Non Judicial Stamp Papers do not have any Expiry Period – Supreme Court

NON JUDICIAL STAMP PAPERS DO NOT HAVE ANY EXPIRY PERIOD BEING USED FOR A DOCUMENT                                            Supreme Court

 


The Supreme Court has held that there is no expiry period  for use of Non Judicial Stamp Paper.

In this case, the Trial Court and the High Court have doubted the genuineness of the agreement dated 5.1.1980 because it was written on two stamp papers purchased on 25.8.1973 and 7.8.1978. The learned counsel for first respondent submitted that apart from raising a doubt about the authenticity of the document, the use of such old stamp papers invalidated the agreement, as the stamp papers used in the agreement of sale were more than six months old, they were not valid stamp papers and consequently, the agreement prepared on such ‘expired’ papers was also not valid.

Apex Court held that that the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 nowhere prescribes any expiry date for use of a stamp paper. Section 54 merely provide that a person possessing a stamp paper for which he has no immediate use (which is not spoiled or rendered unfit or useless), can seek refund of the value thereof by surrendering such stamp paper to the Collector provided it was purchased within the period of six months next preceding the date on which it was so surrendered. The stipulation of the period of six months prescribed in section 54 is only for the purpose of seeking refund of the value of the unused stamp paper, and not for use of the stamp paper. Section 54 does not require the person who has purchased a stamp paper, to use it within six months. The stamp papers do not have any expiry period. Section 54 does not require the person who has purchased a stamp paper, to use it within six months. Therefore, there is no impediment for a stamp paper purchased more than six months prior to the proposed date of execution, being used for a document.

Supreme Court of India  
Citation:(2008) 4 SCC 530:AIR 2008 SC 1541

 Thiruvengada Pillai vs Navaneethammal & Anr on 19 February, 2008

Bench: R. V. Raveendran, P.Sathasivam

 

Order of Consumer Forums – What happens if not complied with

 

A large number of cases are coming up in various Consumer Fora against the builders. They tend to take matters very lightly and tend to disobey them…..
I am reproducing an order of the State Commission, Maharashtra. The concerned builder was sent to jail for three years, unless he complies with the order before that……..

 

BEFORE THE HON’BLE STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION,              MAHARASHTRA, MUMBAI

Execution Application No. EA/13/10 (Arisen out of order dated 3rd February, 2012 in CC/05/20)

  1. Manherlal C. Shah 47, Carnac Siding Road, Iron Market, Masjid Bunder (East), Mumbai 400 009. New Add:- 101A, Walkeshwar Road, 11, New Indrabhuwan, Near White House, Mumbai – 400006 …..                                                           Executant(s)

                                                                        Versus

1.     M/s. Siddhivinayak Builders (Proprietorship) Tulsi Tower, Second Floor, 51st Road, T.P.S. III, Borivali (West), Mumbai – 400 092. New Add – Benzer Tower, 2nd Floor, Near Sanskruti Enclave, 90ft Road, Next To IBPS, Borivali East, Mumbai 400101

2.      Mr Nitin N. Mehta (Partner of M/s Siddhivinayak Builders ) 1, Homestead, 16, Dattatryaya Road, Santacruz (W), Mumbai 54 New Add Benzer Tower, 2nd floor, Near Sanskruthi Enclave, 90ft Road, Next To IBPS Borivali E Mumbai ……………………………………………………………………………………….Opponent/Accused(s)

 

Mr. Justice A.P. Bhangale, President ….Heard Submission of both the sides on execution application u/sec 27 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

 

1. By final order complaint no. CC/05/20 was allowed and opponents were directed to deliver possession of Flat No.702, C- Wing, situate on 7th Floor, having carpet area of 732 sq.ft. in the building known as “Emerald Court to the complainant. While giving possession, occupation certificate was also to be ensured by the Opponents with supply of water and electricity and complainant was required to pay an amount of Rs.17,000/- in view of Clause 45 of the agreement dated 18/08/1997 as stated in Clause 4 of the judgment and award in the Complaint No.CC/05/20. At the time of receiving possession, the executant was and is ready and willing to pay the sum of Rs.17,000/- payable according to Clause 4 of the operative order. Compensation in the sum of Rs.1,00,000/- is payable by the opponent as per Clause 5 of operative part of the final order and litigation costs in the sum of Rs.10,000/- as per Clause 6. of the operative part of the final order.

