This is a discussion on Bsnl within the Mobile forums, part of the Technology category; Nadesan Munirathnam, S/o. Nadesan, Hindu, aged about 45 years, Agriculturist, Residing at D.No.6-8-795, Sanjeevaiah Nagar, Behind Old Maternity Hospital, Tirupati. ...
- 09-25-2009, 11:17 PM #1Administrator
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
Hindu, aged about 45 years,
Agriculturist, Residing at D.No.6-8-795,
Behind Old Maternity Hospital,
Tirupati. …. Complainant
The Junior Telecom Officer (CSC-CTO),
Bharath Sanchar Nigam Limited,
Office of the SDE, C.T.O.,
Tirupati – 517 501. …. Opposite party
This complaint coming on before us for final hearing on 06.03.2009 and upon perusing the complaint, written version, written arguments and other relevant material papers on record and on hearing Sri M. Subramanyam, counsel for the complainant and Sri. V. Dhananjaya Varma, counsel for the opposite party, and having stood over till this day for consideration, the Forum made the following:-
DELIVERED BY Sri. M. SUBBARAYUDU NAIDU, MEMBER
ON BEHALF OF THE BENCH
This complaint is filed under Section 12 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 to pass an order directing the opposite party to pay a sum of Rs.3,50,000/- to the complainant by way of damages for causing mental agony and monetory loss to him, to pay costs of the complaint to the complainant and also to pass any other order or orders as the as the Hon’ble Forum may deem fit and proper in the circumstances of the case.
2. The factual matrix leading to filing of this complaint is set out as here under:
(a) The case of the complainant is that he is an agriculturist and he lives by cultivation. Prior to filing of this complaint by the complainant herein, he filed a suit bearing O.S.No.284/08 on the file of Additional Senior Civil Judge, Tirupati, for release of amount due under the pronote against Sri T. Balasubramanyam, who worked as clerk in RMS postal division, Tirupati and sought for attachment of his retirement benefits before judgment in I.A.472/2008 lying with the Superintendent of Railway Mail Service, Postal, Tirupati. The said Hon’ble court was pleased to order attachment of Rs.3,50,000/- pertaining to the said T. Balasubramanyam and his employer, the Superintendent of R.M.S., Postal division, Tirupati. He further stated that immediately on the same day (30.06.2008) in compliance with said order, the counsel of the complainant sent the pro order by way of Telegram on 30.06.2008 at about 4.55 p.m. itself through the opposite party and receipt was also issued by the opposite party to that effect to the complainant. But for the reason best known to the opposite party did not serve the said pro order to the garnishee though the office of opposite party is situated in the self same premises where the Superintendent of R.M.S. division office (garnishee) is located at Tirupati.
(b) Further, the complainant made representation to the opposite party on 08.08.2008 and thereafter the opposite party issued a letter No.C-1/CTO-TRP/08-09/4, dt.11.08.2008 stating that “Your telegram could not be transmitted due to human error – the official is at fault is called for explanation and that the purpose of the telegram not surviving is sincerely regretted”. On 03.07.2008, the garnishee, i.e., Superintendent of R.M.S. Postal sent a letter to the Hon’ble court stating that retirement benefits of Sri T. Balasubramanyam, Clerk, RMS was disbursed on 02.07.2008. In view of the above said circumstances, it can be said that it is only due to the negligent attitude and deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party, the notice could not be served on the garnishee which caused heavy loss and mental agony to the complainant in as much as he had lost the opportunity of attachment in pursuance of the court order. It resulted in monitory loss to the complainant to a tune of Rs.3,50,000/- and extended litigation. Subsequently, the complainant got issued a legal notice on 01.09.2008 calling upon the opposite party herein to pay a sum of Rs.1,50,000/- for causing mental agony and monitory loss to the complainant out of deficiency of service within a week’s time. The opposite party having acknowledged the same and got issued a reply notice dt.19.09.2008 stating as follows: “On behalf of your client you came to my client’s office on 30.06.2008 at closing hours of the telegraph transmission office and booked a telegram No.21 at 16.55 hours to Superintendent RMS, Tirupati. the contents of Telegram as follows “Additional Principal Senior Judge, Tirupati passed orders in O.S.No.284 of 2008 not to disburse retire benefits of Sr. T. Balasubramanyam, Clerk, RMS, Tirupati by order on 30.06.2008 – in the above said telegram your client did not mentioned any amount”.
This itself clearly shows that the admission of sending the order on 30.06.2008 itself either by the complainant or by his counsel and mentioning money and other particulars is not the criteria and it is not the essential part of telegram. The only inclination of the complainant or his counsel is that the pro order, dt.30.06.2008 should be reached to the garnishee forthwith.
The complainant further submitted that in para 9 of the reply notice, dt.19.09.2008 it is stated that the said telegram received by the opposite party’s office on 03.07.2008 at 10.24 hours and immediately delivered to addressee at 11.00 hours on the same day and at the same time in the very next para, i.e., para 10, he states that the Hon’ble court orders in I.A.472/08 in O.S.284/08, dt.30.06.2008 was served to the garnishee on the said date on 02.07.2008 and thus there is variation of pleadings by the opposite party on one hand he states as though the order was delivered on 03.07.2008 at 11.00 hours and on the other hand he states that the order was served to the garnishee on 02.07.2008. Nowhere in the letter, dt.11.08.2008 in reply to the complainant’s representation dt.08.08.2008, the opposite party had whispered about the serving of the order either on 03.07.2008 or 02.07.2008 and at the same time in the said letter, dt.11.08.2008 the opposite party clearly stated that it was due to human error the telegram could not be transmitted etc. Further, when the opposite party says it as a human error and in the reply, dt.19.09.2008, he states in para 12 as though it was due to mechanical and technical suit.
( c) In the above said circumstances, the complainant submits that the pro order was not served on the garnishee either on 03.07.2008 or 02.07.2008 and all the allegations in the reply notice are false. A telegram should be reached to the addressee with immediate effect but not days together leading abnormal delay and causing damages to the sender as it is in the case of the complainant. But for the delay or negligence on the part of the opposite party, the garnishee ought not to have disbursed the amounts to the defendant on the forenoon of 02.07.2008. Had there not been any deficiency of service on the part of the opposite party, the pro order could have been reached the garnishee and the disbursement would have certainly been stopped. Further, the order also became infructuous only due to the negligent attitude of the opposite party and deficiency of service. In the above said circumstances, the complainant is entitled to claim damages from the opposite party to a tune of Rs.3,50,000/- for causing mental agony to him apart from monitory loss. Hence, the complaint.
3. (a) The opposite party resisted the complaint and filed its objections through its employee, ie., General Telecom Officer, Customer Service Center, BSNL, O/o. GMTD, Tirupati – 517 075. The said Telecom Officer also filed an affidavit narrating the same contents which are contained in objections / written version filed by him. As usual, the opposite party denies all the allegations mentioned in the complaint by the complainant and in all material particulars except some of those that are specifically admitted in its written version. Those said allegations by the complainant against this opposite party are put to strict proof of the same. Apart from admissions by the opposite party, the General Telecom Officer, BSNL, Tirupati, the opposite party has narrated the version of the opposite party in paras 8 to 17. They are as follows:
The opposite party submitted that all the inland, foreign and local telegrams are to be transmitted to base transit center located at Tiruvanthapuram in Kerala through server only (authorized route of the transmission of the telegram). From there, server transmit the telegrams to the destination. In the instant case the said telegram A-21 (A-185 as per system record) was transmitted to the base center on the same day under Local Number 54 to base center at Tiruvanthapuram.
The said telegram was received in the Nigam on 03.07.2008 at 10.24 hours and immediately delivered to the addressee at 11.00 hours on the same day. At present even local telegrams also cannot be delivered direct and to follow the above procedure. It is further submitted that all the telegrams booked on 30.06.2008 were transmitted on the same day. In the present case A-21 (A-185 as per system records) booked at 16.55 hours was also transmitted vide L.No.54 along with other telegrams on the same day. Further it is to inform that the following telegrams which were booked on 26th, 28th to 30th June, 2008 were received on 03.07.2008 through system in the office of the opposite party.
The above said data reveals that A outgoing telegrams booked at Tirupati and destination also Tirupati were received to the destination (Tirupati) on 03.07.2008 as per computer list.
(b) The opposite party further submitted that the allegations made in para 9 of the complaint that in para 9 of the reply notice, dt.19.09.2008 it is stated that the said telegram received by the opposite party office on 03.07.2008 at 10.24 hours and immediately delivered to the addressee at 11.00 hours on the same day is true and correct. The complaint further states that summons issued by the Hon’ble Court served on the garnishee through court amin on 02.07.2008 and the retirement benefits were also disbursed on 02.07.2008.
The garnishee could not implement the Hon’ble court orders for the reasons best known to the garnishee. Hence, there is no deficiency on the part of the opposite party. The allegations made in paras 10 and 11 of the complaint are strictly proved by the complainant. This opposite party stated that the normal way of transmitting the telegram to base terminal stations situated Tiruvanathapuram, Kerala for all southern states. The said telegram was transmitted on the same day, i.e., on 30.06.2008 and received from server on 03.07.2008 at Tirupati and delivered by 11.00 hours on 03.07.2008. There is neither deficiency in service nor delay in delivery of telegram. This opposite party submits that the department prescribed procedure all telegrams are to be transmitted based terminal station at Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala. Hence there is no need to pay any damages and mental agony as per the rules of the department. The complainant himself accepted and requested to forward the above telegram subject to conditions of the Rules of the department printed on reverse of the telegram. There are the telegram shall be forwarded in all respects in according with the relevant rules for inland telegrams in telegraph guide with the provision of the Indian Telegraph Rules
(2). The Director General is not liable to make any compensation for any loss, injury or damage arising or resulting from non transmission, non delivery wrong delivery of the telegram or delay, error or omission of the telegram. It further states that the Nigam have taken all precautions to deliver the telegram as early as possible. There is no intention for the department for the delaying telegrams and causing inconvenience to the public. There is no delay in serving the telegram on the part of this Nigam. The Nigam office is a public office the accuracy of the telegram is not guarantee and all telegrams shall be deemed to be sent subject to acceptance by the sender of all risks arising for non delivery, errors or delays as per Rule 5 of Telegraph Manual Volume XI. So this nigam has not committed any deficiency of service or not cause mental agony to the complainant. The Superintendent, RMS office immediately after receipt of the Hon’ble court orders dt.30.06.2008 they replied on 03.07.2008 to the Hon’ble court stating that they received the orders on 02.07.2008.
(c ) The opposite party further submitted that the complainant issued a telegram in ordinary course and it is not an express telegram. The telegram received on late hours at 4.55p.m., at closing hours. But the same was transmitted on the same day though it is late hours. But the same was received by the opposite party on 03.07.2008 at 10.24 hours from Thiruvananthapuram. On 29.06.2008 the opposite party collected 12 telegrams, on 30.06.2008, the opposite party collected 21 telegrams, on 02.07.2008 the opposite party collected 17 telegrams.
. All the telegrams were transmitted on the respective dates, but the opposite party on 03.07.2008 received 107 telegrams including the present telegram issued by the complainant. So immediately after receipt of the same they have delivered to the concerned party. The opposite party did not commit any deficiency of service nor commit any negligence on their part for attending their works. So the complainant is not entitled for any reliefs as prayed for in the petition. This opposite party submits that the opposite party is not liable to pay any damages claimed by the opposite party. It is therefore, prayed that the Hon’ble Court may be pleased to dismiss the complaint with exemplary costs.
4. The complainant in support of his case filed his affidavit as evidence. The complainant also filed 6 documents which are marked as Ex.A1 to A6.
Ex.A1 is the Xerox copy of affidavit filed by the complainant in O.S.No.284/08 on the file of Principal Senior Civil Judge, Tirupati and it contains all the details such as IA.No.472/08 in O.S.284/08 and the order pronounced mentioned in the docket sheet.
Ex.A2 is the Xerox copy of telegram and it consists of the signature of the learned counsel for the complainant herein and time of booking of telegram and receipt to that effect issued by the opposite party for Rs.21/- for charges of telegram.
Ex.A3 is the reply letter issued by the opposite party’s official to the complainant.
Ex.A4 is the office copy of legal notice issued by the complainant to the opposite party dated 11.08.2008. Ex.A5 is the bunch of speed post receipt as well as postal acknowledgement from the opposite party.
Ex.A6 is the copy of reply notice issued on behalf of the opposite party through its counsel to the complainant dt.19.09.2008.
5. The opposite party in support of its case filed its affidavit as evidence. The concerned official of the opposite party also filed 8 documents which are marked as Ex.B1 to B8.
Ex.B1 is the Xerox copy of details of messages booking by the concerned official of the opposite party on 30.06.2008.
Ex.B2 is the Xerox copy of details of message booked on 01.07.2008
Ex.B3 is the Xerox copy of details of messages booked on 02.07.2008.
Ex.B4 is the Xerox copy of details of messages booked on 03.07.2008.
Ex.B5 is the Xerox copy of details of messages received from Thiruvananthapuram
Ex.B6 is the Xerox copy of telegram in duplicate which contains the sum and substance of the telegram issued by the complainant’s advocate.
Ex.B7 is bunch of material concerning to the Web Based Messaging System (WTMS) attested by the concerned officer of the opposite party.
Ex.B8 is the Xerox copy of General rules for acceptance of telegrams which contains in Volume XI of Posts and Telegrams manual.
6. Written arguments of both the parties are filed for our perusal and consideration.
7. Basing on the pleadings of both sides, the points that arise for determination are:
1. Whether there is any deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party
towards the complainant?
3. Whether the complainant is entitled for the reliefs as prayed, if so to what
3. To what result?
8. Point No.1:- (a) There are undisputed facts which we call as basic facts of the case submitted by both the parties and subsequently this consumer dispute arose for non-fulfillment of obligation by the opposite party. The complaint and written version have categorically revealed parties their stand to determine this consumer case.
The affidavits of the respective parties reiterated the facts contained in the pleadings. The learned counsel for the complainant, Sri. M.Subramanyam has vehemently argued that the complainant on 30.06.2008 at about 4.55 p.m. booked a telegram and a receipt to that effect was issued by the opposite party. The subject matter of the telegram is contained in Ex.A2. It is not denied by the opposite party with regard to sum and substance of the telegram. He further argued that the complainant made a representation to the opposite party for non-serving of telegram and thereby the object for which the telegram was issued to the garnishee is not materialized and there by the opposite party issued a letter (Ex.B3) in response to the complainant’s representation.
