Consumer court ordered to pay Rs 7.87 L for husband’s death in accident to widow

A consumer court here has ordered an insurance company to pay Rs 7.87 lakh to a widow for the death of her husband in a road accident in 2009.

Thane District Consumer Rederessal Forum president Sneha Mhatre and member Madhuri Vishwarupe said the insurance firm was deficient in services as it rejected the claim citing wrong reasons, due to which the claimant had to undergo mental torture.

The claimant, Achala Marde, told the forum that her husband Rudranivas Marde used to work with a company at Boisar in the neighbouring Palghar district.

On December 24, 2009, he was on his motorcycle when another two-wheeler, coming from the opposite direction, collided with his vehicle on the Tarapur-Boisar road.

The man sustained severe injuries and died the next day while undergoing treatment at a hospital.

Following the man’s death, his wife filed a claim of Rs 7.5 lakh with the United India Insurance Company Ltd, since her husband had taken the policy with it.

The insurance company rejected the claim citing the man’s medical examination report, which said he was under the influence of ethyl alcohol at the time of the accident.

The insurer said its policy form had a column asking if the deceased was under the influence of drugs or drinks (liquor) at the time of the accident.

The claimant had stated ‘No’ in the said column, which was a misrepresentation/suppression of the fact. Hence, the claim stands repudiated, the insurance firm said.

However, the woman challenged the insurer’s argument before the forum while referring to a medical dictionary which described ethyl alcohol as the univalent alcohol radical, a flavouring agent used in pharmaceutical preparations.

The claimant informed the forum that her husband was a man of religious nature and had never consumed liquor.

According to the claimant, her husband was taken to hospital immediately after the accident and the medicines given to him contained a certain amount of ethyl alcohol, which was reflected in the medical report.

Hence, it cannot be concluded that he had consumed liquor, she said.

The claimant’s counsel, citing various judgements of other courts regarding similar cases, said the insurer wanted to take benefit of the post-mortem report and the exclusion clause in the policy, which was unjustified.

There was a deficiency in services by the insurer which needed to be compensated and the claim settled, the counsel said.

After hearing both the sides, the forum last week directed the insurer to pay the Rs 7,87,500 (including the sum claimed and the cumulative bonus on the policy) along with six per cent interest per annum from the date of filing the claim in February 2011.

Disposing of another claim in connection with the same accident, the forum directed the insurer to pay the woman Rs 1 lakh personal accident insurance claim, Rs 8,932 as the charges of repair of the two-wheeler, Rs 20,000 towards mental sufferings and Rs 10,000 for the legal expenses.

Health club to compensate man for false promise

Health club to compensate man for false promise
Health club to compensate man for false promise

A district consumer forum here has asked a city-based health club to refund over Rs 77,000 and compensate a man for adopting “unfair trade practice” by promising to reduce his body weight by 10 kg within a month.

The forum also directed the East Delhi body clinic to pay Rs 25,000 as compensation to Janak Puri-resident Vinod Sharma, who allegedly lost only 100 grams, for mental and physical pain, agony and suffering.

“The OP (health clinic) is directed to pay Rs 77,500, cost of body reduction treatment, and a compensation of Rs 25,000 for mental and physical pain, agony, suffering and litigation expenses,” the forum said.

According to the complaint, Sharma, weighing 93.5 kg, had visited the body clinic on February 17, 2013. He had claimed that the employees promised him 10 kg weight loss within a month, for which he paid Rs 77,500.

However, after a month, his body weight had reduced only by 100 grams, it said.

“The OP (clinic) has charged Rs 77,500 from complainant (Sharma) for weight reduction programme for one month from February 17, 2013 to March 15, 2013 but there was no weight reduction of the complainant. Therefore, the OP has adopted unfair trade practice,” the forum observed.

Denying the allegations, the health club claimed it had never promised to reduce the weight by 10 kgs within a month.

( Source  PTI )

Postfined for not delivering Rakhi gift

Postfined for not delivering Rakhi gift
Postfined for not delivering Rakhi gift

The postmaster of Shamli district has been fined Rs 17,000 by a district consumer court for failing to deliver a money order sent by a man to his sister on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

S K Yadav, Chairman, District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCRF) yesterday directed the postmaster to pay the fine to complainant A K Singhal within 30 days for failing to deliver the latter’s money order for an amount of Rs 500.

The complainant had said that he had sent the money order to his sister in Delhi on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan last year, but she did not receive the order.

