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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Whether an NSC could only be issued in the name of an individual, and that, the NSC taken in the name of M/s. Bhagwati Vanaspati Traders, was not valid. and whether it is curable defect and maturity amount can be issued in the name of proprietor ? whether rule 17 bars ? - Legally, rule 17 of the Post Office Savings Bank General Rules, 1981, would apply only when an applicant is irreregularly allowed something more, than what is contemplated under a scheme. - the NSC was purchased in the name of M/s. Bhagwati Vanaspati Traders. It is also equally true, that M/s. Bhagwati Vanaspati Traders is a sole proprietorship concern of B.K. Garg, and as such, the irregularity committed while issuing the NSC in the name of M/s. Bhagwati Vanaspati Traders, could have easily been corrected by substituting the name of M/s. Bhagwati Vanaspati Traders with that of B.K. Garg. For, in a sole proprietorship concern an individual uses a fictional trade name, in place of his own name. The rigidity adopted by the authorities is clearly ununderstandable. The postal authorities having permitted M/s. Bhagwati Vanaspati Traders to purchase the NSC in the year 1995, could not have legitimately raised a challenge of irregularity after the maturity thereof in the year 2001, specially when the irregularity was curable. - Ordinarily, when the authorities have issued a certificate which they could not have issued, they cannot be allowed to enrich themselves, by retaining the deposit made. This may well be possible if the transaction is a sham or wholly illegal. Not so, if the irregularity is curable.- It is not possible for us to deny relief to the appellant, based on the judgments rendered by this Court in Raja Prameeelamma case (supra) and Arulmighu Dhandayadhapaniswamy Thirukoil case (supra), in view of the fact that, the matter was never examined in the perspective determined by us hereinabove. In neither of the two judgments, the amendment of the NSC was sought. The instant proposition of law, was also not projected on behalf of the certificate holders, in the manner expressed above.= 2014 Oct. Part -CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4854 OF 2009 M/s. Bhagwati Vanaspati Traders …. Appellant versus Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Meerut …. Respondent

                                                                “REPORTABLE”

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4854 OF 2009


M/s. Bhagwati Vanaspati Traders                          …. Appellant

                                   versus


Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Meerut                 …. Respondent


                               J U D G M E N T


Jagdish Singh Khehar, J.