 

2. In execution application in defence the opponents have stated that they (the opponent) cannot give possession of the flat (aforesaid flat) because the opponent sold the flat to third party. This cannot be valid excuse for non-compliance of the final order passed by this Commission. Ld.Advocate for the Opponents has sought to adduce some copies of documents to pray for time for compliance of final order, tried to show deed of rectification (phtostate copy), we are not impressed by such evasive submissions in respect of final order passed by us. Once order is made final, passed by the State Commission, it is duty of the 3/4 opponent to obey it and no such excuse can be pleaded which cannot be acceptable by any reasonable prudent person; the accused has to undergo jail custody. There is long standing tendency on the part of the builders/developers in city of Mumbai and Suburban areas to enter into agreement in respect of innocent flat purchaser and then to create interest in third parties, inter alia, with a view to avoid statutory obligations under Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act, 1963 (‘MOFA’ in short). According to law we cannot accept any such excuse for non- obedience of the final order which was passed by us long back on 3rd February, 2012. When final order despite challenged in superior Forum or Court remains final there can be no excuse for non-compliance thereof by the opponents. Hence, once it is brought to our notice that final order is not yet obeyed deliberately though understood by the opponent. Possession of the flat is not given as directed, we have no other option to remand opponent/accused Mr. Nithin Mehta to imprisonment with a direction that until and unless final order is complied with the opponent/accused shall remain remanded to the jail custody and shall be sent to undergo imprisonment alike civil detenue in the jail.

 

  1. We make it clear that in the event opponent want to comply with the final order, reference be made to us through the Superintendent of Jail concerned and Complainant, if reports compliance of final order, we can immediately consider releasing the opponent/accused from detention. The jail custody shall continue for a period of three years maximum period unless and until final order is complied with by the opponents in view of Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. 4/4 4. At this stage, the Ld.Advocate for the opponent/accused has filed an application for bail u/sec 389 of Cr.P.C. on the ground that Commission had taken up the matter for final hearing in the execution proceedings and directed detention of the opponent/accused to the jail custody until the compliance of the final order. Since, our order is self explanatory and since the opponent/accused disobeyed the final order despite the fact that the final order is not complied since long despite evidence recorded in execution proceedings as to whey final order remained disobeyed, no justification was found for deliberate disobedience of final order. Hence, we are not inclined to grant bail as prayed for because we will not suspend our aforesaid order as it would be sending wrong signal to opponent to continue to disobey the order and deprive of the consumers of their legal right. Hence, application is rejected. Certified Copy of the order be expedited. Order accordingly.

                                            [HON’BLE Mr.Justice A.P. Bhangale]                              PRESIDENT
[HON’BLE MR. Narendra Kawde]  MEMBER

   Pronounced Dated 13th June, 2016.

25 flat buyers kept hanging by builder for 22 yrs – get justice in two years

 

The Consumer Forums are taking a much needed tough stand against erring builders who think they are above the law and are resorting to all kinds of unfair and illegal practices…

 

Swati Deshpande| TNN | Updated: Sep 23, 2016, 08.08 AM IST

 

 

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra  State Consumer Commission has come to the rescue of 25 flat buyers who put their service class life savings in booking small homes 22 years ago, only to be asked to cough up Rs 41.5 lakhs each, almost ten times the original price, to get possession. The commission said the escalated demand was nothing but “pressure tactics” and “unfair trade practice” by the builder to get the buyers to accept his offer of Rs 14 lakh and cancel the bookings in “Rajendra Kunj’ a project in Borivli (east).

The commission directed the builder, Truly Creative Developer Pvt Ltd, to hand over possession of flats in two months at the original price and with all agreed amenities. The order is to also pay damages of Rs 50,000 each to 25 buyers for the mental agony that the unprecedented delay has caused them.