The learned counsel for the complainant further argued that this type of letter to the complainant will not console by simply stating regretted and the official at fault is called for explanation will not serve any purpose for the complainant and it is totally fault on the part of the opposite party to serve the telegram in time to whom it is meant for and any sort of explanation further by the opposite party will not solve the problem of the complainant. He further argued that the alleged telegram if it was reached in time, the concerned authority ought not to have disbursed the retirement benefits of the defendant as mentioned in O.S.284/08. The very purpose of obtaining the order from the Hon’ble court by filing a petition in I.A.472/08 Under Order 38 Rule 5, C.P.C i.e., attachment before judgment, is defeated by non-serving of pro order as mentioned in the telegram to the concerned garnishee whatever may be the reasons advanced by the opposite party to defend its case by showing other technical material and documents.
The reasons for non-delivery, of the telegram will not set right the damage caused to the complainant and by the time telegram reached on 03.07.2008, the concerned authorities (Garnishee) have disbursed the amount to the defendant and if the telegram was served in time and there is a possibility of withholding the said retirement benefits by the Garnishee. The purpose of the order got from the Hon’ble court by the complainant became vain, due to non-serving of telegram in time by the opposite party.
The learned counsel for the complainant further argued that relying on the documents filed by him in support of the complainant and referring the documents filed on behalf of the opposite party Ex.B1 to B8 are simply concealing the defects and if at all there are any rules and regulations of inland telegrams are not known to the complainant.
The complainant usually expects that the telegram i.e, sum and substance of message contained in it will be reached to the addressee and thereby at any stress of imagination the pro order issued by the court will serve complainant’s purpose, but for the reasons beyond his control and mere negligence on the part of the opposite party it is otherwise happened. It is clearly amounts to deficiency in service. The responsibility is lying with the opposite party to transmit the message which contained in the telegram in proper time. It has not been done for the reasons best known to the opposite party. It causes not only monitory loss and mental agony to the complainant and thereby incurred heavy loss. The complainant is entitled to all the reliefs prayed for in the complaint.
(b) In response, the learned counsel for the opposite party Sri V. Dhananjaya Varma vehemently argued that it is all due to technical defects arose in transmitting center located at Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala. All the telegrams recorded from 30.06.2008 to 02.07.2008 were transmitted to the originate place on 03.07.2008 only. Apart from the facts of the case as narrated in written version as well as written arguments, he referred to us Ex.B8 i.e., general rules for acceptance of telegrams, in particular rule 5 quoted as “ the Accuracy of Telegrams is not Guaranteed and all telegrams shall be deemed to be sent subject to acceptance by the sender of all risks arising on non-delivery, errors or delays”, for applicability of this case while coming to the conclusion and determination of the case. The learned counsel for the opposite party has quoted Ex.B1 to B8i.e., relevant dates of telegrams and receipt of the same from the originate point to service and server to originate point.
He also further argued that there is no intention to delay the message in transmitting to the concerned addressee on the part of the opposite party and it is purely technical defect arose at Thiruvanthapuram junction from where it is monitoring all the telegrams and sending the same to the southern states such as Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamilnadu and Karnataka. It so happened due to unavoidable circumstances arose which are beyond the control of the opposite party. The complainant’s claim of Rs.3,50,000/- is too high and unreasonable and not based on any sound principles of law. So, the complainant unnecessarily filed the present complaint only to harass the opposite party to get wrongful gain and is not entitled for any reliefs much less the reliefs as prayed in the complaint and it is liable to be dismissed.
( c) On perusal of the entire record and hearing the arguments of both sides, it is crystal clear that sum and substance of the telegram as contained in Ex.A2 and Ex.B6 are one the same has not reached the addressee for the reasons and defects stated by the opposite party to convince us as there is no delay on the part of the opposite party to transmit the same to the garnishee even if it is beyond the control of the opposite party. The contention of the learned counsel for the complainant is that about deficiency in service against the opposite party as it is established by referring his documents Ex.A1 to A6 filed and relying on them.
That opposite party has not performed its obligation in transmitting the telegram message to the addressee in time caused monitory loss and also subject to mental worry of the complainant and is entitled all the reliefs as prayed for. But at the same time we have to take into consideration the defence set up by the opposite party in not transmitting the telegram to the addressee in time because of the reasons beyond their control, by referring the documents Ex.B1 to B8. On close scrutiny of Ex.A2, its contents go to show that not only the subject matter of the telegram message, but also the conditions for acceptance of telegrams should be taken into consideration for determination of this consumer case. The conditions for acceptance of telegrams are as follows:
1. The Telegram shall be forwarded in all respect in accordance with the relevant Rules for Inland Telegrams published in the Telegraph Guide and with the provisions of Indian Telegraph Rules.
2. The Director General is not liable to make any compensation for any loss, injury or damage arising or resulting from non transmission, non delivery or wrong delivery of the Telegram or delay, error or omissions in the Telegram.
While booking of a telegram by the complainant or counsel for the complainant should have knowledge about the terms and conditions of the telegram. In the 2nd page (reverse side of the telegram), it is clearly mentioned conditions for acceptance of telegram, the learned counsel for the complainant signed the telegram, it means that he has sufficient knowledge of the conditions contained in the telegram (Ex.A2). The learned counsel for the opposite party tried his level best to convince us that there is no willful delay for causing any loss to the complainant and stressed the need for application of the conditions of the telegram for determination of this consumer case.
As far as the episode of telegram message and its non delivery to the person intended has created problems to both parties which are beyond the control of the opposite party. In strict sense, the contents of telegram (Ex.A2) and the conditions stipulated therein for acceptance of telegram is amply referred that the opposite party is not liable to make any compensation for any loss, injury for non transmission or wrong delivery. In view of the facts and circumstances, the complainant has not established his case and convinced us to get the reliefs. Moreover, the opposite party has established its case by referring the documents (Ex.B1 to B8) and Ex.A2 is so clear that opposite party is not liable to make any compensation for non-delivery of the telegram. Telegram, it is in the nature of a contract. General Principles of Contract Law will be applicable to the facts of the case. Offer and acceptance, subject to the conditions stipulated in the telegram, it is a concluded contract. The opposite party is clearly exempted from liability whatsoever by getting protection under the conditions No.2 as per Ex.A2 document. Hence, there are no merits in the complaint. This point is answered accordingly.
9. Point No.2:- In view of the facts and circumstances of the case and discussion as stated above, it can be said that complainant is not entitled to any reliefs as prayed for in the complaint. This point is answered accordingly.
10. Point No.3:- In the result, the complaint of the complainant is dismissed without costs.Regards,
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- 09-25-2009, 11:19 PM #2
Dr. Kotte Prabhakar,
S/o. K. Aseerwadam,
Hindu, aged about 32 years,
Residing at 3-G, B-Block,
Tuda Apartment, I.S. Mahal,
Tirupati. …. Complainant
BSNL, Telecom District,
Tirupati. …. Opposite party
This complaint coming on before us for final hearing on 04.03.2009 and upon perusing the complaint, written version, written arguments and other relevant material papers on record and on hearing Sri G. Ramaiah Pillai, counsel for the complainant and Sri. V. Dhananjaya Varma, counsel for the opposite party, and having stood over till this day for consideration, the Forum made the following:-
DELIVERED BY Sri. M. SUBBARAYUDU NAIDU, MEMBER
ON BEHALF OF THE BENCH
This complaint is filed under Sections 12 and 14 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 to pass an order directing the opposite party to discharge their obligation by extending the internet service in complainant’s landline phone immediately for which he has paid the consideration on 25.10.2008; to pay compensation of Rs.10,000/- for causing mental agony, to pay Rs.1,000/- towards litigation expenses and to pass such other order or orders as the as the Hon’ble Forum may deem fit and proper in the circumstances of the case.
2. The factual matrix leading to filing of this complaint is set out as here under:
(a) The case of the complainant is that he is a post graduate and Ph.D., holder in Department of Anthropology in S.V. University, Tirupati. As he required information through internet for his further research work, he approached the opposite party on 25.10.2008 to provide the internet facility and submitted his application. Thereupon, he was asked by the opposite party to apply for a separate landline exclusively for internet use. So, accordingly the complainant paid Rs.2,248/- and requested for internet connection to facilitate his further research work.
Though he was allotted landline phone No.0877-2262122 and installed it on 30.10.2008 in his premises but no internet connection was extended to him. However, he was promised to provide the same within a week’s time. The telephone bill dated 06.11.2008 was also issued evidently in favour of the complainant for the period from 30.10.2008 to 31.10.2008 payable of Rs.13/- by 27.11.2008 and Rs.23/- if it is paid after 27.11.2008. The complainant paid bill amount of Rs.23/- on 18.12.2008. However, there was no internet connection extended to him.
(b) As the matter stood thus and frustrated by the opposite party’s inaction, the complainant got issued a legal notice on 19.12.2008 to the opposite party herein expressing his mental agony and hardship for not giving internet connection for his further research work in Anthropology and requested to extend the service within 3 days as he is put in loss of valuable time to carry out research work retrieving to world wide information through internet connection or else the opposite party will be saddled with all legal expenses including costs and compensation for Rs.10,000/-. Even the legal notice has no affect and it remains futile exercise. Hence, this complaint is filed against the opposite party for deficiency in service and prayed for grant of the above stated reliefs.
3.(a) The opposite party resisted the complaint by filing written version / objections and also an affidavit were submitted by the Assistant General Manager, Office of GMTD, Tirupati. While denying the material averments/ allegations in the complaint, it is inter-alia stated that the opposite party is not liable to pay any damages prayed by the complainant. Apart from the demands by the opposite party as mentioned in some portions of paras 4 to 6 of written version, the other allegations made in the complaint by the complainant are denied. The opposite party submits that the exchange capacity is highly overloaded and non availability of BB-Ports, the new work orders were not able to complete.
The efforts are being made on getting expansion of ports. Priority will be given for BB-connections, for whom they have take telephone connections long back. Second priority will be given for those who applied for telephone connection and BB-connection simultaneously at the time on the same date. After the installation and expansions of ports equipment, three work orders along with the complainant’s work order, the work was completed in out door, MDF and NIB connection. The BB-connection was given on 29.12.2008 after the completion of work as per the dotsoft system. The same was effected on 01.01.2009. The BB type I modem was received by the complainant on 01.01.2009. Since the customer was not available and his house was door locked.
(b) The opposite party further submits that it is not true to say that the legal notice was not answered. As soon as receiving the notice from the complainant, the opposite party was intimated to the customer by phone and also by line staff about the incapacity of the provision of BB-connection and special efforts were taken. The field work at out door/indoor/MDF/NIB was made and connected on 29.12.2008 itself. Even though, the said information was placed on the notice board of the department at customer service center by the said officer, the complainant filed this case on 31.12.2008 after providing BB-connection on 29.12.2008.
The complainant filed this case with a malafide intention to get huge amounts by way of damages and costs. There is neither willful delay nor deficiency on the part of the department. This opposite party submits that the opposite party is not liable to pay any damages claimed by the complainant. It is therefore, prayed that the Hon’ble Forum may be pleased to dismiss the complaint with exemplary costs.
4. In support of the averments made in the complaint, the complainant filed 10 documents which are marked as Exs.A1 to A10.
Ex.A1 is the original receipt No. 300163512 for Rs.2,248/- for internet connection.
Ex.A2 is the original phone bill dated 06.11.2008 for Phone No.2262122 issued by the opposite party
Ex.A3 is the another receipt No.3006189467 dated 18.12.2008 towards payment of Rs.23/-.
Ex.A4 is the office copy of legal notice issued by the complainant’s advocate on behalf of the complainant to the opposite party dated 19.12.2008.
Ex.A5 is the Photostat copy of award of degree of Master of Science (Anthropology) issued by S.V. University in favour of Kotte Prabhakar (i.e. complainant).
Ex.A6 is the Photostat copy of award of degree of Doctor of Philosophy in favour of the complainant by S.V. University.
Ex.A7 is the original bill (demand notice) dated 06.01.2009 issued to the complainant by the opposite party. Ex.A8 is another receipt dated 30.01.2009 acknowledging the receipt amount of Rs.461/-.
Ex.A9 is the original phone bill (demand notice) dated 06.02.2009 for Rs.449/- issued by the opposite party. Ex.A10 is the receipt No.300299684 issued by the opposite party dated 23.02.2009 acknowledging the receipt amount of Rs.449/-
5. In support of the averments made in the written version / objections, the opposite party filed 3 documents which are marked as Ex.B1 to B3
Ex.B1 is the photostat copy of notice to broad band customers.
Ex.B2 is the Photostat copy of application form for new telephone connection and it is filled up by the complainant and also signed by the opposite party.
Ex.B3 is the photostat copy of application form for Broadband service Data One and it also contains signatures of the complainant and the Assistant General Manager of the opposite party and it also contains BSNL Broadband terms and conditions.
6. Written arguments of both the parties are filed for our perusal and consideration. The affidavits of the parties are also filed in support of their case as evidence.
7. Basing on the pleadings of both sides, the points that arise for determination are:
1. Whether there is any deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party
towards the complainant?
3. Whether the complainant is entitled for the reliefs as prayed, if so to what
3. To what result?
8. Point No.1:- (a) The basic facts of this consumer case are not disputed. This is a case against the opposite party for deficiency in service for not giving internet service connection, even though he was provided landline phone bearing No.2262122 on 25.10.2008 to his residence house. The main contention of the complainant’s counsel Sri G. Ramaiah Pillai is that the complainant never utilized internet facility but he was forced to pay the phone bills without his fault.
In that process, he further argued that at the time of applying for phone connection under general plan for his residential house along with application for broadband connection for home 500C plan on 25.10.2008 and the complainant paid a sum of Rs.2,248/- under the receipt, i.e., Ex.A1. At the time of application by the complainant to the opposite party, he was informed that there is possibility of delay as expansion work was taken up and that NPC was provided on 30.10.2008 and a bill of Rs.13/- for 30.10.2008 and 31.10.2008 was issued for general telephone No.2261622 which was not correct. The correct No. is 2262122 and it is not for internet connection. However, broadband internet connection for home 500C plan with type No.1 was effected on 01.01.2009 an order of priority. The learned counsel for the complainant further argued that at the time of filing of application, the application form does not contain that the applicant should produce all educational certificates nor the opposite party insisted, but the complainant mentioned in both applications (land line phone and internet connection) that he was a post graduate.
There is no column to show the BB plan is needed for his further studies and what all needed information in the application were not furnished. It is only through the agent the complainant got the information that unless he applied general telephone, the internet will not be given. So, the complainant applied for both on one and the same date, i.e., on 25.10.2008. As per instructions of the opposite party orally that it takes time to provide internet for want of facility but there was no written notice served on him specifying the time. However, the complainant awaited patiently till 19th December, 2008. Thereafter he got issued legal notice to provide the connection after awaiting for nearly 2 months.
