POST MASTER Vs. CHUKKA APPA RAO
ANDHRA PRADESH STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
Chukka Appa Rao
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M .SHREESHA,J. -
(1.) Aggrieved by the order in C.D. No. 926/2005 on the file of District Forum -I, Visakhapatnam, opposite parties preferred this appeal.
(2.) THE brief facts as set out in the complaint are that the complainant's son was doing his M.Sc. in United Kingdom, State Bank of India, MVP Colony, Visakhapatnam and he was sanctioned an Educational loan. The said bank released Rs. 1,99,053 towards second instalment of the loan and issued a Demand Draft for which SBI Overseas Branch, Visakhapatnam issued a foreign currency draft and the same was sent on 28.3.2005 by registered post from the Post Office of 1st opposite party to the complainant's son. The complainant lodged a complaint with 1st opposite party on 12.4.2005 and since the said letter did not reach the destination, on 15.4.2005, the complainant booked -two addressee telegrams - to 1st and 2nd opposite parties. On 25.4.2005, the complainant booked two separate phonograms to opposite parties 3 and 4 requesting for immediate delivery but opposite parties were negligent and did not take any action. The complainant's son was warned and threatened with legal action due to non -payment of fees, because of non -delivery of registered letter containing foreign currency draft. The complainant submitted that he and his son were put to a lot of tension and mental agony. The complainant submitted that having no other go, he sought for cancellation of the earlier cheque and sought for a new one and the procedure involved was cumbersome and laborious and he had to furnish two sureties of persons, who had account with State Bank of India and also submitted a letter of indemnity as per bank instructions and incurred an expenditure of Rs. 2,855 towards charges for bankers draft and exchange charges and Rs. 800 towards P&T charges. On 17.5.2005 a foreign currency draft was issued and then sent to Drawer Bank at London by wire transfer. The complainant got issued a legal notice to all the opposite parties and filed the complaint for a direction to the opposite parties to pay Rs. 1,00,000 towards compensation on account of constant tension, hardship and mental agony, to pay Rs. 50,000 towards exemplary damages towards mental agony faced by the son of the complainant, to pay Rs. 250 towards compensation of the amount paid to SBI, OB Visakhapatnam towards commission for converting rupees into GBPS, to pay Rs. 30 which was paid towards registration charges, to pay Rs. 47 which was incurred for addressing two telegrams issued to opposite parties 1 and 2, to pay Rs. 81 being the expenses incurred for issuing two phonograms, to pay Rs. 2,863 being interest paid to SBI, MVP Colony during the period from 28.3.2005 to 17.5.2005 on Rs. 1,99,053 @ 10.5% , to pay Rs. 2,855 towards banker's and exchange charges, to pay Rs. 1,000 being the Banker's commission and charges of P and T, to pay Rs. 84 being the amount paid by complainant's son towards postal charges, to pay Rs. 100 being cost of non -judicial stamp and costs.
(3.) OPPOSITE party No. 2 filed counter which was adopted by opposite parties 1, 3 and 4. Opposite party No. 2 admitted of sending the complainant's registered letter dated 28.3.2005 to his son Ch. Subash Chandra at United Kindgon and denied the rest of the allegations. It was contended that on receipt of telegraphic complaint dated 15.4.2005, inquiries were made and the inquiries revealed that the said registered letter was despatched to United Kingdom in Mail No. 83 dated 1.4.2005 by AIR foreign -II. The Chennai airmail sorting division remanded the international mail records, vide letter dated 11.5.2005. The registered letter was consigned by Air Mail Sorting Division, Chennai on 1.4.2005 to the destination country and that there is no information from the international mail record -London and submitted that there is no deficiency in service in despatching the letter from Visakhapatnam to United Kingdom so as to pay damages or value of article lost in that country. The complaint is not maintainable for non -joinder of United Kingdom Postal Services and that as per Article 34 of Port Article -XIX the Postal authorities of United Kingdom of Great Britain have a right not to pay compensation for uninsured parcels loss. Pursuant to Section 6 of Indian Post Offices Act, 1898, the Government is not liable to pay compensation for loss of any postal article in course of transmission except which liability is expressly undertaken. That as per Article 37 of UPU convention, the liability is only to the extent of refund of charge and fee paid at the time of booking the article and that the complainant is not entitled to the relief prayed and prayed for dismissal of the complaint with costs.
Based on the evidence adduced i.e. Exs.A1 to A34 and B1 to B3 and the pleadings put forward, the District Forum allowed the complaint and directed the opposite parties to pay Rs. 35,000 towards compensation together with costs of Rs. 5,000.;
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