CHENNAI: A consumer forum in the city has ordered a credit card company to pay Rs 40,000 as compensation to a lawyer for sending him a legal notice over pending dues though the matter has already been settled before a Lok Adalat.
P Kumar, an advocate of Ayanavaram, had said in his complaint that he had failed to pay a due of Rs 15,555 for the SBI credit card he was using. But the matter was later settled in a Lok Adalat and Kumar paid Rs 20,000 as per the award of the Lok Adalat in 2011. However, the credit card company sent a legal notice in September 2012 asking him to pay Rs 1,45,446, including penalties, for his default.
Kumar said the credit card company had also not removed his name from the list of defaulters’ list. This has caused mental agony to him and wanted compensation of Rs 1,25,000 for the actions of the company.
The counsel of the credit card company argued that the consumer forum had no jurisdiction to hear the case. “As per the cardholder’s agreement there is an arbitration clause, and the dispute shall be resolved by appointment of a sole arbitrator, hence this forum is devoid of jurisdiction to entertain the complaint,” it argued.
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Chennai North ruled, “Once the matter is settled in view of compromise arrived at through the Lok Adalat and settled between parties, the opposite party had no locus standi to disturb the complainant for the same issue,” the forum ruled.