Share traders not consumers, rules consumer panel
The Goa state consumer disputes redressal commission has held that compensation cannot be given under the Consumer Protection Act to those involved in sale and purchase of shares, which are commercial transactions. Referring to several judgements that reiterate this view, the commission has thereby reversed the order of the North Goa district consumer forum, which awarded damages to a couple who lost money in share trading through a stock broker.
In its recent order, commission president NA Britto and member Jagdish Prabhudesai observed that “the Consumer Protection Act is not for entertaining or compensating speculative transactions or losses.”
The order follows an appeal by Mumbai-based stock broker India Infoline Limited against an order of the North Goa district consumer forum, which awarded damages to Panaji resident Vaman Nagesh Usapkar and his wife. They had claimed that they suffered a loss of Rs 172,020, which they sought to recover from the stockbroker after filing a complaint on 30 December 2009.
In its order dated 18 October 2012, two members of the district forum held the complainants to be consumers and awarded to them a sum of Rs 172,020 towards the loss with interest at the rate of 18 per cent from 30 December 2009, in addition to compensation of Rs 50,000 besides awarding costs of Rs 15,000. In all this, the third member of the forum dissented and held that the complainants were not consumers and that their case was liable to be dismissed.
Now the Goa consumer commission has ruled that the Usapkars did not fall within the purview of consumers under Section 2(d)(ii) of Consumer Protection Act, 1986.