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Supplier of Food Grains V Distributor

Date of Claim raised: 15/07/2022
Date of Conciliation: 20/07/2022
Date of Settlement: 20/07/2022
Digest: Mediation/Conciliation/Dispute/Claimant/Respondent/Invoice/Settlement
Case Summary

The Claimant, a supplier of food grains, supplied products to the Respondent, a distributor in the local markets of West Bengal, on a 15-day credit. This had been a practice that had been followed for over a period of 3 years, and the respondent had been fairly consistent with his payments. However, the last consignment was not paid for even after a few weeks since it became overdue. On contact, the representative of the respondent avoided discussion, citing the unavailability of the owner.

The Issue

The issue, which was not communicated to the respondent, was that there was a theft in the storage unit, and the claimant had lost a lot of his produce, which rendered him helpless to pay the outstanding amounts. While there were many a discussion that happened between the two parties, the only communication that came from the respondent's side was the promise to pay and then the extension of these dates. The case was now handed over to PrivateCourt for settlement.

The Process

While the Mediator studied the case and all the documents related to it and prepared to approach the respondent, his attention was drawn to the similarity of the name of the respondent to a small piece of news that he had read regarding a robbery in the wholesale market. While initiating a discussion with the respondent, the mediator enquired about the link of the case to the respondent's company, to which he replied in affirmative. The issue was that the respondent was afraid that the disclosure of the same would impact his supplies overall; hence, he did not want to divulge this information to his suppliers. This issue was brought to the attention of the Claimant, who agreed to further supply produce on extended credit of 30 days provided the current outstanding was settled.

The Settlement Agreement

The Respondent agreed to pay the entire amount of Rs. 2,00,000/- on or before the 10th of September 2022, by paying Rs. 25,000/- each week.

The Inference

A keen eye on relevant market information can help resolve issues during a negotiation.