Decided on December 16,2010

Assistant Postmaster And Anr Appellant
Rajaram And Anr Respondents


- (1.) THE opposite parties are the appellants.
(2.) THE 1st respondent/1st complainant, having deposited a sum of Rs.30,400, with the 1st opposite party/Post Office, in Time Deposit Account No.14711 on 25.2.2004, obtained a pass book also, fixing the period one year. On the date of maturity, when the 1st complainant approached the 1st opposite party they refused to pay the amount, informing that in the account, there is only Rs. 400. Because of the refusal, the 1st complainant preferred a complaint, resulting inquiry, which revealed, as reported, the agent had prepared a false pass book, suppressing the entire deposit, disclosing only a sum of Rs. 400, for which the 1st complainant cannot be held responsible. The pass book was issued by the 1st opposite party, signed, attested and therefore they are liable to pay the amount. Despite request letters, since the opposite parties have failed to pay the amount, they have caused mental agony, for which also, the complainant is entitled to pay a sum of Rs.25,000, in addition to the matured amount, with interest, as deposited. Hence, the complaint.
(3.) THE opposite parties, though admitted TD Account No. TJ 14711, the name of the complainant, they denied the deposit of Rs.30,400, contending that one Sridhar SAS Agent, had deposited only a sum of Rs. 400 and if at all, he should have cheated, for which they are not liable to answer the claim. When the complainant has reported the matter, enquiry conducted, which brought to surface, that the SAS Agent G. Sridhar, as misused the deposit amount, given to him, and forged the signatures of the postal officials in the pass book, for which the postal officials, in the pass book, for which the postal department, cannot be held responsible, that too in view of the fact, Sridhar was appointed as Small Savings Agent, by the State Government, not by the Post Office, thereby praying for the dismissal of the complaint further contending that they have not committed any negligence or deficiency in service. Based upon the affidavits, and documents, relied on by the parties, the District Forum, came to the conclusion, that Sridhar was appointed as agent to canvass small savings deposit, which are deposited at Post Offices, and in this view, the principal viz. the opposite parties are responsible, since the agent acted on their behalf. Thus concluding; a direction has been issued to pay a sum of Rs.30,400, with interest, as permissible, alongwith a further sum of Rs.5,000, for deficiency in service, with cost, as per order dated 20.12.2007, which is impugned on various grounds, by the opposite parties.;

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