draft on 29.9.2007 to Deputy Registrar, Punjab University, Chandigarh, and in token thereof, the opposite party issued a receipt bearing No. 363. The complainant appeared in the M.A. Part-I (History) Examination, held in the month of April, 2008.
    2. It is the allegation of the complainant that he received letter from Punjab University dated 17.5.2008 qua which he was asked to pay Rs. 14,050/- on account of late fee. It is the case of the complainant that the result of M.A. Part No. I (History) was declared and he got compartment in second paper. The complainant sent the fee through Bank Draft No. 813318 dated 20.8.2008 for appearing in the compartment examination, but the Punjab University vide letter dated 4.9.2008 asked him to deposit the amount of Rs. 14,050/-, otherwise the University will not allow him to appear in the compartment examination. It is further the case of the complainant that he sent the examination form alongwith Bank draft in time to the University, but on enquiry, it was pointed out that the registered letter was received by the University on 3.3.2008, as such the University imposed penalty of Rs. 14,050/-. That the complainant wrote a letter to the opposite party about the late delivery of Registry to the University, but of no consequences, hence this complaint.
    3. The opposite party field the reply. The preliminary objections vis-a-vis maintainability, the opposite party is exempted from liability for loss, misdelivery, delay or damage under Section 6 of Post Office Act, 1898 and non-joinder of necessary parties were raised On merits, the claim put forth by the complainant has been denied. It is replied that there is no negligence on the part of the replying opposite party. However, it is admitted that a registered post vide receipt No. 363 dated 25.9.2007 at Sub Post Office, Hariana (Hoshiarpur) addressed to the Punjab University, Chandigarh, was despatched to its destination on the same day, per the list dated 25.9.2007. The complainant has not mentioned the contents of the article contained in the said registered letter as required under rule 83-A of Post Office Rules. The services of the opposite party are not contractual, but purely statutory in nature. Section 6 of Indian Post Office Act, 1898 has been reproduced vide para No. 2 of the reply. It is further replied that the complainant has not pleaded and proved any wilful act or default and fraud on the part of the replying opposite party in alleged delay of delivery of registered letter. The complainant never made any complaint to the replying OP regarding alleged delay of registered letter. The imposing of penalty of Rs. 14,050/- is a matter between the complainant and the University and the replying OP has nothing to do with it.
    4. In order to prove the case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit – Ex. C-1, postal receipt – Mark C-2, endorsement dated 6.1.2009 – Ex. C-3, certificate-detail marks of complainant – Mark C-4, letter dated 17.5.2008 – Mark C-5, letter dated 4.9.2008 – Mark C-6, provisional roll number card – Mark C-7, draft dated 20.8.2008 – Mark C-8 and closed the evidence.
    5. In rebuttal, the opposite party tendered in evidence affidavit of S.B. Malhotra – Ex. OP-1, additional affidavit of S.B.Malhotra – Ex. OP-2, Booking Slip – Ex. OP-3, search bill – Ex. OP-4, extract of Section 6 of Post Office Act – Ex. OP-5, movement of search bill – Ex. OP-6 and closed the evidence on behalf of the opposite party.
    6. The learned counsel for the parties have filed written arguments. We have gone through the written submissions and record of the file minutely.
    7. The case of the complainant is that he sent Admission Form alongwith Bank Draft on 29.9.2007 to Deputy Registrar, Punjab University, Chandigarh vide receipt No. 363, which was received on 3.3.2008, as such, the Punjab University asked the complainant to deposit Rs.14050/- as penalty. The OP raised the defence that he is not liable to pay any amount of compensation as the opposite parties are exempted from liability under Section 6 of the Indian Post Office Act, 1898.
    8. Section 6 of The Indian Post Office Act, 1898 reads as under: Exemption from liability for loss, misdelivery, delay or damage-The (Government) shall not incur any liability by reason of the loss, misdelivery or delay of, or damage to, any postal article in course of transmission by post, except in so far as such liability may in express terms by undertaken be the (Central Government) as hereinafter provided; and no officer of the Post Office shall incur any liability by reason of any such loss, misdelivery, delay or damage, unless he has caused the same fraudulently or by his wilful act or default. .
    9. Now the question arises whether the OP is not liable to pay any amount of compensation as the Post Office is exempted under Section 6 of The Indian Post Office Act,1898 ?
    10. Admittedly, the complainant has not levelled any allegation against the OP that the registered letter was lost fraudulently or by wilful act or default on the part of the Post Office. It will be relevant to state that section 3 of the Consumer Protection Act only provides additional remedy for the redressal of the grievance but if the remedy is barred under any law, no relief can be granted under Consumer Protection Act.
    11. Admittedly,Section 6 of The Indian Post Office Act,1898, bars claim of the complainant as there is no allegation that the registered letter was lost by any fraudulent or wilful act or default of any official of the Post Office . Unless these are alleged and proved by the complainant, he is not entitled to claim relief by way of compensation for loss, misdelivery or delay or damage in any postal article in the course of its transmission.
    12. Now it is clear that statutory protection under section 6 of the said Act has been provided to the OP-Post Office, which is in absolute terms to the general law relating to the postal articles. Post Office functions under the statute and the liability for misdelivery or late delivery of a article can be fastened only on the basis of express provisions of the Post Office Act as the services rendered by the Post Office are merely statutory and there is no contractual liability. The charges for the articles transmitted by post are the charges for enjoying the facility provided by the Postal Department and not in consideration of any commercial contract . Reliance placed on 1995(2) CPR, 267,Senior Post Master, G.P.O. vs. Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat & Anr.(NC).
    13. As a result of the above discussion, it is held that the complainant has failed to prove any deficiency in service on the part of the OP, with the result, the complaint is dismissed.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    Harnam Singh son of Puran Singh resident of ward no.1, Miani Tehsil Dasuya District Hoshiarpur.


    Complainant


    vs.


    1. Postmaster, Urmar Tanda Dasuya District Hoshiarpur.
    2. The Union of India through its Secretary Posts and Telegraphs Department, New Delhi.






    Opposite parties

    Complaint u/s 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.


    Quorum: Sh.P.D.Goel,President,
    Sh.A.S.Jauhar,Member.



    Present; Sh Vishal Sharma vice Sh K.C.Mahajan, counsel for the
    complainant.
    Sh R.D.Badhan, counsel for the OPs.

    PER P.D.GOEL,PRESIDENT
    1. The complainant namely Harnam Singh has filed the present complaint under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act,1986 (as amended upto date) “hereinafter referred as the Act.”. In short,the facts of the case are that the son of the complainant namely Mandeep Singh was the resident of Australia. The son of the complainant was in need of Police Verification Certificate for permanent settlement in Purtugal. The complainant obtained the Police Verification Certificate from SSP, Hoshiarpur and the same was countersigned by Under Secretary to Punjab Government and was also countersigned by Additional Deputy Commissioner, Hoshiarpur.
    2. It is the case of the complainant that the said certificate was sent to Mandeep Singh through speed post letter no.EE7844365180 but it never reached the addressee in Purtugal. The complainant lodged a complaint no.396 dated 20.12.2007 but of no avail. That reminder no. 44 dated 18.1.2009 was also sent to the Postmaster, Urmur but of no consequences.
    3. It is the allegation of the complainant that due to non reaching of the said letter to Mandeep Singh, he suffered a loss of Rs. One lac . The complainant served a legal notice dated 28.3.2008 to the OPs. The OPs are liable to pay the damages of Rs.one lac , hence this complaint.
    4. OPs filed the joint reply Preliminary objections vis a vis maintainability and suppression of material facts were raised. On merits, the claim put forth by the complainant has been denied. However, it is admitted that the complainant booked a speed post letter no.EE7844365180IN on payment of charges of Rs.758/-. The speed post letter was despatched to National Speed Post Centre, Jalandhar . The complainant has not disclosed the contents of the said speed post letter, required under rule 83-A of the Indian Post Offices Rules. It is also admitted that complaint no.396 dated 20.12.2007 was received in Sub Post Office, Urmar and on the same day, it was forwarded to the Manager, Speed Post Office, Jalandhar for further inquiry. It is denied that reminder no.44 dated 18.1.2009 was received by OP No.1. The compliance made by the Manager, Speed Post Office, Jalandhar to Sub Post Master, Urmar was sent to the complainant on 24.1.2008 under registered post. It is denied that the complainant suffered a loss of Rs.one lac. It is also admitted that notice dated 22.3.2008 was received and its reply was given on 29.5.2008.
    5. It is further replied that the complainant has not levelled any allegation that the alleged loss of speed post article is due to wilful act or default of the OPs. There is no malafide and wilful intention of OP No.1 against the complainant with regard to alleged non delivery of speed post article nor loss of said speed post article has been caused by wilful act or neglect of the OPs. More over, the OPs are exempted from any liability under section 6 of Indian Post Office Act, 1898 Section 6 of the said Act has been reproduce vide para no.8 of the reply .
    6. It is further replied that the liability of the OPs is very limited under the Govt. of India letter dated 26.5.1995, No.19-11-95-DA, Govt. of India , Ministry of Communications, Department of Posts, New Delhi dated 11.7.1996 and No. 1-21/2007- Rates Government of India, Ministry of Communications, Information Technology, Department of Posts, New Delhi dated 15.11.2007, which pertain to refund in case of loss on international speed post articles and the liability is only upto 30 S.D.R. per item . The price of per S.D.R was fixed at Rs.24.50/-. Thereafter, the rate of S.D.R. was increased to Rs. 47.7098 w.e.f 1.1.1966 and lastly the rate of one S.D.R. has been increased to Rs. 64.5038 w.e.f 1.1.2008 onwards, therefore, the OPs have no liability to make any payment to the complainant beyond the orders of Govt. of India. The services rendered by the OPs to the general public are statutory in nature and are not contractual in nature. The complainant was informed vide Manager, Customer Care Centre, Hoshiarpur letter no. CR/144205-1782/CCC dated 19.6.2008 about the loss of article with the further request to submit the claim form with the copy of letter to Sub Divisional Inspector(Postal), West Sub Division, Hoshiarpur but the complainant never contacted the office of Senior Supdt. Of Post Offices, Hoshiarpur as well as the Sub Divisional Inspector (Postal), West Sub Division, Hoshiarpur. The OPs are ready to pay Rs.1935/- by calculating 30 SDRxRs.64.5038.
    7. In order to prove the case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavits Ex.C-1, C-2, postal receipt Ex.C-3, receipt no.745261 Ex. C-4, ADs Ex.C-5, legal notice dated 22.3.2008 Mark C-6, claim form Mark C-7, verification certificate of Mandeep Singh Mark C-8, copy of letter dated 18.1.2008 Mark C-9 and letter dated 20.12.2007 Mark C-10 and closed the evidence.
    8. In rebuttal, the opposite parties tendered in evidence affidavits of S.B.Malhotra Ex.OP-1, OP-2, speed post booking slip Ex.OP-3, despatch list Ex.OP-4, copy of complaints Ex.OP-5, OP-6,OP-7 copy of reply Ex. OP-8, copy of letter to complainant Ex. C-9, copy of complaint alongwith postal receipt Ex. OP-10, extract of section 6 of Post Office Act Ex. OP-11, letter dated 11.7.96 Ex.OP-12 and letter dated 15.11.2007 Ex. OP-13 and closed the evidence.
    9. The learned counsel for the parties have filed written arguments. We have gone through the written submissions and record of the file minutely.
    10. It is an admitted fact that the speed post letter No.EE7844365180 was sent by the complainant to Mandeep Singh but it never reached the addressee in Purtugal.
    11. The OPs have raised the defence that the loss, if any, caused in the delivery of the aforesaid speed post article was not caused fraudulently or by wilful act or default, as such, they are not liable for any loss, mis-delivery, delay or damage caused in the course of transmission by post. Section 6 of the Indian Post Office Act, 1898 deals with exemption from liability for loss, mis-delivery, delay or damage. The OPs have also raised the defence that under the Govt. of India letter dated 26.5.1995, No.19-11-95-DA, Govt. of India , Ministry of Communications, Department of Posts, New Delhi dated 11.7.1996 Ex.OP-12 and No. 1-21/2007- Rates Government of India, Ministry of Communications, Information Technology, Department of Posts, New Delhi dated 15.11.2007, Ex.OP-13, the liability is only upto 30 S.D.R. per item and the rate of per SDR is fixed at Rs.64.5038,thus, the OPs are ready to pay Rs.1935/- by calculating 30 SDRxRs.64.5038.
    12. As a result of the above discussion, it is held that the speed post letter no.EE7844365180 did not reach the destination, which amounts to deficiency in service. This being so, the complaint is accepted and the opposite parties are directed to pay the amount of Rs.1935/- alongwith litigation expenses of Rs.1000/- to be paid by the opposite parties to the complainant, within one month from the date of receipt of copy of the order.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    Jogi (Chhotan) s/o Mangar Nath Jogi c/o Harsukhpal Singh Garewal Railway road, Nawnashahr.
    Complainant.

    Versus
    1Sub Post Master, Nawnashahr Mandi (SBS Nagar) Distt. SBS Nagar,
    2Post Master General (Post and Telegraph) N.R. Meena, Jalandhahr.
    Respondents
    Complaint under the provisions of Consumer Protection Act, 1986
    BEFORE: SHRI S.M.S.MAHAL, PRESIDENT
    SH. SUKHDEV SINGH, MEMBER
    Present: Complainant in person.
    Sh. Kalash Sharma, Sub Divisional Inspector along with
    Sh. Harbans Singh Longia, advocate, counsel for the Ops.
    S.M.S.MAHAL, PRESIDENT

    Jogi (hereinafter called as complainant), has filed this complaint against the Sub Post Master, Nawnashahr Mandi ( SBS Nagar) and Post Master General ( Post and Telegraph) N.R. Meena, Jalandhahr. (hereinafter called as Ops No. 1, and 2, respectively) for issuance of a direction to the Ops to return the money order amount of Rs 5,000/- and also pay a sum of Rs 5,000/- as compensation on account of harassment and mental agony.
    2The brief allegations of the complainant in this complaint are that he had booked a money order of Rs 5,000/- through op no. 1 for payment to Pandhu s/o Sh. Sita Ram, 68 Kombakira Kolebira P.O. Kolebira Distt. Simdega 835211 but it had not been delivered to him till the filing of the complaint, which had caused monetary loss as well as physical and mental agony to him. Hence this complaint.


