(1.) MR . Justice R.K. Patra, President -The complaint was filed in the Cuttack District Forum by Yogesh Kumar Agarwal alleging that three bank drafts for total amount of Rs. 1,00,000 were misappropriated by the Madhur Courier Service. By the impugned order, the District Forum held that Madhur Courier Service, Jholasahi, Cuttack is liable to pay Rs. 1,00,000 with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum to the complainant along with Rs. 25,000 as compensation and Rs. 1,000 as costs.
(2.) THE Madhur Courier Service, Cuttack Branch who was opposite party No. 4 in the District Forum has not filed appeal. Therefore, the order has become final so far as it relates to it. The complainant Yogesh Kumar Agarwal filed C.D. Appeal No. 590 of 1099 contending that the District Forum should have held the Central Bank of India, Buxi Bazar Branch, Cuttack, Orissa State Co -operative Bank Limited, Jail Road, Cuttack and Madhur Courier Service should have been jointly and severally held liable. The Orissa State Co -operative Bank Limited has filed C.D. Appeal No. 623 of 1999 for crashing certain observation made by the District Forum in paragraph 5 of the impugned order. Both the appeals being analogous they were heard together and are disposed of by this common order.
(3.) THERE is no dispute that one Krishna Gopal Agarwal, Korba, Madhya Pradesh purchased three account payee bank drafts bearing No. 004359, 004360, 004361 dated 20.10.1996 for Rs. 40,000, Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 20,000 respectively from the Central Bank of India, Bilaha Branch in favour of the complainant payable at Cuttack. He sent those drafts through Madhur Courier Service, Korba Branch, Madhya Pradesh to be delivered through its sister branch at Cuttack (Madhur Courier Service, Jholasahi, Cuttack). When the complainant did not receive the bank drafts, he made inquiry and found that a fake savings bank account bearing No. 6078 was opened on 8.11.1996 in the Orissa State Co -operative Bank Limited, Jail Road, Cuttack in his name and was said to have been identified by Kailash Chandra Behera, owner of a betel shop near the said bank. The missing drafts amounting to Rs. 1,00,000 in total were deposited on 9.11.1996 and subsequently it was withdrawn on four instalments. The withdrawal was done by one Swapneswar Samantaray who was Branch Manager of Madhur Courier Service Cuttack.
So far as the complainant's appeal is concerned, we may state that he wants that the Central Bank of India, Orissa State Co -operative Bank Limited and others should also be held jointly and severally liable for the loss and misappropriation of the bank drafts. No doubt a savings bank account bearing No. 6078 was opened on 8.11.1996 in the Orissa State Co -operative Bank Limited, Jail Road, Cuttack in the name of the complainant. Kailash Chandra Behera was the person who identified the complainant. The fact remains that the missing drafts were deposited on 9.11.1996 in the account and the entire amount of Rs. 1,00,000 was withdrawn in four instalments on 12th, 13th, 15th, and 16th, November, 1996. The entire mischief of impersonation was committed by Swapneswar Samantaray who was the Branch Manager of Madhur Courier Service, Cuttack. There is nothing on record to suspect that the Orissa State Co -operative Bank Limited or Central Bank were hand in glove with the said Swapneswar Samantaray with the commission of misappropriation of the bank drafts. For the reasons mentioned above, we do not find any merit in the appeal filed by the complainant.;