1.    M/s. Bhagwati  Vanaspati  Traders,  the  appellant  before  us,  is  a
proprietorship  concern.   Mr.  B.K.  Garg  is  its  sole  proprietor.    On
28.4.1995,  M/s.  Bhagwati  Vanaspati  Traders  purchased  one,  six  years’
National Savings Certificate  (hereinafter  referred  to  as,  NSC)  bearing
number 6NS/06DD 387742, by investing a sum of  Rs.5,000/-.   The  above  NSC
was to mature on 28.4.2001.  The maturity amount payable  on  28.4.2001  was
Rs.10,075/-.
2.    Since M/s. Bhagwati Vanaspati Traders was not paid the amount  due  on
maturity, B.K. Garg made repeated visits to the office from  where  the  NSC
was purchased.  He was informed, that an NSC could only  be  issued  in  the
name of an individual, and that, the NSC taken in the name of M/s.  Bhagwati
Vanaspati Traders, was not valid.  He was also  informed,  that  the  matter
had been referred for advice to  the  Post  Master  General,  Bareilly,  and
that, the question of payment of the maturity  amount  would  be  considered
only after the receipt  of  inputs  from  Bareilly.   Having  waited  for  a
substantial length of time, and realizing that no further  action  had  been
taken at the hands of the respondent, B.K. Garg visited the  office  of  the
Post Master General, Bareilly.   At  Bareilly  he  was  informed,  that  the
matter had been referred to  the  Director  General  (Post),  Department  of
Posts, New Delhi, and that, he would have  to  await  the  decision  of  the
Director General (Post).  Having waited long enough,  without  any  fruitful
result, M/s. Bhagwati Vanaspati Traders preferred Complaint Case no. 513  of
2004  before  the  District  Consumer  Disputes  Redressal   Forum,   Meerut
(hereinafter referred to as, the District Forum).  The  District  Forum,  by
its order dated 1.2.2007 accepted  the  claim  of  M/s.  Bhagwati  Vanaspati
Traders, and accordingly,  directed  the  respondent  to  pay  the  maturity
amount of Rs.10,075/- with 12% interest, from the date of maturity till  the
date of payment.  The respondent was additionally directed to pay, a sum  of
Rs.5,000/- as compensation, and also cost of Rs.2,000/-,  to  the  appellant
proprietorship concern.
3.    Dissatisfied with the order dated 1.2.2007,  passed  by  the  District
Forum in favour of the appellant, the respondent  Senior  Superintendent  of
Post Offices, Meerut, preferred Appeal no. 460  of  2007  before  the  State
Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission,  Lucknow.   The  aforestated  appeal
was allowed by the State Commission vide its  order  dated  21.1.2008.   The
appellant concern then preferred Revision Petition no. 1456 of  2008  before
the  National  Consumer  Disputes  Redressal  Commission,  New  Delhi.   The
National Commission dismissed  the  revision  petition,  vide  the  impugned
order dated  4.9.2008.   The  special  leave  to  appeal  preferred  by  the
appellant, against the impugned order dated 4.9.2008, was  granted  by  this
Court on 27.7.2009.
4.    A perusal of the orders passed by the State Commission, as  also,  the
National Commission reveals, that the same were premised on the  fact,  that
the NSC purchased by M/s. Bhagwati Vanaspati Traders, had  an  irregularity,
inasmuch as, an NSC could only be purchased by an individual, and  the  same
could not be issued in the name of a  concern,  firm,  institution,  banking
institution or company etc.  On account of the aforesaid  irregularity,  the
respondent placed reliance on rule  17  of  the  Post  Office  Savings  Bank
General Rules, 1981.  The above rule is being extracted hereunder:-
“17.  Account opened in contravention of rules:- Subject  to  the  provision
of rule 16, where an account is found to have been opened  in  contravention
of any relevant rule for the time being  in  force  and  applicable  to  the
account kept in the Post Office Savings  Bank,  the  relevant  Head  Savings
Bank may, at any time, cause the account to be closed and the deposits  made
in the account refunded to the depositor without interest.”

In addition to the above, the respondent had placed reliance on  a  decision
rendered by this Court in  Post  Master,  Dargamitta  HPO,  Nellor  v.  Raja
Prameeelamma, (1998) 9 SCC 706, wherein this Court had held as under:-
“But as this contract was contrary to the terms notified by  the  Government
of India and this was due to inadvertence of the staff.  In  my  opinion  it
does not become a contract binding the Government of  India  being  unlawful
and void.  As such this is not a case of deficiency  in  service  either  in
terms of the law or in terms of the contract as defined in  Section  2(1)(g)
of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

During the course  of  hearing,  learned  counsel  for  the  respondent,  in
addition to the judgment extracted hereinabove, placed reliance on a  recent
decision  rendered  by  this   Court   in   Arulmighu   Dhandayadhapaniswamy
Thirukoil,  Palani,  Tamil  Nadu  v.  Director  General  of  Post   Offices,
Department of Posts & Ors., (2011) 13 SCC 220, and  drew  our  attention  to
the following conclusions recorded therein;-
“18.  This Court in Raja Prameeelamma case, (1998)  9  SCC  706,  held  that
even though the certificates contained the terms  of  contract  between  the
Government of India and the holders of  the  National  Savings  Certificate,
the terms in the contract were contrary to the  Notification  and  therefore
the terms of contract being unlawful  and  void  were  not  binding  on  the
Government of India and as such the Government refusing to pay  interest  at
the rate mentioned in the  Certificate  is  not  a  case  of  deficiency  in
service either in terms of law or in terms  of  contract  as  defined  under
Section 2(1)(g) of  the  Consumer  Protection  Act,  1986.  The  above  said
decision is squarely applicable to the case on hand.
19.   It is true that when the Appellant deposited a huge  amount  with  the
third Respondent from 5.5.1995 to 16.8.1995 under the Scheme  for  a  period
of five years, it was but proper on the part of  the  Post  Master  to  have
taken a note of the correct Scheme applicable to the deposit.  It  was  also
possible for the Postmaster to have  ascertained  from  the  records,  could
have applied the correct Scheme and if the Appellant, being an  institution,
was not eligible to avail the Scheme and advised them properly.  Though  Mr.
S. Aravindh, learned Counsel for  the  Appellant  requested  this  Court  to
direct the third Respondent to pay some reasonable  amount  for  his  lapse,
inasmuch as such direction would go contrary to the  Rules  and  payment  of
interest is prohibited for such Scheme in terms  of  Rule  17,  we  are  not
inclined to accept the same.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