    3 In the written version filed by the Ops, it was contended that the money order booked by the complainant with OP No.1 had been sent to the post office Kolibirra District Simdega and on receipt of complaint dated 20-04-2008 from the complainant an other duplicate money order was issued and sent to Sub Post Master Simdega on 29-05-2008 for its delivery to the addressee. Again the complainant reported that the money order had not been delivered to the addressee. An other money order was sent to the Sub Post Master Kollibirra which was reported to have been delivered to its addressee on 25-08-2008. The complaint was alleged to have been filed to harass the ops. A prayer for dismissal of the complaint was accordingly made.


    4The complaint had been fixed for evidence of the complainant but Sh. Kalash Sharma Sub Divisional Inspector of OP No.1 made a statement that the money order had been delivered to a wrong person on 25-08-2008 and the same now had been got delivered to the addressee which fact was admitted by the complainant. In his statement, the complainant gave the date of delivery of the money order as 07-04-2009 and according to him a telephonic intimation has been received by him in this respect. There is no denial about the delivery of money order on 07-04-2009.


    5From the above said facts, the relief regarding issuance of a direction to the ops, to deliver the money order or refund the amount to the complainant has been rendered in fructuous.


    6Regarding the mental as well as physical harassment suffered by the complainant, there can be no dispute that the money order which had been booked on 31-01-2008 has been delivered to the addressee on 07-04-2009 i.e. after the expiry of about the one year and 3 months . The complainant is a migrant labourer and money order had been sent by him to his other family member who were depended on him. The plight of the family members of the complainant who may be in dire need of the money can been well judged. The ops can not shirk their responsibilities on the protext that the money order had been delivered to a wrong person. It speaks of the inefficiency and negligence of the concerned employees of the postal department which requires thorough enquiry and suitable penalty imposed on defaulting employee.


    7 In the light of the foregoing reasons, the complaint is partly allowed regarding grant of compensation to the tune of Rs 5,000/- to the complainant by the post and telegraph department through the ops who are the representative of the department. The amount may be recovered from the defaulting employee. The complaint regarding refund of the money order amount or delivery of the money order to the addressee having rendered infructuous is dismissed.

    8The compliance of this order shall be made by the Ops within one month from the date of the receipt of copy of this order.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    C.C.No.124/08
    Between:-
    M/S.The Singareni Collieries Company Ltd.,
    Rep.by its General Manager,
    Mandamarry area, Dist.Adilabad. …Complainant.

    //AND//
    1. Sub-Post Master,
    Sub-Post Office,
    Ramakrishnapur, Mandamarri mandal,
    Dist.Adilabad. 504 301.

    2. Supdt. Of Post Offices,
    Adilabad division,
    Adilabad – 504 001. …Opp.Parties.


    Counsel for Complainant : Mr. Y.Vishnu Bhagawan.


    Counsel for Opposite Parties : Mr. N.Pratap Reddy.

    QUORUM:-

    SRI.P.THIRUPATHI REDDY, M.A., L.L.B. : PRESIDENT.

    SRI.G.SRINIVAS, B.COM., L.L.B. : MEMBER.
    WEDNESDAY THE 29th DAY OF APRIL 2009.
    -:ORDER:-
    Order Pronounced by President:-
    This complaint is filed under section 12 of C.P. Act 1986.
    The brief facts of complaint are as follows:

    1. The complainant is the General Manager, the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (A Government Company), Mandamarri area, Mandamarri, Adilabad District, A.P. On 21.04.2001 the management of the Singareni Colleries Company Limited had purchased 5 Nos. of 6 years National Saving Certificate bearing nos. 29 DD 474419, 20,21,22 and 23 Rs.5,000/- each in the name of Divisional Forest Officer, Mancherial on account of Singareni Collieries Company Limited towards Security Deposits for Band Saw Machines used at Timber Yard at Ramakrishnapur. The maturity value of Rs.8,726/- each after the completion of 6 years from the date of purchase. Further, it is to submit that the Sub-Post Master, Ramakrishnapur i.e., Opp.Party No.1 had clearly mention on the certificates that the maturity value of the each certificate is Rs.8,726/-. The complainant company had submitted that the said 6 years National Saving Certificates to the Opp.Party No.1 for encashment vide letter No.MMR/FAD/565, dt:17.06.2008 with all necessary documents. The Opp.Party No.1 had refused to encash the said certificates with maturity value.
    Hence the complainant prayed this forum may be pleased to award an amount of Rs.43,630/- towards maturity value of the 5 Nos. 6 years National Saving Certificates from the Opp.Party with interest from the date of submission of the certificates and also award an amount of Rs.11,000/- towards expenses and damages from the Opp.Party for deficiency of service on the part of Opp.Party in the interest of justice.

    2. The Opp.Party No.2 filed counter. The contents of counter is as follows:
    As per Rule of 13 of Post Office Saving Certificate Rules 1960 any certificate purchased or acquired in contravention of rules should be encashed without any interest. As per section 11 of Govt. Saving Certificates Act 1959 no suit or other legal proceedings shall lie against any officer of Govt. of India, anything which is done in good faith or intended to be done under the Act, as such this complaint is not maintainable as it was done in good faith. This complaint is not maintainable and liable to be dismissed.
    3. Both parties filed Proof Affidavits.
    4. On behalf of complainant Ex.A1 to A9 are marked. Ex.B1 to B4 are marked on behalf of Opp.Party.
    5. Now the point for consideration is whether there are grounds to allow the petition?
    6. Heard both sides. The Opp.Parties never informed the complainant that the depositors (Complainant) are not eligible to claim interest at all. Admittedly the Postal 6 years National Savings Certificates funds value was shown as Rs.5,000/- and the maturity value is specifically shown at Rs.8726/-. Striking of the original (printed) calculation is Rs.10,075/-. Having invited depositors offering interest now it is not reasonable for the Opp.Parties to recile from the promises give in writing by them. This Forum decided Number of similar cases this nature and they were confirmed by Hon’ble State Commission.

    7. Thus viewed in any direction paying maturity value shown by the Opp.Parties on the 6 years National Savings certificate is reasonable and we feel it is a fit case to allow the claim of the complainant.

    8. In the result complaint is allowed. The Opp.Parties are directed to pay the maturity value of five numbers, 6 years National Saving Certificate calculating interest from date of submission of the certificate till realization, failing which the complainant is at liberty to proceed against them U/S.25/27 of Consumer Protection Act 1986.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    ORDER
    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President:

    The averments in the complaint are as follows: Complainant is a practising Lawyer at Thrissur Bar. She had opened a Recurring Deposit (RD in short) by account No.3850817 at Parappur Post Office on 6.3.07. She had deposited an amount of Rs.71,400/- by depositing Rs.1400/- per month. In Ext. P5 it is stated that the account can be closed prematurely without interest after one year from the date of opening of account. Upon this belief complainant had opened the account. So the complainant had sent a notice on 11.3.08 for premature closure of the RD account. But it was not allowed and Ext. P4 notice was accepted by the complainant from the respondents. The non-refund of the amount after one year is a deficiency in service on the part of respondents. Hence this complaint.

    2. The averments in the counter are that as per the amended rules of the RD accounts issued by Director General Posts vide No.43-8/97-SB dated 25.11.99, premature closure of the account is allowed only after expiry of three years from the date of opening of the account. The complainant opened the RD account after issue of the said instruction and hence she was informed about the position by the second respondent vide letter No.RD/Dlg/06 dated 26.3.08. It is submitted that the statement of the complainant, that the RD account can be closed prematurely, after completion of one year from the date of opening of the account, as per the instruction No.5 in the RD passbook is not correct. As per the amended rules of RD accounts, premature closure of the RD account will be allowed only after completion of three years from the date of opening of the account. So the complainant is not eligible for amount claimed and compensation. Hence dismiss the complaint.
    3. The points for consideration are:

    (1) Is there any deficiency in service?
    (2) If so, reliefs and costs.

    4. The evidence consists of Exts. P1 to P5 and Exts. R1 to R6.

    5. Points: The complaint is filed to premature closure of the recurring deposit. It is the case of complainant that she had deposited Rs.71,400/- as recurring deposit by depositing Rs.1400/- per month. She had opened the account on 6.3.07 and after one year she had requested the deposited amount through a letter and the letter is marked as Ext. P1. But the amount was not paid to her. So this complaint has filed.

    6. In the counter it is stated that as per the amended rules of the RD account issued by Director General Posts vide No. 43-8/97-SB dated 25.11.99, premature closure of the account is allowed only after expiry of three years from the date of opening of the account. So according to the respondents the complainant is entitled to refund of the amount only after three years. So they pray to dismiss the complaint.

    7. The deposit of the complainant is admitted by the respondents. The complainant had sent Ext. P1 notice after one year of opening of the account. According to her, she is eligible to get premature closure of the account because as per Rule-5 of the Recurring Deposit Accounts, a RD account can be closed prematurely without interest after one year from the date of opening of account without furnishing any reason. The passbook is marked as Ext. P5 and there contains specific rule about this. The complainant relies this rule to get refund and premature closing. But the respondents refused the demand of complainant by stating that as per the Post Office Recurring Deposit (Amendment) Rules 1999, that only after expiry of 3 years the account can be closed. It is submitted that the Ext. P5 was printed before the amendment and this position is not incorporated in the passbook. Ext. R2 is the copy of amended order. We have perused it and it is clear that the premature closing can be done only after three years of opening of the account. So the complainant is unable to close the account now and she has to wait until 6.3.2010.

    8. In the result, complaint is dismissed.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    K. Ravikumar, Edayilvilakathu House, Puravoorkonam, Nedumparambu P.O, Alamcode – 695 012.
    (By adv. S. Reghukumar)
    Opposite parties:


    1. Muraleedharan, Post master, Alamcode Post Office, Thiruvananthapuram District.
      (By adv. M.P. Sasidharan Nair)


    [*] C. Anandan, Telegraph Messenger, Alamcode Post Office, Thiruvananthapuram District.
    (By adv. K.P.Renadive)



    [*] The Department of Posts, represented by its Chief Post Master General, Thiruvananthapuram.
    [*] The Department of Telephones, represented by its Chief General Manager, Thiruvananthapuram.



    (By adv. K.J. Thresia)
    This complaint is disposed of after the period so specified under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. This complaint remanded as per order dated 26.12.2005 in Appeal 1186/01 of the Hon’ble State Commission. Though the case was taken up for orders by the predecessors of this Forum on 30.03.2006, the order was not prepared accordingly. This Forum assumed office on 08.02.2008 and re-heard the complaint. This O.P having been heard on 16.03.2009, the Forum on 30.04.2009 delivered the following:
    ORDER
    SRI. G. SIVAPRASAD: PRESIDENT


    The facts leading to the filing of the complaint are that complainant in response to a newspaper advertisement applied for the post of Manager in South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies, that the said society sent a telegram to the complainant directing him to appear for an interview on 08.05.1999 at its office at Karamana, that the said telegram was not delivered to the complainant, that on expectation of interview order, petitioner contacted the society on 17.05.1999 and came to know that a telegram was already sent to him from the society on 05.05.1999, that thereupon the complainant on 17.05.1999 itself enquired the matter with the Alamcode post office and complainant was informed in the first instance that no such telegram was received in that post office, and that when the petitioner insisted on verifying the register he was told that such a telegram was received by them and they handed over the same on 17.05.1999. The failure of opposite parties in delivering the said telegram in time resulted in forfeiting the chance of getting a good job commensurating with the qualifications of the complainant and that such a failure amounts to negligence, wilful default, deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of opposite parties. Hence this complaint to direct the opposite parties to pay compensation of Rs. 2 lakhs for their failure to deliver the telegram in time and the resultant forfeiture of job to the petitioner and Rs. 50,000/- for mental agony suffered by the complainant.
    Opposite parties entered appearance and filed version contending that the complaint is not maintainable before this Forum and that this is not a consumer dispute. Opposite parties further submitted that Sec. 6 of the Indian Post office Act and Sec. 9 of the Indian Telegraph Act confer absolute immunity on the Government against any loss or damage arising for the non-transmission or delivery of a telegraphic message. Hence they prayed for the dismissal of the complaint.


    The points that arise for consideration are:-
    1. Whether the complainant is a consumer as envisaged in Consumer Protection Act?
    2. Whether there is negligence, wilful default and deficiency in service on the part of opposite parties?
    3. Whether the complainant is entitled to get compensation? If so at what amount?
    4. Whether the complainant is entitled to get cost? If so, at what amount?


    In support of the complaint, complainant has filed affidavit and Exts. P1 to P7 were marked. 1st and 2nd opposite parties have been examined in chief and cross examined by the complainant and Exts. D1 to D9 were marked.