The flats were booked between 1994 and 1998 by 112 persons, mostly employees of Excel Industries, at prices that ranged between Rs 4 lakh and Rs 6 lakh. Most had paid over 50% of the flat’s cost. In 2011, the developer demanded Rs 41 lakh more from each buyer and said the market rate in the vicinity was around Rs 80 lakh for similar-sized flats. The developers, Rajendra Barde and Dattatray Barde, directors of the firm, also initially offered them an 8% return on the money they had already paid. The lawyer for the buyers, Dilip Kulkarni, argued that it was not money, but flats they wanted, as entitled in law. The builder wants the buyers out so that he can sell the flats at the current market rate which would attract a price of around Rs 1 crore, they argued.

The commission panel presided over by judicial member Usha Thakare and Dhanraj Khamatkar observed that in some cases, “flats were booked in 1994, agreements executed in 2005. And no possession handed over till date”. The buyers had approached the commission in 2013. The work was stopped for a year in 1998 and three years since 2005 after disputes landed in the city civil court. But there was no stay on construction between 1999 and 2005 and since 2008. Yet the building is far from complete.

The builder’s lawyer, Ajay Karwath, resorted to every legal arsenal to have the buyers’ complaint dismissed. He questioned their status as consumers, calling them investors, and even challenged the jurisdiction of the commission which can hear claims above Rs 20 lakh. The commission said the buyers had claimed damages of Rs 60 lakh with interest. Hence, the jurisdiction was not flawed, and they were all employees who purchased small flats for their residence with a valid agreement and continued to pay amounts which the builder demanded over the years, hoping for completion and possession, hence they were consumers. “They would not have waited for 16 years to get possession if they were investors.”

 

Link to the full news:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/25-flat-buyers-kept-hanging-by-builder-for-22-yrs-get-justice/articleshow/54471423.cms

One Avigna Park, the first cluster development project in Mumbai……….in serious trouble……………..


One Avigna Park, the first cluster development project in Mumbai……….in serious trouble…………….
.

Mumbai: FIR against builder for FSI fraud that cost govt Rs 2,000 cr

Cops registered FIR against directors of the firm that constructed the 61-storey super luxury project — One Avighna Park at Currey Road — for allegedly forging…
MID-DAY.COM
Read the entire story at the following link: 

http://www.mid-day.com/articles/mumbai-fir-against-builder-for-fsi-fraud-that-cost-govt-rs-2000-cr/17592153

MOFA Act 1963 – FIR

 

 

MOFA Act, 1963 is a powerful Act with stringent provisions against erring builders.
The various provisions contain imprisonment of 3 years, and fine, etc.
In certain circumstances involving breach of trust, the sentence of imprisonment can go upto five years..

The offences are both cognizable as well as non bailable.
For the first time, the Maharashtra Police has issued Circular on 1 July 2016 directing its police to file FIRs under the provisions of MOFA.

The victim Flat Purchasers can take advantage of these new provisions.

There is a Supreme Court Judgement Re: Lalita Devi that all FIRs must be registered within 7 days of receiving the Complaint (later increased to 15 days). Otherwise, the Police have to intimate to the Complainant in writing giving reasons for not registering the FIR.

 

 

 

 

 

Purchase of car for Company Director’s use is not Commercial

Corporate Bodies purchase flats, cars, etc. for the use of their Directors. This latest decision of the National Commission dt. 8 July 2016 clarifies that such purchase does not constitute commercial use.

http://cms.nic.in/ncdrcusersWeb/GetJudgement.do?method=GetJudgement&caseidin=0%2F0%2FOP%2F51%2F2006&dtofhearing=2016-07-08

NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
NEW DELHI

 

 
CONSUMER CASE NO. 51 OF 2006
         

 