Based on the decision of this Court relied upon by the State Commission,  as
also, the National Commission in the impugned  orders  dated  21.1.2008  and
4.9.2008 respectively, as also, the latest judgment rendered by  this  Court
in  Arulmighu  Dhandayadhapaniswamy  Thirukoil  case  (supra),  it  was  the
emphatic contention of the learned counsel for the  respondent,  that  there
was no question of release of the maturity amount to the appellant.
5.    It was also the contention of the learned counsel for the  respondent,
that the mistake at the  hands  of  the  postal  authorities  was  innocent.
After the appellant’s claim was examined, a preliminary  enquiry  disclosed,
that the NSC was issued to M/s. Bhagwati Vanaspati Traders  by  Ved  Bahadur
Singh (an employee of the postal  department).   A  departmental  proceeding
was held against the above employee, and he was duly punished.   Accordingly
it was sought to be asserted, that it was not as if, the postal  authorities
were intentionally depriving the  appellant  of  the  benefits  of  the  NSC
purchased by him on 28.4.1995.  The deprivation of the appellant,  according
to learned counsel, was based on a pure determination of  the  legal  rights
of the appellant.
6.    The first contention advanced at the hands of the learned counsel  for
the appellant was based on the decision rendered by this Court in Tata  Iron
& Steel Co. Ltd. v. Union of India  &  Ors.,  (2001)  2  SCC  41,  wherefrom
learned counsel invited our attention to the following observations:-
“20.  Estoppel by  conduct  in  modern  times  stands  elucidated  with  the
decisions of the English Courts in  Pickard  v.  Sears, 1837  6  Ad.  &  El.
469, and its gradual elaboration until placement of its true  principles  by
the Privy Council in  the  case  of  Sarat  Chunder  Dey  v.  Gopal  Chunder
Laha, (1891-92) 19 IA 203, whereas earlier Lord Esher in the case  of  Seton
Laing Co. v. Lafone, 1887 19 Q.B.D. 68, evolved three basic elements of  the
doctrine of Estoppel to wit:
“Firstly, where a man makes a fraudulent misrepresentation and  another  man
acts upon it to its true detriment: Secondly, another may  be  where  a  man
makes a false statement negligently though without fraud and another  person
acts upon it: And thirdly, there may be circumstances under which,  where  a
misrepresentation is made without fraud and without  negligence,  there  may
be an Estoppel.”
Lord Shand, however, was pleased to add one further element  to  the  effect
that there may be statements made, which have  induced  other  party  to  do
that from which otherwise he would have abstained and which cannot  properly
be characterized as misrepresentation. In this  context,  reference  may  be
made to the decisions of the High Court of Australia in the case  of  Craine
v. Colonial Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Ltd., 1920 28 C.L.R.  305.  Dixon,  J.
in his judgment in  Grundt  v.  The  Great  Boulder  Pty.  Gold  Mines  Pty.
Ltd., 1938 59 C.L.R. 641, stated that:
"In measuring the detriment, or demonstrating its existence,  one  does  not
compare the position of the representee, before and after  acting  upon  the
representation, upon  the  assumption  that  the  representation  is  to  be
regarded as true, the question of estoppel does not arise. It is  only  when
the  representor  wished  to  disavow  the  assumption  contained   in   his
representation that an estoppel arises, and the  question  of  detriment  is
considered, accordingly, in the light of the position which the  representee
would be in if the representor were allowed to  disavow  the  truth  of  the
representation."
(In this context see Spencer Bower and Turner: Estoppel  by  Representation,
3rd Ed.). Lord Denning also in the case  of  Central  Newbury  Car  Auctions
Ltd. v. Unity Finance Ltd., 1956 (3) All ER 905, appears to have  subscribed
to the view of Lord Dixon, J. pertaining to the test of 'detriment'  to  the
effect  as  to  whether  it  appears  unjust   or   unequitable   that   the
representator should now be  allowed  to  resile  from  his  representation,
having regard to what the representee has done or refrained  from  doing  in
reliance on the representation, in short, the party asserting  the  estoppel
must have been induced to act to his detriment. So long  as  the  assumption
is adhered to, the party who altered the situation  upon  the  faith  of  it
cannot complain. His complaint is  that  when  afterwards  the  other  party
makes a different state of affairs, the  basis  of  an  assertion  of  right
