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Sherly Vijay Varghese vs The General Manager on 11 September, 2007

Kerala High Court
Sherly Vijay Varghese vs The General Manager on 11 September, 2007
       

  

  

 
 
  IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

WP(C) No. 10418 of 2006(M)


1. SHERLY VIJAY VARGHESE,
                      ...  Petitioner

                        Vs



1. THE GENERAL MANAGER,
                       ...       Respondent

2. THE ACCOUNTS OFFICER (TR-W),

                For Petitioner  :SRI.ARUN.B.VARGHESE

                For Respondent  :SRI.C.S.RAMANATHAN, SC, BSNL

The Hon'ble MR. Justice ANTONY DOMINIC

 Dated :11/09/2007

 O R D E R
                     ANTONY DOMINIC, J.
                   ===============
                 W.P.(C) NO. 10418 OF 2006
                ====================

         Dated this the 11th day of September, 2007

                        J U D G M E N T

The dispute between the petitioner and the BSNL was

subject matter of arbitration and that resulted in Ext.P10

award against the petitioner. By the award, the Arbitrator

held that for the deficiency in service, a reduction of

Rs.5,000/- should be given and accordingly the balance due

from the petitioner has been quantified at Rs.26,343/-. It is

submitted that in terms of the interim order dated 28.4.06,

the petitioner has remitted Rs.5,000/- and therefore the

balance left is only Rs.21,343/-.

2. Impugning the award of the Arbitrator, the

learned counsel for the writ petitioner would content that,

the bill in question is for the period 1/10/04 to 30/11/04,

when Rs.38,843/- was demanded. According to him, for the

period prior to and subsequent thereto, the billing always

WPC 10418/06
: 2 :

was in the range of Rs.1500 to Rs.2000. Learned counsel

would submit that it is only on account of either the defect

in the system or pilferage of calls that such huge amount

came to be charged. He would submit that the calls were

not made from the telephone and therefore, the finding of

the Arbitrator to the contrary, cannot be sustained. It is

submitted that the department did not follow the procedure

as laid down in the guidelines and therefore, for that reason

also, the award cannot be sustained.

3. As regards the question whether the calls in fact

originated from the telephone of the petitioner, the

Arbitrator has come to a finding against the petitioner with

reference to the documents. The entire finding of fact in

this respect is against the petitioner. Having gone through

the award, I am not in a position to say that the finding of

the Arbitrator is perverse, or vitiated any ground that is

available for invoking judicial review. In so far as the

allegation of non compliance with the guidelines is

WPC 10418/06
: 3 :

concerned, as rightly contended by the learned counsel for

the respondents, compliance with the guideline arises only

when a complaint has been made prior to the issue of the

impugned bill. In this case, no such complaint has been

made. Even according to the petitioner, complaint was

made only after the bill was received from the Department.

Therefore there is no occasion for the department to have

complied with the guidelines. Facts being so, the judgment

in the case of Mohan Dasa Prabhu v. Union of India

(2005(1) KLT 933) relied on by the petitioner is also

inapplicable to the facts of the case.

4. Thus, I do not find any ground to interfere with

the impugned award. The amount that is now payable by

the petitioner is Rs.21,343/- and this amount is to be paid

by him. Counsel pleads that in view of the petitioner’s

financial constraints, it will be difficult for him to pay the

amount in one lump and requested for instalment facility.

This has been opposed by the counsel for the respondents,

WPC 10418/06
: 4 :

as according to him, the amount is overdue for the last

more than three years. Be that as it may, taking into

account the over all facts of the case, I am inclined to direct

that the petitioner may remit the balance amount of

Rs.21,343/- in six equal monthly instalments. The first

instalment shall be payable on or before 1st of October 2007.

The balance five instalments will also be paid without

default on the 1st of each succeeding month thereafter. On

payment of the amount as above, the telephone connection

shall be restored to the petitioner without fastening him any

liability for the rental charges for the period subsequent to

the disconnection of the telephone.

With the above directions, the writ petition is disposed

of.

ANTONY DOMINIC, JUDGE.

Rp

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