Consumer court sentences financier to imprisonment

Complainant dies before he could receive amount due to him

In yet another case of justice delayed, the Mysuru District Consumer Forum (DCF) has sentenced a person to three years in prison. However, the complainant did not receive any money liable to be paid by the accused, as he died before the verdict could be executed.

In connection with a case filed by Devaraje Urs, the DCF sentenced the accused to imprisonment on November 14. The order had also instructed the Chanakya Finance Corporation to repay the amount to Urs. However, Urs breathed his last on December 7, without receiving the amount.

The complaint was filed with the DCF in 2010, after the Corporation did not return Rs 4.5 lakh to Urs, which he had invested as a fixed deposit, even after maturity. A complaint of deficient service was filed by the form.

After several hearings, the Forum upheld the arguments of the complainant and ordered A L Nanjundaraje Urs, managing partner of the Corporation, to repay the deposit, as well as interest and cost of the case, within 45 days, two years ago. However, the accused paid only Rs 1.3 lakh, forcing Devaraje Urs to file an execution petition before the DCF.

After several hearings on the petition, the Forum passed its order and pulled up the Corporation for making no honest attempt to obey its order. It also ordered that the money due to Devaraje Urs should be realised by auctioning the properties of Nanjundaraje Urs.

While the order pleased the complainant, he did not live long enough to see his money returned to him, said consumer activist, Nagaraj Urs.

Speaking about the complaint, he said, there were hundreds of consumers in the same position as Devaraje Urs. “There are at least 100 execution petitions under Sec 27 of the Consumer Protection Act (in which the opposite party is jailed and/or fined for disobeying the consumer court’s order) before the Mysuru DCF and at least 650 execution petitions under Sec 25 (in which the property of the opposite party is sold to pay the complainant)”, he said.

The execution petition filed by Devaraje Urs took three years and the remaining execution petitions may take longer. Many of the complainants are old people and if they are not compensated quickly, they will be denied of justice during their lifetime, he said.

A major cause for the delay, he said, is that the posts of the president and a member of the Mysuru DCF have been lying vacant since a long time. The President of Mandya DCF has been given additional charge of Mysore DCF. He has also been given charge of Kodagu DCF and Chamarajanagar DCF. The government should stop putting such unbearable burden on judges. It should fill up vacancies and expedite delivery of justice, he added.

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