against him then, if it is allowed, his  own  original  change  of  position
will operate  as  a  detriment,  (vide  Grundts:  High  Court  of  Australia
(supra)).
21.   Phipson on Evidence (Fourteenth Edn.) has the following  to  state  as
regards estoppels by conduct.
“Estoppels by conduct, or, as they are still sometimes called, estoppels  by
matter in pais, were anciently acts of notoriety not less solemn and  formal
than the execution of a deed, such as livery of  seisin,  entry,  acceptance
of an estate and the like, and whether a party had or had not  concurred  in
an act of this sort was deemed a matter which there could be  no  difficulty
in  ascertaining,  and  then  the  legal  consequences  followed  (Lyon   v.
Reed, (1844) 13 M & W 285 (at  p.  309).   The  doctrine  has,  however,  in
modern times, been  extended  so  as  to  embrace  practically  any  act  or
statement by a party which it would  be  unconscionable  to  permit  him  to
deny. The rule has been authoritatively stated as  follows:  ‘Where  one  by
his words or conduct willfully causes another to believe the existence of  a
certain state of things and induces him to act  on  that  belief  so  as  to
alter this own previous position, the  former  is  concluded  from  averring
against the latter a different state of  things  as  existing  at  the  same
time.’ (Pickard v. Sears (supra)).  And whatever a man's real intention  may
be, he is deemed to  act  willfully  ‘if  he  so  conducts  himself  that  a
reasonable man would take the representation to be true and believe that  it
was meant that he should act upon it.’  (Freeman v.  Cooke, 1848  (2)  Exch.
654: at p. 663).
Where the conduct is negligent or consists wholly of  omission,  there  must
be a duty to the person misled (Mercantile Bank  v.  Central  Bank, 1938  AC
287  at  p.  304, and   National   Westminster   Bank   v.   Barclays   Bank
International, 1975 Q.B. 654).  This principle sits oddly with the  rest  of
the law of estoppel, but it appears to have been  reaffirmed,  at  least  by
implication,  by  the  House  of  Lords  comparatively  recently   (Moorgate
Mercantile Co. Ltd. v. Twitchings, (1977) AC 890).  The  explanation  is  no
doubt that this aspect of estoppel is properly to be considered  a  part  of
the  law  relating  to  negligent  representations,  rather  than   estoppel
properly so-called.  If two people  with  the  same  source  of  information
assert the same truth or agree to assert the  same  falsehood  at  the  same
time,  neither  can  be  estopped  as  against  the  other  from   asserting
differently at another time (Square v. Square, 1935 P. 120).”
22.   A bare perusal of the same would go to  show  that  the  issue  of  an
estoppel by conduct can only be said to be available in the event  of  there
being a precise and unambiguous representation and on that score  a  further
question arises as to whether there was any unequivocal assurance  prompting
the assured to alter his position or status. The contextual  facts  however,
depict otherwise. Annexure 2 to the application form for  benefit  of  price
protection contains an undertaking to the following effect:-
“We hereby undertake to refund to EEPC Rs… the amount paid to us in full  or
part thereof against our application for price protection.  In terms of  our
application dated against exports made  during...  In  case  any  particular
declaration/certificate furnished  by  us  against  our  above  referred  to
claims are found to be incorrect or any excess payment is determine to  have
been made due to oversight/wrong calculation  etc.  at  any  time.  We  also
undertake to refund the amount within 10  days  of  receipt  of  the  notice
asking for the refund, failing which the amount erroneously paid or paid  in
excess shall be recovered from or  adjusted  against  any  other  claim  for
export benefits by EEPC or by the licensing authorities of CCI & C.”
and it is on this score it may be noted that in the event of there  being  a
specific undertaking to refund for any amount erroneously paid  or  paid  in
excess (emphasis supplied), question of there  being  any  estoppel  in  our
view would not arise. In this context correspondence exchanged  between  the
parties are rather significant. In particular letter dated  30.11.1990  from
the Assistant Development Commissioner  for  Iron  &  Steel  and  the  reply
thereto dated 8.3.1991 which unmistakably record the factum  of  non-payment
of JPC price.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

