APPEAL NO. 131 OF 2009
Manoj Kumar s/o Shri Jagdish Chander, resident of House No. 184, Sadashiv Enclave, Baltana, NAC, Zirakpur, District Mohali.
….Appellant.
Versus

1. M/s HFCL Infotel Limited, Zonal Office, SCO No. 417-418, Sector 35-C, Chandigarh through its Manager.

2. M/s HFCL Infotel Limited, HO, B-71, Phase VII, Industrial Focal Point, Mohali – 160055 (Punjab) through its Managing Director.
….Respondents.

BEFORE: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE PRITAM PAL, PRESIDENT.

MAJ. GEN. S. P. KAPOOR (RETD.), MEMBER.

MRS. NEENA SANDHU, MEMBER.



Present: Sh.Manoj Kumar, appellant in person.

Sh.Sukhbir Singh, Advocate, proxy for Sh.Nakul Sharma, Advocate for the respondent along with Ms.Ritu, representative of M/s HFCL Infotel Limited.



MRS. NEENA SANDHU, MEMBER

1. This is an appeal filed by the complainant against order dated 10.2.2009 passed by District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II, UT, Chandigarh (for short hereinafter to be referred as District Forum) passed in complaint case No. 1380 of 2008.

2. Briefly stated the facts of the case are that the complainant applied for Broad Band Connection of the OPs company (M/s HFCL Infotel Limited) under connect Tariff Plan: DSL Combo UL 444 at a monthly rental of Rs.444/- and the complainant made the payments of bills as and when raised by the OPs. The complainant submitted that he had not received the bill for the period 16.8.2008 to 15.9.2008 and at the request of the complainant, the duplicate copy of the bill was provided by the OP. Thereafter the complainant made the payment of Rs.588/- through cheque dated 17.10.2008 to the OP. On 21.10.2008, the complainant tried to connect the Broadband Connection but he failed to connect and enquiry revealed that the credit limit of the complainant was Rs.750/- whereas the amount of the bill i.e. Rs.1141/- had exceeded the credit limit and therefore the Broadband Connection was disconnected. It was further submitted that the complainant prepared a cheque No.075092 dated 21.10.2008 for Rs.1141/- drawn on Andhra Bank, Sector–17, Chandigarh and dropped the cheque in HDFC Bank, Sector –17 Branch, Chandigarh. The said cheque was encashed on 23.10.2008. On 24.10.2008 when the complainant tried to connect the Broadband Connection, the same was not working and thereafter he lodged a complaint with the Customer Service of the OPs and connection was restored on 25.10.2008 at about 7.30 PM. On the above said acts of OPs amounts to deficiency in service. Hence, the complaint was filed.

3. Reply was filed by the OPs in which the OPs had not denied the facts with regard to the broadband connection & issuance of the bills. It was pleaded that the Broadband Connection was disconnected only when it exceeded the credit limit and the same connection was restored immediately as and when the complainant made the payment. It was further submitted that on 23.10.2008 the OPs received the payment of Rs.1141/- in the evening and the amount was adjusted into the account of the customer on the next date but in the meantime the number of the complainant was sent in the barring software because of non-payment of bill. Even on 24.10.2008 the whole network of the internet was down due to technical fault. Hence there is no deficiency in service on the part of the OPs and prayed for dismissal of the complaint.

4. The parties led their evidence in support of their contentions.

5. The District Forum allowed the complaint as it is evident from the record that the complainant had paid the bill of Rs.1141/- dated 21.10.2008, which was got encashed by the OPs on 23.10.2008 but this amount was adjusted to some other side on the very next day i.e. on 24.10.2008. No doubt, the network was not working due to technical fault but the complainant was deprived of the services of the Internet Connection for two days. This was solely due to wrong adjustment of the amount of the cheque by the OPs, which amounts to deficiency in service on the part of OPs and directed the OPs to pay Rs.500/- as compensation along with Rs.500/- as litigation charges to the complainant.

6. Aggrieved by the order of District Forum, the present appeal has been filed by the complainant. Sh.Manoj Kumar, appellant has appeared in person and Sh.Sukhbir Singh, Advocate has appeared as a proxy for Sh.Nakul Sharma, Advocate for the respondent along with Ms.Ritu, authorized representative of M/s HFCL Infotel Limited. The main point for consideration before us is whether there is a deficiency in service on the part of OPs or not.

7. The contents of paras No. 1 to 8 in the appeal have already been written in the complaint and in the reply, so there is no need to reiterate it again. It is submitted by the appellant that respondents were deficient in providing the service to the appellant as the appellant had already made the payment of Rs.1141/- to the OPs through cheque dated 21.10.2008, which was encashed on 23.10.2008 i.e. before the due date for receipt of the bill. So far as exceeding the credit limit of Rs.750/- is concerned, it is also not tenable because when the bill of Rs.1141/- was received that also included the amount of previous bill i.e. Rs.531/- and Rs.57/- on account of surcharge vide cheque No. 075091 dated 17.10.2008 and which was encashed on 20.10.2008. Thus it shows that the credit limit had not exceeded the limit of Rs.750/- because if the amount of previous bill i.e. Rs.531/- is deducted from the latest bill i.e. Rs.1141/-, then the balance amount comes to Rs.610/- which is below the credit limit of Rs.750/-. From this, it is clear that there is deficiency in service on the part of respondents. It is submitted by the appellant that the District Forum has wrongly observed in para No. 4 of the impugned order that this amount was adjusted to some other side on the very next day i.e. on 24.10.2008 but the OPs neither stated in their reply nor at the arguments. The OPs simply stated that they received the payment of the amount of Rs.1141/- on 23.10.2008 in the evening and the amount is to be adjusted into the account of the customer on the next date. It is further submitted by the appellant that no doubt the network was not working due to technical fault. It is respectfully stated in para No. 6 of the written statement that the OP has admitted that even on 24.10.2008, the network of the internet was not working due to system outage where the whole network was down due to technical fault but from the perusal of annexure R-2 (in the appeal annexure A-1) shows that the outrage was on 24.10.2008 at 21:02:00 hrs whereas outgoing was barred on 24.10.2008 at 16:18 hrs as is clear from annexure R-1 (in the appeal annexure A-2). Thus it is clear that internet connection had already been disconnected before the outage/technical fault. It is further submitted that the learned District Forum allowed the complaint with Rs.500/- as compensation and Rs.500/- as litigation expenses but the District Forum was not granted the full relief as prayed by the complainant. It is prayed that the appeal may kindly be allowed with costs.

8. After hearing the appellant in person, learned counsel for the respondent & after perusing the record, we come to the conclusion that the cheque of the complainant was encashed on 23.10.2008 and was credited in the account of the respondents/OPs and the same was credited by the respondents/OPs on 24.10.2008. Moreover the perusal of the Annexure A-1 shows that the outage/technical fault in the internet was on 24.10.2008 at 21:02:00 hrs whereas outgoing was barred on 24.10.2008 at 16:18 hrs as is clear from Annexure A-2. Thus it is proved from the record that internet connection of the appellant/complainant had already been disconnected before the outage/technical fault. Hence deficiency in service on the part of respondents/OPs has been established.

9. In view of the above-mentioned facts and circumstances of the present case, we do not find any reason to enhance the compensation awarded by the District Forum. In our view the compensation awarded by the District Forum is sufficient to meet the ends of justice. Hence, we dismissed the appeal as devoid of merit and upheld the order passed by the District Forum without any order as to the cost.

10. Copies of this order be sent to the parties, free of charge.