1. CROMPTON GREAVES LIMITED & ANR.
C.G.HOUSE, 6th Floor, Dr. A.B. Road, Worli,
Mumbai – 400 030.
2. MR. SUDHIR M. TREHAN
MANAGING DIRECTOR OF COMPLAINANT NO.1, RESIDING AT FIRST FLOOR, PRIYADARSHINI APTS. PLOT NO. 23, 6th North South Road, JVPD Scheme,
Mumbai – 400 056.
………..Complainant(s)
Versus
1. DAIMLER CHRYSLER INDIA PRIVTE LIMITED & ORS.
(Earlier Known As Mercedes-Benz India Ltd.) Sector 15-A, Chikhali, Pimpri,
Pune-411 018
2. DAIMLER CHRYSLER AG,
THROUGH ITS AGENT DAIMLER CHRYSLER INDIA PVT. LTD., OFFICE AT. SECTOR -15-A, CHIKHALI, PIMPRI,
PUNE-411 018.
3. AUTO HANGER (INDIA) PVT. LTD.
MODAK RUBBERS & TEXTILE LTD. COMPOUND 6, KONDIVITTA ROAD, OPP. MAROL BAZAR, ANDHERI (EAST),
MUMBAI – 400 059.
………..Opp.Party(s)

 

BEFORE:
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE D.K. JAIN, PRESIDENT
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE V.K. JAIN, MEMBER
HON’BLE DR. B.C. GUPTA, MEMBER

 

For the Complainant :  
Mr. Amir Singh Pasrich, Advocate
Mr. Sanjay Bajaj, Advocate
Mr. Kalyan Arambam, Advocate
Mr. Kaustubh Seth, Advocate
Ms. Priyanka Raj, Advocate

 

For the Opp.Party :
Mr. M.S. Pandit, Advocate
Mr. Harish Sandhu, Advocate

Dated : 08 Jul 2016

ORDER
JUSTICE V.K. JAIN, MEMBER 

Noticing an apparent conflict in the decisions rendered by this Commission in Controls and Switchgear Company Ltd. Vs. Daimler Chrysler India Pvt. Ltd. and T and T Motors Ltd. IV (2007) CPJ 1 (NC) and General Motors Pvt. Ltd. Vs. G.S. Fertilizers Pvt. Ltd. [First Appeal No. 723 of 2006] decided on 07.02.2013, both rendered by Benches comprising two Members, the following issue was referred to this larger Bench, for decision:-

  • Whether the purchase of a car or any other goods by a company for the use/personal use of its Director amounts to purchase for a commercial purpose, within the meaning of Section 2(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act, or not.

 

 

2.      In Controls and Switchgear Company Ltd. (supra), a complaint alleging defects in two Mercedes Benz, cars purchased by the complainant company for the use of its directors, was filed before this Commission. The complaint was resisted inter-alia on the ground that the cars were purchased for a commercial purpose. Rejecting the contention, this Commission inter-alia held as under:

In our view, there is no substance in the aforesaid contention, because:

  • Company is a legal entity and is entitled to file complaint;
  • The cars are purchased for the use of the Directors and are not to be used for any activity directly connected with commercial purpose of earning profit. Cars are not used for hire but are for the personal use of the Directors. Hence, it cannot be said that the complainant company has purchased the cars for commercial purpose.

 

An appeal against the above-referred decision is pending before the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

In General Motors Pvt. Ltd. (supra), a complaint alleging defect in a car purchased by the complainant company for use of its Managing Director was filed before the concerned State Commission. The complaint was resisted inter-alia on the ground that purchase of the vehicle for the use of the Managing Director of the company amounted to  purchase for a commercial purpose. Accepting the said contention, this Commission inter-alia held as under:

“We note that in his complaint before the State Commission the Respondent-Complainant had clearly stated that the vehicle was purchased for the use of its Managing Director.  We agree with Appellants’ contention that this clearly amounts to its purchase for a ‘commercial purpose’ since the Managing Director of a private limited company would obviously not use this vehicle for self-employment to earn his livelihood but for ‘commercial purposes’ as a perk of his office. Counsel for the Respondent-Complainant has sought to challenge this contention by pointing out that since the present case pertains to 1999 and the amendment referred to was made only in 2002, it was not applicable in the instant case.  We are unable to agree with this contention as well because the 2002 Amendment to the Act pertains to Section 2(1)(d)(ii) of the Act relating to hiring or availing of services for a consideration and not to Section 2(1)(d)(i) of the Act which relates to purchase of goods.  In fact, the interpretation of Section 2(1)(d)(i) of the Act relating inter alia to purchase of goods has been well settled by the Hon’ble Supreme Court as far back as in 1995 in its judgment in Laxmi Engineering Works v. P.S.G. Industrial Institute [1995 (3) SCC 583], wherein the Hon’ble Apex Court has ruled as follows:

“… On this interpretation of the definition clause, persons buying goods either for resale or for use in large scale profit-making activity will not be ‘consumers’ entitled to protection under the Act.  It seems to us clear that the intention of Parliament as can be gathered from the definition section is to deny the benefits of the Act to persons purchasing goods either for purpose of resale or for the purpose of being used in profit-making activity engaged on a large scale.  It would thus follow that cases of purchase of goods for consumption or use in the manufacture of goods or commodities on a large scale with a view to make profit will all fall outside the scope of the definition. It is obvious that Parliament intended to restrict the benefits of the Act to ordinary consumers purchasing goods either for their own consumption or even for use in some small venture which they may have embarked upon in order to make a living as distinct from large-scale manufacturing or processing activity carried on for profit.  In order that exclusion clause should apply it is however necessary that there should be a close nexus between the transaction of purchase of goods and the large-scale activity carried on for earning profit.”

 

            Since the instant case pertains to the purchase of goods admittedly for ‘commercial purposes’ since the vehicle was purchased by a private limited company for its Managing Director, this case is squarely covered by the above judgment of the Hon’ble Apex Court.  The State Commission erred in not taking note of this important fact while deciding the complaint.” 

3.      Section 2(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act which defines the term ‘consumer’, to the extent it is relevant, reads as under:-

          “consumer” means any person who—

(i)       buys any goods for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment and includes any user of such goods other than the person who buys such goods for consideration paid or promised or partly paid or partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment when such use is made with the approval of such person, but does not include a person who obtains such goods for resale or for any commercial purpose; or

(ii)      hires or avails of any services for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly prom­ised, or under any system of deferred payment and includes any beneficiary of such services other than the person who ‘hires or avails of the services for consideration paid or promised, or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment, when such services are availed of with the approval of the first mentioned person but does not include a person who avails of such services for any commercial purposes;

 

It would thus be seen that the emphasis is on the purpose for which the goods are obtained, though the use to which the goods are actually put would be helpful in deciding the purpose for which they were obtained.

4.      The term ‘commercial purpose’ has not been defined in the Consumer Protection Act and as held in Laxmi Engineering Works v. P.S.G. Industrial Institute [(1995) 3 SCC 583], in the absence of a statutory definition, we have to go by its ordinary meaning. ‘Commercial’ denotes ‘pertaining to commerce’ (Chamber’s Twentieth Century Dictionary); it means “connected with, or engaged in commerce; mercantile, having profit as the main aim” (Collin’s English Dictionary) and the word ‘commerce’ means “financial transactions, especially buying and selling of merchandise on a large scale” (Concise Oxford Dictionary)”.

 4.     Going by the dictionary meaning, a car or for that matter any goods obtained and the services hired or availed by a company can be said to have been obtained or  hired or availed for a commercial purpose, only if the said goods or services are intrinsically connected with, or related to the business or commerce in which the company is engaged. The acquisition of the goods or the hiring or availing of services, in order to bring the transaction within the purview of section 2 (1) (d) of the Consumer Protection Act, therefore, should be aimed at generating profits for the company or should otherwise be connected or interwoven with the business activities of the company. The purpose behind such acquisition should be to promote, advance or augment the business activities of the company, by the use of such goods or services. As observed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Laxmi Engineering Works (supra),  it is not the value of the goods but the purpose for which the goods are brought or put to use, which is relevant to decide whether the goods were obtained for a commercial purpose or not. The same would be the position, where services are hired or availed by a company. If the business activities of a company cannot be conveniently undertaken without the goods purchased or the services hired or availed by a company, such purchase or hiring/availing as the case may be, would be for a commercial purpose, because the objective behind such purchase of goods or hiring or availing of the services would be to enable the company to earn profits by undertaking and advancing its business activities.

