While taking note of identical templated orders passed by the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in two cases having different factual scenarios, the Delhi High Court has remarked that such orders by any forum would be wholly unacceptable.
“The passing of such identical templated orders by the NCDRC is a matter of grave concern as it may reflect non-application of mind. Considering that the factual scenarios are different in the two matters, such orders by any forum would be wholly unacceptable.”, it said.
The observation was made by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh in a challenge to an NCDRC order.
The petitioner, a real-estate firm, had moved the NDCRC in an appeal against an order passed by the State Commission. It was the petitioner’s concern that the NCDRC directed it to fully comply with the State Commission’s order, even without notice being issued in the appeal or the appeal being admitted. The NCDRC order also stated that the entire decretal amount had to be deposited as a condition for grant of stay.
Before the High Court, the petitioner argued that in view of the fact that the appeal had not even been admitted, the direction to deposit the entire decretal amount as a condition for stay was premature. It was also submitted that the NCDRC Bench which passed the order did not have a judicial member as per Regulation 12 of the Consumer Protection Regulations, 2005.
It was further pointed out that on the same day, an identical order was passed by NCDRC in a completely different case.
After hearing the petitioner, the Court perused the two orders and remarked,
“The identity of two orders in two completely different matters is absolutely startling. A perusal of the order of the same very date passed in FA No. (****)/2019 titled M/S. …. shows that the same is verbatim to the impugned order except as to some dates.”
The Court thus stated that NCDRC appeared to be passing identical templated orders in such matters and the same was inexplicable.
“The passing of such identical templated orders by the NCDRC is a matter of grave concern as it may reflect non-application of mind. Considering that the factual scenarios are different in the two matters, such orders by any forum would be wholly unacceptable.”
Considering the above, the Court directed that the records of these two cases before NCDRC be called for on the next date.
The operation of the NCDRC order was stayed by the Court till the next date.
The matter would be heard next on December 19.
The petitioner was represented by Advocates Ashwarya Sinha, Alok K Singh. Respondent was represented by Advocate Shrey Sinha.
Read the Order: