Decided on April 17,2009

Praveen @ Gurudutt Vernekar Appellant
Coimbatore Compressor Engg Co Pvt Ltd Respondents


- (1.)THE appellant is aggrieved by the dismissal of his complaint for default in appearance. Consumer Dispute No. 19/2003 was dismissed by the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (District Forum), North Goa for default by order dated 9.7.2008. The respondents are the opposite parties.
(2.)THE facts relevant to the appeal are that the appellant/complainant filed a complaint before the District Forum on 27.2.2003. On being noticed, the respondents/opposite parties contested the complaint and filed their written version. Parties led evidence. The complainant and opposite parties were cross -examined. Thereafter, the parties filed written arguments and the matter was reserved for communication of orders on 7.3.2006. The matter was then placed before 'Lok Adalat' on 27.4.2007, but since both parties were absent, the matter was again reserved for communication of orders. On 9.7.2008, the matter was again re -listed for hearing. This time, the notice sent to the complainant was returned by the postal authorities with remarks "Unclaimed". The District Forum after calling out the matter thrice proceeded to note that the complainant was not interested in following the complaint and assisting the Forum in final disposal and dismissed the complaint for default.
(3.)WE heard learned Advocate Mr. Sachin Dessai for the appellant and learned Advocate Deepak Gaonkar for the respondents. Counsel filed notes of arguments as well.
The only question that arises is whether the dismissal of the complaint was proper in facts and circumstances of the case. The records and proceedings of the lower Forum/indicate that the complaint was contested by the opposite parties. Evidence on affidavit was led by both sides. They were cross -examined in person through Commissioner. Written arguments were filed. The matter was reserved for communication of orders on 7.3.2006. It was relisted for hearing on 9.7.2008 probably on account of the long delay in passing the final order, on which date the complainant remained absent in spite of being duly served. Nonetheless, to our mind, in the foregoing circumstances, the District Forum ought to have proceeded to settle the dispute on the basis of the material on record instead of rushing to dismiss the complaint for default. Moreover, the matter was re -listed for hearing by the District Forum for reason of delay in passing of the order for no fault of the appellant/complainant. In this backdrop, to hold that "the complainant was not interested in following the complaint and assisting the Forum in final disposal" would be rather far -fetched.

Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.