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“14. Ex.C-4 is the receipt issued by the appellant vide which ‘Safed Musli sowing material was booked in advance for Rs. 78,000/-. Ex.C-10 is the guidelines issued by the appellant through its Technical Department and the name of the supervisor was Iqbal Singh, Ex. C-12 is the advertisement vide which respondent no. 1 and others were allured to cultivate ‘Safed Musli’ and the same was got published by the appellant, being franchisee of respondent no. 2, as mentioned in this advertisement and Ex.C-13 is the copy of the News Letter issued by the appellant, further guiding the farmers for preparation of the fields. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Ex. C-7 is not signed by any party and mere attestation is not sufficient to bind respondent no. 2 vide this MOU, but it is clear that the appellant allured respondent no. 1 and others to cultivate the ‘Safed Musli crop and predicted huge profits. Respondent no. 1 admittedly purchased ‘Safed Musli’ seed from the appellant and under the guidance of Iqbal Singh, who was the supervisor of the appellant, the said seed was sown but later on, Iqbal Singh gave his affidavit Ex.C-3, blaming that the plants withered away as the seed was not of good quality. The appellant has sold the seeds to respondent no.1 and it was for the appellant to ensure about the quality of the Seed. The appellant was required to obtain the copy of the certification of the seeds as well as the analyst report, before alluring the farmers to go for ‘Safed Musli’ crop as mode of diversification of the crop, but nothing has been placed on record and the absence of these vital documents and the affidavit of Iqbal Singh, supervisor of the appellant definitely prove that the quality of the seed was poor and for that the respondent no.1 suffered loss. This District Forum in its well reasoned and detailed order has rejected the other claims of respondent no. 1 which he could not prove, but has allowed the claim which is justified and there is no ground to interfere with the same ” . We find no merit in the revision petition, and therefore, the same is dismissed.

NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES RERESSAL COMMISSION

Kulai (Marathi: कुळई)

Kulai (Marathi: कुळई) (Photo credit: dinesh_valke)

NEW DELHI

 

REVISION PETITION NO. 2675 OF 2012

 (From the order dated 30.04.2012 in Appeal No. 562/2007 of the

State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Punjab, Chandigarh)

Diverse Agro                                                             …  Petitioner

48-B, Tagore Nagar,

Ludhiana through its

Partner Sukhbir Singh of Ludhiana

Versus

1.   Gurmeet Singh                                               …  Respondents

      S/o Sh. Mukhtiar Singh

R/o Dhan Singh Khana,

Tehsil & District Bathinda, Now Dhobiana Road,

Street No.11, House No. 21979, Bathinda

 

2.   Nandan Biomatrix Limited

6-3-1113/2, Pointe of IVE Tower Begumpet

      Hyderabad through its director

Phaneesh Muddigonda

BEFORE:

 

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE J.M. MALIK, PRESIDING MEMBER

 HON’BLE MR. VINAY KUMAR, MEMBER

 

For the Petitioner            :     Mr. M.S. Sethi, Advocate

Pronounced on :  8th August, 2012

 

ORDER

 

JUSTICE J. M. MALIK, PRESIDING MEMBER

1.                 This revision petition has been filed by the unsuccessful respondents.   The facts  of   this   case are these.   The complainant,

Gurmeet Singh, who is an agriculturist owns 27 acres land in Village Dhan Singh Dhana,  Distt. Bathinda.  Respondent Diverse Agro, the petitioner in this revision petition and Nandan Biometrics Ltd. Respondent No. 2 approached him for diversification from tranditional farming towards herbal farming.  They allured that in case he sows Safed Musli  seeds, there would be optimum return with their exclusive expert techniques and seeds.  On 04.05.2005, the parties entered into Tripartitle agreement/memo of understanding. The complainant paid Rs. 79,000/- to Diverse Agro, petitioner at Bathinda vide receipt dated 04.05.2005 for Safed Musli seeds. Fertilizers and pesticides were also provided worth Rs. 57,000/- vide another bill dated 04.06.2005.  Seeds were sown under their expert advice and advice of Sh. Iqbal Singh, Agricultural Officer of Agrucultural Department.  The complainant had to install another tubewell bore as per advice given by the respondents.  Safed Musli was sown in July 2005 in an area of 5 acres.  Sukhbir Singh from the petitioner side came to visit the complainant’s farm twice.  Sukhbir Singh advised the complainant Karandi treatment at the bed but the plants withered away as the seeds were not of good quality and thereafter, the respondents were asked to visit the farm but they did not pay heed with the request made by the complainant. Consequently, the complainant filed a complainant before the District Forum wherein he claimed Rs.03,17,000/- i.e. price of Safed Musli in the sum of Rs.79,000/-, amount paid to the labour Rs. 1,50,000/-, expenses of tubewell bore Rs. 65,000  & Rs. 2,000/- expenses incurred for purchase of fertilizers etc.,

 

2.      The petitioner was proceeded against ex-parte.  Nandan Biometrics Ltd. contested the complaint.  It denied all the allegations.  It denied having signed tripartite agreement (Memo of understanding).  It averred that  the  complainant was not a consumer as Safed Musli is a commercial crop, which requires huge capital.

3.      The District Forum after hearing the parties came to the conclusion and partly allowed the complaint only against the petitioner with cost of Rs. 1,000/-.  The petitioner was directed to pay Rs. 86,000/- i.e. Rs. 5,000/- as compensation, Rs. 79,000/- paid by him as price of seeds of Safed Musli and Rs. 2,000/- for purchase of fertilizers etc.

4.          Thereafter, the petitioner filed an appeal before the State Commission.  After hearing the counsel for the parties, it dismissed the appeal.

 

5.      The first submission made by the counsel for the petitioner was that before the District Forum, it was proceeded against ex-parte and no opportunity of being heard was granted in his favour.  He contended that no finding in this respect was given by the State Commission.

 

6.                The arguments raised by the petitioner is devoid of force.  The State Commission has mentioned that the petitioner was served through registered letters, with acknowledgement due.  Both the registered letters were received back with the report as ‘unclaimed’.  The District Forum assumed that the petitioner was not claiming the registered letters, intentionally.  Consequently, they were proceeded against ex-parte.  We see no flaw in this order.  The counsel for the petitioner admitted that the addresses mentioned on both the letters are correct.  It is thus clear that the petitioner did not accept these letters intentionally.  Service of the petitioner was complete.

 

7.      This view neatly dovetails with the following authorities.  Dealing with the subject of service of summons and notices the Supreme Court held in another case of V.Rajakumari Vs. P. Subbarama Naidu, I (2005) BC 1 (State Commission)=IV (2004) SLT 443, that where the addressee managed to get the notice returned  with postal remarks “not available in the house”, “house locked” and “shop closed”  respectively, it must be deemed that notices have been served.

 

8.                See also the views taken by the Hon’ble Apex Court in cases reported in Basant Singh and Another Vs. Roman Catholic Mission, V (2002) SLT 545=AIR 2002 SC 3557 and Madan & Co. Vs. Wazir Jaiver Chandra, AIR 1989 SC 630.

 

9.                Moreover, the facts of this case speak for themselves.  Even if it is assumed that there is no connection between the petitioner and respondent No. 2, the respondent No. 2 took no action against the petitioner, which was working on his behalf and which had signed the documents on behalf of respondent-2 as well.  Respondent No. 2 came to attend the Court from Hyderabad but the petitioner could not come from Ludhiana to attend the hearing.  No action was taken by the respondent No. 2 against the petitioner.  Consequently, it has to be assumed that the petitioner was well aware of the pendency of this case which remained pending before the District Forum for quite sometime.

 

10.    The counsel for the petitioner further argued that the complainant did not buy Safed Musli for a sum of Rs. 79,000/- instead he bought fertilizers and pesticides which were worth Rs. 57,000/-.  We are not impressed by this faint argument.  Both the documents showing sale of goods for Rs. 79,000/- and Rs. 57,000/- have been placed on the record, this argument deserves no consideration.

 

11.    Last argument advanced by the counsel for the petitioner was that he should be given the liberty to lead evidence before the District Forum.  This argument lacks conviction.  If  he had the documents, he could have produced the same either before the State Commission or before us.  The attention of this Commission was not drawn towards any such document.

 

12.    The State Commission has taken care and has partly allowed the complaint.  It did not hold that the respondent No. 2 is  liable for anything.  It restricted the claim to the above said sums because the complainant had failed to produce the evidence in respect of other claims.

 

13.    The District Forum rightly placed reliance on the affidavit of Sh. Iqbal Singh, Retd. Agricultural Officer, Ex. C-3,  wherein he stated that the plants withered away as the seeds were not of good quality.  The State Commission also held that :

“14.  Ex.C-4 is the receipt issued by the appellant vide which ‘Safed Musli sowing material was booked in advance for Rs. 78,000/-.  Ex.C-10 is the guidelines issued by the appellant through its Technical Department and the name of the supervisor was Iqbal Singh, Ex. C-12 is the advertisement vide which respondent no. 1 and others were allured to cultivate ‘Safed Musli’ and the same was got published by the appellant, being franchisee of respondent no. 2, as mentioned in this advertisement and Ex.C-13 is the copy of the News Letter issued by the appellant, further guiding the farmers for preparation of the fields.  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Ex. C-7 is not signed by any party and mere attestation is not sufficient to bind respondent no. 2 vide this MOU, but it is clear that the appellant allured respondent no. 1 and others to cultivate the ‘Safed Musli crop and predicted huge profits.  Respondent no. 1 admittedly purchased ‘Safed Musli’ seed from the appellant and under the guidance of Iqbal Singh, who was the supervisor of the appellant, the said seed was sown but later on, Iqbal Singh gave his affidavit Ex.C-3, blaming that the plants withered away as the seed was not of good quality.  The appellant has sold the seeds to respondent no.1 and it was for the appellant to ensure about the quality of the Seed.  The appellant was required to obtain the copy of the certification of the seeds as well as the analyst report, before alluring the farmers to go for ‘Safed Musli’ crop as mode of diversification of the crop, but nothing has been placed on record and the absence of these vital documents and the affidavit of Iqbal Singh, supervisor of the appellant definitely prove that the quality of the seed was poor and for that the respondent no.1 suffered loss.  This District Forum in its well reasoned and detailed order has  rejected the  other claims of  respondent no. 1  which he  could not prove,  but  has allowed  the  claim  which is justified and there is no ground to interfere with the same ” .

 

We find no merit in the revision petition, and therefore, the same is dismissed.

 

…………………..………..

     (J. M. MALIK, J)

   PRESIDING MEMBER

 

 

 

 

 

  ……………….……………

                                                        (VINAY KUMAR)

                                                                            MEMBER

Jr/13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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