Decided on January 06,2010

Sita Ram Dhiman, Niwas Ottage Appellant
Senior Postmaster, Department Of Post India, G P O And Anr Respondents


- (1.) BOTH these appeals have arisen out of the order passed by District Forum, Shimla, in Consumer Complaint No.35/2008, passed on 19.5.2009, as such they were heard together and are disposed of by this order.
(2.) SHRI Sita Ram Dhiman, hereinafter referred to as the complainant filed the above said complaint against Senior Post Master, GPO, Shimla and Sub Postmaster, Post Office, Bus Stand, Shimla, hereinafter referred to as the OP Nos. 1 and 2 respectively, alleging deficiency in service. According to him on 23.8.2006, he booked a speed post envelope through OP No.2 containing migration certificate of Himachal Pradesh University of his daughter Madhu Lata. This was to be delivered to his son -in -law Shri Avinash Chander in Gujarat. This speed post letter did not reach the addressee. So he made enquiries from the OPs to know as to what has happened to it. Instead of taking action they slept over the matter. In these circumstances according to the complainant the speed post letter was not intentionally delivered to the addressee resulting in his daughter being not able to get admission in B.Ed course because of which she lost one valuable academic year. He thus claimed damages of Rs. 1,00,000/ - for misplacing the speed post envelope containing migration certificate of his daughter from Himachal Pradesh University. In addition to this payment he also prayed for being compensated because of spoiling the career of his daughter. OP No.2 charged Rs.56/ - against postage stamps of Rs.25/ -. lie thus claimed for refund of the difference. He prayed for Rs.10,000/ - as cost with a further direction to the OPs to trace and return the migration certificate.
(3.) WHEN put to notice, stand of the OPs was that the complaint was not maintainable in the light of Section 6 of the Indian Post Office Act, 1898. While admitting the speed post letter having been sent, it was pleaded by them that if envelope was containing migration certificate of his daughter, complainant should have got it insured in accordance with the notification dated 22.01.1999. Thus, according to both of them at best the complainant was entitled to refund of double the speed post charges if any paid by him or Rs. 1,000/ - whichever was less. Plea of the complainant regarding deficiency of service was specifically denied. District Forum below had come to the conclusion and in our opinion rightly that the complainant had sent migration certificate of his daughter to the addressee, i.e. son -in -law in the State of Gujarat. It was not delivered. We may point out in this behalf that it is not the case of the OPs that the question was delivered to the addressee. Situation would have been totally different if this was the defence set out by them while contesting the complaint. In these circumstances we are in agreement with the findings recorded by the District Forum below that the daughter of the complainant could not get admission in B.Ed because of non delivery of the letter sent by speed post resulting in loss of her one academic year. In case the complainant had got the letter insured as pleaded by the OPs, then on account of non delivery, they would have had no legs to stand upon much less to have contested the complaint.;

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