Based on the aforesaid observations it was the emphatic  contention  of  the
learned counsel for the appellant, that the rule of estoppel would  come  to
the  aid  of  the  appellant,  inasmuch  as,  the  appellant   having   been
consciously permitted to purchase the NSC, could not be denied  the  benefit
of the maturity amount by asserting, that there  was  some  irregularity  in
the purchase of the NSC.
7.    It is  not  possible  for  us  to  accept  the  applicability  of  the
principle of estoppel in the facts  and  circumstances  of  this  case.   No
representation is ever shown to have been made to  the  appellant.   It  was
the appellant’s individual decision to purchase the NSC.  It is  not  shown,
that a fraudulent representation was made to the appellant.  It is also  not
shown, that a false statement was negligently made to  the  appellant.   The
rule of estoppel, in the present case, could  have  only  been  premised  on
some conduct of the respondent, which had willfully  induced  the  appellant
to invest in the NSC.  Unfortunately, for the  appellant,  no  such  willful
conduct has been  brought  to  our  notice.   Having  given  our  thoughtful
consideration to the instant aspect of the matter, we feel  that  this  case
would be governed by the proposition  evolved  in  Moorgate  Mercantile  Co.
Ltd. v. Twitchings, (1977) AC 890, namely, where two people  with  the  same
source of information assert the same truth or  agree  to  assert  the  same
falsehood at the same time, neither  can  be  estopped  against  the  other.
Therefore, whilst it cannot be disputed, that the  authorities  issuing  the
NSC were required to ensure, that the same was issued to only  such  persons
who were eligible in law to purchase the same, yet in terms of  the  mandate
of rule 17 extracted hereinabove, the vires whereof is  not  subject  matter
of challenge, it is not  possible  for  us  to  accept,  that  the  rule  of
estoppel could be relied upon at  the  behest  of  the  appellant,  for  any
fruitful benefit.
8.    To overcome the mandate of rule 17  extracted  hereinabove,  as  also,
the decision rendered by this Court in Raja Prameeelamma case  (supra),  and
the proposition of law declared in Arulmighu Dhandayadhapaniswamy  Thirukoil
case (supra), learned counsel for the appellant placed emphatic reliance  on
the decision of this Court in Ashok Transport Agency  v.  Awadhesh  Kumar  &
another., (1998) 5 SCC 567.  He  invited  our  attention  to  the  following
observations recorded therein:-
“6.   A partnership firm differs from a  proprietary  concern  owned  by  an
individual. A partnership is  governed  by  the  provisions  of  the  Indian
Partnership Act, 1932. Though a partnership is not  a  juristic  person  but
Order XXX Rule 1 CPC enables the partners of a partnership firm  to  sue  or
to be sued in the name of the  firm.  A  proprietary  concern  is  only  the
business name in which  the  proprietor  of  the  business  carries  on  the
business. A suit by or against a proprietary concern is by  or  against  the
proprietor of the business. In the event of the death of the  proprietor  of
a proprietary concern, it is the legal  representatives  of  the  proprietor
who alone can sue or be sued in respect of the dealings of  the  proprietary
business. The provisions of Rule 10 of Order XXX which make  applicable  the
provisions of Order XXX to a proprietary concern, enable the  proprietor  of
a proprietary business to be sued in the business names of  his  proprietary
concern. The real party who is being sued is  the  proprietor  of  the  said
business. The said provision does not have  the  effect  of  converting  the
proprietary business into a partnership firm. The provisions of  Rule  4  of
Order XXX have no application to such a suit as by virtue of Order XXX  Rule
10 the other provisions of Order XXX are applicable to a  suit  against  the
proprietor of proprietary business "insofar  as  the  nature  of  such  case
permits". This means that only those provisions of Order  XXX  can  be  made
applicable to proprietary concern which can be so  made  applicable  keeping
in view the nature of the case.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

