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Apex consumer panel NCDRC has castigated Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for using cylinder blast and asked the state-run oil firm to pay a compensation of Rs 2.25 lakh to a victim of cylinder blast.

The victim, Shimla-resident Ramesh Thakur, had complained to National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) that in December 2008, a cylinder had burst at his residence which injured his wife and “badly damaged” the rooms adjoining the kitchen.

“The accident took place because of the cylinder being old and worn out and supply of LPG in such kind of cylinder cannot be said to be an act of negligence or omission on the part of distributor but constitutes an act of negligence on the part of IOC itself,” the NCDRC said in its order, as it directed IOC to pay Rs 2.25 lakh as compensation to Thakur.

Noting that fitness of the cylinder expired in 2004, the NCDRC, presided over by Justice J M Malik, said “the petitioner, IOC, continued dealing with it even after four years from the date of its expiry. … This fact clearly goes to show that the petitioner is terrible remiss in discharge of their duty.”

In its order, the apex commission said the IOC had manufactured the cylinder in 1994, which was certified to be fit for use for 10 years after its manufacture.

Observing that gas cylinders were a “dangerous commodity”, it said “the authorities dealing with these, should deal with it properly and as per the rules and regulations prepared by government. If there is any violation of rules, it can cause big havoc”.

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