(b) The learned counsel for the complainant further contended that by surprisingly even without giving any internet connection under BB internet scheme, the opposite party issued a demand notice for Rs.451/- for the months of Nov-Dec, 2008 including Rs.40/- towards BB landline rental charges which the complainant paid on 30.01.2009 for Rs.461/-. All the documents (Exhibits) submitted by the complainant in support of his case clearly indicates that the opposite party has acted arbitrarily and caused harassment and mental agony to him. However, after providing internet facility on 01.01.2009 he was issued a bill dated 06.01.2009 for Rs.451/- and the complainant paid the same on 23.02.2009. Finally, the learned counsel contended complainant’s phone was lying waste till 01.01.2009 without any internet connection. The complainant has suffered mental strain without internet connection for the last two months which he intended for his further research work and put him in most disadvantageous position. The complainant must be provided with some compensation and he is entitled to get costs of litigation and this complaint may be allowed as prayed for.
(c ) In response, the learned counsel for the opposite party Sri V. Dhanajayam Varma has also vehemently argued that the complainant after knowing the particulars of application forms both for land line and internet facility noted the terms and conditions stated therein after understanding substance of it signed both the application forms and it is also signed by the Assistant General Manager.
He further argued that what all he stated in the written version as well as written arguments are clearly explained to the complainant about the delay in getting the internet connection to his phone as delay occurred because of 3 pending applications for providing broadband connection. He further argued that on the date of receiving applications from the complainant, the opposite party informed to the complainant that to provide broadband connection, it may take 2-3 months as there were no ports to provide broadband connection in Balaji Colony exchange. After providing land phone to the complainant, the opposite party also informed by way of phone to him that it is not possible for them to provide broadband immediately as there were three pending applications for providing broadband connection. The complainant accepted for the said proposal and took the land phone from the opposite party.
The opposite party also put a notice board informing to the persons that the expansion of ports work is taken in the following exchanges due to non availability of ports for the provision of broadband connection and there is a possibility of delay of few months, i.e., 1 or 2 months. The same was also informed to the complainant for which the complainant also accepted. Then only the opposite party collected the amount for providing land phone as well as broadband application. Immediately after receipt of the application from the complainant, the opposite party have made sincere efforts for expansion of ports and work was taken up. The said work was completed and the broadband connection was installed to the complainant on 29.12.2008 and also the Department workers went to the house of the complainant for providing modem. But the complainant’s house was door locked. Later, the broadband connection was given to him on 01.01.2009 as the complainant was not available at his house from 29.12.2008 onwards.
Though the Department / opposite party informed to the complainant by way of telephone and also went to the house of the complainant for providing modem by connecting the broad band connection. But the complaint was filed by the complainant on 31.12.2008. The complainant also acknowledged the receipt of broadband connection by endorsing the same on 01.01.2009 saying that his door was locked on 31.12.2008. Since the date of installation, the broadband connection was perfectly working and the complainant was using the same from the date of installation without any complaint.
(d) The learned counsel for the opposite party further argued that there are no latches on the part of the opposite party for not providing broadband connection immediately to the complainant as there were no ports available as on the date of filling up the application by the complainant. Further, the complainant was not informed about his urgency and he never gave his qualifications in the application. He applied for telephone connection and broadband connection in normal course and he has not expressed his urgency about the broadband connection to his further studies. The JTO have suggested the complainant to get the Sanchar Net Card for internet use the password would be created on the same day i.e, on 30.10.2008 to the complainant immediately till the provision of broadband connection, but the complainant has not utilized the said Sanchar Net Card for internet use.
The compensation claimed by the complainant is illegal and the opposite party need not pay any compensation to the complainant. The complainant unnecessarily filed this present complaint only to harass the opposite party to defame the same in the public. The opposite party is a central government organization and there is no enemity between the complainant and the opposite party for not providing the broad band connection and harass the complainant. The opposite party is providing telephone connection as well as broad band connection with cheaper rate when compared with the other internet connections provided by the commercial organizations, such as Tata Indicom, Reliance and Airtel. Finally, the learned counsel for the opposite party argued that on the date of filing of the complaint, broadband connection was already provided to the complainant and the complainant has unnecessarily filed this present complaint to harass the department and also to get wrongful gain. The complainant is not entitled for any reliefs much less the reliefs as prayed in the complaint. The Hon’ble Forum may be pleased to dismiss the complaint with costs.
(e) After hearing arguments of both parties and verifying the documentary evidence on record, it is crystal clear that there is no intentional delay on the part of the opposite party to provide internet connection to the complainant.
As it clearly goes to show that the Ex.B3 is so clear having the terms and conditions particularly No.1 “Subject to the acceptance of the application and technical feasibility, BSNL will endeavour to provide the broadband service as soon as possible”. The concerned Balaji Colony exchange, there were no ports to provide broadband connection at the time of receiving of application from the complainant by the opposite party. It is true that Ex.A1 to A10 documents which show that complainant had paid the required amount specifying therein and receipts were issued by the opposite party to the complainant. That will not give a right to the complainant to claim from that opposite party is irresponsible in providing internet connection to his telephone. As the internet facility is not provided to the complainant, it is purely an act beyond the control of the opposite party if at all the complainant is so anxious to get internet facility immediately after getting the telephone connection, he ought to have gone for Sanchar Net Card. That has not been preferred by the complainant for the reasons best known to him.
When there is such a provision for utilization and to see global knowledge useful for his research work, he could have preferred that facility instead of waiting for normal due course of action. Ex.B1 to B3 relied upon by the opposite party in support of their case brought to our notice about the terms and conditions of broadband internet service and the opposite party’s aim is to provide service to its customers. It is not a business organization. In this connection it is apt to mention that one of the important mode of communication, i.e., telephone has been under the state sector.
The services were first introduced in the year 1881-82. Since then this central organization is improved and rendering human service to its customers but not aimed to get profits comparing to other commercial organization which are in existence today and competition with this BSNL central organization. An overall view of the facts and circumstances of the case and on weighing the material on record, the intention of the parties should be taken into consideration while considering the case.
There was no much delay on the part of the opposite party in providing internet facility to the complainant and moreover by the time this complaint is filed before this Forum, the complainant is enjoying the internet facility. He ought not have to blame the central organization for simple reason that structural and workable conditions of the concerned exchange should be taken into consideration while evaluating this consumer case. Proceedings before the Consumer Forum are inquisitorial and not adversary. The Consumer Protection Act is mainly basing on equitable principles namely, justice, equity and good conscience. No doubt the Consumer Protection Act is a social welfare legislation aimed at providing better service and protecting the interests of the consumers at large and at the same time one has to think over about the deficiency in service if there is any committed by the opposite party concerned in this case.
The opposite party tried its level best to accommodate to all the applicants including the complainant. We have not find out any deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party towards the complainant. This compliant has no merits to judge it. The complainant is unable to prove the allegations made in the complaint against the opposite party with all material particulars. He miserably failed to establish his case against the opposite party. We find that there are no merits in this complaint. There is no injury or loss caused to the complainant. If at all if there is any delay, it is purely workable delay in the concerned telephone exchange. This point is answered accordingly.
9. Point No.2:- In view of the facts and circumstances of the case and basing upon the evidence available on the record and discussion about the case as detailed in Point No.1, it can be said that the complainant is not entitled to any of the reliefs claimed in the complaint. This point is answered accordingly.
10. Point No.3:- In the result, the complaint of the complainant is dismissed without costs.
- 09-25-2009, 11:21 PM #3
Complainant has filed this complaint for directing the opp.parties to issue copy of the details of the bills dated 7.8.2003, 7.10.2003 and 7.12.2003 and for other reliefs.
The averments in the complainant can be briefly summarized as follows:
The complainant is a consumer of the opp.parties. He is paying the telephone bills promptly and without any dues or delay. For the period 1.5.2003 to till date only inflated bills are issuing from the 2nd opp.party’s office for his telephone. A bill was issued to him for Rs.2002/- [Rupees two thousand and two only] for the period from 1.5.2003 to 31.7.2003. Since the bill amount is excessive the complainant lodged a complaint for the said bill before the JTO., Thevalakkara and the Accounts Officer [TR] Kollam and also requested to furnish him a detailed bill with respect to the time, date and duration of calls. After that he received a bill dt. 7.10.2003 for Rs.1636/- [Rupees one thousand six hundred and thirty six only] for the period from 1.8.2003 to 30.9.2003. For the said bill also he requested to issue a print out of the bill. But no steps have been taken by the opp.parties.
Thereafter when the bill dt. 7.12.2003 for Rs.1305/- was received he lodged another complaint before the 2nd and 3rd opp.parties. The three bills are issued by the opp.party in an arbitrary manner. On 15.1.2004 the complainant sent a registered notice to the 1st and 2nd opp.parties with respect to the above said bills and requested to issue him a print out of the detailed bills but so far no reply was sent from their part. The telephone was disconnected on 15.1.2004. Due to the disconnection of his telephone the complainant sustained heavy loss. There is deficiency in service on the part of the opp..parties. . Hence prays for relief.
The opp.parties have filed the version contending, interalia, that the complaint is not maintainable either in law or on facts. The complainant paid the telephone bills promptly upto bill dated 7.8.2003. The bill dated 7.10.2003 was paid belatedly on 18.12.2003. It is admitted that a complaint dated 28.8.2003 was received from the subscriber regarding increase in call charges in bill dated 7.8.2003. After conducting an enquiry on the complaint, reply was given dated 3.9.2003. The bill dated 7.8.2003 was issued to the complainant covering three months.
So it is natural that the lbill amount could be high compared to usual bimonthly bills. There was no error in metering the calls. Calls were metered by computer software and not by manual labour. So no individual error could be caused in metering the calls. Since the subscriber’s telephone did not have STD/ISD facility no detailed bill could be generated and supplied to the complainant. At the time of issue of bill dated 7.12.2003, the bill dated 7.10.2003 for Rs.1876/- was outstanding. It was paid only on 18.12.2003. Hence the bill dated 7.10.2003 as outstanding bill to be paid. There is no deficiency in service on the part of the opp.parties. Hence prays for the dismissal of the complaint.
* Points that would arise for consideration are:
 Whether there is deficiency in service on the part of the opp.parties
[ii] Reliefs and costs.
* For the complainant PW.1 is examined. Exts.P1 to P11 series are marked.
* For the opp.parties DW.1 is examined. Exts. D1 to D3 are marked.
* Points [i] and [ii]
The complaint, a gulf returnees, is admittedly a consumer of the opp.partie’s service for consider5ation in resxpect of his Telephone No.875440 [Thevalakkara Telephone Exchange]. Since the beginning of 2003 that all along he has paying the bills lby the due dates and the average charges had not exceeded Rs.350/-. But the bill for the period from 1.5.2003 to 31.7.2003 delivered to him for Rs.2002/- was an inflated bill amount compared to the earlier ones.
Yet the complainant remitted the bill before the pay by date and lodged a complaint dated 27.8.2003 to the accounts officer with copy to the JTO. Thevalakkara demanding the detailed printout of the bill dated 7.8.2003 because the said bill was for an inflated amount of Rs.2002/- The complaint was repeated to the authorities on the subsequent day also. But the authorities did not respond at all. Again bills dated 7.10.2003 for Rs.1636/- and bill dated 7.12.2003 for Rs.1305/- were served which were of inflated nature as the 1st disputed bill dated 7.8.2003. The complainant had duly petitioned to the opp.parties against both these bills especially demanding detailed print out and rectification. The opp.parties continued to be indifferent inspite of repeated petitions against the earlier mentioned three inflated bills.
The opp.parties were inactive through and through in this regard until they turned up to the Forum except filing the version denying the charges against them and justifying the disputed bills.
From the Ext.P1 bill onwards the record of the fortnightly units show spurt. As per the circular letters/guidelines regarding inflated bills circular letter No.4-59/85-TR dt. 9.4.86, the opp.party had to conduct enquiry about the cause of spurt in units in the telephone in question. In this case neither did the opp.parties conduct advance enquiry as per guidelines nor did they conduct enquiry inspite of repeated petitions [Ext.P2,P4,P6 and P9] by the complainant in this regard. As per circular Lr.No.4-59/85 TR dt. 9.4.86 chapter VI Investigation of an excess billing complaint para , 6 , the excess bill complaint must be acknowledged immediately on its receipt. In this case this is not complied with. It is also obligatory on the part of the opp.parties to inform the complainant about the result of the investigation regarding the correctness of the bill.
The department completely ignored the objections of the complainant. As this is the matter about the circular and guidelines the DW.1 clearly deposed in this case that it is not compulsory on their part to inform the complainant about the result of the investigation. In the cross examination DW.1 deposed that the result of the investigation was given to the complainant in person. But the fact of the non-receipt of the result of the investigation was convincingly stated by the complainant. The enquiry allegedly made by the opp.parties in this case especially regarding sudden spurt was simply an eye wash. And the records later produced in this regard by the opp.party before the Forum are not convincing.
The opp.parties contended that the lbill dated 7.8.2003 was for 3 months instead of two months. This naturally increased the bill amount. This contention is not convincing because the bimonthly bills prior to 7.8.2003 were at the most for rupees between 300/- and 350/-.
Other causes for the inflqated bill referred to, the revised tariff package, the increase in puls rate and the introduction of the code “95” , are not satisfactory explanations in this case. Because here an unprecedented increase or spurt is witnessed in the disputed bills dated 7.8.2003, 7.101.2003 and 7.12.2003. Because of the above mentioned reasons a slight difference in charge may happen. Here what we witness is a sudden spurt only in the 3 bills [Ext.P1, P5 and P8] and not in the bills before and after the disputed bills inspite of the introduction of the revised tariff package, increased pulse rate and the code ‘95’. Hence t6he reason for the sudden spurt would either be due to the defective recording of the meter reading equipment or some malpractices from the opp.party staff. As the calls were metered by computer software, and not by manual labour, no individual error could be caused in metering the calls is the contention of the opp.parties.
This is only an assumption and there is no evidence to show that the opp.parties had made proper and matter of fact enquiry in this regard. Need we observe at this stage that the department has issued specific guidelines and instructions for disposing of complaints of consumers about excessive billings by the subordinate staff of the opp.parties and as held lby the National Commission in the case of Ajay Dube v/s. General manager, Telegraph and Telecommunication & others. 1  CPJ 2003 , such instructions are mandatory. As per the guidelines the Consumer/Complainant must be convinced about the efficacy of the enquiry.
