The appeal coming before us for hearing finally on 23.08.2011, upon hearing the arguments of appellants side and perused the documents, written submissions as well as the order of the District Forum, this Commission made the following order :-
Â A.K.ANNAMALAI, PRESIDING JUDICIAL MEMBER
1. The opposite party is the appellant.
2. Complainant made a fixed deposit of Rs.1,04,500/- with the opposite party on 4.7.2001 through her father for 78 months with 11% interest on maturity amount is payable as Rs.2,11,560/-. On date of maturity on 4.1.08 since the opposite party evaded the payment of maturity amount a notice was issued on 12.6.08 failed to give reply and thereby for the deficiency of service complainant filed a consumer complaint seeking relief for payment of Rs.2,11,560/- with subsequent interest at 11% and Rs.10,000/- as compensation for the deficiency of unfair trade practice and for costs. The opposite party contended that for the F.D. from 4.7.01 to 31.7.03 at 11% interest and from 1.8.03 as per the circulars issued by the Registrar of Co-operative Society the interest was reduced to 7.5% till date of maturity on 4.1.2008 and thereby the maturity amount to be payable worked out to Rs.1,81,729/- for which the complainant has not come forward to receive the same and there was no deficiency of service or unfair trade practice on the part of the opposite party.
3. After an enquiry the District Forum dismissed the complaint however directing the opposite party to pay a sum of Rs.1,04,500/- with interest at 11% from 4.7.01 to 31.7.03 and thereafter at 7.5%.
4. Aggrieved by the order of the District Forum the complainant came forward with this appeal.
5. While considering both sides contentions, arguments and averments it is the admitted fact that the complainant has deposited Rs.1,04,500/- on 4.7.2001 as F.D repayable after 78 months and maturity 4.1.08 at Rs.2,11,560/- as per the receipt Exhibit A1. It is also not in dispute after the date of maturity the amount was not paid by the opposite party and they intended to pay only a sum of Rs.1,81,729/- with a rate of interest at 7.5% from 1.8.03 based on the circular issued by the Registrar of Co-operative Societies as per Exhibit B3.
6. While considering the contention of the opposite party they said to have sent a notice Exhibit B1 on 28.6.03 in which it is stated that the interest rate is reduced from 11% to 7.5% and thereby to approach the bank for raising their objection or to reinvest the amount with the reduced interest on or before 31.7.03 and this notice was dated 28.6.2003 which was said to have been sent by certificate of posting as per Exhibit B2. The complainant contended this notice was not reached the complainant and the complainant was not aware of the circular of the bank and in those circumstances they are entitled for agreed date of interest for the amount deposited. Opposite parties relied upon a circular Exhibit B3 dated 30.4.02 in which it is stated that the maximum rate of interest is payable only at 9% and the maxium period of deposit is only for 3 years and thereby the banks are advised to take necessary steps and to act accordingly.
7. Further the opposite party relied upon the order passed by the District Forum at Nagercoil regarding the same type of matter in C.C.No.25/2008 as per Exhibit B4. But the learned counsel for appellant contended that even as per the circulars they have to give one month notice in case of such acceptance for getting reduced interest duly informed to the depositor and in this case the letter Exhibit B1 alleged to have been sent only on 28.6.03 requesting to inform the objections on or before 31.7.03 which is against the rules and circular and thereby the complainant is deprived of her right. In this regard it is also brought to our notice in the similar case in which the circular relating to the same was filed (In F.A.No.35/2009) we take the judicial notice of the circular issued by the Registrar of Co-operative Societies, dated 6.6.03 in which it is stated that in order to implement the scheme specific instructions were given to invoke the contract act whenever the depositors refused to renew the high cost deposits at the current rate by giving them one month notice and refund as the deposits or to renew with reduced rate of interest. Accordingly on the basis of the same a circular was issued by Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies to all the Primary Agricultural Co-operative Banks and Joint Registrar, Nagercoil Co-operative Extension Officers in which it is specifically stated to inform depositors by giving one month notice and to close their deposits or to make them to redeposit with the new rate of interest on or before 31.7.2003. Those circulars are not produced by the opposite party in this case purposely in order to avoid their liabilities or slackness in this regard.
8. In those circumstances, even though the opposite parties are bound to act upon the circulars of the higher officers that too within the limits prescribed under the circulars which were not followed they cannot claim that the complainant is entitled only for reduced interest of deposit from 1.8.03. In those circumstances the District Forum has not gone into those details and thereby wrongly dismissed the complaint and while dismissing the complaint in the mean time also given direction to the opposite parties in a wrongful way. In those circumstances and in view of the above discussions and the reasons stated we are of the view that the complainant is entitled to get the entire amount of deposit with accrued interest at 11% as per Exhibit A1 terms and conditions by setting aside the order of the District Forum.
9. In the result, the appeal is allowed, setting aside the order of the District Forum, Nagercoil in C.C.No.51/2008, dated 12.01.2009 and the complaint is allowed. The opposite party is directed to pay the maturity amount of Rs.2,11,560/- for the deposit of Rs.1,04,500/- made on 4.7.01 payable on 4.1.08 with further interest at the rate of 6% from 4.1.08 till date of realization and to pay a sum of Rs.2,000/- as costs. Further appellant is directed to pay a sum of Rs.1,000/- as costs to the respondent/complainant in this appeal.