    Points (i) & (ii):- It has been the case of the complainant that in response to a newspaper advertisement, complainant applied for the post of Manager(Technical) in South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies, that the society sent a telegram to the petitioner directing him to appear for an interview on 08.05.1999 at its office at Karamana, that the said telegram was not delivered to the petitioner and that on expectation of interview call, the petitioner contacted the said society on 17.05.1999, and came to know that the telegram was already sent to him from the society on 05.05.1999. Thereupon the complainant on 17.05.1999 itself enquired the matter with the Alamcode Post office which has to deliver the telegram, and he was informed in the first instance that no such telegram was received in that post office. When the petitioner insisted on verifying the register, he was told that such a telegram was received by them and they handed over the same on 17.05.1999. The endorsement regarding the receipt of telegram on 17.05.1999 was made in the register maintained in the Alamcode post office. It has also been the case of the complainant that when he approached the society on 18.05.1999 with the telegram and explained that he could not appear for the interview for no fault of his but because of the non-delivery of the same from the post office in time, the society refused to consider his case since he could not turn up the fixed time and date. Complainant submits that the failure of the 1st and 2nd opposite parties in delivering the telegram in time resulted in forfeiting the chance of getting a good job commensurating with the qualifications of the petitioner. Ext. P1 is the original letter dated 22.06.1999 issued by South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies. In Ext. P1 a letter dated 18.05.1999 SIF/A/40/16848 is referred. Ext. P2 is the original of the telegram, sent by the said society to the complainant directing him to appear for an interview on 08.05.1999 at its office at Karamana. The address stated in Ext. P2 telegram is Ravikumar. K, Edayilvilakathu House, Puravoorkonam, Nedumparambu. The same address is stated in the complaint also. Ext. P3 is the communication dated 18.05.1999 from the said society to the complainant. As per Ext. P3, the said society refused to consider complainant’s case since he could not turn up at the fixed time and date. Ext. P4 is the Malayala Manorama daily dated 19.05.1999, which discloses a news item on the failure of the postal authorities in delivering the telegram in time and consequent forfeiture of job to complainant. Ext. P5 is the copy of the complaint dated 18.05.1999 filed by the complainant before the Customer Care Centre, requesting to take suitable action against a person who committed wilful default and gross negligence in delivering the telegram in time. Ext. P6 is the reply sent by the Manager, Customer Care Centre, Department of Post to the complainant informing him that necessary enquiries are being made in this case and suitable action will be taken against the official at fault. Opposite parties resisted the complaint by submitting that complainant is not a consumer since the said telegram was sent by one P.M. Delbert on payment of fee. Opposite parties further submit that Sec. 6 of Indian Post Office Act and Sec. 9 of Indian Telegraph Act confer absolute immunity on the government against any loss or damage arising for the non-transmission or delivery of telegraphic message. Regarding the first point under consideration, complainant submits that he is a beneficiary of the services hired by South Indian Federation of Fishermen Society who had despatched the telegram to the complainant after paying necessary charge. It is submitted by the complainant that the said telegram was meant for the complainant and the charge was levied is admitted by the opposite parties. It is pertinent to note that even though no direct service was availed by the complainant from the postal department on payment of consideration, the said telegram was sent by the said society with bonafide intention to reach it to the addressee prior to the date of interview. Further the cause of sending the said telegram is the search for employment by the complainant. Since it is the complainant’s application for employment upon which such telegram was sent it is the complainant who is the real beneficiary of such telegram service and not by the sender of telegram. As the sole beneficiary of such service and as an affected party due to the deficiency in the service of opposite parties, we find complainant is a consumer as envisaged in the Consumer Protection Act. Main thrust of argument advanced by the counsel appearing on behalf of the complainant was to the effect that 1st opposite party was impleaded in the complaint in his personal capacity and that the specific allegation of wilful default and negligence is attributed against 1st opposite party Muraleedharan, Post Master, Alamcode Post Office. Complainant submits Mr. Muraleedharan has not filed any written version to the complainant and hence has admitted the allegation in the complaint. Version for opposite parties 1 and 3 is seen filed but signed by one Sivadasan, Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Trivandrum North Division only. 1st opposite party has not signed the said version, even though he was impleaded in the complaint in his personal capacity. In the absence of any written version on the part of 1st opposite party, the allegation levelled against the 1st opposite party remains unchallenged. The evidence is tendered to prove what is pleaded in the written version by the party who files the same. In this case 1st opposite party has not filed any written version and hence the evidence tendered by the 1st opposite party is liable to be discarded. 2nd opposite party Anandan has filed separate version and adduced evidence. In his chief examination, he has deposed that he is an extra departmental staff and his duty time is from 8.30 a.m to 11 a.m and from 2 p.m to 4.30 p.m, that on 07.05.1999 at 4.15 p.m he was entrusted to deliver 8 telegrams out of which 7 telegrams were delivered and complainant’s telegram could not serve on that day which was due to unfamiliar address and late time, that on 08.05.1999, complainant’s address was identified and served the telegram to the complainant and after reading the telegram complainant returned it to him stating that it was too late to receive and that after endorsing ’unclaimed’, the telegram was returned to the post office. It is further submitted by the 2nd opposite party that complainant received the said telegram from the post office after 3 days from the date of unclaim. Ext. D1 is the local number slip of Alamcode Post office. As per Ext. D1 on 07.05.1999 there were 8 telegrams for delivery. Ext. D2 is the delivery slip dated 07.05.1999 wherein, against C6, the word ’refusal’ is seen struck off and thereafter the word ’enquiry’ is seen written. 2nd opposite party admitted the same. Ext. D3 is the delivery slip dated 08.05.1999, wherein against C6/7-5, it is seen written in Malayalam that “സമയം താമസിച്ചതു കൊണ്ട് കൈപ്പററുന്നില്ല എന്നു പറഞ്ഞു”. Ext. D4 is the delivery slip dated 17.05.1999, wherein it is recorded ’delivery at window’. Ext. D7 is the letter issued by the Sub Divisional Engineer, Central Telegram Office to SSTT, Thiruvananthapuram. As per Ext. D7, the message was booked on 05.05.1999 and transmitted to Attingal on the same day at 16.40 hrs, without any avoidable delay. It is further stated in Ext. D7 that the name of the post office Alamcode was not given in the address and that may be the reason for delay in delivery of the message. 2nd opposite party, in his cross examination, admitted that he was reinstated in his service. In his re-examination he has deposed that he will furnish the order revoking his suspension before the Forum. 2nd opposite party did not furnish the same. It is pertinent to point out that nowhere is it stated in Exts. D2 to D4 that the reason for delay is non-mention of the name of the post office, Alamcode. Whereas in Ext. P7 it is stated reason for delay is non-mention of the name of the post office, Alamcode. Even opposite parties have never pleaded the same reason in their version nor have they deposed the same in chief examination. As per Ext. P6 letter from Customer Care Centre, it is informed the complainant that ’necessary enquiries were made in the alleged delay in delivering of call telegram and suitable action is being taken against the official at fault. It is to be noted that complainant has sought for the production of the file relating the enquiry conducted against opposite parties 1 & 2 pursuant to the complaint filed by the complainant. The document was sought to be produced by the 3rd opposite party. 3rd opposite party did not furnish the said document nor did 3rd opposite party file affidavit. Further in para 5 of the version filed by 3rd opposite party it is stated that “a letter of complaint was received by Manager, Customer Care Centre, General Post Office, Thiruvananthapuram on 18.05.1999 from the complainant regarding the delay in delivery of telegram. Immediate enquiry was conducted and took disciplinary action against the 2nd opposite party as he failed to deliver the telegram on 07.05.1999. A reply to that effect was given to the complainant vide letter No. C.R 11/193/99 dated 04.06.1999 by the Manager, Customer Care Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. (A photocopy of letter No. CPT/PC/7/99 dated 29.06.1999 from the O/o Chief Post Master General, Kerala Circle, Thiruvananthapuram giving direction to the Senior Superintendent of Post Offices to place the ED official under put off duty (suspension) was produced and marked as Ext. D6. Submission by the complainant is that it is the said enquiry file was sought to be produced and the said enquiry file was not produced as it will establish the opposite parties 1 & 2 are guilty of wilful misconduct and negligence. It is pertinent to note that a party in possession of best evidence which would throw light on the issue in controversy is withholding it. Hence we ought to draw an adverse inference against him notwithstanding that onus of proof does not lie on him. Herein the allegation levelled against opposite parties 1 & 2 is wilful default and vicarious liability on opposite parties 3 & 4. On perusal of Exts. D1 to D4, it is to be highlighted that Ext. D4 is a proper telegram delivery slip with specific column (column No. 5) for recording reasons for non-delivery, whereas Exts. D2 and D3 are slips for delivery of money orders. The columns printed in Ext. D2 and D3 are meant for delivery of money order, and entry made in Ext. D2 against C6 is ’refused’ which is thereafter seen struck off and incorporated the entry ’enquiry’, which clearly establishes a calculated manipulation. In Ext. D3 also there is the entry “സമയം താമസിച്ചതു കൊണ്ട് കൈപ്പററുന്നില്ല എന്നു പറഞ്ഞു”(that is refused). While in the version it is treated as unclaimed. In his cross examination 2nd opposite party has deposed that “unclaimed”എന്നു പറഞ്ഞാല്* intimation കൊടുത്തശേഷം claim ചെയ്യാത്തത്, ’refused’ എന്നു പറഞ്ഞാല്* നിരസിച്ചു എന്നാണ്.” It is pertinent to note that the case of the complainant is that the telegram was never taken to him, instead he went to the post office to collect the telegram on 17.05.2009 which is evident from Ext. D4. Further, the case put forth by the opposite parties 1 to 3 is that they received the telegram only on 07.05.1999 at 16 hrs whereas the case put forth by the 4th opposite party is that they received the telegram on 05.05.1999 at 16.15 hrs and transmitted the same to the office of Alamcode post office on 06.05.1999 at 16.15 hours. In view of the foregoing discussions it is evident that opposite parties 1 & 2 withheld telegram despite the receipt of it on 06.05.1999. The telegram was never taken to the complainant at any point of time. This establishes a clear case of wilful default on the part of opposite parties 1 & 2. Opposite parties claim immunity under Sec. 6 of Indian Post office Act. In this case wilful default is on the part of opposite parties 1 & 2, who are the employees of the 3rd opposite party. Sec. 6 of the Indian Post office Act reads as under:


    Sec. 6:- “Exemption from liability for loss, misdelivery, delay or damage, the Govt. shall not incur any liability by the reason of the loss, misdelivery or delay or damage to any postal article in course of transmission by post, except in so far as such liability may in express terms be undertaken by the Central Government, as hereinafter provided, and no officer of the post office shall incur any liability by reason of any such loss, misdelivery, delay or damage unless he has caused the same fraudulent or by his wilful act of default”. We have already found that wilfully the telegram was not delivered to the complainant by opposite parties 1 & 2. It was a deliberate and intentional negligence on the part of opposite parties 1 & 2. Regarding Sec. 6 of the Act, complainant quoted the judgement of the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala in the case of P&T Vs. Sarada reported in 2001(3) KLT 809, wherein it has held that the loss contemplated in Sec. 6 is a loss to government and not loss to owner of postal article. Government is liable to compensate for the loss sustained to the owner as a result of the wilful act committed by the employee. In this case opposite parties 1 & 2 have committed wilful default and 3rd opposite party being their employer is vicariously liable to pay damages. The complainant deserves to be compensated for the negligence and wilful default on the part of opposite parties 1 to 3. The complainant has claimed Rs. 2,00,000/- as compensation, with interest thereon at the rate of 12% per annum from 08.05.1999 (the date of interview) till realisation for the failure to deliver the telegram in time, and the resultant forfeiture of job to the complainant along with Rs. 50,000/- as compensation for the mental agony. Taking into consideration of the totality of circumstances we are of the view that, it will be expedient and justice will be well met if the complainant is awarded a compensation of Rs. 25,000/- against all his claims.


    In the result, complaint is allowed. Opposite parties 1 to 3 shall jointly and severally pay a sum of Rs. 25,000/- to the complainant along with a cost of Rs. 2,000/-. The said amounts shall carry interest at the rate of 12% if not paid within two months from the date of receipt of this order.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    COMPLAINANT


    [FONT=&quot]//INPESON// [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]//VS//[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]SRI. G.K.NANJAPPA, [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]S/O VEERAPPA, RTD. SUPTD., [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]R/O MANJUNATHA KRUPA, [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]OPP: GURU LODGE, [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]HAGARIBOMMANAHALLI, [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]BELLARY DISTRICT. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    RESPONDENTS


    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]BY-SRI.A.G. SIVAKUMAR, [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] D.G.P. BELLARY. [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]

    1. SRI. H. VENKAPPA,
    S/O THIMMANNA,
    SUB POST MASTER, SANDUR,
    BELLARY DISTRICT.

    2. THE POST MASTER,
    HAGARIBOMMANAHALLI POST
    OFFICE, HAGARIBOMMANAHALLI.

    3. THE SUPERINTENDANT,
    CENTRAL POST OFFICE, BELLARY.
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]//JUDGMENT//[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]



    [FONT=&quot] This is the complaint filed by Complainant by name G.K.Nanjappa against Respondents under Sec-12 of C.P. Act for to issue directions to them to make payment of interest of Rs.9,000/- upto 31/12/2008 for the two investment made by him in Respondents Post Office, for to award an amount of Rs.5,000/- towards mental agony, to award an amount of Rs.2,000/- towards cost of litigation and for to direct the Respondents to continue his Account Khata Nos.14007 and 14011 till maturity period with interest. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]2. The brief facts of the Complainant’s case are that; [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] He opened two Accounts in the Post Office of Respondent bearing A/c No.14007 by investing Rs.2,00,000/- on 25/05/2005 and another A/c No.14011 by investing Rs.2,00,000/- on 15/09/2005 for a period of six years each from the date of deposit with an agreement to pay interest payable once in three months @ 9% on the deposited amount, but Respondents stopped payment of interest on the amount invested by him in two Accounts as on 31.12.2008 on unreasonable grounds inspite of repeated oral and written requests. They are showing their negligence in making payment of interest as agreed and thereby Respondents found guilty under deficiency in their services to him as such, he filed this complaint for the reliefs as prayed in it. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 3. All Respondents appeared through their Advocate, the Respondent No.3 filed his Written Version, Memo of adoption of the said W.V. was filed by other Respondents. The brief facts of W.V. of Respondents are that; [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The Complainant opened two Senior Citizens Savings Account (SCSS) with numbers as noted in complaint with initial deposit of Rs.2.00 lakh each. He has given his declaration at the time of opening his Accounts that he has gone through GOI Notification on SCSS A/Cs and he has fulfilled all conditions prescribed for opening the accounts. He also given declaration that, he governed by SCSS Rules-2004 and he bound to act as per its provisions. The Respondents Post Office paid quarterly interest @ 9% p.a. on the invested amount upto 30/09/2008. Further interest up to 31/12/2008 was held up due to objections raised by Internal Inspection Party, Dharwad. The said scheme came into force in the year 2004 and not in the year 2005. The Audit party raised objection as Complainant contravened the provisions of SCSS Rules-2004 and he opened Accounts after lapse of more than one month after taking payment of pensionery benefits. Higher rate of interest benefit will be given to only a person who opened the account within one month from getting pensionery benefits. The Complainant failed to submit relevant records to prove his eligibility to get that benefit. The Complainant has to submit certificate from the employer by indicating the fact of retirement on superannuation or otherwise. He failed to furnish such certificate. He has not filed relevant records as per requirement of rules. Hence, the Respondents have justified in withholding his interest. There is no lapse on the part of Respondents, it is the fault of Complainant. All other allegations made by the Complainant have been specifically denied and prayed for to dismiss the complaint among other grounds with cost. [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]4. In view of the pleadings of parties, now the points that arise for our consideration and determination are that; [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Whether the Complainant proves that, he opened two Accounts in the Post Office of Respondents bearing A/c No.14007 on 25/05/2005 by investing Rs.2.00 lakh and another A/c No.14011 on 15/09/2005 by investing Rs.2.00 lakh for a period of six years from the date of deposit with an agreement to pay interest payable once in three months @ 9% p.a. on the deposited amount which totally works out to Rs.9,000/- due as on 31/12/2008, but Respondents stopped payment of interest accrued on the said deposits of two Accounts on untenable grounds, they are not making payment of regular interest inspite of repeated oral and written requests and thereby all Respondents found guilty under deficiency in their services towards him? [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]2. [/FONT]
    Whether the Complainant is entitled for reliefs as prayed in this complaint?
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]3.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]To what relief the Complainant is entitled for? [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]//POINTS[/FONT][FONT=&quot]//[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]












