Govt to pay to couple for misbehaviour by officials

A consumer forum has directed by the central government to pay Rs 1.1 lakh to a couple as compensation for alleged misbehaviour by RPF officials at the entry gate of New Delhi Railway Station.

The Central District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum observed that the Ministry of Railways was responsible for the acts of its employees, who had allegedly misbehaved with the wife of a Delhi-based lawyer when they were entering the station in June, 2006.

“The opposite parties 2 to 4 being employees of RPF should have treated the passengers decently. They did not do so and rather misbehaved with the lady/complainant 2. The Union of India/opposite party 1 is responsible for the acts of its employees i.E. Opposite parties 2 to 4.

“We allow the complaint with the direction to pay to the complainants a sum of Rs 1,00,000 as compensation. The amount shall be recoverable jointly or severally from the opposite parties,” a bench presided by B B Chaudhary said, and also directed the government to pay the couple Rs 10,000 as cost of litigation.

The forum also said if the compensation is paid by the ministry, then it is at liberty to recover the amount from the salary of the Railway Protection Force officials involved in the matter.

The order came on the complaint filed by Delhi-based lawyer Ajay Kumar and his wife Meenakshi, who had alleged that on June 21, 2006, while entering New Delhi Railway Station through one of its gates, one of the male RPF officials posted there for security purposes misbehaved with her, while two other officers looked on.

They said despite several complaints to the ministry, no action was taken against the errant RPF officials.

The ministry in its defence contended that they had twice enquired into the allegations made by the couple and both times their claims were found baseless.

The ministry had also contended that the couple did not like being checked by security while entering the station and had turned the episode into a prestige issue.

The forum, however, observed that the couple’s pleadings have to be believed as the three RPF officials involved in the incident did not appear before it or file a reply.

The forum also said the enquiry reports submitted by the ministry have no merit as the affidavits of the officials who conducted the proceedings against the RPF personnel were not put on record.

Consumer Forum: Private Hospital to pay for Charging Poor

A private hospital affiliated with Fortis Healthcare has been ordered by a city district consumer forum to pay Rs 2.34 lakh to a poor woman for charging her for her son’s treatment despite a Delhi government’s order to provide free treatment to economically weaker section (EWS) patients.

The Central District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum ordered R B Seth Jessa Ram Hospital to refund the treatment cost of Rs 1.74 lakh to Madipur resident Gian Devi besides asking it to pay her a compensation of Rs 50,000 and Rs 10,000 as the litigation cost.

“The hospital has caused deficiency in service by demanding and accepting the expenses on consumables/medicines and forcing the complainant to purchase medicines from open market and to spend money to arrange blood for the treatment of her son”.

It should not have done so because of the guidelines (of Delhi government). Such acts of the hospital have caused deficiency in service,” the consumer forum presided by B B Chaudhary said.

The consumer forum’s order came on the plea of Gian Devi, who had alleged the hospital charged her for the treatment of her son, who, however, died later. It charged her for medicines and blood in contravention of the government’s guidelines, she said adding her late son was the sole earner in the family.

The hospital in its defence said it provided free consultation, ward, etc, as per the guidelines.

It also contended that the guidelines had been stayed by the Supreme Court, by an interim order in a case against the guidelines and as such the hospital was not required to provide free medicines.

The consumer forum rejected the contention saying the apex court’s interim stay order related only to the guidelines regarding cost of operation and not the medicines and directed the hospital to pay Rs 2.34 lakh to the woman.