If the meter reading equipment is accepted as correct here the spurt must be due to the malpractices of the department staff since the opp.parties did not produce any evidence to prove that the complainant had made all these calls. The call bills prior to and after the disputed 3 bills record only normal units. The sudden spurt is very clear in the 3 bills because the bills issued to the complainant prior to 7.8.2003 and after 7.12.2003 normally record only rupees between the range of 350 to 400 at the most inspite of revised tariff package, increase in puls rate and the introduction of the code ‘95’.
The opp.parties could have very well issued detailed print out of the calls of the bills for the periods, 7.8.2003, 7.10.2003 and 7.12.2003 as per the complainant’s timely petitions, Ext.P2 P4, P6 and P9. Difficulties if any, the opp.parties could have issued detailed print outs of the subsequent bills, 7.10.2003 and 7.12.2003 by putting the said telephone on observation as the complainant continued to lodge petitions in this regard from 27.8.2003. Instead of issuing detailed printout, the opp.parties evaded from it tactically by saying that detailed bills are not available in respect of the subscriber’s telephone as it was not having STD/ISD facility. The complainant had promptly paid the Ext. P1 bill as per Ext.P3 receipt. Yet the opp.parties had included Rs.1155/-, a part of the said bill as outstanding in the subsequent bill, Ext.P5. In cross examination DW.1 clearly admitted that mistake by saying that they had rectified it in the subsequent bill.
In the circumstances we see deficiency in service on the part of the opp.parties from the very outset. That the opp.parties failed to properly acknowledge and attend the petitions of the complainant. Ext. D1 and D3 produced by the opp.party in this regard are not satisfactory which was very well revealed in the deposition of DW.1. There is no record stands produced to prove that the opp.parties served D1 and D3 to the complainant. The opp.parties did not inform the complainant about the result of the investigation regarding the correctness of the bill and the meter reading equipment which are mandatory as per the guidelines. During cross examination DW.1 deposed that the giving of the result of the investigation is not compulsory or obligatory. This is another instance of deliberate deficiency in service on the part of the opp.parties.
The non issuance of detailed printouts of the disputed bills as per Ext.P2,P4, P6 and P9 petitions is yet another instance of irregularities on the part of the opp.parties. “Since the subscriber’s telephone did not have STD/ISD facility no detailed bill could be generated and supplied to the complainant” is the evasive reply in this regard by the opp.parties. The indifference and carelessness of the opp.parties in preparing bills can very well be seen in Ext.P5 where a part [Rs.1155] of the remitted bill is included as outstanding. Hence the opp.parties are liable to pay for the deficiencies.
In the result the com plaint is allowed directing the opp.parties to issue detailed printouts of the bills as prayed for and to pay Rs2500/- [Rupees two thousand and five hundred only] as compensation with 9% interest from the date of order coupled with Rs.500/- [Rupees five hundred only] as litigation charges. The opp.parties are further directed to conduct proper enquiry regarding the disputed bills as per the guidelines. The order is to be complied with within one month from the date of this order.
- 09-25-2009, 11:22 PM #4
Mr.Ajay Shankar Sharma,
M/s. Srishti Software Applications Private Limited,
#L-174, 6th Sector, HSR Layout, Bangalore – 560102.
Chief Accounts Officer (TR),
Bangalore Telecom District (South East),
No.232/15, 100 Feet Road, 27th Cross,
7th Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore – 560 082.
…. Opposite Party
ORDER REGARDING MAINTAINABILITY
This complaint is filed claiming compensation of Rs.1,00,000/- from the Opposite Parties.
2. The case of the complainant is as under:-
They filed an application with the Opposite Party – BSNL on 18.08.2006 for landline / broadband connection opting for 02 MBPS Plan which had a monthly fixed rental of Rs.9,000/-. The connection was given on 08.09.2006 by installing telephone No.25720523 and they were informed that as far as Dataone Broadband integration on the landline is concerned, the right type of modem which was “Type-3 or Type 4 Modem which was actual requirement was not available in the stocks and they were expecting fresh lot of the required modem in next 4/5 days.
The Opposite Party had installed Type-2 Modem with the assurance if fresh lot is received, they will install Type-3 or Type-4 Modem within 4 or 5 days and due to the wrong type of modem namely Type-2 Modem there was nil usage of the broadband feature and in spite of it, the Opposite Party raised bills towards usage of the broadband which they objected. The Opposite Party approached the Permanent Lok Adalath claiming Rs.54,841/- towards erroneous bills raised, but ultimately filed an affidavit that there is non-usage found in respect of Dataone Broadband on the landline provided by them. On these grounds, the complainant has claimed compensation of Rs.1,00,000/- from the Opposite Party.
3.In the cause title to the complaint, the complainant is described as M/s Srishti Software Applications Private Limited. Therefore, on going through the complaint, we felt that the complainant had availed the services of the Opposite Party for commercial purpose and therefore we felt it necessary to hear the complainant regarding maintainability of the complaint before the Consumer Forum and accordingly the complainant was heard.
As stated earlier, the very description of the complainant in the cause title makes it clear that it is a commercial establishment. In the application submitted to the Opposite Party seeking a new telephone connection the purpose of taking the connection is clearly mentioned as business.
If that is so, it is abundantly clear that the complainant had availed the services of the Opposite Party for commercial purpose and as such the complainant cannot be construed as a Consumer within the meaning of Section 2(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act. Because in the definition of Consumer in Section 2(1)(d) of the Act availment of service for commercial purpose is excluded. As such the complainant who is not a Consumer cannot invoke the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act to seek the relief. The proper remedy for the complainant to seek the relief is before the Competent Civil Court. In the result, we pass the following:-
* The complaint is DISMISSED as not maintainable. The complainant is at liberty to file proper suit before the Competent Civil Court if so advised.
* Send a copy of this order to both parties free of costs immediately.
* Pronounced in the Open Forum on this the 20th DAY OF MARCH 2009.
- 09-25-2009, 11:22 PM #5
This is a complaint against Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., (hereinafter referred to as ‘BSNL’ for the sake of brevity. The facts of the case lie in a very narrow compass.
 The Complainant is the proprietor of M/s. Ashoka Communications. He is the consumer of the Opposite Party – BSNL. His landline telephone bears number 24320582. According to him, his average consumption bill was not more than Rs.1,100/- per month. He was paying the said bill regularly till the disputed bill for the month of May-2007 was received by him. The said bill is dated 6/5/2007 and an amount of Rs.13,613/- is claimed under the said bill. The Complainant had orally intimated the factum of excessive billing to the officers of the Opposite Party. He had filed a complaint to that effect on 15/5/2007. He was orally informed that his telephone connection was kept under observations. Again, for the month of July-2007 and for the month of Sept-2007, he was served with two bills, demanding an amount of Rs.7,900/- & Rs.9,430/- respectively. The Complainant raised objections. However, those objections were not considered by the Opposite Party. On 19/9/2007, the telephone was disconnected for non-payment of the bills. The Complainant had filed an application before the Opposite Party and has shown his readiness to pay the average consumption bills. Even that application was also not considered by the Opposite Party. The Complainant, therefore, prays that he may be awarded penalty/compensation of Rs.1,00,000/- from the Opposite Party. He has also prayed for certain other relief.
 The Opposite Party has filed its written version and has virtually disputed each & every allegation in toto. It is pleaded that the dispute is regarding telephone line, appliances and the telephone problems etc. Such a dispute is required to be referred to an Arbitrator under Section 7-B of the Indian Telegraph Act. The Forum has no jurisdiction to try the complaint. It is then, pleaded that the Complainant has suppressed certain material facts. He had opted for ‘YNA’ Plan and the said plan was provided to the Complainant on 28/2/2007. The calls made to the Complainant’s landline telephone were held-up due to call-diverting facility availed by the Complainant. After the complaint dtd.15/5/2007 was received by the office, investigation was started. Intimation to that effect was given to the Complainant. It was transpired that the Complainant was availing ‘YNA’ facility by transferring his telephone to other service provider network. The landline telephone number of the Complainant was held-up for more than six hours on 09 occasions in the month of May-2007. It was held-up for one occasion in the month of June-2007. It was again held-up on six occasions in the month of July-2007 and on four occasions in the month of Aug-2007. A committee was constituted to look after the grievances of the Complainant. The FETEX was of an old technology system. It was not supporting to a new software changes such as ‘YNA’ & ‘MGU’ during call-forwarding. The committee had decided to grant rebate to the Complainant. Accordingly, from the bills for the months of May, July & Sept-2007, a rebate of Rs.5,225/-, Rs.2,717/- and Rs.5,539/- was given. The revised bills were submitted to the Complainant. The payment thereof was not made. As such, on 16/9/2007, his telephone connection was disconnected. The same was restored as per Circle Office’s instructions on 17/11/2007. It is, therefore, prayed that the complaint may be dismissed.
 The Complainant has filed his rejoinder. By & large similar contentions have been raised in the rejoinder. In para (01) of the rejoinder, an objectionable statement is made by the Complainant stating inter-alia that the Opposite Party is trying to deceive and is showing that the learned advocate for the Opposite Party is incompetent to run the case. Of course, this statement is not relevant for our purpose for adjudicating the issue. The Complainant submits that his telephone was restored on 17/11/2007 only after his second application dtd.2/11/2007, under the provisions of Right to Information Act was sent.
 The only question that would arise for our determination is whether the Complainant reasonably satisfies the Forum that the bills charged for the months of May-2007, July-2007 & Sept-007 are excessive & arbitrary. At the risk of repetition, it may be observed that the Opposite Party has impliedly admitted that there was FETEX system, which was of old technology. It was not supporting to new software changes such as ‘YNA’ etc. Consequently, there was certain difficulty in computing the meter reading of the Complainant’s telephone. Regard being had to this difficulty or problem, a committee consisting of DE, CAO (TR) & DGM (Central) had given the rebates. The factum of rebate is deemed to have been admitted by the Complainant, but the bills thereof had not been paid. We find from the rebate given that it comes to more than Rs.13,500/- approximately. If, regard being had to the average consumption of the Complainant vis-à-vis the disputed bills for the months of May-2007, July-2007 & Sept-2007, the rebate of Rs.13,500/- given by the Opposite Party appears to be proper.
 In the present case, availing of the services under the ‘YNA’ Plan is concealed by the Complainant. The said facility was provided to the Complainant with effect from 28/2/2007. Only after availing the said facility, the problem started. We are, therefore, inclined to hold that if the amount of rebate is appreciated, regard being had to the quantum of bills for the disputed months, the bills charged by the Opposite Party appears to be quite reasonable and proper. Having regard to the fact that the Complainant has concealed a material fact of availing of the services under ‘YNA’ Plan, we find that the rebate given by the Opposite Party is reasonable & proper. If, the Complainant is aggrieved by the rebate given by the Opposite Party, he has certain other remedy. In the result, therefore, we are inclined to hold that the complaint is liable to be dismissed.
Hence, we proceed to pass the following order:-
The complaint stands dismissed.
No order as to costs.
- 09-25-2009, 11:23 PM #6
Gupteshwar Nath Tiwary @ Tripathi
S/o late Shambhu Nath Tripathi
R/o 9-B-14, Street-11, B.S.City. P.O.-Sector-9, P.S.-Harla
Assistant General Manger,
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., Bokaro Steel City.
Vijay Bahadur Singh, Member
Shabnam Praveen, Member
Date of Judgment-: 04 April, 2009
Date of case filing-: 24 September, 2008
Complainant has filed this present Consumer case against the opposite party and sought the following reliefs-
a)To direct the opposite party to connect the Telephone and to rectify the inflated bills
b)Deduct the rental charges for the period from disconnection till connection etc.
2 Brief facts of the case is that complainant is
subscriber of Telephone No. 264159. The complainant used to pay the bills of the opposite party sincerely and regularly. The opposite party sent following bills which are inflated hence the complainant made request on 06.06.2006 for correcting the said inflated bills but no action has been taken. The opposite party disconnected the Telephone connection which creates problem, mental agony and economic loss which is example of deficiency in service on the part of the BSNL. The opposite party also sent a legal notice vide reference no. TR/Legal/CORR/Bokaro dated 16.04.2008 for recovery of dues but suppressed the fact that whether enquiry made or nor for the redressal of the inflated bill.
The complainant after received of legal notice replied the same in which it has been mentioned the problem caused to the complainant on account of inflated bill and disconnection of Telephone. But in spite of correcting inflated bills, the BSNL again sent a legal notice and reply was sent by the complainant. However no steps has been taken on behalf of the opposite parties to correct the inflated bill and connect the Telephone of the complainant, which is obviously negligence and deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties and the complainant is entitled to get the claim sought against them.
3 Upon issuance of notice the opposite party appeared and filed its written statement, disputing the claim of the complainant regarding the inflated bills. The opposite party also submitted that present consumer complaint is not maintainable and the case is also barred under the law of limitation. According to the opposite party legal notice was issued to the complainant to clear outstanding dues of Telephone bills and then he filed this complaint case only to save his skin.
The complainant is a defaulter; hence Telephone connection has been disconnected. Telephone will be restored only after payment of outstanding dues against pending bills. The opposite party has also informed the complainant that bill dated 18.07.2005, 18.09.2005 and 18.11.2005 are correct and request to pay those bills but even then the complainant did not pay and then legal notice was issued to him. There was no technical default in the Telephone Exchange during the disputed period. The complainant has also not mentioned in his complaint petition that which bill he wanted to be rectified and as such there is no deficiency in service on the part of the BSNL and the case of the complainant is fit to be dismissed.
4 We have heard the parties and have gone through the case records and documents filed by them. It is observed that though complainant has filed this case in respect of inflated bills dated 18.07.2005, 18.09.2005 and 18.11.2005, no where he has disputed any calls made from his Telephone Number in question during the above mentioned bills period. In view of the same we cannot hold the opposite party negligent and deficient towards the complainant and we, therefore, do not hold the opposite party liable to pay any relief to the complainant.
5 Under the facts and circumstances of the case no merit is found in the complaint case and same is dismissed accordingly hereby.
- 09-25-2009, 11:24 PM #7
Balaram Dash, S/o- Udayanath Dash, aged about 50(fifty) year, occupation- Advocate, R/o/P.o. Mahada, Ps/Tah- Barpali, Dist. Bargarh.
... ... ... Complainant.
- V e r s u s -
1) S.D.O. (Telegraph) Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., At/via/Dist. Bargarh.
2) G.M.T.D. (BSNL) TRA Unit Sambalpur, At/Po/Dist. Sambalpur.
... ... ... Opposite Parties.
The Case pertains to deficiency in service as envisaged under the Provision of Consumer Protection Act-1986 and its brief fact is as follows.
