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A consumer forum here has imposed a penalty of Rs 5,000 on Delhi Jal Board (DJB)  for “negligence” of its officials, who had sent her cheque for water bill to a wrong bank.

The woman had issued a cheque drawn on the State Bank of India, but the DJB sent it to the Punjab National Bank, which returned it with the reason that it was ‘wrongly delivered / not drawn on us’. The civic body, subsequently, imposed a fine of Rs 400 on the consumer for not paying the water bill.

The East District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum held the DJB guilty of deficiency in service and observed that the concerned official(s) of the civic body were “negligent and caused harassment to the complainant”.
“It amounts to mental agony and tension to a consumer who had already discharge his liability by paying the bill through cheque. The staff of the opposite party (DJB) have been negligent and have caused harassment to the complainant.”

“It is expected from the general manager of the DJB to initiate disciplinary action (on the concerned official),” the bench presided by N A Zaidi said.

The order of the forum came on a plea by East Delhi resident Geeta Gupta, who had alleged that despite issuing a cheque for payment of her dues, the DJB imposed a penalty on her next bill and refused to correct it even after she brought to their notice the error made by them.

The DJB professed  before the forum that it had imposed a penalty on Gupta, but added that it had waived off the same.

The bench, however, imposed a penalty of Rs 5,000 on DJB “for causing harassment to the consumer” and directed it to recover the same “from the salary of the official of the DJB who has been responsible for this act”.

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