Consumer Forum provides relief to ‘Sahara’ investor

Bhilai, Dec 09: Disposing off a petition filed by an investor, District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered the respondent Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Limited to disburse the maturity amount to the investor along with simple interest for delay and compensation for mental anguish.
According to information, the petitioner Raja Ram Singh of Sector 8 had invested Rs One Lakh in “Sahara E Shine” scheme of Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Limited on June 22, 2011. The deposit scheme reached maturity on June 22, 2019 and according to the deposit receipt, the investor was entitled to get Rs 2,26,400 maturity amount. Raja Ram visited the Branch Office of Sahara India situated in Supela several times but he did not get the maturity amount. Later, he approached Consumer Forum with a petition against the Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Limited. The petitioner sought the maturity amount along with Rs One Lakh for mental anguish and court expenses.
The respondent Sahara India submitted a written reply before the forum stating that there is no relation of consumer and service provider in this case. The petitioner is not a consumer of the Society and hence Consumer Forum is not the appropriate authority for disposing off the dispute. The petitioner further stated that the dispute should be disposed off as per the provisions of Multi-State Cooperative Society Act, 2002.
In his argument, learned counsel of the petitioner, Advocate Ravishankar Singh asserted that the dispute is maintainable at the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum. He referred the judgement of Supreme Court of India passed in the case of The Secretary, Thirumurugan Cooperative Agricultural Credit Society v/s M Lalitha (dead) through LRs in which the court had clarified that the disputes of deposit schemes arising between societies and members is a consumer dispute and the depositor comes under the definition of consumer.
The forum admitted that the dispute is maintainable before their authority and conducted further hearing. After arguments, the Forum found merits in the petition and partially allowed the relief sought in the petition.
District Consumer Forum President Lavkesh Pratap Singh Baghel, Member Rajendra Padhye and Member Lata Chandrakar ordered the respondents (Sahara India) to disburse the maturity amount of Rs 2,26,400; six percent annual interest over this amount for the period starting from the date of maturity to the date of payment; Rs 10000 compensation for mental anguish and Rs 1000 for court expenses.

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