Decided on August 30,2012



SURESH CHANDRA,MEMBER - (1.)THIS revision petition challenges the order dated 9.7.2010 passed by the Assam State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission ( ňúState Commission, for short) in First Appeal No.44 of 2006. Petitioner was the complainant and the respondents were opposite parties before the District Forum.
(2.)THE facts of this case, as stated in the complaint, are that the petitioner had taken a loan of Rs. 2,50,000/ - from the Sibsagar Branch of the OP bank (OP No.1) in the month of September 1988 for reconstruction/renovation of his house situated at Sibsagar town. After renovation, the house was let out to the ONGC on monthly rent basis by executing a lease deed. Since the petitioner was residing at Guwahati, an arrangement was made with OP No.1 that it will collect rent from the ONGC on presentation of bills by the petitioner and deposit the same to the loan account of the petitioner till the entire loan amount was liquidated. In this regard, the petitioner also executed a power of attorney in favour of the Branch Manager, Sibsagar Branch of the OP bank. After signing of the power of attorney, the OP bank wrote a letter on 8.9.1988 to the ONGC enclosing therewith a copy of the power of attorney and requesting the ONGC to register the contents thereof in their books of accounts so that the rent was paid to the Sibsagar Branch of the OP bank in the account of the petitioner. The rented house was ready for occupation on 1.9.1988 but actually it was occupied by the ONGC on 25.5.1989 and the lease deed was executed on 19.9.1989. The petitioner was to submit house rent bills for 11 months in triplicate from May 1989 to March 1990 for arranging timely payment. But because of the delay in the occupation of the house by ONGC by a few months, the petitioner transferred Rs.50,000/ - for adjustment to his loan account. According to the petitioner, the OP bank assured him about sending regular statement of loan account to him at his Guwahati address but it failed and neglected to send the same to him.
(3.)ON verification of the statement of account obtained by the petitioner, it came to his notice that the OP bank defaulted in collection of rent (from May 1989 to June 1990) and showed indifferent attitude in its dealings with the petitioner. He, therefore, brought the matter to the notice of the higher authorities of the OP bank but to no effect and the collection of the rent remained pending. In view of this, the petitioner demanded that charging of any interest for late adjustment of loan amount from the house rent was unjustified because the same had happened due to non -collection of the rent by the OP bank. On the other hand, the OP bank refused to accept that position and stated that there was no reply by the petitioner to their letter even though it was intimated to him that outstanding loan repayment amounting to Rs. 61,602.80 had accumulated as on 10.6.1993. Later on, the OP bank wrote another letter on 7.9.1993 by which it refused to take further responsibility of collection of rent from the ONGC. In these circumstances, the petitioner alleged that there was deficiency in service on the part of the OP bank for not collecting the rent from the ONGC and as such he was entitled to receive damage and compensation for which he filed a complaint before the District Forum.
After hearing the parties and taking into consideration the evidence before it, the District Forum held that the complainant was not a consumer and the subject matter of his complaint did not come under the purview of the consumer forum. However, on merits also it dismissed the complaint vide its order dated 18.5.2006 in CP Case No.18 of 2004. Aggrieved by this order of the District Forum, the petitioner carried the same before the State Commission by filing an appeal which came to be dismissed by the State Commission vide its impugned order.

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