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Union of India vs. Smt. N. Nethravathi dated 2012-04-12






                           REVISION PETITION NO.3749  OF 2011


                          I.A’s for Stay and condonation of delay)

 (Against the order dated 16.8.2007    in Appeal No.2443/2006

 of the State Commission, Karnataka) 



Union of India

Through Post Master General

In Karnataka Police Thimmaiah Circle,

Bangalore – 560 001                                              …Petitioner no.1


The Senior Superintendent of Post Offices

South Zone

Bangalore – 560 024                                              …Petitioner no.2



The Senior Superintendent of Post Offices

Wilson Garden

Bangalore – 560 02                                      …Petitioner no.3



Smt. N. Nethravathi

C/o G. Krishna

R/o 43, ( New No.2305),

12th Main III Block,

Jayanagar East

Bangalore – 560 011.                                             …Respondent









For the Petitioners           :    Mr. R.N. Singh, Advocate with

                                            Mr. A.S. Singh, Advocate





 Pronounced on:  12th  April,  2012





.         Being aggrieved by order dated 16.8.2007, passed by Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Bangalore (for short as ‘State Commission), petitioner has filed this present revision petition under Section 21(b) of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (for short as ‘Act’).

2.       Alongwith   this revision petition, an application seeking condonation of delay of 4 years 91 days has also been filed.

 3.      Respondent (complainant before the District Forum)  had filed complaint against the present petitioners (opposite parties before the District Forum) stating that she has invested Rs.30,000/- in Indra Vikas Patra.  However, the original certificates were lost and facts about the loss was reported to the Police Station.  After maturity, when respondent made a claim for payment of the money, the same was rejected.

4.       District Forum, vide its order dated 5.7.2004, dismissed the complaint.

5.       Aggrieved by the order of District Forum, respondent preferred an appeal before the State Commission.  The State Commission, vide order dated 5th July, 2005  dismissed the appeal and observed as under;

“It is still open for the opposite parties to examine the claim of the complainant with reference to the records maintained in the Post Office.  In the event if no person has got encashed IVP, the claim of the complainant may be considered for payment”

6.       Thereafter, respondent gave a representation and requested for encashment of the IVPs in question.  After reexamination of the case, petitioners rejected the request of respondent .

7.       Thereafter, respondent filed execution petition before the District Forum which dismissed the same, vide its order dated 4.9.2006. Aggrieved by the order, respondent filed an appeal before the State Commission, which vide impugned order allowed the appeal of the respondent.

8.       This is how the matter has reached before this Commission.

9.       Taking up application for condonation delay, it is contended by learned counsel for the petitioners that delay has occurred due to procedural requirement and also due to the fact that writ petition was filed before the High Court of Karnataka challenging the impugned order.  The delay is bona fide and not deliberate or willful and  sufficient grounds are made out for condonation of delay.  Even otherwise on merits, petitioners have good case.

10.  In support, learned counsel has relied upon the following judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court;

(i)      State of Haryana  vs. Chandra Mani and others,  AIR 1996 Supreme Court 1623  and 

(ii)  “Special Tehsildar, land Acquisition, Kerala  vs. K.V. Ayisumma, AIR 1996 Supreme Court 2750.

11.      The main ground pleaded in the application for condonation of delay is that, petitioners are  Govt. Department and as per norms laid down, an order/judgement  of the court against the Government, before implementation has to be considered at various levels.  Accordingly, the matter was considered at various levels in the department and due to ill advice, a writ petition was filed in the Karnataka High Court, which was later on withdrawn with liberty to file the present revision petition. Thus, the delay was bona fide and not deliberate and there are sufficient and good reasons for condoning the delay.

