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the petitioners who filed the complaints before the District Forum, are agriculturists and their land is situated in village Nagamtha. It is the contention of the complainants that the representative of the respondent company at Shrirampur, approached them and suggested to participate in their seed production programme for JRO-524 variety Jute crop during kharif season. The respondent was to arrange at their expense all the operations such as land preparation, sowing, manuring, plant protection, harvesting etc. The complainants / petitioners were assured a minimum procurement price of Rs.1,000/- per quintal of seed produced. The average yield assured by the respondent company by using JRO-524 variety seed supplied by them was 8 to 10 quintal per acre. The petitioners participated in the seed production programme for a total area of 25 acre and accordingly, the name of the petitioner no. 1 was registered under the programme with the respondent company. The petitioners purchased 21 kg. of the said variety of seeds @Rs.20 per kg. from the respondent company. They also paid registration fee and the inspection fee as well as testing charges. Sowing of the seed, in question, was completed by the petitioners on 5.08.93 under the instructions and supervision of the respondents. In spite of the rainfall being good, it is the contention of the petitioners that the germination of the seeds in the field was not uniform. In fact, germination was very poor. He brought this to the notice of the respondents upon which their representative visited the land, but no action was taken. According to the petitioners, they received a copy of letter dated 9.9.1993 addressed by the respondents to the District Seed Certification Officer, Aurangabad informing that the area under jute cultivation by the petitioner is withdrawn from certification due to failure of the crop. The petitioners were required to replough the entire 25 acre to make it ready for the next Rabi season and in the circumstances, they suffered heavy loss and damages for which they approached the District Forum by filing a consumer complaint demanding compensation of Rs.4,47,544/-. = In the facts and circumstances of the case, the goods purchased were not for self-consumption, but ultimately were for resale, and primarily it was for commercial purpose, with a view to make profit. Nobody undertakes plantation of 1800 poplar trees for sale (resale) in full or part without the aim of earning – profit. Nobody takes up any such activity in 9 acres of irrigated land for self-employment. 14. In the aforementioned circumstances, in our view, the complainant will not fall within the definition of consumer as per law settled on subject by this Commission and also by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the judgment cited earlier in view of which Consumer Fora would not have entertained this complaint. Accordingly, this appeal is allowed, complaint is dismissed. 15. However, if the respondents / complainant chooses to file a suit for the relief claimed in these proceedings, he can do so according to law and, in such a case, he can claim the benefit of Section 14 of the Limitation Act to exclude the period spent in prosecuting proceedings under Consumer Protection Act while computing the period of limitation prescribed for such a suit as per law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Lakshmi Engineering Works v. PSG Industrial Institute (supra).”

NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION

English: Daulatabad Fort.

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NEW DELHI

 

REVISION PETITION  NO. 3829 & 3829-A OF 2007

(From the order dated 06.07.2007 in Appeal No. 368 & 407/1999

of Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission,

Circuit Bench at Aurangabad)

 

1.  Prithviraj Naryanrao Chavan,

R/o Village Nagamthan,

Tal. Vaijapur,

District Aurangabad

Maharashtra

2.  Pralhad Laxmanrao Chavan,

R/o Village Nagamthan,

Tal. Vaijapur,

District Aurangabad

Maharashtra                                             …      Petitioner (s)

Versus

The National Seeds Corporation Ltd.,

Sales Office at Plot No. 36,

Shinde Godown,

Near R.T.O. Office,

Market YardShrirampur – 413709       …      Respondent

 

BEFORE

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE V.B.GUPTA,

PRESIDING MEMBER

HON’BLE MR. SURESH CHANDRA, MEMBER

For the Petitioners : Mr. Gururoop Sabharwal, Advocate

For Mr. Shivaji M. Jadhav, Advocate

For the Respondent:Mr. Sudhir Kulshrestha, Advocate

PRONOUNCED ON :       3rd JANUARY, 2012

 


 

 

O R D E R

 

PER. SURESH CHANDRA, MEMBER

There is a delay in filing this revision petition by the petitioners.  We have perused the application filed by the petitioners for condonation of delay, in which no period of delay, which is sought to be condoned, has been mentioned by the petitioners.  Registry has reported delay of 46 days.  The petitioners in their application have submitted that the delay in filing the revision petition is unintentional and has occurred due to inadvertence and for the reasons beyond the control of the petitioners.  We have considered the application.  The reasons mentioned by the petitioners are general, routine and extremely vague without any dates whatsoever.  Such explanation for the delay in filing the revision petition cannot constitute sufficient cause as envisaged under the Law for condonation of delay.  We are, therefore, not inclined to condone the delay in filing the revision petition.

