This article is written by Tulip Das, currently pursuing BBA L.L.B(H) from Amity University Kolkata. This case analysis is about C.C.I. Chamber/s Co-op. Housing Society Ltd. v. Development Credit Bank Ltd, (AIR 2004 SC 184).
Civil Appeal No. 7228 of 2001
R.C. Lahoti and Ashok Bhan, JJ
AIR 2004 SC 184, 2003 Supp (3) SCR 139, CTJ 849
Section 32 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
The appellant, C.C.I. Chamber/s Co-op. Housing Society Ltd., had a Savings Bank Account with the respondent, Development Credit Bank Ltd.
The appellant filed a complaint claiming insufficiency in service by the respondent, proposing that the Bank had wrongly debited an amount of Rs. 75,70,352 in the account of the complainant by honouring such cheques that bore forged signatures of the complainant and in some of the cheques, the figures had been altered.
Around 72 cheques were issued on such dates when one of the two persons while drawing the cheques found that they were already dead.
One of them denied his signatures and such disputed signatures did not at all tally with the standard specimen signatures.
Suspicion was raised against an official of the respondent Bank.
The complaint was thus filed after serving notice on the respondent Bank.
In 2001, the residents of C.C.I Chambers Co-operation Housing Society Ltd., an upmarket housing society in South Mumbai, filed a complaint with the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi (NCDRC) stating that in their bank account in the Development Credit Bank Ltd, Rs. 75,70,352 have been wrongfully debited. They filed a complained under Section 32 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, that such a big amount has been debited by the bank to their account through cheques that contained forged signatures and some cheques with figures altered. However, not being satisfied with the decisions of the National Commission, the appeal was made to the Supreme Court by the residents. The appeal was allowed. The impugned decision of the National Commission is set aside. The case is sent back to the Commission for a fresh hearing.
- Whether the crime was committed by the respondents by tampering the cheques?
- Whether it was a case under section 23 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986?
- Whether it was the case of the NCDRC?
The appellate argued that the bank has acted in an inappropriate manner by debiting such a huge amount into their account and then lodged a complaint to the NCDRC under Section 23 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
When we look into the definitions of the section, it reads as follows: –
Section 23. Appeal – Any person, aggrieved by an order made by the National Commission in exercise of its powers conferred by sub-clause (i) of clause (a) of section 21, may prefer an appeal against such order to the Supreme Court within a period of thirty days from the date of the order: Provided that the Supreme Court may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of thirty days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period:
Judgment of the Court
The decision arrived at by the NCDRC was premature. The Court said that when the pleadings of both the parties were available, the Commission should have formed an opinion of the nature and scope of the enquiry. If the Commission had acted in a matured manner, then the question whether decision in the light of the pleadings of the parties required a detailed and complicated investigation into the facts which was incapable of being undertaken in a summary and speedy manner would not have aroused. The decision in the light of the pleadings of the parties required a detailed and complicated investigation into the facts which was incapable of being undertaken in a summary and speedy manner.
Therefore, the appeal was allowed and the impugned decision of the National Commission has been set aside. The case is sent back to the Commission for hearing afresh consistently with the observations made hereinabove. There was no order as to the costs.
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