5.      If a car or other goods are purchased or the services are hired or availed by a company for the personal use of its directors or employees, the purpose behind such acquisition is not to earn profits or to advance the business activities of the company. The purpose is to make certain facilities and amenities available to the directors and employees of the company as a part of the incentive offered to them by the company, as a reward or remuneration for the work which they are expected to perform for the company. It is not as if a company cannot run its business without providing such facilities and amenities to its directors and employees. It is not necessary for the business of the company, to provide such facilities and amenities to its directors and employees. Providing such facilities and amenities only motivates them to perform their work in an efficient and congenial environment, besides serving as an incentive aimed at eliciting better performance.  The company does not earn profit merely by making a car or certain other goods or services available to its directors and employees. Therefore, it would be difficult to say that such goods are purchased or the services are hired or availed by the company for a commercial purpose.

6.      The goods and services made available by a company to its directors or employees can be classified into the following three broad categories:-

(a) The goods and services which are obtained for and made available to the directors or employees of the company and are used by them only for their personal purposes, unconnected with the business of the company. For instance, the cars used by the directors and employees of the company for their shopping, outings, recreations, etc. or for commuting to and from the office of the company. Another example can be the air conditioners and furniture provided at the residence of the directors and employees of the company or the telephone or broadband got installed by the company at their residence.

(b) The goods and services made available to the directors or employees of the company and used by them primarily for their personal purposes but incidentally, also for the purposes of the company. For instance, a car used mainly for outings, recreations, personal commuting etc. of the directors and employees or their families, but also for visiting the factory and offices of the company or attending the business meetings.

(c) The goods and services made available by a company to its directors and employees primarily for the purposes of the company and used by them mainly for the purposes of the company but incidentally also for their personal purposes. For instance, a vehicle purchased for being used as a staff car or a delivery van, but sometimes also used for the personal purposes of the directors or employees, unrelated to the business of the company.

7.      As far as the goods and services falling in category (a) are concerned, there can be no dispute that since such goods were purchased or the services were hired or availed by the company and made available to its directors and employees for the purposes wholly unrelated to the business activities of the company, such an acquisition cannot be said to be for a commercial purpose. No commercial purpose of the company is achieved by purchasing such goods or hiring or availing such services and then making them available to its directors and employees.

8.      In our opinion even if such goods or services are incidentally used by the directors or employees of the company for the purposes of the company, that would not lead to the conclusion that the acquisition of such goods or services was for a commercial purpose. The dominant purpose behind such acquisition being to provide an amenity to the directors or the employees as the case may be, it cannot be said that the company was seeking to make a profit or advance its business by such an acquisition.  The use for the purposes of the company being subsidiary and incidental in nature, cannot override the dominant purpose for which they were acquired and made available to the director or the employee of the company. Therefore, the acquisition of goods and services, even if they fall under category (b) above, cannot be said to be for a commercial purpose.

9.      As far as the goods or services falling in category (c) are concerned, since the dominant purpose behind such acquisition is to advance and sustain the business activities of the company and the use for the personal purposes of the directors or the employees being incidental, it can be safely said that such an acquisition was for the commercial purposes of the company.

10.    In Laxmi Engineering Works (supra),  the Hon’ble Supreme Court inter-alia observed as under:-

“…On this interpretation of the definition clause, persons buying goods either for resale or for use in large scale profit-activity will not be ‘consumers’ entitled to protection under the Act. It seems to us clear that the intention of Parliament as can be gathered from the definition section is to deny 446 the benefits of the Act to persons purchasing goods either for purpose of resale or for the purpose of being used in profit making activity engaged on a large scale. It would thus follow that cases of purchase of goods for consumption or use in the manufacture of goods or commodities on a large scale with a view to make profit %ill all fall outside the scope of the definition. It is obvious that Parliament intended to restrict the benefits of the Act to ordinary consumers purchasing goods either for their own consumption or even for use in some small venture which they may have embarked upon in order to make a living as distinct from large scale manufacturing or processing activity carried on for profit. In order that exclusion clause should apply it is however necessary that there should be a close nexus between the transaction of purchase of goods and the large scale activity carried on for earning profit. “

