Sham Sunder, J. (President) -
(1.) THIS Revision Petition is directed against the order dated 17.9.2013, vide which, First Appeal No. 335 of 2013, titled as The State of Haryana and Another v. Surinder Kumar Mittal (now Revision -Petitioner), was accepted by this Commission, holding that the Consumer Complaint bearing No. 343 of 2012, was not maintainable, as the Complainant/Revision -Petitioner did not fall within the definition of a consumer. The facts, in brief, of the Consumer Complaint, bearing No. 343 of 2012, are that the complainant was in service of the State of Haryana. He served the State of Haryana, for the period from 14.1.1977 to 20.4.2003, and, ultimately, retired. Being a permanent employee of the State of Haryana, the complainant was entitled to the contractual obligations, as contained in the Civil Services Rules, and various other commitments, issued from time -to -time. The opposite parties had issued letter dated 20.7.1981, for the grant of special increment, in the form of personal pay, which was accepted by the complainant on 31.3.1986. It was stated that despite a speaking order, passed by the Hon'ble Punjab and Haryana High Court, in CWP No. 8058 of 2009, the Opposite Parties did not release the amount of personal pay, which included the special increment - -an incentive for family planning, though the complainant qualified for the same. It was further stated that non -compliance with the Judgment of the Hon'ble Punjab and Haryana High Court, referred to above, by the opposite parties, amounted to commission of contempt of Court, It was further stated that the aforesaid acts of the opposite parties, amounted to deficiency, in rendering service, as also indulgence into unfair trade practice. When the grievance of the complainant, was not redressed, left with no alternative, the aforesaid complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (hereinafter to be called as the Act only), was filed, directing the opposite parties, to pay the actual amount of personal pay, to which he is entitled, since 20.4.2003, along with interest @ 18% p.a., till realization; ten times compensation, on the amount prayed for above; and cost of litigation, to the tune of Rs. 20,000.
(2.) THE opposite parties, in their joint written version, pleaded that the complainant did not fall within the definition of a consumer. It was further pleaded that since the complainant did not fall within the definition of a consumer, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum -II, U.T., Chandigarh, (hereinafter to be referred as the District Forum, only), had no jurisdiction to entertain and decide the Consumer Complaint, as the same was not maintainable. It was further pleaded that since the complainant had also filed Consumer Complaints bearing Nos. 297 of 2012 and 304 of 2012, before the District Forum, which were dismissed, on the ground, that the same were not maintainable, as the complainant did not fall, within the definition of a Consumer, as such, this complaint was also liable to be dismissed, on the same ground. It was admitted that the complainant was a permanent employee of the State of Haryana, and served from 14.1.1977 to 20.4.2003, when he was compulsorily retired, at the age of 50 years, vide order Annex. R -I. It was stated that the said order had been challenged and was pending adjudication, before the Hon'ble Punjab and Haryana High Court. It was denied that there were any contractual obligations, between the Government of Haryana and the complainant. It was further stated that the Government of Haryana had issued a Notification, under Article 309 of the Constitution of India dated 7.12.2001, vide which, Rule 6.19(c), in Clause (i) was amended, which now reads as, "The term "emoluments" for these purposes shall mean "pay" as defined in Rule 2.44(a)(I) of Punjab Civil Services Rules, Volume I, Part -I". Thus, in terms of the aforesaid amendment in Rule 2.44 (a), only Sub -Clause (i) was applicable and rest of the Sub -Clauses viz; (ii) and (iii), were excluded. It was further stated that, this Notification had not been referred to, by the Hon'ble High Court, while deciding CWP No. 8058 of 2009. It was further stated that, in view of the aforesaid Notification, read with Rule 6.19(c) Clause (i) CSR Volume II and Rule 2.44(a)(i) of CSR Volume I, personal pay was not admissible, in determining the retiral benefits of the complainant. It was also admitted that, as per the Scheme of 1981, in respect of the family planning, special increment was to be counted, as personal pay and rate of personal pay was to be the next increment. It was further denied that personal pay was payable, while deciding the retiral benefits. It was further stated that neither there was any deficiency, in rendering service, on the part of the opposite parties, nor they indulged into unfair trade practice. The remaining averments, were denied, being wrong. The Parties led evidence, in support of their case.
(3.) AFTER hearing the complainant, in person, Authorized Representative of the opposite parties, and, on going through the evidence, and record of the case, the District Forum, vide order dated 26.3.2013, accepted the Consumer Complaint, bearing No. 343 of 2012.;