By Adv Jatin Ramaiya
Maheshewari M Gaunkar, Parra, Bardez, approached the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission challenging the rejection of his appeal by the Goa State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
Gaunkar had filed complaint against Kamakshi Jewellars, South Goa before the North Goa District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, alleging that she had purchased gold chain for chain for Rs.9100 and gold bracelet for Rs 8082 from the jeweler. However, when she went to sell these gold ornaments to the shop she was offered only Rs11,000. Later on she got the ornaments checked from a private person and it was disclosed that they were of 20 carat gold instead of 22 carat for which she had paid the price. Further no proper receipt was given for the ornaments and only the estimate of preparation of the ornaments was given.
The District Forum held that that there was no evidence that the ornaments were purchased from the jewellers and held that, the testing was got done from a private person and not from a government approved lab as required under the Consumer Protection Act. The complaint was also dismissed on the ground that the District Forum did not have the jurisdiction as the cause of action arose in South Goa. The State Commission upheld the order of the District Forum after which Gaunkar approached the National Commission.
The Commission upon hearing the counsel and considering the record, observed that, though the District Forum said that, it did not have the territorial jurisdiction to decide the present complaint, still the District Forum decided the complaint on merit also. The State Commission has also agreed with the finding of the District Forum, that the District Forum did not have the territorial jurisdiction to try the present case. However, the State Commission has also agreed with the findings of the District Forum on merits”
The Commission whilst dismissing the revision petition filed by Gaunkar held that since the State Commission and District Forum had taken a conclusive view of jurisdiction and merit in the contention of Gaunkar there was no case demonstrate to upset both the orders. The Commission further observed that “I am not inclined to give permission to the complainant to file a fresh consumer complaint with the District Forum, South Goa, as this will involve more expenditure on the part of both the parties. This is also not required because the matter has already been adjudicated on merit by both the fora below. The order of the State Commission is within the jurisdiction and therefore, no purpose will be served if a fresh complaint is filed before the District Forum, South Goa.”
Apart above observation the judgement can also be used by traders to say that testing of any defective material can be done only by government testing laboratory.