Share traders not con­sumers, rules con­sumer panel

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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.

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