 

Relying upon the above-referred observations, it was contended by the learned counsel for the opposite party that the purpose behind enactment of Consumer Protection Act was to provide a speedy remedy to the small consumers and the Act is not intended for the benefit of large business entities such as corporates.  We, however, find nothing in the judgment which would indicate that a company will not be a consumer within the meaning of the Act even if the goods are obtained or the services are hired or availed by it, for a purpose which by no means, can be said to be a commercial purpose. The Apex Court itself emphasised that for the exclusion to apply, there has to be a close nexus between the transaction of purchase of goods and the large scale activity, carried for earning profit. Therefore, if a transaction of purchase of goods or hiring or availing of services is not aimed at earning profits or advancing the business activities of the purchaser, such a transaction will not be out of the purview of the Consumer Protection Act.

          The learned counsel for the opposite party relying upon the decision of a two Members Bench of this Commission in Duggirala Prasad Babu Vs. M/s Skoda Auto India Pvt. Ltd. [Revision Petition No.428 of 2013] decided on 4.3.2014, contended that since depreciation is claimed by the company  on the car purchased for its director, such a purchase would be for a commercial purpose. We, however, find no merit in the submission. Whether a company or for that matter any other purchaser is entitled in law to claim depreciation in respect of a car or other goods purchased primarily for the personal purposes of its directors or employees is not a question to be considered by this Commission. What this Commission has to see is the purpose behind purchase of the goods or hiring or availing the services as the case may be and if depreciation is found to be wrongly claimed, it would be for the concerned department to take note of such a tax evasion. Therefore, we are not in agreement with the view taken in the above-referred decision.

          The learned counsel for the opposite party referred to the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Chairman, Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation Vs. Consumer Protection Council [Civil Appeal No.7142 of 1993]decided on 9.2.1995, where the Hon’ble Supreme Court was concerned with the question as to whether this Commission has jurisdiction to adjudicate upon a claim for compensation arising out of a motor vehicle accident or not. The above-referred decision has absolutely no application to the issue involved in this complaint and, therefore, reliance upon the said decision is wholly misplaced.

          The learned counsel for the opposite party also relied upon the decision of this Commission in Interfreight Services Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Usha International 1(1995) CPJ 128 (NC), where this Commission inter-alia observed that the special remedy before the consumer forums can be invoked only by ordinary consumers, purchasing goods for their private and personal use and consumption and not by business organization buying goods for commercial purposes. There is no quarrel with the legal proposition that the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act are not for the benefit of business organizations buying goods for commercial purposes, but at the same time, such organisations are not ousted from the purview of the said Act, where the goods bought or the services hired or availed by them are not for commercial purposes.

11.    For the reasons stated hereinabove, the issue referred to the larger Bench is answered as follows:-

(a) If a car or any other goods are obtained or any services are hired or availed by a company for the use/personal use of its directors or employees, such a transaction does not amount to purchase of goods or hiring or availing of services for a commercial purpose, irrespective of whether the goods or services are used solely for the personal purposes of the directors or employees of the company or they are used primarily for the use of the directors or employees of the company and incidentally for the purposes of the company.

(b) The purchase of a car or any other goods or hiring or availing of services by a company for the purposes of the company amount to purchase for a commercial purpose, even if such a car or other goods or such services are incidentally used by the directors or employees of the company for their personal purposes.

         

 

………………….J
D.K. JAIN
PRESIDENT
………………….J
V.K. JAIN
MEMBER
………………….
DR. B.C. GUPTA
MEMBER

 

 

Pendency and Reduction of Complaints – Consumer Protection Act


Pendency and Reduction of Complaints – Consumer Protection Act.

 

There is a huge pendency of Complaints at all levels.
It can be reduced if the Consumer Forums take a pro-consumer reconciliatory approach.

In a recent case, the President of a District Consumer Forum heard the matter from all sides (even though it was not fixed for final hearing).

He asked me if the matter could be mutually settled.
When I made a very fair and reasonable offer, the other side refused.