The Complainant deposited a sum of Rs. 250/-(Rupees two hundred fifty)only before the Opposite Parties as per their demand Note No. 3101812/06 dated 31/12/2006 for installation of a WLL Phone. Inspite of receipt of the amount the Opposite Parties neglected to supply the telephone till several months. The Complainant inquired the matter in the office of the Opposite Parties and informed by the official that, he will get the telephone after a week as its materials are not available for the time being. But the Opposite Parties did not take any action on the matter inspite of several request made by the Complainant. There after on Dt. 25/10/2007 the Complainant served pleader notice by Regd. Post with A.D., which was not responded.
Further the Complainant contends that with out supplying a telephone, the Opposite Parties claims telephone bill for Rs. 1,448/-(Rupees one thousand four hundred forty eight)only vide bill No.T 0803200845081094 Dt. 08/03/2008 against the telephone No. 212006 from the Complainant. The claim of telephone bill against the Complainant is illegal for which he has lost his prestige in the society and under taken unnecessary mental pressure for such act of the Opposite Parties.
Alleging deficiency in service by the Opposite Parties the Complainant filed this complaint and claims Rs. 5,000/-(Rupees five thousand)only as compensation towards harassment, Rs. 5,000/-(Rupees five thousand)only compensation for demanding illegal bill and refund of Rs.250/-(Rupees two hundred fifty)only with interest and Rs. 15,000/-(Rupees fifteen thousand)only compensation towards professional loss and litigation cost.
The Opposite Parties filed version through his Advocate where in it is stated that, as G.M.T.D., Sambalpur has not been made a party, the present complaint is bad for non-joinder of necessary party.
The Opposite Party contends that, instead of depositing the amount in T.R.A. Counter, the Complainant deposited the amount in the Post Office. As the information regarding the payment could not reached the office of the Opposite Parties for which no effective steps could be take for installation of WLL Phone in his premises. The Complainant has never requested the Opposite Parties for installation of the WLL Phone or produced the money receipt before the Opposite Parties prior to the pleader notice dated 25/10/2007 which was received on Dt. 03/11/2007. After obtaining information from G.M.T.D., Sambalpur regarding receipt of the demand and after observing the formalities the Telephone No. BAPWF-212006 was allotted and released in his favour on Dt.16/01/2008 vide advice note No. D1527 dated 13/01/2008 which was refused by the Complainant for installation.
Further the Opposite Parties contends that, once a number is alloted to a consumer, it is subjected the payment of dues and fixed monthly charges. As the number was allotted to the Complainant on Dt. 16/01/2008 the bill was generated on Dt. 08/03/2008 by the billing section. But after knowing about such mistake of sending the bill, the Opposite Parties have already cancelled the said bill.
The Opposite Parties contends that, for the reason stated above, the telephone could not be supplied to the Complainant and since the Complainant himself refused for installation of the WLL Phone, he is not entitled for the claim made in the Complaint petition and prays for dismissal of the Complaint with cost.
We have gone through the Complaint petition Opposite Party's version as well as the copies of documents filed by the Parties and find as follows:-
The Complainant has applied for a WLL phone to be installed at his premises and deposited Rs. 250/-(Rupees two hundred fifty)only as per the demand note issued by the Opposite Parties. In spite of repeated request, the Opposite Parties did not installed the WLL phone at the premises of the Complainant and illegally claim Telephone bill. To prove his case the Complainant has filed two numbers of telephone bill and demand note with the receipt and copies of pleader notice.
According to Opposite Parties instead of depositing the amount the T.R.A. counter the Complainant has deposited the amount in Post Office. As the information regarding the payment could not reached the office of the Opposite Party for which no effective steps could be take for installation of WLL Phone in his premises. The Opposite Parties could only know about the matter after the receipt of the pleader notice.
As per the arrangement between the Department of Telegraph and Post Office, the subscribers of telephone are allowed to deposit the telephone bill either in the counter of the Post Office or in the counter of T.R.A.. The deposit in the counter of Post Office are accepted by the telephone department. As such the Complainant has deposited the amount in the Post Office and the deposit in the Post Office is not his fault.
The Opposite Parties contends that after obtaining information from G.M.T.D., Sambalpur regarding receipt of the demand note and after observing the formalities the telephone NO. BATWF 212006 was alloted and released infavour of the Complainant on Dt. 16/01/2008 and the bill was generated on Dt. 08/03/2008 by the billing section. The telephone bill Dt. 08/03/2008 for telephone No. 212006 for Rs. 1,448/-(Rupees one thousand four hundred forty eight)only filed by the Complainant reveals that, the Opposite Parties have claimed the amount for the period Dt. 16/01/2007 to Dt. 29/07/2008. When no any telephone was allotted and released in favour of the Complainant. The Opposite Parties have illegally claimed the amount from Dt. 16/01/2007 with out providing him a telephone. More over the cancellation of the said bills was also not intimated to the Complainant. So we cannot believe the version of the Opposite Parties Demanding telephone bill by the Opposite Parties without providing a telephone will certainly hurt the mind of the Complainant/Consumer for which he suffered mental agony.
In the circumstances, the Complainant is entitle to get not only the deposited amount but also with interest and compensation for mental agony.
Accordingly Complaint allowed.
The Opposite Party are directed jointly and severally to pay Rs.250/-(Rupees two hundred fifty)only with interest at the rate of Bank interest on a fixed deposit and Rs.2,000/-(Rupees two thousand)only for mental agony and litigation cost to the Complainant with in 30(thirty) days form the date of Order, failing which the total amount will be charged 18%(eighteen percent) interest per annum till the date of payment.
- 09-25-2009, 11:26 PM #8
Sh. Yoginder Pal Vaidya son of late Sh. Bhim Sen Vaidya resident of Plot No.8A Phase II Village Nela ,Industrial Area Tehsil Sadar, District Mandi, H.P.
1General Manager BSNL, Mandi, District Mandi, H.P.
2Accounts Officer BSNL Mandi, District Mandi, H.P.
This order shall dispose of a complaint under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 ( hereinafter referred to as the “Act”) instituted by the complainant against the opposite parties . The facts as set out in the complaint are that
the complainant is a subscriber of telephone No. 236608 provided under rural scheme at village Nela under Gram Panchayat Dudar ,District Mandi The family of the complainant is consisting of his wife one son and one daughter whereas the son is elder one who is out of home for doing Engineering training and daughter is 13 years old and studying in 8th class .
The complainant and his wife were also away from their house during the day time due to job elsewhere . The complainant had been receiving the telephone bills in the range of Rs.400/- toRs.500/- for two months from its installation but due to some fault the consumption of the bill for the period from 1-12-2007 to 31-1-2008 comes to Rs.612/- which also exceeded to their expectation . It has further been alleged that during the period from 1-2-2008 to 31-3-2008 he received an excessive bill in the sum of Rs.3660/- and he immediately lodged the complaint with police station Sadar to register a first information report for foul play upon his telephone either by the departmental person or due to some fault in the computer .
A complaint was also lodged with the opposite parties to inquire into the matter. It has been averred that the police officials Sadar instead of lodging the First Information report and inquired the matter has suggested the complainant to file the complaint before this Forum . The complainant procured print out during the disputed period and it has been found that the calls were made to Hamirpur ,Sundernagar and other places where the complainant has neither any concern nor had relative at these places. The numbers frequently dialled were 98172-24551, 98175-10066, 98171-79716 and 94187-29728. The complainant tried to know the whereabouts of these numbers but no fruitful result came .
The complainant had alleged that the excessive bill is due to foul play by the operator of the computer and it amounts to deficiency in service . It has further been averred that the mother of the complainant was admitted in the hospital from 20th March and there was none in the house and he had not made the calls mentioned in the print out . With these allegations the complainant had sought a direction to the opposite parties to quash the bill amounting to Rs.3660/- and issue fresh bill on the basis of average consumption, to pay Rs.10,000/- as compensation , not to disconnect the service as the complainant is ready to pay average bill , to issue direction to lodge the First Information report against the wrong doer and enquire the matter and also to pay costs of litigation .
2. The opposite parties had filed reply and had resisted the complaint by raising preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable as there was no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties . It had been contended that the bill in dispute had been issued as per the actual consumption of the calls made by the complainant and question of correction of the bill does not arise. The complainant had been provided dynamic locking facility on his telephone and he could have used such facility to prevent the misuse by using the same. On merits , the opposite party had admitted that the complainant was its subscriber and it had been pleaded that the bill had been issued as per the actual consumption of the calls .
It had been averred that the as per the print out Annexure R-1, the complainant has made maximum calls on mobile numbers and for that reason there is hike in the amount of the telephone bill. It has further been averred that regarding excess metering complaint which was made by the complainant to the opposite party, the report was called from Sub Divisional Officer Mandi and wherein it has been stated that the line and equipment of the telephone of the complainant have been checked thoroughly and no defect was found in it. It has also been averred that the bill for the period from 1-2-2008 to 31-3-2008 is purely on the basis of actual consumption of telecom services.
It is contended that complainant could have used the dynamic locking facility to avoid the misuse of telephone. It has further been averred that as per provision of ITR 443 the opposite parties are fully competent to disconnect the telephone of the complainant if the complainant fails to make the payment of his telephone bill. It had also been contended that there was no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties and the complaint had been sought to be dismissed .
3 The complainant had filed rejoinder reiterating the contents of the complaint and controverting the allegations made in the reply .
4. We have heard the ld. counsel for the parties and have carefully gone through the record. The case of the complainant is that he had received excessive bi-monthly bill in the sum of Rs.3660/- for the period from 1-2-2008 to 31-3-2008. The further case of the complainant is on an average , he used to receive the bimonthly bills in the range of Rs.400/- to Rs.500/- since the installation of the telephone and the excessive bill has been received on account of some foul play upon his telephone either by Departmental person or due to some fault in the computer and in this respect he also lodged complaint with the opposite party to inquire into the matter . On the other hand the case of the opposite parties is that the bill was issued to the complainant as per the actual consumption of the calls / utilization during the period of disputed bill and regarding complaint of excessive metering , equipment of the telephone of the complainant was checked thoroughly but there was no joint as well as any cut in the drop wire and metering system was also functioning properly . In this respect the opposite party had also placed on record Technical Testing report Annexure R-1.
They have also filed print out of the calls Annexure R-2 . It may be pertinent to mention here that the Post and Telegraph Department had issued Instruction No.4-59/85-TR dated 9-4-1986 regarding disposal of the excessive metering complaints and according to these instructions where there is a sudden spurt in the number of the calls of a particular telephone ,the authority in exchange have to keep such telephone under observation in the exchange in the first instance and if the spurt continues then a person is required to be deputed to the premises where the telephone is installed to verify whether there was some special occasion or otherwise justifying the sudden rise in the number of calls.
Admittedly, B.S. N.L. is successor- in -interest of the Erstwhile Post and Telegraph Department and there is no material on record to suggest that these instructions were not in force when the bill in question had been issued or the same had been rescinded despite the fact that telephone Exchanges have gone Electronics and there is dynamic locking facility. According to the complainant, he had been receiving the bimonthly bills in the sum of Rs.400/- to Rs.600/- and the disputed bimonthly bill had gone up to Rs.3660/- for a period of two months . In our opinion ,this indicated a sudden spurt in use of the telephone and there is nothing on record that the complainant was informed about the sudden spurt in the use of the telephone.
There is nothing in reply of the opposite party as to whether the instructions of the Department have been followed by either keeping the telephone under observation or by deputing a person to ascertain the factual position regarding there being any special occasion at the premises where the telephone was installed . The reply of the opposite parties is that the investigation was made and the equipment was checked but no defect was found in the equipment . However, in our opinion, this is not the method of enquiry. The opposite parties were in law duty bound to have followed the procedure prescribed under the instructions. In the case titled U.P. Pandey and others vs Satnam Singh Chawla 1( 2004) CPJ-102( NC) ,the Hon’ble National Commission had held that these instructions should be faithfully carried out . However, there is nothing on record from where it can be inferred that these instructions have been followed in the present case.
Therefore , in our opinion the opposite parties were certainly deficient in service by not following the departmental instructions . Hence in these circumstances the impugned bill dated 7-4-2008 for the period from 1-2-2008 to 31-3-2008 in the sum of Rs.3660/- is quashed and the opposite parties are directed to issue fresh bill for the disputed period on the basis of highest bill received by the complainant during the period of one year preceding the date of disputed bill. It is made clear that if the payment has already been made by the complainant and the bill now raised is of a lesser amount , the excess amount shall be adjusted in future bills . The opposite parties are further directed to pay Rs.1000/- as compensation on account of deficiency in service and Rs.500/- as costs of litigation.
- 09-25-2009, 11:27 PM #9
BSNL through General Manager & another
… Opposite Parties
O R D E R:
Pritam Singh (District Judge) (Oral) President:-This order shall dispose of complaint filed under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. It is the case of the complainant that it is subscriber of land line telephone bearing No.2622049 on which telephone broad band facility with monthly fixed charges of Rs.700/- has been provided by OP No.1. It is alleged that the landline telephone bill dated 07.08.2008 for the period 01.06.2008 to 31.07.2008 amounting to Rs.28,763/- and for the period 01.08.2008 to 30.09.2008 amounting to Rs.16,872/- issued by OP No.1 are highly inflated and excessive one, as the earlier consumption trend of the landline telephone of complainant in terms of broadband facility never exceeded the monthly fixed limit. That the complainant is otherwise not making use of the broadband facility on this landline telephone as the Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has provided free usage of broadband facility on other landline telephone to complainant. It is alleged that except the broadband charges, a sum of Rs.3,599/- as usage of the landline for the period 01.06.2008 to 31.07.2008 and sum of Rs.2,589/- as usage charges of the landline for the period 01.08.2008 to 30.09.2008 have already been paid to the OP No.1. It is alleged that there appears something wrong in the instrument of broadband facility or landline telephone line causing this excessive billing of broadband facility qua his landline telephone. Hence, this complaint perforce is filed by complainant.
2. The OP No.1-BSNL in its reply while denying the allegations alleged that bills in question are according to usage of broad band facility by complainant and the complaint being frivolous is liable to be dismissed. The OP No.2 in its reply, however, alleged that they have provided usage of broadband facility to the complainant on separate telephone number.
3. Thus, taking into consideration rival contention, perusing the records of case and documents filed on record and after hearing the learned counsel for parties, it is deemed fit by this Forum to order conducting of inquiry in this case by OP-BSNL. As such, it is ordered that OP-BSNL shall enquire into the matter, and shall come to a definite conclusion with regard to the reason or manner causing this excessive landline telephone tariff qua broadband usage of complainant keeping in view the previous trend of the usage of broadband facility provided on landline telephone of complainant.
