Decided on January 21,2020

Universal Sompo General Insurance Company Limited Appellant
Didwaniya Exim Private Limited And Anr. Respondents


R.K.AGRAWAL, J. - (1.) Vide Order dated 21-05-2019 passed in Revision Petitions Nos.533 to 535 of 2019, the question as to whether in Appeal Cases or the Revision Cases, the State Commission and/or the National Commission can exercise the powers of Order 41 Rule 27 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 or the principles laid therein are applicable and permit the parties to adduce/bring on record the additional documents or not, was referred by a two Members' Bench of this Commission to a larger Bench, for its decision. Subsequently, vide Order dated 21-05-2019, 21-05-2019, 29-05-2019, 25-06-2019 and 27-06-2019, of the said two Members' Bench Revision Petition No.3446 of 2017, Revision Petitions Nos.2367, 2368, 3644 and 3645 of 2017, Revision Petition No.1352 of 2015, Revision Petition No.686 of 2014 and First Appeal No.478 of 2019 respectively, in which the same issue arose, were also referred to the larger Bench.
(2.) The above said matters were clubbed together and listed on 22-07-2019 before the larger Bench of three Members. On 22-07-2019, Mr. S. B. Prabhavalkar, Learned Counsel appearing for the Appellants in First Appeal No.478 of 2019, in order to emphasise that additional documents can be taken on record while exercising jurisdiction under Section 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, took support of an earlier Order of the National Commission, passed by a four Members' Bench, in the case of Khivraj Motors Vs. V. Chandrababu and Anr., II(2002) CPJ 94 (NC) in which it was held as under: "Whatever may be the merits of the case, we do not think State Commission was right in holding that additional evidence cannot be led in the State Commission in Appeal. It is not desirable to take a technical view in order to deprive a party of his right. Procedure merely gives guidance as to how justice is to be rendered but the procedure which comes in the way of rendering justice is to be given a go-by. Salutary guidance which the Consumer Protection Act provides is that principles of natural justice should be complied. A consumer forum is required to follow the rules of natural justice though it is not bound by the strict rules of Code of Civil Procedure. If interest of justice requires that a party be permitted to file some additional evidence of which it was deprived of earlier and there is sufficient cause in favour of the party for not having brought the evidence earlier. Consumer Forum should not stand on any formality and disallow the prayer. Of course, each case will depend on the facts of the case. We, however, wish to say that there is absolutely no bar in the provisions of the Act that any additional evidence cannot be brought on record before the State Commission while hearing appeal."
(3.) In view of the above submission made by Mr. S. B. Prabhavalkar, the three Members' Bench referred these matters, in the interest of justice, to a Five Members' Bench. Thereafter, the matters were heard by this Bench.;

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