Justice (Retd.) Surjit Singh, President (Oral):
1. Appellant is aggrieved by the order dated 30th October, 2013, of learned District Consumer Redressal Forum, Shimla, whereby a complaint, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, filed against it by respondent-Narvada Thakur, has been allowed and a direction given to it, to refund the price of suit length, to pay money equivalent to the stitching charges and also to pay compensation of Rs.2,500/- and litigation expenses quantified at Rs.1,000/-.
2. Respondent filed a complaint against the appellant alleging that she had purchased a designer suit for Rs.950/- from the appellant, on 24.09.2010, and spent a sum of Rs.250/- on stitching charges and another sum of Rs.200/- for lining. She wore the suit only for a few hours on 30th September, 2010, in connection with a school function of her child and within that period of wearing, pilling appeared and some loose threads were also spotted. On the very next day, i.e. on 01.10.2010, she visited the appellants place of business and brought the defect to the notice of its proprietor. Proprietor allegedly retained the stitched suit and promised that within fifty days, she will get replacement, as he would be writing to the manufacturer of the cloth. He also retained the bill issued to the respondent. Thereafter, the appellant allegedly did not redress the grievance of the respondent. A legal notice was served on 23.02.2011 and that notice also, did not fetch any response. She filed a complaint, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, seeking a direction for refund of the price of suit length, besides seeking stitching charges, compensation for mental and physical harassment and litigation expenses.
3. Appellant filed reply. It denied that it had sold any suit length to the respondent or respondent even visited its shop. Also, it denied that stitched suit alongwith the bill was submitted to the proprietor of the appellant by the respondent. With regard to the allegation regarding service of legal notice by registered post on 23.02.2011, appellant stated, œit was not in acquiescence of any legal notice as the complainant has alleged in her complaint.?
4. Learned District Forum, vide impugned order, concluded that the respondents plea stood established by her affidavit, as also the fact that she had served a legal notice, to which there was no response from the appellant and consequently, allowed the complaint and passed the impugned order.
5. We have heard learned counsel for the appellant and gone through the record. Nobody appears for the respondent.
6. Respondent very categorically stated in her complaint that on 01.10.2010, she went to the shop of the appellant with stitched suit and pointed out the appearance of pilling and loose threads to the proprietor of the appellant, when the latter asked her to leave the suit alongwith bill and assured that she would get replacement or refund of the price together with stitching charges within fifty days. Though the appellant denied this plea of the respondent in para-2 of its reply and also denied having sold any suit length to the respondent, yet it did not offer any explanation for not responding to the legal notice served upon it by the respondent.
7. Copy of legal notice is Annexure-A, which was sent by registered post on 23.02.2011. AD card is Annexure- C, which shows that the cover containing notice stood delivered to the appellant. In the reply it is not denied that notice had been received. What is stated, is œthe appellant is not in acquiescence of any legal notice as the complainant has alleged in her complaint.? The conduct of the proprietor of the appellant in not responding to the notice, is relevant. It suggests that in the heart of his hearts, the proprietor of the appellant knew that he had sold a designer suit to the respondent, which was defective and which had been returned to him, on his promising that it will be replaced or its price will be refunded.
8. Above stated position apart, respondent tendered in evidence her affidavit to support the aforesaid plea. Appellant did not file a separate affidavit of its proprietor, though affidavit of the proprietor by way of verification of the reply was filed. 5
9. In view of the above stated position, we see no merit in the appeal. The same is, therefore, dismissed.
10. One copy of this order be sent to each of the parties, free of cost, as per Rules.