    5. Our findings on the above points are as under.
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Point No.1: [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In Affirmative. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Point No.2: [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]As discussed in detail in the body of this Judgment.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Point No.3:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In view of the findings on Point Nos.1 and 2, we pass the final order for the following; [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]//REASONS//[/FONT]
    Point Nos.1 & 2: -


    6. [FONT=&quot] In order to prove the facts involved in these two Points, affidavit evidence of Complainant was filed, he was noted as P.W.1, documents Ex.P.1 to Ex.P.4 are marked. On the other hand, the affidavit evidence of Respondent No.3 was filed, he was noted as R.W.1. Documents Ex.R.1 to Ex.R.16 are marked. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 7. In the instant case, opening of Account bearing No.14007 on 25/05/2005 and another A/c No.14011 on 15/09/2005 by investing Rs.2.00 lakhs in each Account by the Complainant at H.B.Halli Post Office is not in dispute between the parties. Payment of quarterly interest on the amount invested in the said two Accounts as on 30/09/2008 @ 9% p.a. once in three months to the Complainant by the Respondents from the date of respective investments is also not in dispute between the parties. It is also undisputed fact that, interest not paid to the Complainant on the above rate for the amount invested by him in two Accounts as on 31/12/2008 by these Respondents. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]8. From the affidavit evidence of R.W.1 and documents Ex.R.1 to Ex.R.16 discloses the fact that they have held up the interest due on 31/12/2008 due to audit objections as opening of said accounts by the Complainant are in contravention of provisions of SCSS Rules-2004. Second ground is that the said investment made by the Complainant after lapse of more than one month after taking his pensionery benefits. Third ground is that he has not produced necessary records to fulfill the legal requirements of SCSS Rules-2004. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 9. These Respondents further contended that, as per the directions of Post Master General, NK Region, Dharwad and objections taken by him at the time of audit, the Accounts of Complainant are required to be closed and payment will be returned to him after deducting the interest erroneously paid to him. In this regard, a written communication was made to the Complainant by letter dated: 13/01/2009. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]10. In view of the undisputed facts between the parties and in view of disputed facts between the parties, it is very much clear from the affidavit evidences and documentary evidences filed by them that, the Complainant opened his first account on 25/05/2005 by investing an amount of Rs.2.00 lakhs and again he opened another account on 15/09/2005 by investing two lakhs. The said investments of the Complainant was accepted by the Respondents by opening two Accounts on different dates bearing A/c No.14007 and 14011 in their Post Office. On the basis of investment made by the Complainant, the Respondents paid interest on the invested amount @ 9% p.a. once in three months from 25/05/2005 which is the date of opening of first account and from 15/09/2005 which is the date of opening of second account till 30/09/2008. All these facts are undisputed facts between the parties. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]11. Three grounds urged by Respondents for to close the two accounts of Complainant are as objections raised in the audit as those two accounts are in contravention of provisions of SCSS Rules-2004. Other two grounds urged as stated above are as per the directions issued by the Post Master General, NK Region, Dharwad. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]12. It is a fact that, for the first time the said objections brought to the notice of Complainant on 13/01/2009 as evidenced by the Respondents after lapse of round about three years. In the said circumstances, we cannot agree with the said reasoning’s of Respondents for to stop making payment of interest due on 31/12/2008 and onwards and closure of two accounts of Complainant by deducting the amount already paid to him by pointing out faults with the Complainant as such contentions of Respondents are barred by principles of estoppel. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]13. Admittedly, all Respondents are being the responsible Officers of Post Office allowed the Complainant to open two accounts by investing Rs.2.00 lakhs on each Account from 2005 by accepting records and paid regular interest on the said invested amount to him till 31/12/2008 which is the date of stopping of payment of interest. When internal audit took objections then these Respondents started making allegations against Complainant as he has contravened the provisions of SCSS Rules-2004 and he gave declaration etc. to that effect with an intention to over come the irregularities if any committed by them. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]14. It is a clear case that, if there are any contraventions of provisions of SCSS Rules-2004 in opening the accounts of Complainant then it is due to intentional or negligent act of the concerned Respondent. To cover up irregularities and latches in their duties they started making unacceptable allegations against the Complainant with an intention to close the accounts by deducting the interest paid to him on the invested amount. If these Respondents are sincere in their duties they should take action against the erred Officers for alleged contraventions or any irregularities committed by them in admitting the accounts of Complainant. How the fault of the concerned Officers is to be fastened on the Complainant to suffer who is no way related to the duties required to be performed by the Officers of Respondents. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 15. In view of the facts and circumstances stated above, we are of the view that, the Complainant has not contravened any provisions of SCSS Rules-2004 in opening those two Accounts by investing Rs.2.00 lakhs in each Account. We further opined that, withholding interest due on 31/12/2008 by these Respondents on the above said grounds inspite of repeated oral and written requests by the Complainant and intimating the Complainant that as per the directions of Postmaster General, NK Region Dharwad, intimated them to close the accounts after deducting interest erroneously paid is nothing but deficiency in their services towards the Complainant. Accordingly, we answered Point No.1 in affirmative. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 16. As regards to Point No.2 is concerned, these Respondents have clearly admitted that they have withheld Rs.9,000/- towards interest payable to the Complainant as on 31/12/2008. In view of our findings on Point No.1, the Complainant is entitled to recover interest of Rs.9,000/- from the Respondent No.1 to 3 jointly and severally. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 17. Another prayer of Complainant is for to award an amount of Rs.5,000/- towards mental agony. We have noticed the deficiency in service on the part of these Respondents towards the Complainant, as such Complainant is entitled to get lump sum amount of Rs.3,000/- from the Respondent No.1 to 3 jointly and severally under this head. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 18. Another prayer of Complainant is for to award an amount of Rs.2,000/- towards cost of this litigation. We are of the view that, the said amount is proper and reasonable amount as such, we granted an amount of Rs.2,000/- to the Complainant recoverable from the Respondent No.1 to 3 jointly and severally towards cost of this litigation. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]19. The Complainant prayed for to grant interest @ 18% p.a. We are of the view that, the rate of interest claimed by him is excessive and exorbitant. The normal rate of interest required to be granted under the circumstances of this case is @ 9 % p.a. Accordingly, we have granted interest @ 9% p.a. on the total amount from the date of this complaint till realization of entire amount. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]20. The Respondents No.1 to 3 jointly and severally are hereby directed to continue the said two Accounts of Complainant till their respective maturity period by making interest on the said invested amount once in three months @ 9% p.a. Accordingly, we answered Point No.2. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Point No.3: - [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]21. In view of findings on Point Nos.1 & 2, we pass the following; [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]//ORDER//[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The complaint filed by the Complainant is partly allowed with cost. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The Complainant is entitled to recover total interest amount of Rs.9,000/- (rupees nine thousand only) on the amount invested in his two Accounts which is due as on 31/12/2008 from the Respondents No.1 to 3 jointly and severally. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The Complainant is entitled to recover total amount of Rs.5,000/- (rupees five thousand only) from the Respondent No.1 to 3 jointly and severally towards deficiency in service and cost of litigation. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The Respondent No.1 to 3 jointly and severally are hereby directed to continue two Accounts of Complainant bearing A/c No.14007 & 14011 till their respective maturity period by making interest on the said invested amount once in three months @ 9% p.a. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The Complainant is also entitled to recover interest @ 9% p.a. on the total amount of Rs.14,000/- from the date of this complaint i.e. 05/01/2009 till realization of full amount from the Respondent No.1 to 3 jointly and severally. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The Respondent No.1 to 3 jointly and severally are hereby granted two months time from the date of this Judgment for to make the payment of total sum and interest as stated above to the Complainant. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    ORDER

    Complainant C.Vittaldas, Professor of Economics, Ganesh Krupa, 245, Gollageri, Mysore-24. (By Sri.M.Y.Kumar., Advocate)

    Vs.

    Opposite Party Post Master, K.R.Mohalla Post Office, Mysore-24. (By Sri.S.Shivanna, Advocate) Nature of complaint : Deficiency in service Date of filing of complaint : 18.02.2009 Date of appearance of O.P. : 16.03.2009 Date of order : 24.04.2009 Duration of Proceeding : 1 MONTH 8

    Sri.D.Krishnappa, President 1. The grievance of the complainant who has come up with this complaint against the opposite party is, that he had deposited a sum of Rs.6,00,000/- for a period of 6 years with the opposite party on 01.01.2005 under MIS scheme. Due to his personal reason, he applied for its withdrawal on 31.12.2008 before the maturity period, and he got a cheque for Rs.5,94,000/- after two days after deducting Rs.6,000/- from the original deposit. The opposite party had promised to pay bonus to the tune of 10% at the maturity time, bonus is not paid. The opposite party has even refused to pay interest for the month of December 2008, though it had deposit with him. Therefore, attributing deficiency in the opposite party has prayed for a direction to the opposite party to pay interest for the month of December 2008, payment of bonus at 10% and to refund his deposited amount at 1% and to award cost.

    2. The opposite party has filed version through his advocate, admitting the deposit made by the complainant with them and stated that this Forum has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint. It is further contended that under MIS scheme, the deposit of complainant was fetching Rs.4,000/- interest, but the complainant applied for pre-mature closure on 30.12.2008 that is even before the maturity period. If pre-mature withdrawal of the deposit is made, MIS Rules of 1987 provide for deduction of 1% of the deposited amount, as such they have deducted 1% as per the Rules. So far as, non-payment of the interest for the month of December 2008 is concerned it is stated that it depends on the date of deposit and contended that the complainant had deposited the amount on 01.01.2005 and that monthly interest would be calculated from first of the month up to first subsequent month. In the event of closing the account before first of the coming month, the deposit will not fetch interest. As per Rules stated above, they are bound to implement the Rules so far as the deposits are concerned and the same are incorporated in the passbook furnished to the complainant. Therefore, contended that they have deducted 1% of the deposit amount on account of pre-mature withdrawal and that the complainant since applied for withdrawal of the money before first of next month, the complainant is not entitled for interest for the month of December 2008 and thereby denying any sort of deficiency at their end has prayed for dismissal of the complaint.



    3. In the course of enquiry into the complaint, the complainant and the opposite party have filed their affidavit evidence reproducing what they have stated in their respective complaint and version. The complainant has produced a copy of the application he had given to the opposite party for opening a deposit account and also furnished a copy of the passbook. The opposite party has produced copies of the same documents with relevant Rules copy. Both parties have filed their written arguments, heard the counsels for both the parties and perused the records.



    4. On the above contentions, following points for determination arise. 1. Whether the complainant proves that the opposite party by deducting Rs.6,000/ from out of the deposit and also in not paying interest for the month of December 2008 has caused deficiency in his service? 2. Whether the complainant is entitled for the relief sought for?


    5. Our findings are as under:- Point no.1 : Answered in part in the affirmative. Point no.2 : See the final order. REASONS 6. Point no. 1:-:- The fact that the complainant had invested Rs.6,00,000/- under MIS scheme floated by the opposite party department on 01.01.2005 for a period of 6 years is not in dispute. Further, it is also not in dispute that the complainant withdrew the deposit prematurely on 31.12.2008 and at that time, the opposite party paid only Rs.5,94,000/- deducting a sum of Rs.6,000/- from the deposited amount. The complainant aggrieved by the act of the opposite party in deducting Rs.6,000/- from the deposit amount and also in not paying interest for the month of December 2008 has come up with this complaint. The opposite party conceding all of the above facts has contended that in the event of premature withdrawal of the deposited amount, MIS scheme Rules provide for deduction of 1% of the deposited amount, accordingly they have deducted Rs.6,000/- at the rate of 1% on the deposited amount, therefore that do not amounts to deficiency and in that regard they have relied upon a notification issued by the Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs) dated 10.02.2006. This notification, which deals with premature withdrawal of the amount or premature closure of account, says, if the account is closed after expiry of 3 years from the date of opening of such account, an amount equal to 1% of the deposit shall be deducted and reminder paid to the depositor. The opposite party has also contended that such conditions are incorporated in the passbook supplied to the complainant and also invited our attention to the notification dated 10.02.2007 and to the contents of the passbook supplied to the complainant.
    Further notification provides for deduction of an amount equal to 5% of the deposit in case of premature closure of account. This condition was within the knowledge of the complainant as he had been given the passbook printed with this condition. This condition of deduction of 5% has been modified by the notification dated 10.02.2006 under which the opposite parties are authorised to deduct only 1% of the deposit. Therefore, it cannot be said that the opposite party has deducted Rs.6,000/- on the premature closure of account without any authority. On the contrary, the opposite party has acted on the notification issued by the Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs). As such, we do not find any force in the contention of the complainant with regard to deduction of Rs.6,000/- from the deposited amount.


