Though the society received version notice, it did not appear nor contested the case and the forum proceeded ex-parte.

The Dakshina Kannada District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Puttur Taluk Agricultural Produce Cooperative Marketing Society Ltd. in Koornadka, Darbe, to pay maturity value of two deposits in addition to penal interest at 12 per cent for the last five-and-a-half years to depositor Rekha N. of Kalladka.

It has also directed its chief executive officer to pay Rs. 2,000 as cost of litigation to the depositor.

The forum has passed similar orders with regard to deposits made with the Manipal Finance Corporation.

Attracted by advertisements, Ms. Rekha invested Rs. 72,703 at interest rates ranging from 9 per cent to 9.5 per cent in 2005 and 2006, but both maturing on March 13, 2007.

Upon maturity, the society postponed payment of maturity value.

It was not paid though she waited for some time forcing her to approach the forum.

Though the society received version notice, it did not appear nor contested the case and the forum proceeded ex-parte.

Unfair trade practice

Pointing out that the documents submitted by Ms. Rekha showed that maturity date had expired, the forum said in its November 27 order that the society’s failure to repay the amount due on the date of maturity or within a reasonable time thereafter “is a deficiency in service as well as unfair trade practice.”

Besides asking it to pay Rs.72,703 along with contractual rate of interest till the date of maturity, the forum directed it to pay interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum on this amount from the date of maturity till the date of payment.

Litigation cost

The forum also awarded Rs. 2,000 to the complainant towards cost of the litigation expenses.

In similar orders against Manipal Finance Corporation, the forum has ordered payment of maturity amounts at contractual rates of interest and penal interest at the rate of 12 per cent from the date of maturity till the date of payment in several cases describing the failure to pay as deficiency in service and unfair trade practice. In these cases too, the forum awarded litigation cost at Rs. 2,000.

Following is the list of investors in whose cases the forum has passed orders, money invested and date of maturity: Prashant and M. Narayan Bhat of Alike, Bantwal: Rs. 14,000 (Sept 8, 2006); Manohari N. Bhat and M. Narayan Bhat of Alike: Rs. 10,000 (March 30, 2006) and 17,000 (December 1, 2006); M. Narayan Bhat and Manohari N. Bhat of Alike: 19,000 (December 1, 2006); M. Venkataramana Prasad and M. Narayana Bhat of Alike: Rs. 14,000 (Sept 8, 2006) and 17,000 (December 1, 2006). The contractual rate of interest was 10.5 per cent in all cases except the amount of Rs. 10,000 maturing on March 30, 2006 where it was 12 per cent.

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