Based on the observations recorded in the  aforesaid  judgment,  the  second
contention advanced by the learned counsel for the appellant  was,  that  in
sum and substance, a sole proprietorship concern allows  the  fictional  use
of a trade name  on  behalf  of  an  individual.   It  was  contended,  that
truthfully only one  individual  is  the  owner  of  a  sole  proprietorship
concern.  As such, according to  learned  counsel,  the  name  of  the  sole
proprietorship concern, can again be substituted with the name of  the  sole
proprietor.  If that is allowed, the NSC purchased by  the  appellant  would
strictly conform to the mandate of law.  According to  learned  counsel,  it
makes no difference whether the individual’s name, or  the  proprietorship’s
name is recorded while purchasing an NSC.   It was pointed out, that if  the
respondent was not agreeable in accepting the  trade  name,  the  respondent
ought to have corrected the NSC by substituting the name  of  M/s.  Bhagwati
Vanaspati Traders with that of its sole proprietor, namely, B.K. Garg.
9.    We find merit in the second contention advanced at the  hands  of  the
learned counsel for the appellant.  It is indeed  true,  that  the  NSC  was
purchased in the name of  M/s.  Bhagwati  Vanaspati  Traders.   It  is  also
equally true, that M/s. Bhagwati Vanaspati Traders is a sole  proprietorship
concern of B.K. Garg, and as such, the irregularity committed while  issuing
the NSC in the name of M/s. Bhagwati Vanaspati Traders,  could  have  easily
been corrected by substituting the name of M/s. Bhagwati  Vanaspati  Traders
with  that  of  B.K.  Garg.   For,  in  a  sole  proprietorship  concern  an
individual uses a fictional trade name, in  place  of  his  own  name.   The
rigidity adopted  by  the  authorities  is  clearly  ununderstandable.   The
postal authorities having  permitted  M/s.  Bhagwati  Vanaspati  Traders  to
purchase the NSC in the year 1995, could  not  have  legitimately  raised  a
challenge of irregularity after the  maturity  thereof  in  the  year  2001,
specially when the irregularity was curable.  Legally, rule 17 of  the  Post
Office Savings Bank General Rules, 1981, would apply only when an  applicant
is irreregularly allowed something more, than what is contemplated  under  a
scheme.  As for instance, if the scheme contemplates an interest of  Y%  and
the certificate issued records the interest of Y+2% as payable on  maturity,
the certificate holder cannot be deprived of the interest  as  a  whole,  on
account of the above irregularity.  He can only be  deprived  of  2%,  i.e.,
the excess amount, beyond the permissible interest, contemplated  under  the
scheme.  A certificate holder, would have an absolute right,  in  the  above
illustration, to claim interest at Y%, i.e., in consonance with the  scheme,
despite  rule  17.   Ordinarily,  when  the  authorities   have   issued   a
certificate which they could not have issued,  they  cannot  be  allowed  to
enrich themselves,  by  retaining  the  deposit  made.   This  may  well  be
possible if the transaction is a sham or wholly illegal.   Not  so,  if  the
irregularity is curable.  In  such  circumstances,  the  postal  authorities
should devise means to regularize the irregularity, if possible.
10.   It is not possible for us to deny relief to the  appellant,  based  on
the judgments rendered by this Court in Raja Prameeelamma case  (supra)  and
Arulmighu Dhandayadhapaniswamy Thirukoil case (supra), in view of  the  fact
that, the matter was never examined in  the  perspective  determined  by  us
hereinabove.  In neither of the two judgments, the amendment of the NSC  was
sought.  The instant proposition of law, was also not  projected  on  behalf
of the certificate holders, in the manner expressed above.
11.    There  was  seriously  no  difficulty  at  all  in  the   facts   and
circumstances of the present case, to regularize  the  defect  pointed  out,
because  M/s.  Bhagwati  Vanaspati   Traders,   is   admittedly   the   sole
proprietorship concern of B.K. Garg.  The  postal  authorities  should  have
solicited the change of the name in the NSC,  through  a  representation  by
B.K. Garg himself.   On  receipt  of  such  a  representation,  the  alleged
irregularity would have been cured, and  the  beneficiary  of  the  deposit,
would have legitimately reaped the fruits  thereof.   Rather  than  adopting
the above simple course,  the  postal  authorities  chose  to  strictly  and
rigidly interpret the terms of the scheme.  This resulted in the  denial  of
the legitimate claims of the  sole  proprietor  of  the  appellant  concern,
i.e., B.K. Garg, of the investment made by him.  In the above  view  of  the
matter,  we  consider  it  just  and  appropriate,  in   exercise   of   our
jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, to  direct  the
Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Meerut, to correct the NSC issued  in
the  name  of  M/s.  Bhagwati  Vanaspati  Traders,   by   substituting   the
appellant’s name, with that of B.K. Garg.
12.   The irregularity having been cured, we hope that B.K.  Garg  will  now
be released all the payments due to him, in terms of  the  order  passed  by
the District Forum.  The respondent is accordingly directed to pay  to  B.K.
Garg, the maturity amount of Rs.10,075/- with 12% interest,  from  the  date
of maturity, till the date of payment.  He would be entitled  to  Rs.5,000/-
towards compensation, as was awarded to  him  by  the  District  Forum.   In
addition, we consider it just and appropriate to award him litigation  costs
of Rs.10,000/-.  The entire amount aforementioned,  should  be  released  to
B.K. Garg, the sole proprietor of M/s. Bhagwati  Vanaspati  Traders,  within
one month from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this judgment.
13.   The instant appeal is allowed in the aforesaid terms.


