REGIONAL TRANSPORT OFFICER Vs. ARUN KUMAR BEHERA
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
REGIONAL TRANSPORT OFFICER
Arun Kumar Behera
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B.R.Sarangi, J. -
(1.) The petitioner, being opposite party no.2 before District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Dhenkanal, has filed this writ petition to quash the order dated 30.06.2009 passed in Consumer Complaint No.5 of 2008 by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum under Annexure-2, by which direction has been given to refund the road tax which was collected thrice from opposite party no.1 for the same quarter. It is further directed to pay compensation of Rs.30,000/- to opposite party no.1 within 30 days from the date of order.
(2.) The factual matrix of the case, in hand, is that opposite party no.1, who was the complainant before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, was the registered owner of a Mini Bus having registration no.OR-06 B 1271 and was granted permit by State Transport Authority, Odisha, Cutack to ply the bus. The said permit was valid for 119 days starting from 16.01.2005 to 14.05.2005. But, opposite party no.1 could not ply his vehicle because of strong opposition from the existing and/or old permit holders of Dhenkanal Bus Owners Association on the route specified in the permit. Opposite party no.1 brought the said fact to the notice of the Collector, Superintendent of Police and RTO, Dhenkanal and because of intervention of the Superintendent of Police, at a belated stage, he could run the bus only for a period of 15 days out of the total period of 119 days. Before expiry of the road permit, opposite party no.1 applied for fresh permit before the RTO, Dhenkanal, as the bus in question was having sitting capacity of less than 25 persons. It is alleged that due to negligence on the part of the petitioner, opposite party no.1 could not ply his vehicle. The deficiency of service was brought to the notice of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, who in turn, vide order dated 30.06.2009 in Consumer Complaint Case No.05 of 2008, directed the petitioner to refund the road tax, which had been collected thrice from opposite party no.1 for the same quarter, and awarded compensation of Rs.30,000/- in favour of opposite party no.1 to be paid within 30 days from the date of order. Hence this application.
(3.) Mr. B.K. Sharma, learned counsel for the petitioner vehemently contended that the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has no jurisdiction to entertain the application filed by opposite party no.1 alleging deficiency of service by the petitioner, and consequential award of compensation in the order impugned dated 30.06.2009 passed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in Consumer Complaint No.5 of 2008 under Annexure-2 cannot sustain in the eye of law, particularly when the same is nullity and goes to the root of the matter. It is further contended that the impugned order dated 30.06.2009 with regard to refund of tax also cannot sustain in the eye of law, as the same is without jurisdiction and contrary to the statute governing the field.
To substantiate his contention, learned counsel for the petitioner has relied upon the judgments of the apex Court in the cases of S.P. Goel v. Collector of Stamps, Delhi, 1996 AIR(SC) 839; Jagmittar Sain Bhagat v. Director, Health Services, Haryana, 2013 10 SCC 136; Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority v. Vidya Chetal, 2019 9 SCC 83; as well as of this Court in Pravat Kumar Mishra v. State of Orissa,2015 2 OrissaLR 963.;
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