Agent cannot be held liable for the action of Principal under Consumer Protection Act

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The Hon’ble Supreme Court re-affirming the principle laid down in the case of Marine Container Services South Pvt . Ltd. v. GO GO Garments has held that protection under section 230 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 that protects agent for the actions taken on behalf of principles would be available under Consumer Protection Act.

The Apex Court affirming the said principle observed “Since Respondent No. 1 was simply acting as an agent of Coronet Group Inc, as such, in view of Section 230 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 it cannot be held personally liable to enforce the contract entered between its principal and the appellants. This Court, in its order dated September 10, 2009, has accepted the plea of Respondent No. 1 that Respondent No. 1 is not a consignee, but only an agent of the intermediate consignee. That being so, Respondent No. 1 cannot be held to be liable in respect of claim made by the appellants. We think it relevant to mention here that in Marine Container Services South Pvt. Ltd. v. Go Go Garments , this Court has already made clear that defence under Section 230 of Indian Contract Act, 1872 is available in the cases under Consumer Protection Act, 1986 by the agents of the principal with whom the complainant had the agreement.”

This Judgment while making clear that Agent is protected for action taken on behalf of Principal, however protected the rights of the Consumer and the Principal has been held liable to pay compensation for deficiency of service.

Full Judgement -> Virender Khullar v. American Consolidation Services Ltd. & Ors.

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