 …………………………….J.
 (Jagdish Singh Khehar)


 …………………………….J.
                                              (C. Nagappan)
New Delhi;
October 10, 2014.


ITEM NO.1A               COURT NO.6               SECTION XVII

               S U P R E M E  C O U R T  O F  I N D I A
                       RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Civil Appeal  No(s).  4854/2009

M/S.BHAGWATI VANASPATI TRADERS                     Appellant(s)

                                VERSUS

SR.SUPERIN.OF POST OFFICE,MEERUT                   Respondent(s)

[HEARD BY HON'BLE JAGDISH SINGH KHEHAR AND HON'BLE C.NAGAPPAN, JJ.]

Date : 10/10/2014 This appeal was called on for Judgment today.


For Appellant(s) Mr. V. K. Monga,Adv.(Not present)


For Respondent(s)      Mr. Kamal Mohan Gupta,Adv.(Not present)



             Hon'ble  Mr.  Justice  Jagdish  Singh  Khehar  pronounced   the
judgment of the Bench comprising his Lordship and  Hon'ble  Mr.  Justice  C.
Nagappan.
            For the reasons recorded in the Reportable  judgment,  which  is
placed on the file, the appeal is allowed.


(Parveen Kr. Chawla)                         (Phoolan Wati Arora)
    Court Master                                    Assistant Registrar
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