A. Radha : Member
Appellant is the opposite party before the Forum Below, Thrissur in C.C.No.178/11 wherein the Forum Below allowed the complaint and directed the opposite party to return Rs.1,30,000/-with interest @ 18% p.a and cost of Rs.2,500/-.
2. The complaint is with regard to the failure in completion of the construction work of complainants house. An amount of Rs.2,50,000/- was paid to the opposite parties and the finished work was only for Rs.76,415/- as per the report of the expert appointed by the Forum Below. In this case the opposite party was exparte and the Forum Below proceeded with the case and allowed the complaint.
3. When this appeal came up for hearing, it is submitted by the counsel for the appellant/opposite party that though the notice was served on the opposite party the case entrusted to the Advocate could not defend the case. The Forum Below based on the pleadings in the complaint and even in the absence of evidence in support of the pleadings allowed the complaint in favour of the complainant. It is also submitted that the order passed against the opposite party is not a considered order and the non appearance of the opposite party was not due to any wilful default of the opposite party. It is also prayed that an opportunity is to be given to the opposite party to contest the case.
4. The respondents counsel argued that the complainant paid the amount agreed upon which was executed between the complainant and opposite party. As per Exbt.C1 finished work was assessed for Rs.1,20,000/- and the Forum Below rightly directed to refund Rs.1,30,000/- with interest.
5. On hearing both sides we are of the considered view that even after accepting the notice the opposite party remained absent and proceeded the case as exparte. Though it is submitted that the Advocate was entrusted to contest the case no Vakkalath is seen filed by the Advocate. However it is clear from the records that the notice was served on the opposite party and the opposite party remained absent. The opposite party could not claim that he is not aware of the institution of the case and it is also clear from the reply notice that the opposite party is well aware of the dispute with regard to the construction of building of the complainant. However in the interest of justice, being an exparte order, we are of the view that an opportunity is to be given to contest the case before the Forum Below.
In the result, appeal is allowed setting aside the order passed by the Forum Below. The Forum Below is directed to give an opportunity to the opposite party to file version and contest the case on payment of cost of Rs.5,000/- to the complainant on appearance before the Forum Below. The parties are to appear before the Forum Below on 16/06/2014.