2.      Coming to the merits, it is seen that the petitioners who filed the complaints before the District Forum, are agriculturists and their land is situated in village Nagamtha.  It is the contention of the complainants that the representative of the respondent company at Shrirampur, approached them and suggested to participate in their seed production programme for JRO-524 variety Jute crop during kharif season.  The respondent was to arrange at their expense all the operations such as land preparation, sowing, manuring, plant protection, harvesting etc.  The complainants / petitioners were assured a minimum procurement price of Rs.1,000/- per quintal of seed produced. The average yield assured by the respondent company by using JRO-524 variety seed supplied by them was 8 to 10 quintal per acre.  The petitioners participated in the seed production programme for a total area of 25 acre and accordingly, the name of the petitioner no. 1 was registered under the programme with the respondent company.  The petitioners purchased 21 kg. of the said variety of seeds @Rs.20 per kg. from the respondent company.  They also paid registration fee and the inspection fee as well as testing charges.  Sowing of the seed, in question, was completed by the petitioners on 5.08.93 under the instructions and supervision of the respondents.  In spite of the rainfall being good, it is the contention of the petitioners that the germination of the seeds in the field was not uniform.  In fact, germination was very poor.  He brought this to the notice of the respondents upon which their representative visited the land, but no action was taken.  According to the petitioners, they received a copy of letter dated 9.9.1993 addressed by the respondents to the District Seed Certification Officer, Aurangabad informing that the area under jute cultivation by the petitioner is withdrawn from certification due to failure of the crop.  The petitioners were required toreplough the entire 25 acre to make it ready for the next Rabi season and in the circumstances, they suffered heavy loss and damages for which they approached the District Forum by filing a consumer complaint demanding compensation of Rs.4,47,544/-.

3.      The complaint was resisted by the respondents on the ground that the complainants / petitioners are not consumers as defined under section 2(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.  It was submitted by the respondents / OPs that they used to supply the seeds on contract basis and after production of seed, the respondents would purchase that seed from the concerned grower, i.e., farmer (i.e., the complainants in this case) as per the rate fixed mutually.  The respondents, therefore, denied the other allegations contained in the complaint and prayed for its dismissal.  After hearing the parties and after appraisal of the issues and the evidence adduced before it, the District Forum vide its order dated 13.09.98 allowed the complaint and directed the respondents to pay Rs.95,044.66ps. tothe complainants within a period of 6 weeks from the date of receipt of the order.  Aggrieved by the aforesaid order of the District Forum, the respondent company challenged the same before the State Consumer Disputes RedressalCommission, Maharashtra, Circuit Bench at Aurangabad.  The State Commission vide its impugned order dated 16.07.2007 reversed the finding of the District Forum and allowed the appeal of the respondents and set aside the order of the District Forum.  The complainants have now approached this Commission challenging this impugned order of the State Commission through the present revision petition.

4.      Mr. Gururoop Sabharwal, Advocate has appeared for main counsel for the petitioners and Mr. SudhirKulshrestha, Advocate for the respondent.  We find that the claim of the petitioners has been unsuited by the State Commission mainly on the ground that the petitioners do not fall within the definition of ‘consumer’ as envisaged under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.  The short issue which has arisen before us in the revision petition is as to whether in the given facts and circumstances and in the light of the documents before us, the complainants can be regarded as consumers under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.  In this context, we have perused the agreement between the two parties which admittedly governs their mutual relationship.  Plain reading thereof leaves us in no doubt that the petitioners cannot be covered under the definition of the ‘consumer’ under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.  The State Commission in its impugned order has dealt with this important legal issue at length and has rightly held that the petitioners cannot be treated as consumer.  Following observations of the State Commission are quite relevant and the same are reproduced below:-

7.     We perused the papers and gave our anxious thought to the arguments advanced by both the counsels. There is no dispute that, the seed production program was undertaken and foundation seed production was supplied to the complainant. The seed plot was allotted for such production with the arrangement that, Corporation will purchase the seeds produced by the complainants after certified by the competent authority. Thus, transection in between complainant and opponent was buy back transection. Complainants assumed duel capacity being purchasers as well as sellers of the goods at the same time.

