Decided on July 07,2004

Yahiya Appellant
Indian Post And Telegraphs Department Respondents


- (1.) THE complainant is the appellant who has preferred the appeal against the order dated 26.6.2003 passed by District Forum, Gopalganj in Complaint Case No. 66/2002 whereby and whereunder the complaint has been dismissed.
(2.) THE brief fact of the case is that brother of the appellant (complainant) Matiur Rahman is in service at Saudi Arabia who had posted a registered letter containing a cheque NRE No. 0056088. The said registered letter was addressed to the father of the complainant at Bathua Bazar Post Office, Gopalganj. The cheque was for Rs. 50,000/ - under the registered cover. The registered letter was sent on 30.4.2002. The complainant has informed his father through phone that registered letter with cheque has been sent to his address. The complainant s father regularly enquired from the post office about the registered letter but he could not get any information nor the registered letter was delivered to him. The father and his well wisher approached the Head Office at Gopalganj but there also they could not get any information about the registered letter. The Superintendent of Post Offices, Siwan Division was also contacted but he also failed to give any correct information. All the concerned authorities denied that they have received any registered letter from Saudi Arbia. Subsequently the sender of the cheque from Saudi Arbia informed the complainant that one of the employees of the Central Bank, Siwan had informed him that the said cheque has been encashed on 30.6.2002 from his Bank Account No. NRE 1052. Thereafter the complainant filed the case before the District Forum, Gopalganj. The appellant and his father had enquired from the Central Bank, Siwan about the whereabouts of the cheque in question but they have denied that they have received the said cheque in question and denied that any payment of the cheque has been made to any person. The complainant has also filed a Complaint No. 1211/2002 before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Gopalganj against the postal officials. The cognizance has been taken in the matter and it has been sent to the Police Station, Phulwaria for investigation. The P.S. Case No. T 73/2002 under Sections 409 and 420 and others have been registered and investigation. The P.S. Case No. T 73/2002 under Section 409 and 420 and others have been registered and investigation is in progress.
(3.) THE O.P. -Postal Department appeared and filed written statement and submitted that complainant s case is that registered letter was received on 30.4.2002 vide receipt No. 1316 is incorrect because General Post Office, Gopalganj had received that registered letter on 8.5.2002 and from there the registered letter became traceless for which Phulwaria P.S. Case No. 73/2002 has been instituted by the complainant against the Postal Authorities. It is also the case of the O.P. that the postal department is entitled to pay maximum to Rs. 200/ - as compensation when the article is insured. A registered letter if misdelivered or lost in transit for that no case lies against the postal department as per Section 6 of the Indian Post Office Act unless an allegation is made against a particular postal employee of fraud and wilful negligence. Therefore, the complainant is not entitled to get any relief before the Consumer Forum. If the allegation of the complainant that the registered letter has been fraudulently delivered to third person and the alleged cheque of the letter has been encashed by some third person in that case a detailed inquiry and investigation is required and in this case after hearing of the complaint as per order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Gopalganj the police is investigating the matter. For a Consumer Forum it is not possible to pin -point whether any fraud has been committed in this case and if so who are at fault. Therefore, the District Forum has rightly dismissed the complaint. We have heard both the parties and perused the impugned order. The O.P. Nos. 2 and 3 in the written statement have admitted that the registered letter addressed to father of the complainant has misplaced from the Head Post Office, Gopalganj. It is admitted fact that on the direction of the C.J.M., Gopalganj police is investigating the entire matter after the case has been registered under Section 420 and other sections of the IPC. The registered letter was not insured. There is no specific allegation against any postal employee of committing fraud by the complainant, therefore, Section 6 comes as bar in entertaining this complaint against the O.P. -respondent. Therefore, the District Forum has rightly dismissed the complaint.;

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