REVISION PETITION NO. 3180 OF 2011
(Against the order dated 12.05.2011 in First Appeal No.2499 of 2003
of the State Commission, Haryana )
Bharat Seed Company
Through its Proprietor
Near Anand Cinema,
Post Office Box No.104 & 52,
Jodhpur– 342 001 ……….Petitioner
1. Charanjit Singh
S/o Shri Balwant Singh
Residing at Dera Sacha Sauda,
Begu Road, Sirsa
2. Vikas Traders,
Through its Proprietor Shri Sant Lal Karla
57-A Janta Bhawan,
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE V.B. GUPTA,
HON’BLE MR. VINAY KUMAR, MEMBER
For the Petitioner : Mr. Anil I.Surti, Advocate
PRONOUNCED ON: 2nd. Jan’ 2012
PER MR.VINAY KUMAR, MEMBER
1. This revision petition has been filed against the order of Haryana State Consumer Disputes RedressalCommission in F.A. 2499 of 2003. The State Commission has confirmed the order of the District Consumer Forum,Sirsa, which had held the OPs responsible for deficiency in service for having supplied sub-standard Lobia seeds to the Complainant. Aggrieved by the concurrent findings of the fora below, Bharat Seeds Company/OPs have filed the present revision petition.
2. The respondent/complainant had purchased 195 Kgs. of Lobia seeds from the petitioners/OPs in 2001 for total price of Rs.11,000/-. The seeds were sown in 24 acres of land. In the next three months, the crop had attained vigorous vegetative growth, but there was no pod formation. On a complaint by the respondent/complainant, the crop was inspected by officers of the State Agriculture Department as well as representative of Haryana, State Agriculture University, Hissar. The report of the latter shows that the entire crop was of fodder variety and not the (seed) vegetable variety of cowpea. Hence there was no pod formation.
3. The State Commission, while upholding the decision of the District Forum, rejected the argument of the OPs that the procedure prescribed under Section 13 (1) (c) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 had not been followed inasmuch as that the seed in question was not sent for expert evaluation. This provision requires the District Forum, where the complaint of the consumer is admitted and it relates to any goods:-
“where the complaint alleges a defect in the goods which cannot be determined without proper analysis or test of the goods, the District Forum shall obtain a sample of the goods from the complainant, seal it and authenticate it in the manner prescribed and refer the sample so sealed to the appropriate laboratory along with a direction that such laboratory make an analysis or test, whichever may be necessary, with a view to finding out whether such goods suffer from any defect alleged in the complaint or from any other defect and to report its findings thereon to the District Forum within a period of forty-five days of the receipt of the reference or within such extended period as may be granted by the District Forum.”
4. This provision has been interpreted by this Commission in the case cited by the State Commission in the impugned order in National Seeds Corporation Limited Vs. P.V.Krishna Reddy and others, 2009, CTJ 522 (CP) (NCDRC). The Commission has held that it is not necessary for the Complainant (Agriculturist) to have sent the seed to an appropriate laboratory for analysis/test, as an Agriculturist is not expected to conserve a portion of the seed for such an eventuality.
5. The State Commission has also observed that the Professor of the Department of Vegetable Crops, Haryana Agriculture University, Hissar had sent his report after inspection of the filed. His report was produced in evidence before the fora below. It is seen from the record that Professor S.K. Arora of the Department of Vegetable Crop, who visited the crop on 29.7.2001 reported that he did not find a single pod, though the plants showed healthy and vigorous growth. This finding directly negates the claim of the revision petitioner that the seed was of good quality and the complainant was negligent showing it. Had there being any negligence or inadequacy in the
crop practices followed by the respondent/complainant, healthy vegetative growth would not have been seen by Professor S.K.Arora in his visit.
6. We have heard the counsel for the Revision Petitioner and perused the records. The revision petition has been filed against concurrent orders of the fora below. The records show that it is a case of wrong supply of seed. The report of Prof. S.K.Arora, based on his visit to the 24 acres of Cowpea crop in question, clearly shows that the crop on the ground was not of Pusa Komal or Pusa Phalguni variety but of a fodder variety. This is why the field visit disclosed robust vegetative growth, without any pod formation. The report also shows that the packets bore the names Pusa Komal and Pusa Phalguni. We find that even the purchase receipts issued by respondent No.2, VikasTraders on four different dates in April, 2001 to the Complainant are for these two varieties only. Documentary evidence thus, clearly establishes that the seed actually supplied was not of the variety, which was supposed to have been sold to the Complainant.
7. Counsel for the revision petitioner also drew our attention to the decision of this Commission in Mahyco Seeds Ltd. Vs. G. Venkata Subba Reddy & Ors., 2011 (2) CPR 35 (NC) in support of his claim, that genetic defect in seed cannot be detected through visual inspections and would need to be tested in a scientific laboratory. The facts of the case cited by learned counsel for the revision petitioner are very different. The report of the inspecting agriculture officer had shown that the crop of cotton had failed due to genetic defect in the seed. Per contra, in the case before us, the question is not of the quality of seed but of its very identity. Document on records clearly show that the seed supplied was not the seed purchased. Therefore, the revision petitioner cannot seek any support from the decision cited by his counsel.
8. For the reasons above we do not find any merit in this revision petition. The impugned order does not suffer from any illegality, material irregularity or jurisdictional error, which could justify intervention of this Commission under Section 21 (b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The revision petition is accordingly, dismissed with no orders as to costs.
(JUSTICE V.B. GUPTA)