    7. Coming to the next grievance of the complainant regarding non-payment of interest for the month of December 2008 is concerned, the opposite party has admitted to have not paid interest for the month of December 2008, but contended in his version and also in the affidavit evidence as if the interest will be calculated on the deposit continued from first of the month upto first of the subsequent month and in the event of closing the account before first of coming month, the deposit amount will not fetch interest. It is further stated as per MIS Rules 30 days or 31 days in the month will not be calculated and thus attempted to say that the complainant since withdrew deposit prematurely on 31.12.2008 is not entitled for interest as the deposit had not been continued till 01.01.2009. But, we do not find any legal sanctity in that contention. The opposite party has also failed to bring to our notice that method of calculation of interest as per MIS Rules on the contrary, MIS Rules provides for calculation of interest on the deposits on completion of a month from the date of deposit. Clause 8 (2) under the heading Interest and Deposit reads as under:-
    “ The interest shall be payable monthly to the depositor on completion of a month from the date of deposit.” Thus, we do not find any condition in this notification calculating interest of the deposits if continued from first of one month till the first day of next month and it only speaks for calculation of interest on monthly basis on the deposit. Admittedly, in the case on hand, the complainant applied for premature closure of account on 31.12.2008, whereas the opposite party found to had issued a cheque for repayment of the money thereafter. This shows that the entire deposit was with the opposite party till 31.12.2008 and it was on completion of 31st day of December 2008, the complainant expecting interest for the month of December 2008 applied for pre-closure of account.
    This satisfies the intention of the MIS Rules for payment of interest, therefore, the opposite party in our view is not right in refusing to pay interest of Rs.4,000/- for the month of December 2008. As such, we hold that the opposite party to that extent has caused deficiency in the service and that has to be set right by the intervention of this Forum. With this, we answer point no.1 accordingly and pass the following order.

    ORDER
    1. The Complaint is allowed in part.
    2. The opposite party is directed to pay interest of Rs.4,000/- for the month of December 2008 to the complainant within 30 days from the date of this order, failing which he shall pay interest at 6% p.a. from the date of this order till the date of payment. 3. The opposite party shall also pay cost of Rs.500/- to the complainant.


  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    ORDER 1 (a): This Complaint is filed on 9.1.2009 under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    The Complaint in brief is as hereunder:

    The Complainant is a Holder of HUF Public Provident Fund Account bearing No.6000749 since 14.3.1991 for a period of 15 years in the Opposite Party-Post Office. That period is extendable at the option of the Account Holder. Accordingly, the Complainant invoked that option for a further period of 5 years from 20.3.2006 upto 31.3.2011 by sending a duly signed letter to the Opposite Party.
    The Opposite Party has duly acknowledged the same also through an endorsement in the concerned Passbook. Subsequent to the extension, the Opposite Party has received the deposits from the Complainant on several occasions and the Passbook was being updated from time to time showing the accrued interest also.
    (b) However, when the Complainant sent an additional contribution to that Account in the month of August 2008, the Opposite Party declined to accept the same on the ground that HUF PPF Account cannot be extended beyond 15 years after 13.5.2005. The balance amount in the said Account of the Complainant as on 1.4.2008 was Rs.7,42,993/-. The Opposite Party has added interest to the tune of Rs.24,766/- for the broken period till August 2008 as reflected in the Passbook. Subsequently, an Account Closure Form along with the Passbook to close the Account was submitted to the Opposite Party. In response to the same, the Opposite Party sent a cheque dt.25.9.2008 for a sum of Rs.6,39,905/- though the balance amount shown in the said Account was Rs.7,67,759/-.
    Thereby, the Opposite Party withheld a sum of Rs.1,27,854/-. That withholding was illegal and improper and the Complainant made several requests to the Opposite Party to refund that amount which is the accrued interest. Inspite of the same, the Opposite Party did not refund. The Opposite Party is estopped from retaining that accrued interest upto the financial year 2007-08. The withholding of that amount of Rs.1,27,854/- amounts to unfair trade practice and deficiency of service on the part of the Opposite Party as per the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. On account of the same, the Complainant has been put to sufferance and loss. Hence, this Complaint is necessitated to direct the Opposite Party to refund that amount with 18% p.a. from 1.4.2008, till refund and also to pay a sum of Rs.50,000/- by way of damages for unfair trade practice and deficiency of service along with the cost of this litigation.

    (c) The Complainant has made available a list with 9 documents along with the Complaint. They are the Xerox copies.


    2 (a). The Opposite Party has made available their Version on 2.3.2009. In brief, it is as hereunder: This Complaint is neither maintainable at law, nor on facts of the case. It is a fact that the Complainant had opened an HUF Public Provident Fund Account bearing NO.6000749 on 14.3.1991 at the Opposite Party-Post Office. The period of that PPF was 15 years and the date of maturity of that Account was 31.3.2006. The said Account was continued even after the maturity by the Account Holder. As per the letter dt.20.3.2006, the Complainant had opted to extend the period by 5 years. On 9.9.2006, the Complainant has deposited a sum of Rs.20,000/- and again on 26.9.2007, he has deposited a sum of Rs.20,000/-.

    (b) However as per the Government of India, Ministry of Finance and Department of Economic Affairs (Budget Division) Instructions vide Letter No.F.No.2/8/2005-NS-II, dt.20.5.2005, the PPF Accounts opened by Hindu Undivided Families before 13.5.2005 will continue till maturity and will not be extended further. Hence, additional subscription sent by the Complainant during August 2008 was not accepted. As on 13.3.2006, a sum of Rs.5,99,905/-was shown as balance. It included the deposits in a sum of Rs.2,32,500/- and interest accrued in a sum of Rs.3,67,405/- upto 31.3.2006. The proceeds of that PPF Account was paying to the Complainant through a cheque dt.25.9.2008 for a sum of Rs.6,39,905/-. Since as per above Instructions, there could not have been any further extension after the maturity of the period, any deposit made by the Complainant as Account Holder subsequent to that original period of 15 years cannot fetch any interest. That is why, a sum of Rs.1,27,854/- was deducted from the amount payable to the Complainant while closing that Account. In the circumstances, the Opposite Party-Post Office could not consider the request of the Complainant seeking refund of that interest amount. There is no eligibility for the Complainant to claim the same. The Opposite Party-Department of Posts carries out agency function on Small Savings Scheme and they are governed by the Rules and Circulars framed by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. No interest was withheld which was obliged to be credited till the closure of the original period of 15 years. In the circumstances, the Complainant cannot have any grievance against the Opposite Party. Since nothing is due to the Complainant, the Complainant is not entitled for any relief. There is neither unfair trade practice, nor deficiency of service on the part of the Opposite Party as alleged. Accordingly, this Complaint has to be dismissed with exemplary costs.

    (c) Along with the Version, the Opposite Party has made available Xerox copies of 3 documents marking them at Annexure-I to III.


    3. In the light of the contentions of the parties, they were called upon to produce evidence in the form of affidavits and documents if any. Accordingly, the affidavit of the Complainant is made available on 6.4.2009 and the very same date, one H.R.Veeranna Goud, S/o H. Rudra Goud, working as a Chief Post Master, Bangalore GPO is made available. At the end, this Forum heard on merits.


    4. In this case, the following points do arise for our consideration and decision and they are: (i) Whether there was unfair trade practice and deficiency of service on the part of the Opposite Party as alleged by the Complainant? (ii) Whether the Complainant is entitled for any relief against the Opposite Party in this proceeding? (iii) What Order?


    5. Our findings to these points are as hereunder: i) The allegation of deficiency of service as such is established. ii) Yes iii) As shown in the operative portion of the Order here below. 6. We shall substantiate our findings on the following:

    RE A S O N S


    POINT NO.1 (a): It is an admitted fact that the Complainant was holding a Hindu Undivided Family Public Provident Fund Account bearing No.6000749 with the Opposite Party-Post Office right from 14.3.1991. Admittedly, the period of that Account was 15 years and it was matured on 31.3.2006. Admittedly, the Complainant moved the Opposite Party to extend the said period by 5 years through his letter dt.20.3.2006 and it was accepted by the Opposite Party. Admittedly, the Complainant had deposited certain amounts into that Account during that extended period. Admittedly, the Opposite Party-Post Office had calculated the interest on the principal amount so deposited and credited the interest amount to that Account.

    (b) The grievance of the Complainant is that when he sought for depositing certain amount into that Account in the month of August 2008, to his surprise, the Opposite Party-Post Office failed to receive the said amount and on the other hand, began to contend that there could not have been any extension of the original period in the light of the Instructions of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India as per Letter No.F.No.2/8/2005-NS-II, dt.20.5.2005. The Opposite Party has made available a Xerox copy of that Instruction Letter which is marked by the Opposite Party at Annexure-I. As revealed therein, certain amendments were brought to the Small Savings Schemes and accordingly, as per the D.O. Letter No.113-10/2004-SB (Pt), dt.18.5.2005 and with effect from 13.5.2005, the investments under all Small Savings Schemes have been restricted to individuals only. As revealed in the said document, a copy of that letter was ordered to be issued to all HOCs for information and that endorsement is made on 25.5.2005. The learned counsel representing the Opposite Party in the context drew our attention to Rules 17 of the Savings Bank General Rules. As per the same, subject to the provisions of the Rule 16, where an account is found to have been opened in contravention of any relevant Rule for the time being in force and applicable to the account kept in the Post Office Savings Bank, the relevant Head Savings Bank may, at any time, cause the account to be closed and the deposits made in the account refunded to the Depositor without interest. Rules 16 refers to incorrect opening of accounts. As per the same, where an account is found to have been opened incorrectly under a category other than the one applied for by the Depositor, it shall be deemed to be an account after the category applied if he was eligible to open such account on the date of his application and if he was not so eligible, the account may, if he so desires, be converted into an account of another category ab-initio, if he was eligible to open an account of such category on the date of his application. Further as per Rules 16 (2), incase where the account cannot be so converted, the relevant Head Savings Bank may, at any time, cause the account to be closed and the deposit made in the account refunded to the Depositor with interest at the rate applicable from time to time to a Savings Account of the type for which, the Depositor is eligible. Therefore, Rule 16 deals with incorrectly opened account.

    Significantly, it does not cover the aspect of renewal of the period of Account. In the matter in hand, the question involved is the legality of the renewal of the period of Account.


    (c) Again, we have to go back to that letter at Annexure-I. At Para 4 of that letter, it is made clear that in view of the above position, immediate action should be taken to close such Accounts/Certificates and to refund the deposits without any interest to the Depositors. What we feel is, it is a mandate issued to the Post Offices operating such HUF PPF Account to see that it shall not be continued further and the amount in deposit with interest till that cut-off date be refunded to the Depositor/Depositors. Therefore, the question is, whether the Opposite Party-Post Office has complied with the above mandate?


    (d) It cannot be said that the Complainant-Depositor is aware of the above Instructions. On the other hand, as revealed in the evidence, atleast by 25.5.2005, the Opposite Party-Post Office must have come to the knowledge of that letter at Annexure-I and atleast they ought to have taken steps to close that Account without any undue delay and refund the amount to the Complainant-Depositor by intimating him about the contents of that letter. Had the Opposite Party discharged that obligation, the things would have been different here. On the other hand, as revealed, there was no such timely step by the Opposite Party-Post Office. On the other hand, they allowed the things to go further and only at a subsequent point of time when further deposit is sought by the Complainant, they became aware of the position and thought of declining accepting any further deposit.

    The thing is, had the Opposite Party informed the Complainant-Depositor at the appropriate time and refunded the amount due till then, certainly the Complainant could not have any ground to urge against the Opposite Party. On the other hand, the Opposite Party by their commissions and omissions, made the Complainant to believe that his deposit has accrued to his benefit and that their decline at a much subsequent point of time must have come as a bolt from the blue to the Complainant. Had the amount at credit been returned at the appropriate time, the Complainant could have invested the same elsewhere to his benefit. Now, on account of the above negligence on the part of the Opposite Party, the Complainant is made to suffer.
    The Opposite Party has stripped of the benefit by denying the interest on the amount in deposit subsequent to that cut-off date. In the circumstances, the above act of the Opposite Party according to us, is not only arbitrary, but also opposed to the principals of natural justice and that the said act has caused agony, sufferance and loss to the Complainant.

    (e) In the circumstances, we are of the considered opinion that the Opposite Party has not only remained negligent, but also deficient in rendering services to the Complainant by denying the interests part of the amount payable and compelling him to knock the doors of this Forum. We do not mean to say that the Opposite Party has indulged in unfair trade practice. On the other hand, we are certain that the Opposite Party remained negligent and deficient in rendering services within the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Accordingly, this point is answered.


    7. POINT NO.2: In a peculiar circumstances like this, it would be just and proper to direct the Opposite Party to refund that interest amount so withheld in a sum of Rs.1,27,854/-. As revealed in the documentary evidence especially from the extract of the Passbook, the said Account has been so closed by the Opposite Party on 25.9.2008. Since the amount so withheld is interest on the deposited amount, we are not inclined to award interest on that interest part. On the other hand, it would be just and proper to award a reasonable amount to the Complainant by way of cost and compensation for the agony, sufferance and loss to which he was put to on account of the above deprivation or denial. Nodoubt, the Complainant has claimed the same at Rs.50,000/-.

    However, ends of justice would meet if the same is fixed at a reasonable rate which according to us, is Rs.5,000/-. Accordingly, this point is answered.



    8. POINT NO.3 : In the result, we proceed to pass the following:

    O R D E R

    The Opposite Party since found negligent and deficient in rendering services to the Complainant in respect of his HUF PPF Account in question, the Opposite Party is directed to refund Rs.1,27,854/- (Rupees one lakh twenty-seven thousand eight hundred and fifty-four) being the amount so deducted to the Complainant. In addition to the same, the Opposite Party shall pay a sum of Rs.5,000/- (Rupees five thousand) to the Complainant by way of cost and compensation. The Opposite Party is granted 30 days time from this date to comply this Order.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    1. Tmt. Anbarasi,
    w/o late N. Sivanathan,
    Mudaliar Thottam,
    New Mariamman Koil St.,
    Chinnadharapuram Post,
    Aravakkurichi Taluk, Karur District.

