DEPARTMENT PURCHASE CENTRAL IN-CHARGE Vs. KRISHNA BARMAN
Department Purchase Central In-Charge
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DEEPA SHARMA, J. -
(1.) Facts are being taken from Revision Petition No.944 of 2020.
(2.) The brief facts of the case are that the Complainants filed the Complaint before the District Forum against the Petitioner and the Respondents No.11 to 16 (Opposite Parties No.2 to 7) and only the Petitioner and the Respondents No.15 and 16, namely, Regional Manager and the Managing Director of Jute Corporation of India Limited, had filed their written statements. Complainants, who were the farmers of seasonal crops, grew jute and stored their produce at Bhartiya Gramin Bhandar, Bhetaguri and by pledging the said produce took a loan of 60% of the value of the jute. The produce was stored with a view to sell it to the Jute Corporation of India, i.e., the Petitioner at a profitable price. It was the contention of the famers that the jute price was fixed at Rs. 3,800/- to 4,200/- per quintal as was clear from the memo no.RO/C0B/2012-2013 dated 15.05.2012. However, when they approached the Petitioner to sell their produce, the Petitioner refused to purchase the same. It was alleged that the Petitioner was duly bound to produce the jute from the farmers directly in order to prevent the distress sale. The farmers approached the Jute Corporation of India as well as the Banker Uttar Banga Kshetriya Gramin Bank for making arrangements of the purchase of the stored jutes but they refused to buy it @ Rs. 3,800/- to 4,200/- per quintal. The JCI however informed the Bhetaguri Krishi Gramin Mazdoor Sangha that in the Cooch Behar region, the JCI had agreed to purchase the jute from the farmers @ Rs. 2,200/- per quintal. Alleging that the JCI's primary duty is to purchase the jute from the farmers, they have to purchase it at the prevailing rate of Rs. 3,800/- to 4,200/- per quintal during the relevant period, the farmers filed the said Complaint.
(3.) The JCI, i.e., the Petitioner took several objections in the written statement filed before the District Forum. It was alleged that the Complaint was barred by limitation and that it was bad of misjoinder of parties etc. It was further contended that the JCI had never promised or gave assurance for the purchase of jute from the Complainants. It was submitted that the JCI purchased the jute from its different farmers at the prevailing rate to safeguard the interest of the farmers and that too with the guidelines of the JCL and that during the year 2010-2011, huge quantity of jute was purchased from the concerned jute farmers of the locality and nearby villages. It is admitted that Bhartiya Gramin Bhandar, Bhetaguri, i.e., the Opposite Party No.6, wanted to know the purchase price of different varieties and grades of raw jute procured by the DPC for the year 2010-2011 and the Opposite Party No.2, i.e., JCI, issued the letter dated 15.05.2012 stating that the purchase price for the period 2010 to 2011 was Rs. 3,800/- (minimum) to 4,200/- (maximum). It was alleged that through this letter, the Opposite Party had never assured to purchase the jute from the farmers. It was further contended that the Complainant had never wanted to sell their produce to the Petitioner and that they had never approached them to sell the same. In para 15 of the written statement, the Petitioner has stated that in the year 2010-2011, the MSP was Rs. 1600/- for raw jute whereas the prevailing market rate was much higher than that of MSP and Rs. 2200/- was the rate for the year 2012-2013. It is submitted that the procurement of price varies per year for MSP.;
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