The Delhi High Court has ruled that a revision petition is not maintainable against an appeal in enforcement proceedings in a consumer dispute.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru opined, “This Court is also of the view that as nature of enforcement proceedings is materially different from the proceedings for adjudication of the dispute. Any orders passed for enforcement of orders passed by the District Forum, State Commission or NCRDC cannot be construed as orders passed in a ‘consumer dispute’ that stands finally adjudicated…
…The petitioner‘s contention that NCDRC would have no jurisdiction to entertain the Revision Petition against the orders of the State Commission passed in appeal against the order of the District Forum, is merited.”
The court was hearing a petition filed by one KA Nagamani, who had appealed the decision of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), which had entertained a review petition against an appeal in execution proceedings before the District Forum.
The question posed before the court was “whether a Revision Petition under Section 21 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is maintainable against an order passed by the State Commission in an appeal preferred against an order of the District Forum with regard to enforcing the orders passed in respect of the consumer complaint.”
Examining the question, the court observed that under Section 21(a)(ii) of the Act, the jurisdiction of the NCDRC is limited to calling for records and passing appropriate orders in any “consumer dispute” which may either be pending or has been decided by the State Commission.
It then opined that the nature of execution proceedings is materially different from the nature of the proceedings for adjudication of the complaint, and that such proceedings are independent. It further observed that a consumer dispute stands determined by an order passed under Section 14 of the Act, which provides for the findings that may be returned by the District Forum.
“This Court is also of the view that as nature of enforcement proceedings is materially different from the proceedings for adjudication of the dispute. Any orders passed for enforcement of orders passed by the District Forum, State Commission or NCRDC cannot be construed as orders passed in a ‘consumer dispute’ that stands finally adjudicated,” it explained.
The court clarified that while proceedings for enforcement of orders are also part of the proceedings initiated by a complainant, “that does not mean that orders passed in the context of enforcement of the orders adjudicating the consumer dispute, are also orders in that consumer dispute.”
It, therefore, concluded that the NCDRC cannot entertain a revision petition against the orders of the State Commission passed in appeal against the order of the District Forum in enforcement proceedings.
As for the case at hand, the court then found that the controversy does not fall within the scope of a “consumer dispute” but was related to interpretation of the order(s) passed in the said dispute.
“According to the petitioner, the amount received by her was required to be appropriated first towards the interest payable and thereafter, towards the principal amount. According to KHB, it had paid the principal amount and thus, was required to pay only interest on the same,” it explained.
Read the Judgment Here