Decided on April 10,2015

Edit Ii Productions Appellant
Standard Chartered Bank Ltd Respondents


- (1.) Complainant M/s Edit II Productions is a partnership concern engaged in production of TV serials. Initially M/s Edit II Productions was a proprietorship concern of Binaifer S Kohli and she had opened a cash credit account with the opposite party bank. On 3.10.2006, the proprietorship business was taken over by the partnership comprising of two partners, namely, Mrs. Binaifer S Kohli and Sanjay R Kohli. The opposite party bank was apprised of change in constitution of the complainant firm and all the accounts and business of the proprietorship concern was transferred to the partnership firm. Since the inception, the complainant firm has been maintaining cash credit account with the opposite party bank. It is the case of the complainant that during the period w.e.f. April 2005 till 21.11.2008 one Shoeb Mohammed Taj Mohammed Shaikh, account of the complainant firm managed to get hold of blank unsigned cheque books of the complainant firm and he unauthorizedly withdrew a sum of Rs.2,37,64,090/- by presenting forged cheques. When the complainant came to know about unauthorised withdrawals from the account of the firm, they approached the bank for reimbursement but in vain. Claiming this to be deficiency in service, the complainant filed consumer complaint. It is pertinent to note that in para 21 of the complaint, the complainant reserved its right to invoke the jurisdiction of the Civil Court for recovery of amount wrongfully withdrawn against the opposite party bank as also the accountant and other benami property holders who had acquired the property from the proceeds of the above noted forgery. Subsequent to filing of consumer complaint, a civil suit for recovery was filed in Bombay High Court which is still pending.
(2.) The opposite party contested the complaint on merits. The allegations on merits need not be reproduced. Besides, the opposite party raised preliminary objection regarding the maintainability of the complaint particularly in view of the fact that complainant has also filed Civil suit for recovery in Bombay High Court on the same cause of action. It is also pleaded by the opposite party that the complaint involves detailed trial in view of the allegations made and complex issues which requires detailed evidence for determination. Therefore, the matter should be decided by the Civil Court. Apart from the above noted preliminary objections, there is another issue which need determination i.e. whether the complainant is a 'consumer' as envisaged under section 2 (1) (d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
(3.) Since serious issues of maintainability of complaint are involved in this case, we have heard the parties on maintainability.;

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