    2. Tmt. Chitra Devi,
    w/o Thangaraj,
    Oothupatti, Soodamani Village,
    Aravakurichi Taluk, Karur District.

    3. Tmt. Sasikala,
    w/o Selvakumar,
    New Mariamman Koil St.,
    Chinnadharapuram Post,
    Aravakkurichi Taluk, Karur District.

    4. Tmt. Nanjammal,
    w/o late Natchimuthu,
    New Mariamman Koil St.,
    Chinnadharapuram Post,
    Aravakkurichi Taluk, Karur District. .. Complainant

    /versus/

    1. The Superintendent of Post Offices,
    Karur Postal Division,
    Office of the Superintendent of post offices,
    Jawahar Bazaar, Karur 639 001.

    2. The Sub-Post Master,
    Chinnadharapuram Post Offices,
    Aravakkurichi Taluk,
    Karur District. ..Opposite Parties

    This complaint coming on 2nd day of April 2009 for final hearing before us in the presence of Thiru V. Ponnusamy, Counsel for Complainant and Thiru S. Ganesan, Counsel for Opposite Parties 1 and 2 and after hearing both sides and having stood over till this day, this Forum passed the following order:
    ORDER
    This complaint is filed under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act.
    1. The facts of the amended complaint is : -
    The 1st complainant is the wife, the 2nd and 3rd complainants are children and 4th complainant is the mother of deceased Mr. N.Sivanathan. The first complainant and her deceased husband N.Sivanathan had jointly made fixed deposit of Rs. 6,00,0000/- under the POMIS Scheme with the Boiler Project Sub-Post Office, Trichy as joint account as Either or Survivor. The 2nd and 3rd complainants are nominees to the said deposit. The said deposit is for 6 years. The said deposit carries monthly interest of Rs.4,750/-. Subsequently, on request the fixed deposit account was transferred to the 2nd opposite party. The said Mr.N.Sivanathan died on 26.5.2003, leaving behind the complainants herein as legal heirs. The 1st complainant on 29.5.2003 informed the 2nd opposite party about the death of Mr.N.Sivanathan. Subsequently, the 2nd opposite party has made an endorsement in the passbook as “Account converted as Single Account due to demise of Sri N. Sivanathan on 26.05.2003 and operated by Survivor Smt.S.Anbarasi” and paid interest of Rs.4,750/- due on 27.5.2003. The 1st complainant was directed to produce death certificate and legal heir certificate. On 1.6.2003 the 2nd opposite party cancelled the endorsement made by him on 29.5.2003 and made endorsement in the said passbook as “Account continued as Joint Account after the demise of N.Sivanathan with S.Sasikala as Survivor with effect from 1.6.2003. The complainant was paid interest from the month of June 2003 till December 2006. The interest for the month of January 2007 to March 2007 was not paid and the 1st complainant was directed to meet the 1st opposite party. The 1st complainant narrated the facts to the 1st opposite party and the first opposite party informed the 2nd opposite party over phone that there was no wrong in adding the daughter of the deceased as Joint account holder and directed him to pay interest as usual till maturity. Thereafter, on 4.6.2007 the first complainant received a sum of Rs.23,750/- towards interest for five months i.e., from January 2007 to May 2007. In the month of June 2007, the first complainant was paid Rs.4,750/- as interest, for the month of July 2007 the complainant was paid Rs.2,375/-(half of Rs.4,750/-) again in the month of August 2007 the complainant was paid Rs. P4,750/- as interest. When the complainant queried the 2nd opposite party told that he will seek clarifications from the 1st opposite party and interest was not paid till December 2007. The 1st opposite party told that it is the duty of legal heirs of the said N.Sivanathan to receive 50% of deposit amount and when they succeeded the same, since the legal heirs failed to get back 50% deposit amount they are not entitled to get any interest for the remaining period and further told that excess amount of interest paid by them will be adjusted and shown a copy of the order. The 1st complainant is an illiterate widow and informed about the death of her husband as early as on 29.5.2003. The 2nd opposite party without knowing the rules and regulations in force had acted as per whims and fancies. The dealing of the matter in question is nothing but lack of knowledge over the schemes, rules and regulations on the part of opposite parties amounts to negligence in duties and gross deficiency in service. The deficiency has resulted in mental agony, pain and anguish to the complainants. The complainant has lodged this complaint for refund of the principal deposit amount, bonus on the deposit, interest arrears, compensation etc.
    2. The first opposite party has filed written version and additional written version and the same was adopted by the 2nd opposite party. The contentions of the opposite parties are:-
    The opposite parties contend that deposit made by the first complainant and her husband is covered by Savings Bank Act-1873 and depositors have undertaken to abide by the Rules. Further that the Union of India had issued an order D.G. Posts letters No. 110-23/2001-SB dated 7.1.2003 ordering that the surviving account holder of the MIS joint account will not be eligible for interest on the excess amount beyond the limit of single account. The 2nd opposite party received written intimation from the 1st complainant vide letter dated 30.9.2003 about the death of her husband. The account was converted by the 2nd opposite party. Further the opposite parties contend that the 2nd opposite party had asked the 1st complainant to withdraw the excess amount of Rs.3,00,000/-. The opposite parties have admitted that by oversight and mistake interest was paid at the rate of Rs.4,750/- to the 1st complainant even after the death of Sivanathan till September 2007 and they had stated that they have right to recover or adjust the excess interest so paid to the complainant. The 3rd complainant was made as joint account holder as per the request but that do not make the 3rd complainant eligible for interest on the excess amount. The opposite parties have contended that the complainants are eligible to get Rs.6,39,500/- and after deducting the excess amount paid by them mistakenly the complainants are entitled to get Rs.5,20,750/-. The complainants are not entitled to any interest on the excess amount i.e., Rs.3,00,000/- which is ought to have withdrawn by the complainant on the death of N.Sivanathan because it carried no interest. The account carried interest at the rate of 9.5% per annum upto maturity and after maturity the complainants are entitled to post maturity interest at the rate of 3.5% per annum for a maximum period of two years. The first opposite party wrote a letter dated 29.1.2008 offering to settle the undisputed amount at Chinnadharapuram post office. Even then the complainant wrote a reply letter dated 5.1.2009 refusing to received the amount. Further a memo dated 22.1.2009 was given to the complainant offering that she may collect undisputed amount at Chinnadharapuram but again she failed to collect the amount including the excess amount. The complainant wantonly did not get back the amount. The opposite parties had acted only as per the Government Saving Bank Act and rules made there under. The opposite party contended that there is no merits in the complaint and has to be dismissed with costs.

    3. The complainants to prove their case have filed proof affidavit along with 8 documents and the same has been marked as Ex. A1 to A8. The opposite parties have filed their proof affidavit along with 13 documents and the same has been marked as Ex. B1 to B13.

    4. The point for consideration is whether there is any deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties and if so to what relief the complainants are entitled for?

    5.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]POINT : The 1st complainant is the wife, the 2nd and 3rd complainants are children and 4th complainant is the mother of deceased Mr. N.Sivanathan. The first complainant and her deceased husband N.Sivanathan had jointly made fixed deposit of Rs. 6,00,0000/- under the POMIS Scheme with the Boiler Project Sub-Post Office, Trichy as joint account as Either or Survivor. The 2nd and 3rd complainants are nominees to the said deposit. The said deposit is for 6 years. The said deposit carries monthly interest of Rs.4,750/-. Subsequently, on request the fixed deposit account was transferred to the 2nd opposite party. The said Mr.N.Sivanathan died on 26.5.2003, leaving behind the complainants herein as legal heirs. All these facts are not disputed by the opoposite parties. The 1st complainant on 29.5.2003 informed the 2nd opposite party about the death of Mr.N.Sivanathan. Subsequently, the 2nd opposite party has made an endorsement in the passbook as “Account converted as Single Account due to demise of Sri N. Sivanathan on 26.05.2003 and operated by Survivor Smt.S.Anbarasi” and paid interest of Rs.4,750/- due on 27.5.2003. The 1st complainant was directed to produce death certificate and legal heir certificate. The original pass book has been produced and placed before us as Ex.A1 by the complainant to establish the endorsement. On perusal of Ex.A1 we can evidence the endorsement. The complainant was paid interest from the month of June 2003 till December 2006. The interest for the month of January 2007 to March 2007 was not paid and the 1st complainant was directed to meet the 1st opposite party. The 1st complainant narrated the facts to the 1st opposite party and the first opposite party informed the 2nd opposite party over phone that there was no wrong in adding the daughter of the deceased as Joint account holder and directed him to pay interest as usual till maturity. Thereafter, on 4.6.2007 the first complainant received a sum of Rs.23,750/- towards interest for five months i.e., from January 2007 to May 2007. In the month of June 2007, the first complainant was paid Rs.4,750/- as interest, for the month of July 2007 the complainant was paid Rs.2,375/-(half of Rs.4,750/-) again in the month of August 2007 the complainant was paid Rs. 4,750/- as interest. When the complainant queried the 2nd opposite party told that he will seek clarifications from the 1st opposite party and interest was not paid till December 2007. The 1st opposite party told that it is the duty of legal heirs of the said N.Sivanathan to receive 50% of deposit amount and when they succeeded the same, since the legal heirs failed to get back 50% deposit amount they are not entitled to get any interest for the remaining period and further told that excess amount of interest paid by them will be adjusted and shown a order. The complainants state that the opposite parties without knowing the rules and regulations in force had acted as per whims and fancies. The opposite parties contend that deposit made by the first complainant and her husband is covered by Savings Bank Act-1873 and depositors have undertaken to abide by the Rules. Further that the Union of India had issued an order D.G. Posts letters No. 110-23/2001-SB dated 7.1.2003 ordering that the surviving account holder of the MIS joint account will not be eligible for interest on the excess amount beyond the limit of single account and that they have to abide by the same. This Forum completely agrees with the contention of the opposite parties that they are bound to act as per the Savings Bank Act-1873 and orders of the Central Government in this regard. But, the bone of contention of the complainant is why then the opposite parties failed to enforce the rules and regulations when she first intimated about the death of her husband. The complainants forcefully state that the opposite parties themselves without knowing the rules and regulations in force had acted as per whims and fancies. The dealing of the matter in question by the opposite parties is nothing but lack of knowledge over the schemes, rules and regulations. There is substance in the contentions of the complainant in this regard. The opposite parties ought to have returned the half of the deposit of Rs.3,00,000/- to the complainants since they do not carry interest as per their rules and regulations. But the 2nd opposite party have not chosen to return the same to the complainants and when the matter was brought to the notice of the first opposite party, atleast he should have directed the 2nd opposite party to return Rs.3,00,000/- as the same will not carry any interest. But, nothing has been done in this direction. The said amount of Rs.3,00,000/- was retained by the opposite parties till maturity and now refusing to pay interest is not correct. We do not agree with the opposite parties that no interest will be paid for Rs.3,00,000/- which has been retained by them due to their lack of knowledge about their own schemes, rules and regulations. The endorsement made in Ex.A1 and subsequent cancellation of the endorsement; adding the surviving daughter of the deceased as depositor, the payment of Rs.2,375/-(half of Rs.4,750/-), then paying Rs.4,750/- and now finally the opposite parties have admitted that they have wrongly paid the interest to the complainant. All these events clearly establish the negligence on the part of the opposite parties. This clearly proves that the opposite parties themselves have lack of knowledge over the schemes, its rules and regulations. It is rather surprising that for a quite long period the opposite parties have paid the interest without any objection even from their own audit department. However, we cannot also allow the complainant to retain the interest paid to them by the opposite parties by mistake and in violation of the rules and regulations of the scheme. But at the same breath the complainant is also entitled for interest on Rs.3,00,000/-(retained by the opposite parties till maturity and now for which interest is refused to be paid by the opposite parties) at the rate of 7.5% per annum from the date of death of Mr.Sivanathan till date of payment. All the confusion and chaos is as the result of lack of knowledge about the scheme, its rules and regulations on the part of the opposite parties. The opposite parties have also kept stoic silence about payment of bonus to the complainant. The complainants are also entitled for bonus on the said deposit. The opposite parties have admitted that the complainants are eligible to get Rs.6,39,500/- and after deducting the excess amount of paid by them mistakenly the complainants are entitled to get Rs.5,20,750/-. In view of the above discussion and on perusal of the documentary evidences placed before us we have no hesitation to hold that the act of the opposite parties amounts to gross negligence and deficiency in service on their part. The negligent act of the opposite parties would have definitely caused lot of mental agony and anguish to the complainants and for which they are entitled for compensation for mental agony. The complainants prayed subsequent interest for Rs. 6,81,375/- at the rate of 18% per annum. Exhibits B11 to 13 clearly show that the opposite parties have retained a sum of Rs.5,20,750/- with them till date. So, the opposite parties are liable to pay interest for a sum of Rs.5,20,750/-. Hence, the opposite parties are liable to pay Rs.5,20,750/- as admitted by them and to pay interest on Rs.3,00,000/- at the rate of 7.5% per annum from the date of death of Mr.N.Sivanathan i.e., 26.5.2003 till date of payment and to pay interest for the balance amount of Rs.2,20,750/- at the rate of 7.5% from the date of maturity i.e. from 28.12.2007 till the date of realization. The opposite parties are also directed to pay the bonus entitled to the complainant for the said deposit. Further the opposite parties are directed to pay Rs.10,000/- to the complainants as compensation for mental agony and Rs.1,500/- towards cost of this complaint. The point is answered accordingly.

    6. In the result, the opposite parties are directed to pay Rs.5,20,750/- (Rupees five lakhs twenty thousand seven hundred and fifty only) as admitted by them and to pay interest on Rs.3,00,000/- at the rate of 7.5% per annum from 26.5.2003 till date of payment and for the balance amount of Rs.2,20,750/- at the rate of 7.5% from 28.12.2007 till the date of realization. The opposite parties are also directed to pay the bonus entitled to the complainant for the said deposit. Further, the opposite parties are also directed to pay Rs.10,000/-(Rupees ten thousand only) to the complainants as compensation for mental agony and Rs.1,500/- (Rupees one thousand and five hundred only) towards cost of this complaint to the complainant. Time for payment one month from the date of this order.