 

8.       In M/s. Shakti Sugars Ltd., Orissa-vs- Sridhar Sahoo  & Ors., II(1999) CPJ S (NC), the Hon’ble National Commission  held that, in view as such position status of the complainant would be that of seller as well as that being so. Complainant cannot be claimed status of consumer. Same view has been followed by State Commission, Mumbai also in case Maharashtra State Seeds Corporation Ltd., Akola &others –Vs-BaburaoMarutirao Sapkal & Other in appeals No. 2474/98 and other appeal.

 

9.       We have mention that, the seed production program was undertaken and foundation seed program was supplied to the complainant. Transection in between complainant and opponent was buy back transection. Thus, in view of ratio in M/s. Shakti Sugars Ltd.(Supra) case, Complainants are not consumers as defined U/s 2(1)(d) of Consumer Protection Act.

 

10.     The ratio in above cited case by learned counsel for complainant is not helpful as in all cases transection in between complainant and opponent was not buy back transection. In view of the ration in M/s. Shakti Sugars Ltd. The impugned order passed by the Forum Below is required to be set aside Appeal No.368/99 preferred by National Seeds Corp. Ltd. Is required to be allowed and appeal No.407/99 preferred by original complainants are required to be dismissed.

 

11.     However, complainants shall be free to seek remedy before any appropriate Forum, if so advised under appropriate law for which time spent before Consumer Forum can be sought to be exempted U/s 14of Limitation Act in the light of Hon’ble Supreme Court in Laxmi Engineering Works-Vs- P.S.G. Industries Institute 1995(3)SC Cases, Page 583.

5.      Besides the above, learned counsel for the respondent corporation relied on the order of this Commission in the case of “Wimco Ltd. Vs. Ashok Sekhon & Ors.” [II (2008) CPJ 210 (NC)], in which under similar circumstances this Commission has reiterated the aforesaid view and held as under:-

“13.   In the facts and circumstances of the case, the goods purchased were not for self-consumption, but ultimately were for resale, and primarily it was for commercial purpose, with a view to make profit.  Nobody undertakes plantation of 1800 poplar trees for sale (resale) in full or part without the aim of earning – profit.  Nobody takes up any such activity in 9 acres of irrigated land for self-employment.

 

14.    In the aforementioned circumstances, in our view, the complainant will not fall within the definition of consumer as per law settled on subject by this Commission and also by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the judgment cited earlier in view of which Consumer Fora would not have entertained this complaint.  Accordingly, this appeal is allowed, complaint is dismissed.

 

15.    However, if the respondents / complainant chooses to file a suit for the relief claimed in these proceedings, he can do so according to law and, in such a case, he can claim the benefit of Section 14 of the Limitation Act to exclude the period spent in prosecuting proceedings under Consumer Protection Act while computing the period of limitation prescribed for such a suit as per law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Lakshmi Engineering Works v. PSG Industrial Institute (supra).”

6.      No case law or other convincing material has been placed before us by the petitioners in support of their contentions.  In the circumstances, we agree with the view taken by the State Commission and uphold the impugned order which is in line with the view already taken by this Commission under similar circumstances in the case of Ashok Sekhon (supra).  Revision petitions being devoid of any merit, therefore, are dismissed both on grounds of limitation and on merits with no order as to costs.

 

..……………………………

(V.B.GUPTA, J.)

PRESIDING MEMBER

..……………………………

(SURESH CHANDRA)

MEMBER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION

NEW DELHI

REVISION PETITION  NO. 3829 & 3829-A OF 2007

(From the order dated 06.07.2007 in Appeal No. 368 & 407/1999

of Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission,

Circuit Bench at Aurangabad)

 

1.  Prithviraj Naryanrao Chavan,

R/o Village Nagamthan,

Tal. Vaijapur,

District Aurangabad

Maharashtra

2.  Pralhad Laxmanrao Chavan,

R/o Village Nagamthan,

Tal. Vaijapur,

District Aurangabad

Maharashtra                                             …      Petitioner (s)

Versus

The National Seeds Corporation Ltd.,

Sales Office at Plot No. 36,

Shinde Godown,

Near R.T.O. Office,

Market Yard, Shrirampur – 413709       …      Respondent

 

BEFORE

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE V.B.GUPTA,

PRESIDING MEMBER

HON’BLE MR. SURESH CHANDRA, MEMBER

For the Petitioners : Mr. Gururoop Sabharwal, Advocate

For Mr. Shivaji M. Jadhav, Advocate

For the Respondent:Mr. Sudhir Kulshrestha, Advocate

For your kind perusal. If approved, the order will be listed for pronouncement.

..……………………………

(SURESH CHANDRA)

MEMBER

02/01/2012

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE V.B.GUPTA,

PRESIDING MEMBER

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