Decided on October 18,2008

Adi K Kanga Respondents


- (1.) AGGRIEVED by the judgment dated 22.9.2006 passed by the Mumbai Suburban District Consumer Forum, whereby the Forum below allowed the complaint and directed the Postal Department to defreeze NSS Account No. 260087 on requisite compliance made by the complainant and convert the joint account into the individual account and then hand over the passbook to the complainant and allowed him to operate the same and further directed the O.Ps. to deposit interest allowed on original account during the entire period and to pay compensation of Rs. 2,000 and cost of Rs. 1,000.
(2.) BRIEFLY , the case of the complainant was that he had opened NSS account No. 260087 with O.P. No. 1 in the year 1989. Thereafter, he shifted his residence to Thane. He requested the Postal Authority to transfer his account to Thane Post Office but instead of transferring the same, the Postal Department advised him to convert the said account to saving bank account vide letter dated 26.6.2001. Hence, he served notice through his Advocate on 2.1.2002 and requested the Postal Department if transfer is not feasible, he should be allowed to operate the said account at Vikhroli. But, the O.P. did not return the passbook for the purpose of transfer. Therefore, he alleged deficiency in service on the part of the Postal Department and filed consumer complaint. The Postal Department filed written statement and pleaded it was a joint account opened by the complainant in his name and in the name of his wife. Joint account cannot be opened in respect of NSS. Hence, the complainant was asked to convert the account into the saving bank account or close the account and this was done as per Rules in force. So, there was no negligence on their part. There was no deficiency in service on their part in giving suggestion to the complainant. The Postal Department therefore prayed that complaint should be dismissed with costs.
(3.) UPON hearing both the parties and on perusal of the affidavits and documents filed before it, the learned District Consuer Forum held that there was deficiency in service on the part of Postal Department. The complainant had opened NSS account in the joint name, but the said account was allowed to be opened by the O.Ps. though they had full knowledge of Rules and Regulations of the said scheme. The complainant therefore cannot be blamed for opening of joint account, which was permitted by the Postal Department. When he sought transfer of account from Vikhroli to Thane, the Postal Department requested him to open individual saving bank account in his name and discontinued the joint account wrongly taken from the Postal Department. According to the District Consumer Forum, Saving Bank Account carries lesser interest. So, suggestion given by the Postal Department is mala fide. Therefore, non -transfer of account and giving suggestion to close that account and open individual saving bank account was the clear -cut case of deficiency in service as per District Consumer Forum and as such allowing the complaint, the Forum below passed directions as enumerated in opening para of this judgment. Aggrieved thereby the Postal Department has filed this appeal.;

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