By Adv. Jatin Ramaiya
The Goa State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission recently took a serious note of the inordinate delay of about one year between pronouncing of the impugned judgment and order and delivery of the free copy observing that, such a conduct is not just and reasonable. Justice Bakre, president, Goa State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission while partly allowing the appeal filed by Buddaseth Developments and Kenneth Peter Gabriel Pereira observed that the delay in providing certified copies of judgements from date of pronouncement order causes prejudices to the parties in the complaint.
“The confidence of the parties is likely to be shaken,” observed Bhakre. “A perusal of the records and proceedings reveal that the same is voluminous. No written arguments were taken on record by the Forum, from the parties. The inordinate delay of about one year between pronouncing of the impugned Judgment and order and delivery of the free copy as well as certified copy of the same to both the parties has not been explained. This is not just and reasonable. Prejudice is caused to the parties since some points which the litigant considers important might have escaped notice. The confidence of the parties is likely to be shaken. Justice should not only be done but also should appear to have been done,” he said.
The members of the commission further observed that, the High Court of Bombay at Goa in the matter of Pradeep KR Sangodker v/s state of Goa had directed that all quasi judicial authorities including Consumer Forum that every judgment/order should be pronounced in open court after notifying the parties the date of the order and once the judgment is pronounced, the certified copy should be made available to the parties, if applied for, not later than seven days and not later than two days if the copy is applied for on urgent basis.
The Commission, whilst remanding the matter for fresh hearing to the district forum, observed, “From the impugned judgment and order it is seen that the judgment was pronounced on July 31 2015. However, the free copy of the same as well as the certified copy of the same was issued to one of the parties on July 18 2016 and to the other party on July 15 2016. The certified copy was ready on July 13 2016, in total violation of the above referred directions of the High Court.” The Commission held that “Judgement and order cannot sustain and is bound to be quashed and set aside and the matter remanded to the Forum with a direction to the Forum to hear fresh arguments and dispose of the matter in accordance with law.”