26 May 2020


Judgments

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

National Horticulture Research & Development Foundation and Ors. Vs. Sahebrao Jibhau Deware and Ors.

MANU/CF/0675/2018

28.09.2018

Consumer

Onus to prove seed’s good quality is on Manufacturer of seeds as Complainants are not expected to store some of seeds for future testing

Complainants, who are farmers, purchased onion seeds from the Opposite Parties ("Horticultural Foundation"), and sown the same in their fields; that even after due care, the growth of the onion crop was not satisfactory and the same was informed by the Complainants to the Horticultural Foundation and a formal Complaint was also lodged; an Enquiry Committee visited the fields of the Complainants and made a detailed Inspection Report observing that, the crop failure was on account of inferior quality of seeds. District Forum based on the evidence adduced allowed a few of the Complaints directing the Horticultural Foundation to pay compensation. Challenge in these Revision Petitions is to the common impugned order passed by the State Commission. By the impugned order, the State Commission has confirmed the orders of the District Forum.

It is not only a second round of litigation but also that the District Forum carefully considered all the facts and circumstances, the Inspection Report of the Enquiry Committee and allowed only a few Complaints while dismissing most of them. In National Seeds Cooperation Ltd. v. M. Madhusudhan Reddy & Anr. and Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co. Ltd. v. Alavalapati Chandra Reddy & Ors. it has been clearly laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court that, the onus to prove that the seeds manufactured by them are of good quality, shifts on the Manufacturer of the seeds as the Complainants who are farmers are not expected to store some of the seeds for future testing. In fact as per the Seeds Act the Manufacturer is supposed to keep a small sample of each batch of seeds for a minimum period of time depending upon the nature of the seeds and, therefore, it is not understood as to why the Horticultural Foundation herein had not adhered to the provisions of Section 13(1)(c) of the Act which stipulates that the seeds be sent to a laboratory for testing.

Present Revision Petitions are also barred by Limitation as they have been filed with a delay of 188 days as per Office Report. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in Anshul Aggarwal v. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority held that, the delay has to be satisfactorily explained, but in the instant case, no reasons explaining the delay of 88 days, even if it is calculated from the date of receipt of certified copy have been given. Revision Petitions dismissed.

Relevant

National Seeds Corporation Ltd. vs. M. Madhusudhan Reddy and Anr. MANU/SC/0038/2012
; Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co. Ltd. vs. Alavalapati Chandra Reddy and Ors. MANU/SC/1132/1998
; Anshul Aggarwal vs. New Okhla Industrial Development Auth. MANU/SC/1668/2011

Tags : Compensation Grant Validity

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