The enquiry shall be conducted by OP-BSNL after associating authorized agent of complainant by sending at least 15 days notice in advance and complainant shall be given due opportunity of being heard by OP-BSNL. After completion of such investigation/enquiry, as ordered and taking into account the previous consumption trend of the complainant qua usage of broadband facility on this landline telephone, the OP-BSNL shall provide suitable rebate to the complainant and would issue a revised bill in accordance with the procedure governing the issuance of telephone tariff bills qua broadband and telephone charges.
The telephone usage bill for period 01.06.2008 to 31.07.2008 Annexure C-2 and 01.08.2008 to 30.09.2008 Annexure C-7 being unwarranted are as such set aside and quashed. The complainant shall however be at liberty to re-agitate the matter, if not satisfied with the revised bill of telephone tariff qua usage of broadband facility for aforesaid disputed period. The OP-BSNL shall complete the enquiry as ordered within a period of one month from the date of receipt of copy of this order. The copy of the inquiry report shall be sent to this Forum for perusal. The complaint is disposed of accordingly.
- 09-25-2009, 11:27 PM #10
Dr. J.N. Barowalia … Complainant.
General Manager, BSNL & others … Opposite Party
O R D E R:
Pritam Singh (District Judge) (Oral) President:-
This order shall dispose of complaint filed under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. It is the case of the complainant that he is subscriber of land line telephone bearing No.2651900 on which landline telephone he has taken broad band scheme with monthly fixed charges of Rs.250/-. He alleged that the landline telephone bill issued for the period 01.04.2007 to 31.05.2007 amounting to Rs.4669/- and for Rs.1958 for the period 01.06.2007 to 31.07.2007 are highly inflated and excessive one, as the earlier consumption trend of his landline telephone in terms of broadband facility never exceeded the monthly fixed limit. It is alleged that there appears something wrong in the telephone instrument or landline telephone line causing this excessive billing of broadband facility qua his landline telephone. Hence, this complaint perforce is filed by complainant.
2. The OP-BSNL in reply emphatically denied the allegations alleging that bills in question are according to usage of telephone and broad band facility and the complaint being frivolous is liable to be dismissed.
3. Thus, taking into consideration rival contention, and after hearing the learned counsel for parties, it is deemed fit by this Forum to order conducting of inquiry in this case by OPs-BSNL. As such, it is ordered that OP-BSNL shall enquire into the matter, and shall come to a definite conclusion with regard to the reason or manner causing this excessive landline telephone tariff qua broadband usage of complainant. The OP-BSNL shall associate the complainant while holding the enquiry in the case by giving him at least 15 days prior notice, and further giving him due opportunity of being heard.
After completion of such investigation/enquiry, as ordered and taking into account the previous consumption trend of the complainant qua usage of broadband facility, and landline telephone the OP-BSNL shall provide suitable rebate to the complainant if found eligible and would issue a revised bill in accordance with the procedure governing the issuance of telephone tariff bills qua broadband and telephone charges.
The complainant shall however be at liberty to re-agitate the matter, if not satisfied with the revised bill of telephone tariff qua usage of landline telephone and broadband facility. The OPs-BSNL shall complete the enquiry as ordered within a period of forty-five days from the date of receipt of copy of this order, and a copy of the inquiry report shall be sent to this Forum for perusal.
- 09-25-2009, 11:29 PM #11
Surjit Singh aged about 53 years s/o Sh. Amar Chand, resident of Village Dansiwal, Tehsil Garhshankar, Distt. Hoshiarpur.
1. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, through its General Manager, Hoshiarpur at Hoshiarpur, Tehsil and Distt. Hoshiarpur.
... Opposite Party
PER P.D. GOEL, PRESIDENT:
1. The complainant namely Surjit Singh has filed the present complaint, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (as amended upto date) “hereinafter referred as the Act”. Stated briefly, the facts of the case are that the complainant is the subscriber of telephone No. 01884-230704. The complainant is regularly paying the telephone bills, thus he is a consumer of the opposite party.
2. It is the allegation of the complainant that the opposite party issued illegal excessive bill of Rs.21477/- dated 5.6.2007. The net chargeable calls were 15902. That the average bill of the complainant ranges in-between Rs. 500/- to Rs. 1000/-. The excessive bill is due to some technical fault. The complainant approached the opposite party with the request to withdraw the illegal demand, but of no avail. The complainant also made a written representation dated 20.6.2007 to the OP. The written representations dated 3.9.2007 and 5.11.2007 were also made to the OP respectively, but of no consequences. The complainant also wrote a letter dated 19.12.2007 to the OP. The OP has failed to redress the grievance of the complainant.
3. It is further the case of the complainant that on his request, the opposite party sent the detail of calls, qua which one annumous Mobile phone No. 94178-88324 had been shown as severally used and dialed, whereas, he or his family members are least concerned with this mobile number. It is further the allegation of the complainant that the opposite party sent duplicate bill amounting to Rs. 23,586/-. The complainant made a request to enquire about the said illegal excessive bill, but of no avail.
4. It is further the case of the complainant that earlier he filed a complaint before this Forum, which was decided on 4.8.2008. The opposite party did not conduct any enquiry, as ordered by this Forum and sent legal notice dated 25.11.2008, hence this complaint.
5. Opposite Parties filed the joint reply. On merits, the claim put forth by the complainant has been denied. However, it is admitted that the complainant is the subscriber of telephone No. 01884-230704. It is replied that the complainant did not pay the bill amounting to Rs. 21,477/- dated 5.6.2007, as such his telephone was disconnected. It is further replied that the telephone bills are prepared as per the actual user of the telephone. The subscriber can make any number of calls from his telephone to the other telephones and mobiles. The bills are prepared on the sophisticated computerized system. The demand raised by the OP is stated to be legal. The complainant never made any complaint to the opposite party with regard to excessive metering as alleged by him in the complaint.
That the complainant repeatedly dialed mobile phone No. 94178-88324. The amount of Rs. 23,586/- is being claimed by the replying OP on account of arrears of bills dated 5.6.2007 and 5.8.2007 after the adjustment of security amount of Rs. 1000/-. The telephone of the complainant had dianamic locking facility, as such no body can misuse the telephone. It is further replied that proper enquiry was conducted by the opposite party, but no fault was found in the equipment and the complainant was found to be using 95 and 98 facility very frequently. It is further replied that 95 and 98 facility is not STD call but at the same time, these calls may rate from 60 to 30 seconds depending upon the call distance. The result of enquiry was duly sent to the complainant vide letter dated 6.11.2008.
6. In order to prove the case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit – Ex. C-1, bill of Rs. 21477/- - Mark C-2, bill of Rs. 23586/- - Mark C-3, duplicate bill dated 5.6.2007 – Mark C-4, copy of order of the Forum – Mark C-5, letter dated 6.11.2008 – Mark C-6 and closed the evidence.
7. In rebuttal, the opposite party tendered in evidence affidavit of Dharam Pal – Ex.OP-1, detail of calls – Ex. OP-2, letter dated 6.11.2008 – Ex. OP-3, reply dated 21.7.2008 – Mark OP-4, meter reading extract – Mark OP-5, letter dated 19.5.99 – Mark OP-6, letter dated 16.4.2008 – Mark OP-7, letter dated 16.9.2008 – Mark OP-8, letter dated 23.8.2008 – Mark OP-9 and closed the evidence on behalf of the opposite party.
8. The learned counsel for the parties have filed written arguments. We have gone through the written submissions and record of the file minutely.
9. It is admitted that in a previous complaint filed by the complainant (C.C. No. 87/3.4.2008) decided by this Court on 4.8.2008 , it was observed that the complainant had not produced sufficient evidence to prove his case , therefore, it was in these circumstances that the OP-BSNL was directed to make necessary enquiry within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of the order after, affording an opportunity to the complainant, and thereafter give the necessary refund/rebate to the complainant and incase, the complainant did not feel satisfied with the enquiry, he had the right to approach this Forum by filing the fresh complaint.
The allegation of the complainant is that the opposite party did not hold any enquiry, as ordered by this Forum and on the contrary, the opposite party has raised the plea that proper enquiry was conducted by the opposite party, but no fault was found in the equipment and the complainant was found to be using 95 and 98 facility very frequently. It is further replied that 95 and 98 facility is not STD call but at the same time, these calls may rate from 60 to 30 seconds depending upon the call distance. The result of enquiry was duly sent to the complainant vide letter dated 6.11.2008 – Ex. OP-3.
10. The matter came up for consideration by the Hon'ble National Commission in Divisional Engineer Telephones Muradabad vs. Virender Kumar reported in II(1997) CPJ 60 (NC) CPR 165 and it was held by the Hon'ble National Commission in that case that such a controversy was in fact required to be settled within the scope and ambit of section 7-b of the Telegraph Act. Placing reliance on the aforequoted ruling of the Hon'ble National Commission, the order of the District Forum Chandigarh ordering issuance of revised bill on the basis of average has been set aside by the Union Territory Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh in Re-case District Manager Telephone vs. Administrative Officer, Punjab Mandi Board III(2001) CPJ 69 and the controversy in that case was ordered to be referred to the Arbitrator.
In view of the aforequoted rulings of the Hon'ble National Commission and Union Territory Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Chandigarh, the prayer of the complainant for reduction of the amount of the disputed bills was legally not tenable, when the disputed telephone bills in fact appeared to have been issued on the basis of actual meter reading recorded on the disputed telephone and other incidental charges payable by him during the relevant period. However, in case the complainant disputes his liability in the matter owning to some defect in the telephone lines/apparatus of the telephone, it was for him to seek necessary arbitration in the matter as provided in section 7-b of the Telegraph Act but was hardly entitled to any relief in the case and the complaint filed by him is thus liable to be dismissed.
11. As a result of the above discussion, this complaint must fail and the same is hereby dismissed. It is, however, made clear that in case the complainant feels interested in referring the matter to the Arbitrator in terms of Section 7-b of the Indian Telegraph Act, he will make a formal application to the department within a period of one month from the date of receipt of copy of this order, who will then proceed to refer the matter to the Arbitrator and the dismissal of the present complaint will be without prejudice to the result of those arbitration proceedings. However, no order as to costs.
- 09-25-2009, 11:31 PM #12
1. Neena Rani Gupta
2. P.S. Dhanoa
3. Sh Sarat Chander
Mansa. ..... Complainant. VERSUS 1.General Manager, Telecom, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Bathinda. 2.S.D.O., Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Mansa. ..... Opposite Parties.
This complaint has been filed by Sh.Bharpur Singh son of Sh.Hamir Singh, a resident of Mansa, against the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited through its General Manager at Bathinda and S.D.O. at Mansa, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (hereinafter called the 'Act'), for giving direction to refund the amount received in excess alongwith interest and amount of security deposited by him along with interest at the rate of 18 percent and for payment of damages in the sum of Rs.50,000/-. Briefly stated, the case of the complainant is described as
2 : under: 2. The complainant has got installed land line telephone, in his house, bearing Connection No.227134, and has been regularly paying amount of bills, drawn on him, as such, he is consumer, under the opposite parties, qua the said telephone connection. The opposite parties have served all the bills since 2007 claiming charges for providing facility of 'Punjab Free Service' scheme launched by them, although the complainant has never applied for such facility. He filed an application on 22.7.2008 before the Opposite Party No.2, who gave his remarks thereon, that no such facility, has been availed by the complainant, which may be discontinued.
Inspite of the same, the opposite parties continued to raise demand of the said facility, in subsequent bills, as such, he is entitled, to refund of entire amount deposited by him, alongwith interest at the rate stated above. The telephone connection installed in the house of the complainant remained out of order for 20 days in a month and opposite parties, have always failed to rectify the defect therein in time at the earliest. Since the complainant is an advocate by profession in court complex, Mansa, as such, his profession is adversely affected, if his telephone goes out of order, because of which he has suffered mental and physical harassment, as opposite parties are claiming charges despite of non functioning of his telephone.
The opposite parties were not entitled, to recover any amount for the period of defect in his telephone, but they have recovered huge amount, which they are liable to refund. The complainant has also secured broadband facility from the opposite parties on his telephone, but because the same frequently goes out of order, he could not avail the said facility, to his satisfaction. The complainant also got the said facility disconnected, but the opposite parties have not refunded the amount of security deposited by him for the same, hence the complaint.
3. On being put to notice, Opposite parties filed written version, resisting the complaint, by taking preliminary objections; that the
3 : complainant, is not their 'consumer' within the purview of its definition given in the Act, as such, complaint, is not maintainable; that complainant, has no cause of action, and locus standi, to file the complaint; that the complaint is bad for mis-joinder and non-joinder of necessary parties; that the complainant, has concealed material facts, from the knowledge of this Forum and has not approached this Forum with clean hands, as such, his complaint, being false and vexatious, is liable, to be dismissed, with costs. On merits, the factum of installation of land line telephone connection in the premises of the complainant, is admitted, but it is submitted that he has secured STD facility at the time of installation of his telephone on 16.4.2007 and as and when complainant reported defect in his telephone, the same was rectified forthwith.
It is admitted that 'Punjab Free call facility' was secured by the complainant from 4.6.2008 to 31.7.2008 , but the same could not be discontinued due to defect in his telephone. It is submitted that as per record available, no amount has been deposited, by the complainant, on account of security, but if the complainant produces any receipt of the payment thereof, it may be considered by the opposite parties. It is also denied that any extra amount, has been claimed from the complainant. Rest of the averments made in complaint have been denied and a prayer has been made for dismissal of the same with costs.
4. On being called upon by this Forum, to do so, the counsel for the complainant tendered his affidavit and copies of documents Ext. C-1 to C-15 and closed the evidence. On the other hand the learned counsel for the opposite parties has also tendered in evidence, copies of documents, Ext.OP-1 to OP-4 and closed the evidence, on their behalf.
5. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties and gone through the oral and documentary evidence, adduced on record, by them, carefully, with their kind assistance. 6. Learned counsel for the complainant Sh.Darshan Sharma, Advocate, has, at the out set, reiterated all the allegations made in the
4 : complaint and argued that not even a single document, has been produced, by the opposite parties, to establish that complainant ever applied for 'Punjab Free call facility' launched by them, as such, charging of amount on that score is illegal. The learned counsel, has drawn our attention, to telephone bills wherein amount, has been demanded by the opposite parties, on account of 'facilities' provided to the complainant on his telephone. Learned counsel further submitted that after withdrawal of broadband facility, the opposite parties, have not refunded the amount of security deposited by the complainant in the sum of Rs.500/- and they have charged amount, even for the period during which his telephone remained out of order, as such, there is deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties, because of which complainant has suffered in his profession and for which they are liable to pay him damages, as prayed for in the instant complaint.
