Kerala Water Authority
CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM
Ayyanthole , Thrissur
consumer case(CC) No. OP/04/18
Asst. Engineer Kerala Water Authority
Kerala Water Authority
1. Padmini Sudheesh
2. Rajani P.S.
3. Sasidharan M.S
1. Asst. Engineer Kerala Water Authority
2. Kerala State
3. Kerala Water Authority
2. G.P. Gopidas.V.
By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President
The case of complainant is that he is a consumer of the Water Authority. The 1st respondent issued Exhibit P1 bill demanding to pay Rs.5662/- without any basis. From Exhibit P2 it is evident that the meter reading was taken in August 2002. Prior to that reading was taken in April 1995. It was the duty of the Water Authority to take the meter reading in time. There was no demand from the water authority to pay the alleged arrears except Exhibit P1 bill. This is deficiency in service and the complainant is not liable to remit any arrears. The liability if any is barred by limitation. The complainant has remitted the water charges up to March 2004. On receiving the bill the complainant approached the 1st respondent office seeking clarification, but was not clarified. Hence this complaint to cancel the bill. The complaint is amended as per Order in IA 1215/05.
2. The counter of 1st and 2nd respondent is that as per the meter reading the complainant is liable to pay the Exhibit P1 bill amount. It is true that the complainant was paying charges through provisional invoice card. But the charges paid through P.I.C. was only minimum charge. During the period from 4/95 to 5/01 several times gone to take the reading, but could not take due to closing of gate. The bill is issued as per consumption and the complainant is liable to pay the amount. Hence dismiss.
3. The 3rd respondent filed separate counter stating the same facts.
4. The points for consideration are :
1) Is the Exhibit P1 bill genuine ?
2) Other reliefs and costs ?
5. The evidence consists of Exhibits P1 to P3 and Exhibit R1.
6. Points : The complaint is filed to get cancellation of Exhibit P1 bill. According to the complainant the first respondent used to issue genuine bills recorded by the authorized meter and the complainant paid the bills amount without arrears. So according to him the Exhibit P1 bill is baseless. The respondents contended that the complainant has paid only the minimum charges and is liable to pay the Exhibit P1 bill amount as the water charges for the water actually consumed. They have stated the details in counter and also produced the copy of ledger and marked as Exhibit R1. One of the main contention of the complainant is that since she has paid the bills amount regularly she is not liable to pay the amount stated in Exhibit P1 notice. So she relies on Exhibit P2 invoice card to show the payments. Exhibit P2 shows only the payments of minimum charges. Exhibit R1 is the copy of ledger showing the reading. The complainant has no case that the meter was defective and did not show the correct consumption. But she simply alleges that the reading was not proper. But no reason is stated to allege such a matter. As per Exhibit R1 the complainant has to pay Rs.5,662/- more. Exhibit R1 shows the meter reading and monthly consumption. Since there is no allegation of defect to meter complainant has to pay the amount stated.
7. The complainant has put another point that the Exhibit P1 bill will not stand hence it is barred by limitation. But this view is not correct because the consumption and payment are continuing. But it is a serious latches on the part of respondents in issuing delayed bills. From the year of connection onwards they have demanded the charges now. This is nothing but serious service deficiency. So the respondents are not entitled for cost and compensation. But in the present case as per Exhibit R1 the complainant had consumed water as stated. So she is liable to pay for that. Since there is no other allegation on the part of complainant, we have no other option but to dismiss the claim of complainant.
8. In the result complaint is dismissed and the complainant is directed to pay the Exhibit P1 bill amount within three months.
Dictated to the Confdl. Asst., transcribed by her, corrected by me and pronounced in the open Forum this the 20th day of March 2009
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