January 24, 2009 12:36:44 am
If a party claims that the signatures on any particular document are not his or hers,the onus to establish or negate the statement immediately shifts upon the party who claims otherwise. The State Consumer Commission observed this in its recent order while imposing a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the Unit Trust of India (UTI) for its failure to allot shares rightfully due to one of its shareholders.
The commissions observation came on an application filed by one Manju Bansal. As per to the complaint,Bansal held a few shares of the UTI that entitled her to another 1,400 shares in accordance with a scheme launched by the company. She,however,alleged that inspite of depositing the required fee,she was allotted only 100 shares. The complaint further stated that the company went on to transfer the remaining 1,300 shares to two other persons without intimating Bansal.
When the complainant approached the company seeking the remaining shares and the dividend accrued,she was told that the aforesaid shares had been transferred and sold to one Kishore Gopal Bansal.
UTI also contended that Bansal had herself renounced the 1,300 shares towards the two. It claimed that it possessed the application bearing Bansals signature whereby she had consented to the transfer,though it failed to produce the document before the commission. The company then consented to refund Rs 18,000,the sum Bansal had deposited against the shares.
Justice J D Kapoor observed that since Bansal was still in possession of the original shares and claimed not to have agreed to the transfer of the shares,it was the responsibility of the company to prove otherwise. In this case,the appellant is still in possession of the original shares which the respondent claims to have transferred in the name of buyers. The onus was on the UTI to prove the authenticity of the signatures on the documents showing the transfer request, said Justice Kapoor,directing UTI to pay the compensation amount.
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