7. On the other hand, learned counsel for the opposite parties, Sh. P.K.Singla, Advocate, has submitted that composite amount has been charged from the complainant on account of other facilities secured by him and relief prayed for by him regarding the period for which his telephone remained out of order, is vague, as he has not disclosed the period for which his telephone remained out of order, as such, there is no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties on account of which complainant may seek compensation from them. Learned counsel further argued that broadband facility secured by the complainant, has been disconnected on 1.10.2007 and thereafter opposite parties, have not charged any amount from him and they are willing to refund the amount of security deposited by him, in the sum of Rs.500/-, provided he deposits the receipt. The learned counsel, has also drawn our attention to copies of documents placed on record, to the effect that grievance of the complainant, was redressed as and when he made written complaint and
5 : has further argued that instant complaint filed by the complainant, is abuse of process of court and is liable to be dismissed with costs. 8. As stated above, the factum of installation of telephone connection in the name of the complainant and deposit of amount of Rs.500/-, is not denied, by the opposite parties, although their counsel has submitted that the same amount was in the shape of advance. However, in the written version, it is submitted that opposite parties are willing to pay the amount on account of security for providing him broadband facility on his telephone. They have also not produced any proof showing refund of the said amount to the complainant. They are liable to refund the same from the date of discontinuation of the facility till date of paymentt. As mentioned in the copies of bills Ext.C-10 to C-14, tendered in evidence by the complainant, demand of different amounts, has been raised on account of facilities provided on the telephone of the complainant. He has not denied that STD facility was also secured by him. The opposite parties have written specifically in the written version that complainant, has secured STD facility from the date of installation of the telephone. This fact is otherwise proved by the affidavit of Sh.Mohinder Pal DET (Legal) Ext.OP-3 and details of telephone calls made by the complainant Ext.OP-2 and OP-5.
The complainant has not disclosed the exact amount deposited by him on account of 'Punjab Free Call facility'. He has also not given details of the period for which his telephone remained out of order and amount which he deposited for the said period, in the complaint. In the absence of any such proof, we are unable to grant him any relief on these counts. The careful perusal of bills of call, tendered in evidence by the opposite parties Ext.OP-1 and OP-5 also reveals that no amount has been charged from the complainant for 'Punjab Free Calls facility'. In the copy of application Ext.C-6, the opposite parties have reported that no 'Punjab Free Call facility' has been made available to the complainant which may be discontinued, but in the application he has himself submitted that
6 : he availed said facility and has been regularly making payment of the amount demanded against the same. As such, plea of the complainant regarding non availing of said facility, is not acceptable because of which it may be held that there is deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties and they may be burdened with compensation. The opposite parties have submitted that they have discontinued the broadband facility w.e.f. 1.10.2007 as per the instructions of the complainant. In the copies of the bill Ext.C-10 to C-12, no amount has been demanded from the complainant as broadband charges. The bill Ext.C-13 pertains to the period 1.10.2007 to 31.10.2007. Even in this bill, no amount has been charged on account of broadband facility and complainant has not placed on record that after discontinuation of the broadband facility, any amount was paid by him for the same to the opposite parties.
9. However, non refund of the amount of security deposited by the complainant after discontinuation of the broadband facility, is certainly deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties ,and they are liable, to refund the said amount along with interest from the date of its disconnection i.e. 1.10.2007.
The record of deposit of amount on account of security by the complainant is presumed to be in possession of the opposite parties, as such, non refund of the amount for want of non production of receipt by the complainant, cannot be held to be justified. Therefore, we are of the view that complainant has been subjected to mental and physical harassment, as such, he is entitled to payment of adequate amount on account of costs and compensation.
10. For the aforesaid reasons, we partly allow the complaint and direct the opposite parties to refund the amount of Rs.500/- to the complainant along with interest at the rate of 9 percent per annum from 1.10.2007 till date of payment and to pay him equal amount on account of costs for the amount spent by him, for filing the instant complaint. Contd........7 : 7 : The compliance of this order be made within a period of two months from the date of receipt of the copy of the order.
- 09-25-2009, 11:33 PM #13
N.R. Muni Reddy, S/o Late N. Rami Reddy,
Aged 65 years, Hindu, cultivation, residing
Dr.No. 34-6, Bommedhoddi Village,
Palamaner Post & Mandal, Chittoor District.
1.The General Manager,
Telecom District BSNL,
Sanchar Bhavan, Tirupathi
2.The Sub Divisional Engineer,
Palamaner, Chittoor District.
3.The Junior Telecom Officer,
Telephone Exchange BSNL,
… Opposite Parties.
This is a complaint filed by the complainant U/Sec. 12 of Consumer Protection Act against the opposite parties to direct the opposite parties to restore Telephone connection No. 08579- 254782 to its original position and pay compensation of Rs. 10,000/- for mental agony.
The complainant submits that he obtained telephone connection from the opposite parties on 16.10.2005 having service connection No. 08579- 254782 and became a subscriber to the opposite parties. He submits that since the date of obtaining Telephone service connection he has been paying monthly telephone subscription charges without any fault and there are no any dues to the opposite parties.
The complainant submits that his telephone is getting repairs once in a week or 10 days and he brought the same to the notice of 3rd opposite party. Since the first week of June-08, the telephone of the complainant all of sudden became completely dead, he informed the same to the opposite parties 2 & 3, requesting them to rectify the defects of his telephone, but the opposite parties have not attended to his telephone. There is no ring tone, there is no incoming and out going calls to his telephone. Since 6 months the complainant suffered severe mental agony, they could not contact their friends and relatives. The opposite parties advised him to surrender his telephone, which he has not accepted. On 19.08.2008 he sent Registered letter to the opposite parties with a request to rectify his telephone as early as possible. He also sent legal notice on 01.09.2008 to the opposite parties. The 2nd opposite party gave reply notice stating that rectification of complainant’s telephone is not possible due to damages made by R & B during road widening works, which is not correct.
The complainant submits that he is receiving bills and paying same regularly to the opposite parties. The opposite parties suggested the complainant to avail WLL services. The complainant declined to avail WLL Services, which services are not also satisfactory. After issuance of reply notice by the opposite party No.2 the complainant received monthly bill of minimum charges including service tax of Rs. 123/- asking to pay the same on or before due date.
The complainant submits that having received the monthly bills regularly they have not rectified the telephone and it is a clear case of deficiency of service on the part of opposite parties. Hence the complainant filed this complaint to direct the opposite parties to restore the telephone service connection No. 08579- 254782 to its original position and to pay costs of Rs. 10,000/- towards mental agony. The complaint may be allowed.
The 1st opposite party filed Written Versions stating that the allegation that the telephone of the complainant was getting frequent repairs once in a week or 10 days is not correct. In the month of June-08 the complaint of the complainant was received and the opposite parties rectified the cable fault. It is relevant to submit that due to widening of road and laying of new Thar road from National High Way No.4 to the village of the complainant by the Panchayat Raj Department, there is multiple damages to the cable wires. This damage to the cable is not due to deficiency of service on the part of opposite parties. The complainant was advised to apply for WLL Phone connection. Due to widening of road work is in progress the Telephone Connection was disconnected. In spite of that the complainant is not interested to close his telephone connection or to convert into WLL Phone connection.
This opposite party submits that there were only two land line telephone connections. The expenditure for restoration will cost about Rs. 84,000/- which is not economical to department. In the above two telephone connections one was disconnected and other single connection was in working status. The opposite party is not in a position to incur huge amounts for single connection. The matter was brought to the notice of higher authorities, it was decided by the higher authorities that the phone was to be closed due to technically not feasible. There is no deficiency of service on the part of this opposite party and the complaint may be dismissed.
The opposite parties 2 & 3 filed Memo, adopting the Written Version of 1st Opposite party.
On the basis of averments, the following points arise for consideration :
1) Whether the opposite parties failed to render telephone services to the complainant from June-08. If so, whether they committed deficiency in service ?
2) Whether the complainant is entitled for restoration of telephone connection ?
3) Whether the complainant is entitled to claim damages of Rs.10,000/- towards mental agony ?
4) To what relief ?
The complainant filed Chief Affidavit of PW-1 to PW-3 and marked Ex.A1 to A5. The Opposite party filed Chief Affidavit of RW-1 and marked Ex.B1 to B9.
The complainant and opposite parties filed their Written Arguments; they are in similar lines as averred in their complaint and Written Version respectively.
Point No. 1 to 3 :-
It is an admitted fact that the complainant obtained the Telephone service connection No. 08579- 254782 from the opposite parties. It is also admitted fact that the telephone is not in working condition due to widening of road by the Panchayat Raj Department, Government of A.P. On account of widening of road and laying of new Thar Road, there are multiple damages to the cables. The only dispute in the case is that the complainant is not getting telephone services from the opposite party from June-08, in spite of his repeated requests the opposite parties failed to rectify the defect in the telephone and consequently the complainant could not contact to his relatives and friends and he suffered mental agony.
The opposite parties contend that under Rule No.418 of Indian Telegraph Act, the Telegraph authority shall have the right at any time to disconnect any exchange to which it is connected and connect it to any other Departmental Exchange and also to alter the telephone number allotted to the subscriber. U/Rule 422 the Divisional Engineer of the Telephone Department may in the event of any emergency, disconnect any subscriber with or without notice. In this case such disconnection exceeds a period of 7 days, the subscriber shall be entitled to proportionate refund of the rent. Rule 423 of Indian Telegraph Act says that “ save as otherwise provided a subscriber whose telephone is disconnected U/Rule 420, 421 or 422 shall not be entitled any compensation.
The learned counsel for the opposite party submits that there were only two land lines in the village of the complainant, the expenditure for restoring the cables will cost about Rs.84,000/- which is not economical to the department. The opposite parties is not in position to incur huge amounts for a single connection. It was decided by the Department that the Telephone was to be closed due to technically not feasible. There is no deficiency in service on the part of opposite parties.
Ex.B7 are Indian Telegraph Rules. The Rule No. 421 of Indian Telegraph Rules says “
421. Disconnection of Telephones :- Where the Divisional Engineer is satisfied for reasons to be recorded in writing that it is necessary to do so, he may, after giving the subscriber a notice in writing for a period which shall not except in emergent cases be less than 7 days, disconnect the telephone, and in such case, the subscriber shall be entitled to refund of rent for the unexpired portion of the period for which the connection or service was given.”
As per Rules 422 of the Indian Telegraph Act says that :
422. Right of disconnection in emergency :- The Divisional Engineer may, in the event of any emergency, disconnect any subscriber, with or without notice. In case such disconnection exceeds a period of 7 days, the subscriber shall be entitled to proportionate refund of rent.”
The opposite parties have not given any notice to the complainant disconnecting his telephone, as they can not spend huge amount of Rs.84,000/- for rectifying the cables damaged by Panchayat Raj Department, Government of A.P while laying new Thar Road. The opposite parties marked Ex.B1 to B6. Ex.B1 is the letter addressed by Junior Telecom Officer, Palamaner to the Sub Divisional Officer, Palamaner stating that there are only two telephone numbers including the complainant in Bommidhoddi Village.
The Telephone No. 08579- 254782 is working in Bommodhoddi Village. The 20 pair cable that was leading to Bommidoddi from NH-4 to a distance of 2 KM was badly damaged by R & B for their road working in June-08. The restoration will cost about Rs. 84,000/- which is not economically feasible. In the letter it is also stated that one number got disconnected due to non payment. This Telephone No. 08579- 254782 had dues of Rs.521/- and they paid the dues on 02.08.2008. For restoration of landline an estimate to be prepared, if he is directed to do so. Ex.B2 is the similar letter addressed by Sub Divisional Engineer, Palamaner to A.G.M, Tirupati.
Ex.B3 is the reply notice given to the complainant. In Ex.B3 it was stated that since the complainant’s Telephone No. 08579- 254782 is also in this cable, the telephone was not working. The road works were started in the month of May-08. If the cable is laid in the road there is possibility of further damage as the road works are not yet completed. The opposite parties proposed to convert the complainant’s landline telephone to WLL Phone. Ex.B4 is the letter addressed by Junior Telecom Officer, Palamaner to the A.O, Chittoor, in this letter the 3rd opposite party stated that the cable leading to Bommidhoddi village was damaged by the R & B in road widening works in June-08.
Thereafter the telephone was not working, the customer sent notice for non functioning of telephone. The S.D.E (GR), Palamaner proposed for WLL Conversion, which was denied by the customer. Ex.B5 the Accounts Officer, T.R new Telephone Exchange, Chittoor addressed letter to the S.D.E groups, Palamaner requesting to inform the complainant that provision of landline is not technically feasible. If he does not accept for WLL Service connection, a regret letter in writing may be issued under Registered Post to him to avoid legal complications. The closure of the phone may be processed as on 05.06.2008 for giving credit of excess paid bills, while finalizing his accounts.
Even though the internal correspondence between the departments of opposite parties shows that the complainant may be informed that it is not possible to restore the telephone connection to him and the telephone may be closed by giving credit of his excess pay bills, the opposite parties have not taken steps for closer of the telephone of the complainant. They have not addressed any letter to the complainant that his telephone is closed as it is not technically feasible and he is entitled to receive excess paid bills from 05.06.2008. Instead the opposite parties issued telephone bills Ex.A5 and A6 for November-08 and December-08.
The opposite parties collected telephone charges from the complainant up to October-08, as per Ex.A4. Ex.B4 the opposite parties came to an opinion that they can not restore the telephone of the complainant. Yet they issued bills Ex.A5 and A6, without providing services to the complainant. The opposite parties have not implemented the Rule No. 420 and 421 of Indian Telegraph Act. Therefore they can not contend that the complainant can not claim compensation from the opposite parties U/Rules 421 and 422 of Indian Telegraph Act. In as much as they failed to implement the rules.
The complainant established that the opposite parties having received the telephone charges under Ex.A4 up to October-08 failed to provide services to him. Hence he is entitled to claim compensation for deficiency in service. The complainant claims Rs. 10,000/- towards deficiency in service, but he is granted Rs.3,000/- towards deficiency in service. Since the opposite parties expressed in their letters Ex.B4 and B5 that it does not technically feasible to restore the service connection to the complainant, this Forum is not giving any direction to the complainant.
Points 1 to 3 are answered accordingly.
Point No. 4 :-
In the result the complaint is allowed for Rs. 3,000/- (Rupees three thousands only) towards deficiency in service and Rs. 1,000/- (Rupees one thousand only) towards costs of the complaint. The opposite parties are directed to pay the said amount within 6 weeks from the date of this order.
- 10-07-2009, 12:26 PM #14Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
Bharath Sanchar Nigam
Aged about 37 years,
Residing at S.M. Koya House,
Manja Thota, Kannangar Post,
Udupi Taluk and District.