    This order prepared by the President and pronounced by us in Open Forum, this the 16th day of April 2009.

    Sd/- Sd/- Sd/-
    MEMBER.I MEMBER.II PRESIDENT


    Exhibits on the side of the complainant
    A1
    27.12.2001
    Pass book standing in the name of 1st complainant and her husband.
    Original
    A2
    2.6.2003
    Death certificate of Sivanathan
    Original
    A3
    21.8.2003
    Legal Heirship certificate of Sivanathan
    Original
    A4
    1.1.2008
    Letter of the 1st complainant addressed to 1st opposite party and postal acknowledgement of 1st opp.party.
    Copy
    A5
    18.2.2008
    Legal notice issued by the complainants to the opposite parties
    Copy
    A6

    Postal acknowledgement of 1st opposite party
    Original
    A7

    Postalacknowledgement of 2nd opposite party
    Original
    A8

    Postal acknowledgement of the Post Master General, Trichy.
    Original

    Exhibits on the side of opposite parties
    B1
    series

    The Government Savings Banks Act, 1873- Chapter 6(Page 50 to 54)
    Xerox
    B2
    series

    Post Office(Monthly income Account) Rules, 1987 – Chapter 13(Page 158 to 165)
    Xerox
    B3
    series

    Letter sent by the first opposite party with enclosure(10sheets)
    Xerox
    B4
    series
    30.9.2003
    Letter of the complainant and copy of the ledgers(4sheets)
    Xerox
    B5
    series

    Copy of the ledger with respect to A/c No. 12029(3sheets)
    Xerox
    B6

    Letter of the complainant addressed to second opposite party
    Xerox
    B7

    Application for opening the account in post office signed by the 1st and 3rd complainant
    Xerox
    B8

    Letter of the complainant No.1 addressed to 1st opposite party
    Xerox
    B9
    6.3.2007
    Letter of the second opp.party addressed to the 1st opposite party
    Xerox
    B10
    30.3.2007
    Letter of the first opposite party addressed to 2nd opposite party
    Xerox
    B11
    29.12.2008
    Letter of the second opposite party addressed to the complainant No.1
    Xerox
    B12
    5.1.2009
    Letter of the complainant addressed to the first complainant
    Xerox
    B13
    Memo filed on behalf of the opposite parties
    Original
  • Advocate.soniaAdvocate.sonia Senior Member
    edited September 2009
    Sita Ram Dhiman, Siri Niwas Cottage, New Annexe, Near Government School Lalpani, Shimla-171001.



    … Complainant.

    Versus



    1. Senior Postmaster, Department of Post India, GPO Shimla-171001.



    2. Sub Postmaster, Post Office, Bus Stand, Shimla-171001.



    …Opposite Parties.



    For the complainant: In person.

    For the Opposite Parties: Mr. Vijay Verma, Advocate.



    O R D E R:

    Pritam Singh (District Judge) President:- This order shall dispose of complaint filed under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The case of the complainant in brief is that on 23.08.2006 he booked speed post envelop through OP No.2 containing migration certificate of H.P. University Shimla of his daughter Mrs. Madhu Lata to be delivered to his son-in-law Shri Avinash Chander, at Gujrat. But when the aforesaid speed post letter did not reach its destination, he approached the OPs to know the where-about of the aforesaid speed post letter. But the OPs did nothing and remained slept over the matter.It is further alleged by him that the employees of the OPs intentionally did not deliver the aforesaid speed post to the addressee as a result of which his daughter could not get admission in B.Ed course and she lost her one valuable academic year. Hence, feeling dissatisfied and aggrieved by the act of the OPs, the complainant perforce filed this complaint against the OPs.


    2. The complaint is resisted by OPs who took some preliminary objections regarding maintainability of complaint Under Section 6 of the Indian Post Offices Act, 1898, status of the complainant as a consumer. On merits, they alleged that if the envelop was containing migration certificate of his daughter, it was obligatory on the part of the complainant to get the same insured as per Rules and as per Notification dated 22.01.99. Hence, the complainant is only entitled for refund of double speed post charges if any or Rs.1,000/- which ever is less. That there being no deficiency in service, the complaint is sought to be dismissed. Thereafter, the parties led evidence in support of their claim/counter claim.


    3. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties at length and have also thoroughly scanned the entire record of the complaint.


    4. Undisputedly, the complainant booked speed post letter containing migration certificate of his daughter, which was to be delivered to his son-in-law at Gujrat, but it was not delivered to the addressee and his daughter could not get admission in B. Ed course and lost her precious academic year.


    5. The OPs in reply alleged that if the speed post envelop was containing migration certificate of daughter of the complainant, he should have got it insured. That in case of loss of article if any, sent by mail during transit they are only liable to refund the double of speed post charges.


    6. In this connection, it may be stated that the complainant has relied upon postal receipt Annexure C-II vide which aforesaid speed post letter containing migration certificate of his daughter was booked which was undoubtedly never delivered to addressee. But, no plausible explanation has been furnished by OPs regarding non-delivery of same to the addressee or about its where-about. Whereas, it was obligatory on the part of the OPs to disclose the where-about of the misplaced speed post letter when they received the speed post charges from the complainant. The OPs however, in alternative alleged that they are exempted from any liability under section 6 of the Indian Post Office Act. We have given considered thought to this defence of OPs. But, we are not inclined to give benefit of section 6 of the Indian Post Office Act to OPs because it stands established on record that the speed post letter so booked by the complainant did not reach its destination and was misplaced and lost during transit while in the custody of employee of the OPs. Thus, in the facts and circumstances of the case, the OPs can not take benefit of section 6 of the Indian Post Office Act. It appears a case of sheer negligence and deficiency in service on the part of officials of the OPs. Besides if the provision of section 6 of Indian Post Office Act are examined on the touchstone of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, it leads to only one conclusion that OPs have used abused and misused these provisions of Section 6 of Act ibid. In such situation these provisions can in no way rescue or protect the OPs. On this point we are supported by case law authority as reported in 2008 CTJ 1246 (CP) (SCDRC) State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, H.P. in case Senior Superintendent, Post and Telegraph, Solan versus M.L. Gupta and another.


    7. As the complainant alleged that the speed post letter containing migration certificate of his daughter could not be delivered to addressee and his daughter could not get admission in B.Ed course she thus lost her one valuable academic year and suffered mental agony and this all happened due to sheer negligence of OPs. Hence, in the facts and circumstances of the case and taking into consideration the totality of the matter, we hold that the complainant is entitled to be awarded reasonable compensation against OPs.


    8. Resultantly, we allow this complaint and direct the OPs to jointly and severally pay compensation of Rs.7,000/- to the complainant it being just and reasonable amount, besides litigation cost of Rs.1,000/- within a period of forty five days after the date of receipt of copy of this order. The learned counsel for the OPs and complainant have undertaken to collect the certified copy of this order from the office
  • edited September 2009
    dear a registered post sent by NHPC Ltd. on dt. 27/08/2009 by RL NO. 189543. but this post i am not recd till now.

    Pls take the neccessary action for grievience.

    Thanks

    Sanjeev Kr. Mangal
    Add:- 26/257 B Near Ashish palace, Sultanganj Agra.282004
    Ph:- 9760931113
  • SidhantSidhant Moderator
    edited October 2009
    Manjit Kaur wife of Sh. Jagdev Singh, resident of 13603, Street No.8, Parbhat Nagar, Ludhiana.

    (Complainant)

    Vs.



    1. Department of Post, through Senior Superintendent of Post Officers, Ludhiana City Division, Ludhiana.



    2. Post Master General, Post Officer Miller Ganj, (Earlier known as Partap Nagar Post Office) Ludhiana.

    (Opposite parties)


    O R D E R

    T.N. VAIDYA, PRESIDENT:


    1. Complainant was refused to draw a sum of Rs. 16,684.15p from her post office saving account no. 8500531/1690188, by opposite party. Such act of their, in the present complaint under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, is claimed amounting to deficiency in service.

    2. Pleaded by the complainant that was having said saving account with the opposite party since many years. On 24.3.2007, there was balance of Rs. 94,415.15p in her account and out of it, withdrew Rs.40,000/- on 5.2.2008 and another Rs.40,000/- on 3.3.2008, leaving balance of Rs.14,415.15p. After adding interest for the year 2006-07, a sum of Rs.16,684.15p was balance in her said account and reflected in the passbook. The post office from Partap Nagar was shifted to Miller Ganj Post Office in March 2008.

    In May,2008, approached opposite party for withdrawal of same amount from her account, but opposite party apprised that there was negative balance of Rs.91,716.75p and this amount was due from complainant to the post office. Then moved applications dated 8.7.2008 and 18.7.2008 to the opposite party to know the actual position. Then statement provided by opposite party shocked her, as it was reflecting withdrawal of amount of Rs. 70,000/- and Rs.40,000/- respectively on 14.11.2006 and 22.1.2007 from her account. She never affected such transactions. Wrong entries were made by opposite party qua such withdrawal by tampering the record.

    Then under Right to Information Act, obtained copies of the withdrawal vouchers dated 14.11.2006 and 22.1.2007. Those vouchers were never filled by the complainant nor contained her signatures and some impersonator Manjeet Kaur withdrew those amounts from her account. Opposite party at that time also tampered with her passbook without her consent by showing negative balance of Rs. 91,716.75p in her passbook. Withdrawal vouchers, as such were fabricated, by officials of the opposite party. For such deficiency on the part of opposite party-Post Office, claimed refund of Rs.16,684.150 from her account with interest @18% per annum and also compensation of Rs.70,000/- and litigation cost of Rs. 10,000/-.

    3. Opposite party-Post Office in reply claimed that complaint is not maintainable as such a dispute can not be decided in summary manner. Only civil court has jurisdiction to try the dispute, for the reasons that FIR no. 393 dated 24.10.2008 in P.S. Division no.6, Ludhiana has been registered against Sh. Rajinder Kumar Verma and Sh. Sanjeev Kumar. Further claimed that there is no deficiency in service on their part. It is conceded that the complainant had saving account opened with them on 25.9.1998 at Partap Nagar Post Office, Ludhiana.

    Also admitted that balance of Rs. 14,415.15p was in her account on 6.3.2008 and after adding interest it swelled to Rs. 16,16,684.15p. Shifting of post office from Partap Nagar to Miller Ganj Post Office is also admitted to be correct. Pleaded that her account showed minus balance of Rs. 91,716.75p in her account. When complainant moved complaint, matter was investigated, which reflected that two withdrawals of Rs.70,000/- and Rs.40,000/-tookplace on 14.11.2006 and 22.1.2007 respectively in the account of the complainant, qua such withdrawals there was no entry in the passbook nor in the ledger book, but available only in the long book. Complainant denied such withdrawal from her account.

    Fraud to the extent of Rs.1,10,000/- was committed by drawing amount from her account. Sh. Rajinder Kumar Verma, the then Sub Post Master, who is now under suspension had admitted his signatures on both withdrawal forms and committing irregularity in the account of the complainant. Information sought by the complainant was duly provided to her. Hence, there was no deficiency in service on the part of opposite party. Duplicate passbook was also issued to her on her application. Sub Post Master Sh. Rajinder Kumar Verma is being preceded departmentally. Hence, complaint deserves dismissal.

    4. Parties adduced their evidence by way of affidavits and documents in order to prove their respective versions.

    5. We have heard the arguments addressed by the ld. counsel for the parties, gone through file, scanned the documents and other material on record.

    6. The stand so taken by the opposite party by way of their reply, leaves nothing for our decision, to dispose off the complaint. As it is admitted that complainant had saving account with the opposite party and in that account there was credit balance of Rs.16,684.15p. After 6.3.2008, her passbook Ex.C.4 reflecting minus entry of Rs. 91,716.75p was incorrect as a sum of Rs.70,000/- on 14.11.2006 and Rs.40,000/- on 5.2.2008 was never withdrawn by the complainant through withdrawal forms from her account. Rather, the then Sub Post Master of the post office, Sh. Rajinder Kumar Verma, forged signatures of the complainant on both these withdrawal vouchers and withdrew those amounts from her account. It is conceded by the opposite party that Sh. Rajinder Kumar Verma during enquiry on complaint of the complainant had admitted such aspect.

    7. Therefore, it is apparent that forgery and fraud qua amount of the complainant, was committed by officials of the opposite party. Therefore, opposite party would be liable for all deeds, misdeeds and acts and negligence committed by its own employee on principle of master and servant relation.

    8. Having balance of Rs.16,684.15p in her account is not in dispute. That was hard earned money of the complainant and as a result she would be entitled to withdraw that amount from her account. By not paying the same despite knowing that amount actually belong to the complainant, opposite party would be guilty of misconduct and resorting to unfair trade practice, causing harm and loss to its own consumer. Opposite party further would be guilty of sprinkling salt on the wounds of the complainant by not releasing the amount on demand despite knowing the fact that she was entitled for it. Thereby deprived her to use her own money at the time of dire need and necessity.

    9. Therefore, on account of such deficiency committed by opposite party, complaint deserves to be allowed. As a result, we direct opposite party-Post Office to pay Rs.16,684.15p to the complainant with 5% simple interest per annum from 1.4.2008 till payment. For causing harassment and enforcing this litigation on the complainant, further order to pay compensation of Rs.2000/-(Rs. Two Thousands only) and litigation cost of Rs. 1000/-(Rs. One Thousand only) within 45 days of the receipt of copy of the order, which be made available to the parities free of costs.
  • adv.singhadv.singh Senior Member
    edited January 2010
    Appeal No. FA-07/306

    (Arising out of Order dated 14-02-2007 passed by the District Consumer Forum(II), Udyog Sadan, C-22 & 23, Institutional Area, New Delhi in Case No. 291/2005)





    1.Sr. Supdt. Of Post Office … Appellant

    New Delhi South West Division, Through

    New Delhi-110021. Mr. Rajeev Bansal,

    Advocate

    2.The Post Master

    Post Office, Hauz Khas,

    New Delhi-110016.



