Decided on August 05,2008

Mandapam Fishermen Co -Operative Society Appellant
MUNIASAMY Respondents


N.Kannadasan, President (Open Court) - (1.) THE above appeal is filed challenging the order of the District Forum, Ramanathapuram, in COP No. 27/2003, directing the appellant herein to pay a sum of Rs. 25,000 to the complainants/respondents, towards mental agony and further directing to pay a sum of Rs. 1,000 to the complainant towards the cost.
(2.) THE respondents/complainants 1 to 3 have filed the complaint before the District Forum to the effect that they have availed loan for the purchase of fishing boat from the appellant/opposite party during 1995 and during 1997, the boat has met with an accident and sunk in the sea and necessary complaints were given to the local police station and as well to the appellant/Society, which has advanced loan. According to the respondents, the then President of the society, with the mala fide intention, has not accepted the fact that the boat was sunk and took a stand that the complainant intended to cheat the society, with a view to avoid payment of the loan amount. The then President though gave a complaint before the local police station as against the respondent/complainant for offences under Sections 406 and 420, IPC, the police authorities have not proceeded with the complaint by referring the charge sheet. Under the said circumstances, the complainants have preferred the complaint for mental agony suffered by them on account of deficiency in service, seeking compensation of Rs. 8,76,000.
(3.) THE appellant/opposite party, before the District Forum resisted the said complaint by contending that the complainants have not acted in a bona fide manner and their object is to ensure that they need not pay the loan amount and the alleged accident viz. sinking of the boat is contrary to the fact. It is only at the instance of the society, diligent steps were taken to find out about the whereabouts of the boat, and thereafter it was seized. It is further contended that the society has given proper complaint to the police authorities and merely because the police has referred the charge sheet, will not absolve the liability of the complainants to act in a bono fide manner. The District Forum by considering the materials available on record has passed an order holding that the then President of the society has not acted in a bona fide manner and due to the inaction on the part of the society to initiate steps and to bring into auction of the seized boat and to adjust the amount due towards the loan, the complainants were made to suffer hardship and mental agony and they were not in a position to carry on their business. The District Forum though accepted the version of the complainant, has rejected their claim of compensation viz. Rs. 87,6000. However the District Forum has passed an order directing the society/appellant herein to pay a sum of Rs. 25,000 towards mental agony and compensation and a further sum of Rs. 1,000 towards cost, apart from ordering interest. The present appeal is filed by the opposite party challenging the said order of the District Forum.;

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