The President told the Opposite Party that he had no case.
If he accepted the offer, well and good, otherwise he would pass an order against the Opposite Party.

I hope the matter would be resolved soon.
This is a very fair and reasonable approach.
Other Forums should follow it.

Gandhi Hospital officials held for accepting Rs. 4-lakh bribe

 

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital officials held for accepting Rs. 4-lakh bribe

 

Monday 5, July 2016

A Complainant had approached the National Consumer Commission in New Delhi with grievances against the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Parel, Mumbai and the Commission had ordered the hospital to pay him compensation.

Gajanan Bhagat (48) the medical superintendent and Kishore Wagh (42) medical records librarian allegedly demanded Rs. 4 lakhs from the Complainant to sanction the payment, and asked him to hand over the money to a middleman Sandesh Kamble, after which he approached the ACB.

As the complainant could only come up with Rs. 1 lakh in cash, the ACB hid fake currency notes amid real ones to give the impression that the full bribe amount was being paid to the accused.

 “The complainant had several conversations with the accused after we initiated inquiries, and in all these conversations, the accused refused to lower the bribe money and were unwilling to accept it in instalments. The complainant was able to come up with Rs. 1 lakh in cash. So, we hid toy currency notes used in board games amid real ones to give the impression that the full amount was being paid when we laid a trap,” said an ACB officer.

The Mumbai unit of the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau laid a trap and the arrested all three while accepting the money.

They have been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Searches are currently under way at the offices and residences of Bhagat and Wagh.

Attack By Builder

Hindustan Times – Four held for attacking doctor with swords

HT Correspondent | Updated: Jun 28, 2016 12:07 IST

MUMBAI: Officials of the crime branch unit 4 have arrested four people on Monday for assaulting a Parel-based 43-year-old doctor at the behest of a local builder.

According to police officials, six people assaulted Dr Naveen Gupta while he was on his way home from his dispensary.
The four accused have been identified as Raja Devendra, 47, Deepak Chourasia, 23, Sandeep Pillai, 27, and Rupesh Dolkar, 26.
Gupta sustained 24 stitches and was discharged on Monday.

An officer from the crime branch said, “Last week, six people accosted the doctor’s car near Parel and assaulted him with sickles and swords. He was injured and admitted to the hospital.”
“The four accused said a builder paid them to attack the doctor. Both were living in the same society and had fought due to parking, and other society issues. Recently, the builder met Devendra, said he was tired of fighting with the doctor daily, and asked him to do something about it.”
Devendra hatched the plan to attack Gupta.

“The group had been trying to attack Gupta for the past two months but were unsuccessful,” added an officer.
The accused have been booked under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and the Bombay police Act.
They were handed over to the Kalachowkie police for further probes.

Sanjay Veera, the main culprit, was arrested by the Crime Branch from his residence on 26 June and let off…
No one knows how, why and for what consideration.

NHRC – a toothless tiger

 

Jun 2, 2016

 

Justice H L Dattu, Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said:
“NHRC is a toothless tiger. We painstakingly investigate human rights violation cases, sometimes in remote areas, with our limited resources. The evidence collected is put to forensic judicial adjudication by its chairman and members, who are former judges. But at the end, when NHRC arrives at a finding, it can only recommend remedial measures or direct the state concerned to pay compensation.


“We keep writing letters to the authorities concerned to implement our recommendations. But it is the sweet will of the authorities whether or not to implement NHRC recommendations. It is for Parliament to decide whether to confer NHRC with some kind of contempt powers to make authorities implement its recommendations.

 

“The National Human Rights Commission watchdog needs some teeth to enforce its orders on remedial measures in cases relating to violations.

 


“Moreover, the Act does not categorically empower the NHRC to act when human rights violations through private parties take place. A private company had acquired large tracts of land in Odisha but had not taken steps to rehabilitate or compensate the erstwhile land owners. NHRC had stepped in and directed the private company to do the needful. But the company moved the HC and NHRC’s directions were stayed by the HC on the ground that NHRC could not have taken up the case as there was no involvement of official machinery in the alleged human rights violation,” .

 

A really sorry state of affairs………….the tiger needs tooth implants.