    Versus



    Andhra Bank … Respondent

    J.S. Plaza, 16/15, Through

    WEA Arya Samaj Road, Mr. Sanjay Visen,

    Karol Bagh, Delhi-110032. Advocate



    CORAM



    Justice Barkat Ali Zaidi … President

    Mr. M.L. Sahni … Member



    1. Whether Reporters of local newspapers be allowed to see the judgment?

    2. To be referred to the Reporter or not?





    Justice Barkat Ali Zaidi(Oral)

    1. The short facts of the complaint case are that the respondent complainant sent an envelope on 3.6.04 to Sri Rajiv Choudhry by the speed post from Hyderabad to Green Park, New Delhi which was not delivered. On enquiry, from a letter of postman addressed to the post master the complainant came to know that the said envelope was handed over to the postman for delivery which was stolen from inside the post office. The complainant alleged that the envelope contained credit card which was misutilized to the tune of Rs. 32410.50. The complainant alleged that it had requested the postal authorities to take action against the erring officials but in vain which led him to file complaint before the District Consumer Forum praying that the complainant had suffered the damage due to misutilization of the credit card and the OP be directed to pay the complainant Rs. 84821/- and the litigation costs.

    2. The appellant OP opposed the claim and pleaded that if the envelope contained credit card, it should have been insured by the complainant and the post office was therefore not liable to pay for it under Rule 6 of the Indian Post Office Act.

    3. The District Forum considering the evidence of both the parties and hearing them placing reliance on the two decisions below of the State Commissions –

    (i) Sr. Supdt. Of Post Office Vs M/s Rangung, III(2001) CPJ 362, and

    (ii) Head Post Master, Kurukshetra Vs Vijay Ratan Aggarwal, I (1997) CPJ 487

    repelled the contention of the OP post office that since the envelope was not insured, the OP was not liable to pay for deficiency in service and directed the OP post office to pay a sum of Rs. 32410.50 on account of the loss suffered by the complainant Rs. 10,000/- towards the compensation and Rs. 2,000/- litigation costs.

    4. That is what brings the OP in appeal here.

    5. We have heard Sh. Rajeev Bansal, Govt. Advocate for the appellants and Sh. Sanjay Visen for the respondent OP bank in this appeal.

    6. It is not disputable that the envelope was sent through speed post to the addressee from Hyderabad to Delhi which got lost in Delhi post office.

    7. The District Forum held the OP post office responsible and awarded the damages on basis of the two decisions Supra. It appears that both the parties before the District Forum did not bring to the notice of the Forum the decision of the National Consumer Commission dated 18th September, 2002 in Revision Petition No. 15 of 1997 and a spate of Revisions whereby the National Commission reversed the judgment dated 7.10.96 of the State Commission Haryana in Vijay Rattan Agarwal’s case Supra. Thus with the decision of the National Commission the situation was changed in consequence whereof the award given by the District Consumer Forum in favour of the respondent OP Bank is unsustainable.

    8. This is what the National Commission said while setting aside the judgment passed by the State Commission in Vijay Ratan Aggarwal’s case and Ors.

    “We have extensively set out relevant provisions with respect to articles sent by Speed Post as these are not readily available to District Forums and State Commission. But then it is Section 6 of the Post Office Act which is the mother of all liabilities under which Postal Department or its officials can be saddled with. Section 6 we reproduce :



    “6. Exemption from liability for loss, misdelivery, delay or damage – The Government shall not incur any liability by reason of the loss, misdelivery or delay of, or damage to, any postal article in course of transmission by post, except in so far as such liability may in express terms by undertaken by the Central Government as hereinafter provided; and no officer of the Post Office shall incur any liability by reason of any such loss, misdelivery, delay or damage, unless he has caused the same fraudulently or by his willful act or default.”



    Section 6 of the Post Office Act has been interpreted by this Commission in the case of Senior Post Master, G.P.O. Pune Vs. Akhil Bhartiya Grahak Panchayat & Anr. – II(1995) CPJ 230 and in the Post Master, Imphal & Ors. Vs. Dr. Jamini Devi Sagolband – I(2000) CPJ 28. Section 6 exempts Post Office from any liability for loss misdelivery, delay or damage of any postal article in course of transmission by post, except to such extent as the liability may be undertaken by the Government in the express terms. An officer of the Post Office is similarly exempted from any liability unless he has caused loss etc. fraudulently or by his willful act or default.



    Based on Post Office Act and the Rules argument of Mr. B.K. Agarwal and Mr. Sunil Sharma counsel for the Post Office is quite simple and that no compensation is payable outside these rules. Mr. Vishnu Mehra, learned counsel, however, submitted that one has to see the background under which Section 6 of the Post Office Act has been enacted. According to him scheme of Speed Post is a departure to which Section 6 would not be applicable. He said first part of Section 6 deals with complete immunity of the Government from any liability But second part would be applicable regardless of any scheme under which postal article is sent. He, therefore, said that Postal Authorities cannot claim absolute immunity in respect of article sent by Speed Post. Mr. Mehra said even if it is assumed Postal Authorities are entitled to immunity under the first part of Section 6 of the Post Office Act, they are not so entitled on the facts of these cases before us as it was a clear case of default on their part. We do not think we would agree wholly to submission of Mr. Mehra. He is right to the extent that no officer of the Post Office can escape liability over any loss, misdelivery, delay or damage to the postal article when it has been caused by him fraudulently or by willful act or default. This part or Section 6 will certainly apply when article is also sent by Speed Post. However, there is no allegation of any fraud, willful act or default against any of the officers of the Post Office in the present case.

    Scheme of Speed Post has been provided under Indian Post Office Rules of 1933 by inserting Rule 66B. As noted above, these Rules are statutory. Complaints regarding any article booked under Speed Post (including demand for refund of fees in cases of non-delivery or articles within the stipulated time) are to be preferred within three months from the date of booking of the articles. Rule 66B was further amended by inserting two more sub rules which provided that in case of delay of Speed Post article beyond the norms determined by the Department of Posts from time to time compensation will be provided shall be equal to composite Speed Post charges paid. It also provided that in the event of loss of Speed Post article or loss of contents or damage to the contents, compensation shall be double the amount of the composite fee Speed Post charges paid or Rs. 1,000/- which ever is less. It would be thus seen that maximum compensation statutorily fixed is Rs. 1,000/- which can be granted when there is a loss of Speed Post article or loss of its contents or even damage to the contents.”



    9. There is no allegation of fraud or default in respect of any particular employee of the post office nor any particulars and details of such fraud or default have been enumerated . As such the limitation of award of damages as given in Rule 66B of Rules 1933 under the Indian Post Office Act and as referred by the National Commission in it’s judgment “Supra” will be applicable, and no damages beyond the limit prescribed therein can be awarded. In view of the said Rule, the only damages which can be awarded in the event of loss of speed post article shall be double the amount of the composite fee speed post charges paid, or Rs. 1,000/- whichever is less as fixed by the statute.

    10. It has not been clarified by the respondent complainant as to what was the amount spent by him in sending the article by speed post, and, no receipt has been filed. Since no amount has been specified we may take into account the normal charges of speed post for Rs. 25/- the double whereof will be Rs. 50/-, the complainant is entitled for.

    11. In view of what has been said above, the award passed by the District Forum has to be set aside and award of Rs. 50/- has to be made. Cost of litigation awarded by the District Consumer Forum which is Rs. 3,000/- has, however, to be retained.

    ORDER



    11. The appeal is allowed to the extent that the amount awarded by the District Consumer Forum is reduced to Rs. 50/-. The complainant respondent shall be further entitled to Rs. 3,000/- as litigation costs.

    12. Bank Guarantee/FDR, if any furnished by the appellant, be returned forthwith.

    13. A copy of this order as per the statutory requirements be forwarded to the parties free of charge and also to the concerned District Forum and thereafter the file be consigned to Record room.

    14. Announced on 26th day of November, 2009.
  • edited March 2011
    I have not Found My NOC agaist Loan No. 703000628 from Bajaj company .
    Product -Bajaj XCD-125
    Rg. No. AS 15 4016
  • edited April 2011
    Hi This is Ajay Singh Actually I purchased an item from ebay. The shipper sent me that though speed post courier ref no- EM404299731IN & still i have not received it when i track it in speedpost website it is showing it has delivered to me but no one given me that courier. Many times i called their customer care no but no one picked it so please request you to look into this matter.





    Thanks & Regards
    Ajay Singh
    9312565534
  • edited May 2011
    SIR,
    maine 10may ko indian post se "Thar gramin bank recruitment" 2 form ragistry karwayi thi, jiski last date17may thi
    wo wapas mere paas 16may ko aa gayi. jispe refuse ka likha tha.
    add, last date valid hone k baad bhi refuse hone ki wagah se isme meri 400-400 Rs. ki 2 DD bekar ho gayi and
    mera recruitment form reject ho gaya h.
    is Clerk and PO k exam ke liye maine 2 mahine se mehnat kr raha tha, ab isse mera time and money waste hua h,
    plz,
    ise claim k sath dilwane ki kripa kare.
    thank you
  • gaurav_gupta461gaurav_gupta461 Junior Member
    edited June 2011
    Respected sir,
    I posted a application to IT-BHU, Varanasi (U.P.) from Railway Postal Service, Gandhinagar (Jaipur, Raj.) on 05-May-2011. But this post did not delivered there in proper time and it was delivered there on 12-May-2011.
    This post contains application form applying for m.tech admission in IT-BHU. The last date of acceptance of application form was 09-May-2011. This post was not delivered by time so this post was not accepted by IT-BHU and returned back to me. Due to this postal delay I have miss the opportunity to get admission in IT-BHU and I suffered from my carrier. So please take proper action.
    EMS speed post no. - ER 09068590 2IN

    Thank you
    Name - Gaurav Gupta
    Email-id - gaurav_gupta461@rediffmail.com
  • edited December 2011
    mera pata jharkhand saraiyahat block ka tha lekin deoghar se hi lauta diya gaya. mera bill no -EM049763768IN hai kripya mughe phir se sahi pate parv nirgat kiya jaye
  • suizweicssuizweics Junior Member
    edited May 2012
    Hi Everybody! Have You delete tattoo, which is not like you? What part of my body is the most tattooed? Is it on the frame, and maybe a calf? Thanks in advance for all posts.
  • jeonomnettejeonomnette Junior Member
    edited May 2012
    Hi All Are contact lenses safe? I'm going to replace glasses - contact lenses - hence my questions and concerns... Thanks in advance for all opinions.
  • abhishek89abhishek89 Junior Member
    edited June 2012
    the parcel had nike black sports shoes. I received the parcel on 23rd may. On opening the parcel i found some torn books inside and no shoes were present.
    it was sealed with a brown tape.the box looked completely packed.but the sender had not put any brown tape. He had stitched it with cloth.when i removed the brown tape, i found the stitches were removed from side and shoes were taken out of box. Some torn books were placed inside to make it look heavier so that receiver does not suspect on receiving the parcel.
    My complaint no. Is 100051-00079.
    My transaction no is e rv301673063in.


  • edited December 2012
    This is the second time the gift items I had send to my family in kerala had been stolen from the box. The postal service people doesnt even have the courtesy to atleast let go off the children's gifts. My niece was very disappointed to get a box with her birthday gift missing after waiting more than 2 weeks after confirming that the parcel have reached India on Dec 1st.

    I really hope you will take some action regarding this. We feel ashamed when the postal people in US tell us that they dont have any guarantee about the item reaching its destination without any damage once it leaves the US. Still we try sending our loved ones some small gift items hoping the postal service jackals wont attack it :(( REALLY ANGRY AND ASHAMED!!!

    -- SuR
  • edited May 2013
    Sir,


    I Had sent a parcel<XV004057513IN>, containing 4 saaries, and some other cloths from ROORKEE head post office<247667> to Warangal <506004> on 25/04/2013. when the parcel post was delivered, the 2 saries were missing . The saaries were costly. The person who booked my parcel in the post office knew that the parcel contains saaries and cloths items.


    I request u too advice me how to go ahead for recovery of my valuable items.

    I shall be highly obliged to you.

    Thanking you,

    RAVI

    ravinderkhcu@gmail.com
  • edited October 2013
    1.I sent an sped post letter 2 times both the times the same statement they wrote "Delivery attempted:undelivered", and returned it on the same day when i asked on phone to the concerned post office"Knowledge park post office" the post man told that he went there and no one was there so he returned the letter in 1 hour to the sorce again.

    he was saying students never used to be at there flat, so i think he automatically assumed that are not at there flat and started returning consignemnts.
    i know in india to complain about government services is waste ,only good thing is for those government servents ,no need to work be at your ease ,your service is permanent.

    2. i want to ask if there is no any rule like delivery attempts should be atleast 2 times or not.and the letter should be kept in the destination post office atleast for 2 days so as the concerned person and take it by hand ,as this is govermment office so people have to do it.

    i think goverment should close there offices and pay there employees free.

    3.when i complaint the letter was getting moved to delhi,but he told we can't call it back to noida ,you need to send it again.
    so 3rd time this will happen and 120 rs have to lost(40*3).

    so it's better to leave this idiotic service and move to courier companies which atleast respect it's customer.



    for complaining when i am calling one post office it is saying to call the other.
    even the first time my letter returned and it was given to the wrong person ,so security is also not there, even the employees are so eneducated that they can't read the name correctly.
    i got a online complain number , tried to complain,as we know one old person took the phone i asked if it is online complain number, he replied yes,
    when i told my problem he said go and complain in source and destination one good.it's better to catch a train go and give it by your self.so he didn'[t took my complain

    lastly i went to the source post office they told surver down sir, sorry.
    then i called main post office,they are working as if this is 1950,the post master said come and give your complain in written,so i am thinking use courier otherwise for sending 10 gm document i have to waste 1000 rs and also it will be on the way always.


    my recent consignment no is:ET252179367IN
    i know nobody cares ,but atleast i lost some frusttion by complaining here, world knows about indian goverment services, for eavery file 100 rs bribe is required.

    by this our so called country will become devloped.
    JAi hind
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