Hubert J. D'souza Vs.
Corporation Bank & Ors.  INSC 112 (21 January 2009)
JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.2482 OF 2001 Hubert J. D'souza ...Appellant(s)
Versus Corporation Bank & Ors. ...Respondent(s)
O R D E R Heard
learned counsel for the parties.
By the impugned
order, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission [for short,
"the National Commission"] dismissed the complaint filed by the
appellant, in effect and substance, on the ground that the same was barred by
A perusal of the
complaint and the documents filed by the appellant shows that Respondent
No.3-M/s. Rao Constructions gave a post-dated cheque bearing No.929131 dated
17th October, 1996, to the appellant on 17th April, 1996 for repayment of the
loan. The Manager of Chembur Branch of the Bank guaranteed encashment of the
cheque. However, on 16th July, 1996, that is a day before the due date of
payment, the Branch Manager asked the appellant not to present the cheque.
On the next day,
cheque No.929131 was taken from the appellant and another cheque bearing
No.217401 dated 17th October, 1996 was issued for Rupees twenty lakhs. The bank
gave fresh guarantee to the appellant that the cheque will be ....2/- -2-
honoured on its presentation. The appellant presented the cheque on 10th April,
1997, for encashment but it was returned on the same day with the remark
"insufficient funds". The appellant represented to the bank for
payment of Rupees twenty lakhs by relying upon the guarantee given on 17th
July, 1996. The Chief Manager of the Bank sent communications dated November
16, 1998 and February 5, 1999 and assured the appellant that the matter is
being looked into and they will get back to him within few days. After fifteen
days, the Chief Manager vide his letter dated 20th February, 1999 denied the
liability of the Bank to pay the amount of the cheque.
appellant filed complaint before the National Commission on 18th October, 1999
which, as mentioned above, was dismissed as barred by time.
From the facts
narrated above, it is clear that cause of action to file the complaint had
arisen on receipt of communication dated 20th February, 1999, by which the bank
denied its liability to pay the amount of cheque in spite of the fact that the
payment of the said sum was guaranteed. Therefore, the complaint filed on 18th
October, 1999 was well within limitation and the National Commission committed
serious error by dismissing the complaint on the ground that the same was
barred by limitation.
appeal is allowed, impugned order is set aside and the matter is remitted to
the National Commission which shall now dispose of the complaint in accordance
with law after giving opportunity of hearing to the parties, which would
obviously include opportunity to adduce evidence.