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Sec.19 of Consumer Act – Whether the National Consumer Forum can grant stay orders at appeal stage – much more conditional Stay orders – Apex court held that It is not the case of any of the appellants that the Consumer Forum including State and National Commissions has no power to pass interim order of stay. If the National Commission after hearing the appeal of the parties in its discretion wants to stay the amount awarded, it is open to the National Commission to pass an appropriate interim order including conditional order of stay. Entertainment of an appeal and stay of proceeding pursuant to order impugned in the appeal stands at different footings, at two different stages. One (pre-deposit) has no nexus with merit of the appeal and the other (grant of stay) depends on prima facie case; balance of convenience and irreparable loss of party seeking such stay. In view of the finding recorded above, the interference with the impugned order dated 15th May, 2012 passed by the National Commission is not called for.=M/s Shreenath Corp. & Ors. … APPELLANT VERSUS Consumer Education & Research Society & ORS. … RESPONDENTS = 2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41748

Sec.19 of Consumer Act – Whether the National Consumer Forum can grant stay orders at appeal stage – much more conditional Stay orders – Apex court held that It is not the case of any of the appellants that  the Consumer  Forum including State and National Commissions has no power to pass interim  order of stay. If the National Commission after hearing the appeal of the  parties in its discretion wants to stay the  amount  awarded,  it  is  open  to  the National  Commission  to  pass  an  appropriate  interim   order   including conditional  order  of  stay.   Entertainment  of  an  appeal  and  stay  of proceeding pursuant to order impugned in  the  appeal  stands  at  different footings, at two different stages.  One  (pre-deposit)  has  no  nexus  with merit of the appeal and the other (grant of stay)  depends  on  prima  facie case; balance of convenience and irreparable  loss  of  party  seeking  such stay. In view of the finding  recorded  above,  the  interference  with  the impugned order dated 15th May, 2012 passed by  the  National  Commission  is not called for.=

A number of complaints u/s 17(1) of the Consumer Protection Act,  1986

(hereinafter referred to as the, ‘Act’)  were  filed  by  different  persons

before the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Gujarat State,  Ahmedabad

(hereinafter referred to as the, ‘State Commission’) against the  appellants

– opposite parties.

4.    The State Commission by order dated 30th  January,  2012  allowed  the

applications in part and directed the  appellants-opposite  parties  to  pay

certain amount with interest in favour of the complainants.

5.    Against  the  aforesaid  orders,  the  appellants  preferred  separate

appeals u/s 19 of the Act before the National Commission being First  Appeal

Nos.91-104  of  2012.   In  all   these   appeals   separate   interlocutory

applications for stay were filed by the appellants. The National  Commission

by impugned common order dated 15th May,  2012  passed  conditional  interim

order which reads as under:

“Heard.

Issue notice on main appeal as well as on stay  applications  to

the respondents, returnable on 22.11.2012.

In the meanwhile, operation of the impugned order  shall  remain

stayed, till next date, subject to appellants depositing 50% of the  awarded

amount (principal amount), within three months from today,  with  the  State

Commission.

On deposit of the amount, State Commission shall  put  the  same

in fixed deposit in a Nationalized Bank, initially for one year.

Dasti.” =

This Court in State of  Haryana  v.  Maruti  Udyog  Ltd.  and  others,

(2000) 7 SCC 348, while dealing with case of waiver of “pre-deposit”  in  an

appeal under first proviso to Section 39(5) of  the  Haryana  General  Sales

Tax Act held:

“7…………….There cannot be any dispute that right of appeal is the creature  of

the statute and has to be exercised within the limits and according  to  the

procedure provided by law.  It  is  filed  for  invoking  the  powers  of  a

superior court to redress the error of the court below, if any. No right  of

appeal can be  conferred  except  by  express  words.  An  appeal,  for  its

maintainability, must have a clear authority  of  law.  Sub-section  (5)  of

Section 39 of the Act vests a  discretion  in  the  appellate  authority  to

entertain the appeal if it is filed within sixty days and the amount of  tax

assessed along with penalty and  interest,  if  any,  recoverable  from  the

persons has been paid. The aforesaid restriction is subject to  the  proviso

conferring discretion upon the appellate  authority  to  dispense  with  the

deposit of the amount only on proof of  the  fact  that  the  appellant  was

unable to  pay  the  amount.  Before  deciding  the  appeal,  the  appellate

authority affords an opportunity to the party concerned to  either  pay  the

amount or make out a case for the stay in terms of  proviso  to  sub-section

(5) of Section 39 of the Act.  Once  the  conditions  specified  under  sub-

section (5) of Section 39 are complied with, the appeal is  born  for  being

disposed of on merits after hearing both the sides.”

11.   The second proviso to Section 19 of the Act mandates  pre-deposit  for

consideration of an appeal before the National Commission. It  requires  50%

of the amount in terms of an order  of  the  State  Commission  or  35,000/-

whichever  is  less  for  entertainment  of  an  appeal  by   the   National

Commission. Unless the appellant has deposited the pre-deposit  amount,  the

appeal cannot be entertained by  the  National  Commission.   A  pre-deposit

condition to deposit 50% of the amount in terms of the order  of  the  State

Commission  or  Rs.35,000/-  being  condition  precedent  for   entertaining

appeal, it has no nexus with the order of stay, as such an order may or  may

not be passed by the  National  Commission.   Condition  of  pre-deposit  is

there to avoid frivolous appeals.

12.   It is not the case of any of the appellants that  the  Consumer  Forum

including State and National Commissions has no power to pass interim  order

of stay. If the National Commission after hearing the appeal of the  parties

in its discretion wants to stay the  amount  awarded,  it  is  open  to  the

National  Commission  to  pass  an  appropriate  interim   order   including

conditional  order  of  stay.   Entertainment  of  an  appeal  and  stay  of

proceeding pursuant to order impugned in  the  appeal  stands  at  different

footings, at two different stages.  One  (pre-deposit)  has  no  nexus  with

merit of the appeal and the other (grant of stay)  depends  on  prima  facie

case; balance of convenience and irreparable  loss  of  party  seeking  such

stay.

13.   In view of the finding  recorded  above,  the  interference  with  the

impugned order dated 15th May, 2012 passed by  the  National  Commission  is

not called for. In  absence  of  any  merit,  the  appeals  are  accordingly

dismissed. No costs.

2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41748

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