Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: A Bench of M.S. Sonak, J. dismissed a petition and stated that there is no jurisdictional error in the impugned order of the family court which rejected the application for amendment of petitioner’s written statement.

In the present case, the crux of the issue was the challenge to family court’s rejection of the petitioner’s application for amendment of his written statement.

In regard to the contentions of the petitioner, Mr A.S. Tamhane submitted that the amendment is related to the permanent custody of the child and by incorporating some additional facts and grounds in the written statement, the fundamental character and nature of the written statement would not be changed. Further, he stated that, the amendment ought to have been allowed since the petitioner obtained custody of the minor son in May, 2018 and thereafter secured knowledge to back the amended pleadings. Family Court failed to exercise jurisdiction vested in it by refusing the amendment.

Petitioner seeks to amend written statement after the evidence of the parties stands concluded. Proviso to Order VI Rule 17 CPC: “Provides that no application for amendment shall be allowed after the trial has commenced, unless the Court comes to the conclusion that inspite of due diligence, party could not have raised the matter before the commencement of trial.” There is no explanation as to why leave is applied for almost one year after the conclusion of the evidence in the matter as well.

Thus, the Court stated that “there is no compliance whatsoever with the proviso Order VI Rule 17 CPC or the principles set out therein. Family Court had correctly held that the proposed amendment was not necessary for determining the real question of controversy between the parties and the purpose of seeking leave at the belated stage was only to protract the final decision in the case.

Therefore, there is no jurisdictional error in the impugned order and the petition was dismissed accordingly. [Vinod George v. Nita Vinod George, 2018 SCC OnLine Bom 7462, decided on 22-12-2018]

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): A Division Member Bench of S.M. Kantikar (Presiding Member) and  Dinesh Singh (Member), dismissed a revision petition filed against the order of Haryana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, whereby the order of the district forum was affirmed.

The main issue that arose before the Commission was whether the instant dispute required interference by the National Commission under Section 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act (COPRA).

The Commission observed that the respondent  1 had entered into an agreement with the appellant wherein the appellant had promised for providing various amenities like Club House, Internal roads, installation of fire fighting system and arrangement of sewerage and garbage etc. Further, the maintenance charge was to be calculated by taking the area as 1830 sq. ft, however, the appellant charged excess amount of maintenance charges from the respondent 1. Also, the amenities promised by the appellant were not provided to the respondent 1. The Commission rejected the contention of the petitioner that the respondent 1 did not fall under the category of “consumer” as per the provisions of COPRA. In the decision of Rubi (Chandra) Dutta v. United India Insurance Co. Ltd., (2011) 11 SCC 269, wherein it was held that the National Commission while deciding a matter under Section 21 of the Act, should not interfere with the concurrent finding of fact recorded in the judgment impugned before it.

The Commission held that there is a drastic increase in the number of problems from the construction industry where consumers are fooled by builders or developers. The petitioner failed to provide evidence such as the Commissioner’s Report, Engineer’s report etc. to prove that the amenities as per the agreement were provided to the respondent 1 and it had also failed to justify the excessive money which was charged by it from the respondent 1 in the form of maintenance charges. Finally, the Commission held that to exercise the revisional jurisdiction under Section 21(b) of the COPRA it must show that there was a jurisdictional error or a legal principle was ignored or miscarriage of justice. The petition was dismissed and the order of state commission was upheld.[Make Wave Sea Resort (P) Ltd. v. L.R. Chowdhary,2018 SCC OnLine NCDRC 389, order dated 13-11-2018]

 

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): A Division Bench of S.M. Kantikar, Dinesh Singh, Members, dismissed a revision petition filed against the order of the State Commission whereby the appeal of appellants was dismissed on the ground of merits as well as delay.

The main issue that arose before the Commission was whether the appeal was maintainable under Section 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (COPRA).

The Commission observed that the order passed by the state commission was well-appraised and well-reasoned. The state commission did not find just and reasonable cause for the delay in filing the appeal and the same was written in the order in a proper manner. The appellant had caused an unreasonable delay of 221 days in filing the appeal before the state commission. Further, the order of the state commission also states that the appellants did not approach the forum with clean hands. The Commission also observed that in order to exercise revisional jurisdiction under Section 21(b) of the COPRA, there must be a jurisdictional error or legal principle ignored or material irregularity in the order of the lower forum.

The Commission held that in the instant case the order passed by the state commission did not suffer from any form of irregularity as required under Section 21(b) of the COPRA. Resultantly, no interference by the Commission was required and hence the revision petition was dismissed by the Commission. [Agarwal Packers & Movers DRS Group v. Dibeyendu Pal, 2018 SCC OnLine NCDRC 418, order dated 01-11-2018]