12.     A similar question arose in “K. Rajiv and M/s. Kamla Builders and others,  Civil Appeal No. 11431-11434 of 2011” decided by Hon’ble  Supreme Court on 16.12.2011, in which  the  Court observed;


               “The question whether the High Court can directly entertain the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution against the order passed by the State Commission ignoring that the aggrieved party is entitled to  avail statutory remedy of appeal under Section 19 of the Act was recently considered in Civil Appeal No.10706 of 2011 Nivedita Sharma vs. Cellular Operators Association of India and others decided on 07.12.2011 and answered in negative.  The relevant portions of that order are extracted below:-


               There cannot be any dispute that the power of the High Courts to issue directions, orders or writs including writs in    the       nature      of  habeas corpus,  certiorari,  mandamus, quo warranto and prohibition   under Article 226 of the Constitution is a basic feature of the Constitution and cannot be curtailed by parliamentary legislation-­ L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India (1997) 3 SCC 261.  However,  it is   one    thing     to    say    that       in exercise of the power vested in it under Article 226 of the Constitution, the  High Court can entertain   a   writ    petition against any order passed by or action taken by the State and/or its agency/instrumentality  or    any  public  authority   or    order  passed  by   a  quasi-judicial body / authority,  and  it is  an altogether different thing to say that each and every petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution must be entertained by the High Court as a matter of course ignoring the fact that the aggrieved person has an effective alternative remedy. Rather, it is settled law that when a statutory forum is created by law for  redressal of  grievances, a writ petition  should not be entertained ignoring the statutory dispensation.


               In Thansingh Nathmal   v.  Superintendent of Taxes AIR 964 SC 1419, this Court adverted to the rule of self-imposed restraint that writ  petition  will not be entertained if  an effective remedy  is  available to the aggrieved  person  and observed:


                               "The High Court does not therefore act as a court of   appeal   against   the   decision   of  a court or tribunal, to correct errors  of   fact,   and  does not by assuming jurisdiction under Article   226 trench upon an alternative remedy provided   by  statute for   obtaining   relief.   Where   it   is   open to the aggrieved   petitioner to move another tribunal, or even   itself  in another jurisdiction for obtaining redress in the manner provided by a statute, the High    Court     normally     will  not   permit   by entertaining   a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution   the   machinery created under the statute to be bypassed, and will leave the party applying to it to seek resort to the machinery so  set up."



      In Titaghur Paper Mills Co. Ltd. v. State of Orissa (1983) 2    SCC 433, this court observed

         "It   is   now   well recognised that where a right or   Liability  is   created   by   a statute which gives a  special   remedy   for   enforcing  it,   the  remedy  provided  by that  statute only must be availed of.  This   rule   was   stated    with   great   clarity   by   Willes, J. in Wolverhampton New Waterworks Co. v.   Hawkesford (1859) 6 CBNS 336 : 141 ER 486 in the  following passage:


                               '... There   are   three  classes   of cases  in which  a   liability   may be established   founded upon  a statute ............ But     there   is    a    third  class,  viz., where    a    liability    not    existing    at  common law is created by  statute which at   the same time gives a special and particular  remedy for enforcing it.  The remedy  provided by the statute must be  followed,   and it is not competent to the party to  pursue the course applicable to cases of the second   class. The form given by the statute  must be adopted and adhered to.'

                               The rule laid down in this passage was approved  by   the    House   of   Lords in    Neville   v.  London   Express Newspapers Ltd. 1919 AC 368 : (1918-19) All ER Rep. 61 (HL) and has been reaffirmed by  the Privy Council in Attorney General of Trinidad   and Tobago v. Gordon Grant and Co. Ltd 1935 AC   532 and Secy. of State v. Mask and Co. (1939-40)   67 IA 222 : AIR 1940 PC 105. It   has   also been   held to be equally applicable to enforcement of   rights,   and    has    been   followed by this Court    throughout.   The    High  Court   was    therefore   justified   in dismissing the writ petitions in limine."


      In Mafatlal Industries Ltd. v. Union of India (1997) 5 SCC 536, B.P. Jeevan Reddy, J. (speaking for the majority of the larger Bench) observed:


                               "So far as the   jurisdiction of   the   High Court  under Article 226 ­ or for that matter, the jurisdiction of   this Court under Article 32 ­is  concerned, it is obvious that the provisions of  the Act cannot   bar and curtail these remedies. It is,   however,   equally   obvious    that   while   exercising the power under Article 226/Article 32, the         Court would certainly take note of the  legislative intent manifested   in the provisions    of the Act and would exercise their jurisdiction  consistent with the provisions of the enactment."


          In   the   judgments   relied      upon    by    Shri   Vaidyanathan, which,    by    and   large,    reiterate       the   proposition       laid    down   in Baburam  Prakash Chandra   Maheshwari v. Antarim Zila Parishad    now

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