The Supreme Court Bench of Justices Uday Lalit and Indu Malhotra affirmed the decision of the Delhi High Court on the non-applicability of revisional jurisdiction of the NCDRC on any order passed in an Execution Proceedings. The facts are that an order was passed by the District Consumer Forum against the Appellant for deficiency of services which went for subsequent execution after the Supreme Court hiked the compensation awarded to the Respondent. The Appellant preferred a Revision Petition against an order of the State Commission with respect to the execution proceedings filed by the Respondent, which was eventually dismissed by the Delhi High Court in a petition filed by the Respondent. Therefore, the said appeal was filed by the Appellant challenging the decision of the Delhi High Court on the maintainability of revision applications in execution proceedings on the following issue:

 

“Whether a Revision Petition is maintainable before the National Commission u/S 21(b) of the 1986 Act against an Order passed by the State Commission in an appeal arising out of execution proceedings.”

 

The Counsel for the Appellant argued on the following grounds:

  1. That, a Revision Petition is maintainable before the National Commission under Section 21(b) of the 1986 Act as the Revisional   Jurisdiction   of the NCDRC are wide in nature, and are intended to encompass all proceedings before the State Commissions.
  2. That, the intention of the provision of Section 21(b) of the 1986 Act is to provide revisional jurisdiction to the National Commission, over the State Commission. The reference under Section 21(b) is specifically to orders passed in any consumer dispute which is pending before, or has been decided by any State Commission.
  3. the phrase “consumer dispute” under Section 21(b) of the 1986 Act must be understood to mean any dispute which arises under the 1986 Act.
  4. Execution proceedings are a continuation of the original proceedings i.e. the Consumer Complaint as stated in the Judgment of Dokku   Bhushayya  v.  Katragadda Ramakrishnayya & Ors. (1963) 2 SCR 499.

On the other hand, the Counsel for the Respondent argued on the following grounds:

  1. A Revision Petition is not maintainable under Section 21(b) of the 1986 Act, against an order of the State Commission passed in execution proceedings.
  2. The impugned judgment does not merit interference.
  3. Section 3 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides that the provisions do the Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation with any other provisions of the law for the time being in force. Therefore, the NCDRC cannot be beyond the limitation placed by the CPC i.e. Order 45 Rule 16 which bars revision in execution proceedings.
  4. An execution petition cannot be termed as a continuation of the ‘consumer dispute’. The definition of a complaint and a consumer dispute u/s Section 2(1) (c) and (e) respectively cannot be given a wide interpretation to encompass execution proceedings.
  5. An Order in execution proceedings is not an Order in a ‘consumer dispute’ pending before the State Commission. The ‘consumer dispute’ filed by the Respondent was finally adjudicated by this Court vide Judgment and Order dated 19.09.2012.
  6. In an execution proceeding, the executing forum only has jurisdiction ‘to execute’ the order in accordance with Order XXI CPC.

 

The Bench, whilst referring to the judgments of the Patna High Court in Masomat Narmada   Devi   &   Anr.  v.  Nandan   Singh   &   Ors. AIR 1987 Pat 33 and the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Guntupalli Rama Subbayya  v.  Guntupalli Rajamma AIR 1988 AP 226, observed that:

“7.7 We affirm the view taken by the Full Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and Patna High Court.  Execution proceedings even though they are proceedings in a suit, cannot be considered to be a continuation of the original suit. Execution proceedings are separate and independent proceedings for execution of the decree. The merits of the claim or dispute, cannot be considered during execution proceedings. They are independent proceedings initiated by the decree to passed in the substantive dispute. “

It further observed that there is no remedy under Section 21 to file a Revision Petition against an order in execution proceedings and therefore held that the NCDRC had committed a jurisdictional error in entertaining the revision petition of the Appellant in the first place and upheld the judgment of the Delhi High Court which had rightly set aside the order of the NCDRC allowing the Revision Petition in the first place.

Judgment: Karnataka Housing Board  V  K A Nagmani

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