- Versus –
The Chief Divisional Officer,
D.E., Southern Telephone Department,
Bharath Sanchar Nigam Ltd.,
Kadiyali, Udupi Taluk and District.
….. Opposite Party
1. The Complainant filed this complaint against Opposite Party alleging deficiency in service and prayed for a direction to pay to the Complainant Rs.25,000/- as compensation towards the mental agony and loss caused to the Complainant and Rs.5,000/- as cost of this complaint and Rs.500/- as the cost of legal notice, etc.
2. The facts of the complaint is that the Opposite Party is the Chief Divisional Officer, Bharath Sanchar Nigam Limited having its office at Kadiyali, Udupi. The Complainant is a customer and availed the telephone facility from Opposite Party since from 28.12.1999 from BSNL Ltd., Hejamadi Village, Udupi and his telephone No. is 2539748. Since 28.04.2008 he had availed broad band facility and he is regular and prompt in paying the bill amount.
3. The Complainant received a bill bearing No.TO71120088621010 for a sum of Rs.843/- pertaining to October 2008. Immediately the Complainant visited the nearest consumer service office on 28.11.2008 at Karnadu Mulki and paid bill amount with bill. The staff who was present there had accepted the bill and returned it after retaining counterfoil with him. The said person told the Complainant that the bill has been already paid and cancel the payment seal in the counterfoil. When the Complainant told to recheck the same as there is no chance of payment of bill by others for which the staff replied that in computer it reflects that the bill is paid and had also on enquiry by Complainant he had confirmed that he is helpless and bill has been already paid.
4. The Complainant submits that on return to his home from customer service center it was informed to the Complainant that the said bill is unpaid and he was asked to pay the bill immediately or else the facility will be cancelled. The Complainant replied that the said day was Saturday he will be coming only after 3.00 P.M. finishing prayer in the mosque. But the concerned staff rejected his request and threatened the Complainant that he will cancel the bill and to face the consequences.
5. The Complainant submits that without informing the Complainant till 23.12.2008 to his utter surprise shock and pain the Opposite Party have disconnected the broad band service without prior notice to him. By this act of the Opposite Party the Complainant was suffered serious mental agony. Because of disconnection of broad band facility and phone facility the Complainant cannot make outgoing calls nor his relatives and friends could contact him. Since last about few month the Complainant could not make use of broad band facility owing to deficiency in service of Opposite Party.
6. The Complainant further submits that on account of the deficiency of service of the Opposite Party the Complainant is issued a request letter to the Opposite Party dated 29.12.2008 requesting them to reconnect the same. The said letter was received by Divisional Engineer Telecoms(South).
7. Aggrieved by the inaction on the part of the Opposite Party company, the Complainant got issued a legal notice dated 23.01.2009 calling upon the Opposite
Party to reconnect the broad band facility and land line service to the Complainant. Opposite Party has not replied the said legal notice nor taken any action to reconnect the braod band facility and land line service to the Complainant. All the efforts of the Complainant to get his broad band facilities failed due to the reluctance and negligence of the Opposite Party. Further, the attitude of the Opposite Party clearly establish their irresponsibility and negligence in not reconnecting the same. There has been default and deficiency in service of the Opposite Party contemplated under Consumer Protection Act. Hence this complaint.
8. After service of notice of complaint, Opposite Party appearing through counsel and filed the version contending that the complaint is false, frivolous, vexatious and not maintainable either in law or on merits. The contents of the complaint are wholly misconceived, untenable.
9. Opposite Party has denied all the allegations made in the complaint. The Opposite Party submits that the Complainant has approached the Customer Service Centre of the Opposite Party at Karnad, Mulki with two bills and as usual, when the bill details are submitted to the PC, Receipt for one Bill received whereas the 2nd receipt did not come due to the system hung up. The Complainant was asked to wait but after few minutes he became impatient. Sensing the impatience of the Complainant the staff of the Opposite Party has issued the receipt for one bill and returned the cash of the other bill.
10. The Opposite Party further submitted that the story created by the Complainant that Opposite Party’s employee in Customer Service Centre has informed him that the Bill Amount has already been paid is not correct. As the system hung up, no status is reflecting in the system and as such the customer has been asked to wait. By that time, seal of the Corporation has already been put to the counterfoil of the bill in question. As the customer has no patience to wait, the seal has been cancelled and counterfoil has been returned to the customer asking him to pay the bill amount within the time stipulated therein.
11. The Opposite Party further submits that soon after the restoration of system, the staff of the Opposite Party was contacted the Complainant over phone
and requested him to arrange for payment of bill amount. But the Complainant refused to do so saying that he had no time as he had to offer prayer. Further the Complainant asked the Customer Service Centre staff of the Opposite Party to go over there and collect the cash. But the staff of the Opposite Party showed an alternative arrangement, requesting him to hand over the cash to Hejamady Staff so that the Customer Service Centre of the Opposite Party could make arrangement for the receipt.
12. The Opposite Party further submits that the Complainant straightaway refused and used abusive words and threatened the staff of the Opposite Party with dire consequences.
13. The Opposite Party further submits that the Customer Service Centre of the Opposite Party at Mulky has been working since last 8 years and is running very smoothly. Very honest and sincere services are rendered to the customers of the Opposite Party and no public complaints are received so far. The Opposite Party further submits that the every steps have been taken to give good service to the customers and also to redress the grievances of the customers. The delay if any, caused while issuing the receipt to the Complainant is only due to the system hung up but not intentional.
14. The Opposite Party further submits that demanding the bill amount, a notice will be issued to the customer by giving reasonable time. The customers are also entitled to pay the bill amount through cheques and they can send the cheque through courier or post. The Complainant ought to have exercised this option to avoid this personal visit to the Customer Services Centre of the Opposite Party at Mulky to avoid inconveniences. The reasons given by the Complainant for non-payment of the bill amount to the Corporation is not valid and legally acceptable.
15. The Opposite Party further submits that it has not intentionally withheld the service of telephone connection given to the Complainant. The Opposite Party has made their honest efforts to attend the alleged grievance of the complainant. There is no deficiency in the service on the part of the Opposite Party. Therefore, Opposite Party is not liable to pay the amount claimed in the complaint.
16. The Opposite Party further submits that even today, it is ready to reconnect the telephone within four corners of rules and regulations provided Complainant pays the bill amount. Inspite of repeated requests, the Complainant has not paid the amount due to the Corporation which act of Complainant is not entitled to claim any equity in the matter.
17. The Opposite Party further submits that for the reasons above stated, no cause of action whatsoever has arisen against the Opposite Party to file the complaint and the present complaint is not maintainable against the Opposite Party. On this sole ground this complaint requires to be dismissed in limine. Opposite Party further submitted that all others allegations made in the complaint which are not specifically traversed shall be deemed to have been denied in so far as they are against the Opposite Party. Hence prayed to dismiss the complaint with cost.
18. Complainant has produced 4 documents which are marked as Ex.C-1 to Ex.C-4. Opposite Party has produced 1 document which is marked as Ex.R-1. Both the parties filed affidavits, interrogatories and reply affidavits. We heard the parties.
19. Now the points that arises for our consideration as under:
1. Whether the Opposite Party has committed deficiency in service?
2. Whether the Complainant is entitle for the releifs claimed?
3. What Order?
20. It is an admitted fact that the Complainant is the customer and he had availed telephone facility from the Opposite Party Company since 28.12.1999 and his telephone No. is 2539748. Since 28.4.2008 he had also availed the board band facility from the Opposite Party.
21. It is the case of the Complainant that he is regular and prompt in respect of payment of the bill amount since availing the telephone connection. He received a bill for a sum of Rs.843/- pertaining to the month of October 2008. He visited the nearest customer service office on 28.11.2008 at Karnad, Mulky and had paid the
bill amount along with the bill The staff who was present there had accepted the bill and returned it after retaining counterfoil with him. Immediately the said person told the Complainant that the bill has been already paid and has had cancelled the payment seal from the counterfoil. When the Complainant told him to recheck the same as there is no chance of payment of the bill by others for which the staff replied that the computer reflects that the said bill is paid and also enquired by him, he had confirmed that he is helpless as this bill has been already paid. But the case of the Opposite Party is that the Complainant approached the customer service centre of Opposite Party at Karnad, Mulky with two bills and as usual when the bill details are submitted to the PC Receipt for one bill received where as the second receipt did not come due to the system hung up.
The Complainant was asked to wait but after few minutes he became impatient. Sensing the impatience of the Complainant the staff of the Opposite Party has issued the receipt for one bill and returned the cash of the other bill. The Opposite Party has denies that the story created by the Complainant that Opposite Party’s employees in customer service centre has informed him that the bill amount has already been paid. As the system hung up no status is reflecting in the system and as such the customer has been asked to wait. By that time the seal of the corporation has already put to the counterfoil of the bill in question. As the customer has no patience to wait, the seal has been cancelled and the counterfoil has been returned to the customer asking him to pay the bill amount within the time stipulated therein.
22. The Opposite Party further submits that soon after the restoration of the system the staff of the Opposite Party has contacted the Complainant over the phone and requested him to arrange for the payment of the bill amount but the Complainant refused to do so saying that he had no time as he had to offer prayer.
23. The Opposite Party submitted that for demanding the bill amount a notice will be issued to the customer by giving reasonable time. Customers are liable to pay the bill amount through cheques and they can send the cheque though courier or post. There are different modes of payment, through different agencies like banks, post office, etc. The Complainant ought to have exercised the option to avoid his personal visit to customer service center of the Opposite Party at Mulky
to avoid inconvenience. The Opposite Party is ready to reconnect the telephone within four corner of rules and regulations, provided; the Complainant pays the bill amount. Inspite of the repeated request the Complainant has not paid the amount. The reasons given by the Complainant for non payment of the bill amount, to the corporation is not valid or legally acceptable. There is no deficiency in service on the part of the Opposite Party.
24. There is no document on the side of the Complainant to prove the allegations in para No.2 regarding the conversation between the staff of the Opposite Party and the Complainant. There is also no document to prove that the computer was hung up. The facts affirmed by the Complainant in the affidavit has been denied by the Opposite Party. Anyhow it is an admitted fact that the Complainant is due for payment of the bill for the month of October 2008 amounting to Rs.843/-. If the Complainant could not pay the amount on 28.11.2008, on subsequent dates he could have paid the amount either through cheque, D.D. or any modes through agencies like bank, post office, etc. Nothing was prevented him from paying the amount due to the Opposite Party.
In para No.3 of the complaint the Complainant has stated that on return to his home from customer service centre, on 28.11.2008, it was informed to him through telephone that the said bill is unpaid and he was asked to pay the bill immediately or else the facility will be cancelled. There is no impediment for the Complainant to pay the amount subsequent to 28.11.2008 when he knew there is balance of telephone bill. The broad band facility was disconnected only on 23.12.2008. Counsel for the Opposite Party submitted that since 2005 there will be frequent computerized warning to the customer who has not paid the telephone bill, to pay the bill within the time limit, failing which there will be disconnection. The Complainant must have received such warning/information to pay the outstanding bill amount.
But the Complainant has not come forward to pay or paid the outstanding bill amount till 23.12.2008. Complainant has not made any efforts for reconnection of telephone service subsequent to disconnection. It is further submitted that the Opposite Party is ready and willing to reconnect the telephone and broad band facility to the Complainant soon after they receive the balance amount. Therefore, we are of the opinion that there is no illegality on the part of the Opposite Party to disconnect the telephone service of the Complainant for the non-payment of the bill amount due. Hence, we hold that there is no deficiency on the part of the Opposite Party and answer the point No.1 in the Negative.
25. In view of the negative answer to point No.1;, the Complainant is not entitled for any reliefs. Hence, we answer the point No.2 in the Negative.
26. In the result, we pass the following:
The complaint is dismissed. Parties to bear their own costs.
- 10-08-2009, 05:56 PM #15Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
Shri Sangat Singh S/O Shri Taran Singh,
R/O V.P.O. Shivpur, Tehsil Paonta Sahib,
District Sirmour, H.P.
1. The General Manager,
BSNL, District Solan & Sirmour,
At Solan, H.P.
2. Sub Divisonal Officer,
BSNL, Sub Divison, Paonta Sahib, HP.
O R D E R:
The complainant has sought relief against the OPs-BSNL of it being directed to restore the telephone connection baring No.223304, which is averred to be dead, as, also the relief of damages to the extent as quantified in the complaint in the OPs-BSNL not providing service to him, despite, he being their customer.
2. The OPs-BSNL in their reply do not contend that they were disabled to provide the landline telephone facility to the complainant, for want of the complainant not tendering to them, the bills, qua the telephone connection, provided by them, to the complainant, rather, they contend that the telephone service provided to the complainant were disrupted on account of the fact that O/H cable in the vicinity of the residence of the complainant was stolen. However, no proof thereof either in the form of copy of FIR or affidavit of the concerned SDO, has been brought on record to substantiate the said contention, as raised in the reply, hence, in the absence of the aforesaid evidence, it has to be concluded, that, the aforesaid landline telephone bearing No.223304 was out of service, and that, too, for no plausible reason. Hence, their being deficiency in service or unfair trade practice on the part of the OPs-BSNL, therefore, the complainant is entitled for restoration of the said telephone, besides compensation and litigation cost.
3. Resultantly, we allow the complaint and direct the OPs-BSNL to:-
i) That the OPs-BSNL shall restore the telephone bearing No.223304 and make it functional and operational, within a period of one month after the date of receipt of copy of this order;
ii) That the OPs-BSNL, shall not charge rental from the complainant, during the period, his telephone remained out of order and in case, rental has already been charged, and deposited by the complainant with the OPs-BSNL, in that eventuality, the OPs-BSNL, shall adjust the said amount in the future bills, likely to be issued against the complainant qua the usage of the aforesaid telephone facility;
iii) That the OPs-BSNL shall quarterly inspect the telephone of the complainant that it working perfectly to the satisfaction of the complainant;
iv) That the OPs-BSNL, shall also pay a sum of Rs.1,000/- as compensation to the complainant for causing him pain, sufferings and harassment;
v) That the litigation cost is quantified at Rs.500/- to be paid to the complainant, by the OPs-BNSL, which shall be paid to him, by the OPs-Board, within the aforesaid stipulated period;
vi) That the OPs-BSNL, shall be at liberty either to pay the amount of compensation and litigation cost to the complainant, in cash, or adjust the said amount in the future telephone bills;
8. The learned counsel for the parties undertook to collect the certified copy of this order from the office, free of cost, as per rules. The file after due completion, be consigned to record room.
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