( Source – PTI )

Insurance firm asked to pay Rs 3 lakh claim to widow

Insurance firm asked to pay Rs 3 lakh claim to widow
Insurance firm asked to pay Rs 3 lakh claim to widow

A consumer court here has directed an insurancecompany to pay Rs 3 lakh claim amount to a woman following the death of her husband due to illness.

In her complaint, the woman Mamta Prakash Gandhi informed the Thane District Consumer Redressel Forum that her late husband Prakash Gandhi had taken two policies from Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company of total Rs 3 lakhs in 2006.

During his treatment at a hospital here, he died on October 19, 2008, and hence she lodged a claim for Rs 3 lakhs with the insurer.

The insurance firm rejected the claim saying that the deceased had liver cirrhosis since seven years prior to his death and he had hidden the same from the company while taking the insurance in 2006, hence the claim should be rejected.

The deceased’s family doctor issued a certificate in October 2008 after Gandhi’s death, stating that the deceased suffered from diabetes from February 2008 and liver cirrhosis from March 2008.

However, the insurance company submitted an investigating report by Onicra Credit Rating Agency of India Ltd which the forum refused to accept, saying that it was not accompanied by an affidavit.

Also, the insurer stood on its argument that the deceased had the disease for seven years before his death and that its statement was based on the certificates issued by the family doctor of the deceased.

However, forum president Sneha Mhatre and members Madhuri Vishwarupe and N D Kadam refused to accept the rejoinder along with the certificate, purported to have been issued by family doctor of the deceased, as it was neither on his letter head nor on the letter of the Jupiter Hospital.

Also there was no affidavit along with it, the forum noted.

It also observed that the insurance company had not submitted certificate from any doctor other than the family doctor of the deceased, which also defeats the argument put forth by the insurer.

Hence taking into account all the circumstances and documents produced before it, the forum ordered that the insurer was deficient in its services and needs to honour the death claim of Rs 3 lakh by the complainant.

It, therefore, asked the insurance firm to pay the claim amount to the widow along with Rs 35,000 towards legal expenses and compensation for mental agony to the woman.

( Source – PTI )

SpiceJet asked to pay Rs 60 K for losing luggage

SpiceJet asked to pay Rs 60 K for losing luggage
SpiceJet asked to pay Rs 60 K for losing luggage

The apex consumer court has asked SpiceJet airline to pay compensation and penalty of Rs 60,000 to a Tripura resident for losing his luggage in one of its flights.

Justice J M Malik asked the air carrier to pay the compensation amount to Agartala resident Dr Atanu Ghosh whose one out of five registered ‘check-in’ baggages was lost during his flight and could not be found.

Both the lower fora had granted compensation of Rs 50,000 in favour of Ghosh. Thereafter, the airline approached the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) against the orders of the fora and claimed that the amount awarded to Ghosh was on the higher side.

However, NCDRC said that “the compensation already granted by the fora below is on the lower side” and dismissed the airline’ petition with additional costs of Rs 10,000, to be given to Ghosh.

“The consumer court is bound to take the ‘down to earth’ view. It must be borne in mind that a hand-baggage/attache, without any contents, itself costs about Rs 9,000 to Rs 10,000. The statement made by the complainant (Ghosh) clearly mentions that the luggage contained goods worth Rs 90,000.

“In the instant case, the deficiency on the part of the petitioners (airlines) stands established. The compensation already granted by the fora below is on the lower side. We, therefore, dismiss the revision petition with costs of Rs 10,000,” it said, while directing the airline to pay the money to the complainant.

According to Ghosh, out of five registered ‘check-in’ baggages, one was missing and could not be traced and a complaint was lodged with SpiceJet officials in Kolkata and an FIR was lodged with the police.

He claimed that the baggage contained goods, such as video camera, digital camera, cosmetics and clothes, all worth Rs 90,000.

( Source – PTI )

Health insurance frm asked to pay Rs 3 lk to claimant

Health insurance frm asked to pay Rs 3 lk to claimant
Health insurance frm asked to pay Rs 3 lk to claimant

A consumer court of Thane has ordered a health insurance company to pay Rs 3 lakhs to a claimant as it failed to prove that his wife was suffering from a disease prior to issuance of the policy.

Complainant Dilip Mohite informed the Thane District Consumer Redressal Forum that he had taken a floater insurance for Rs 3 lakh for his family members, including wife and two children, from Star Health and Allied Insurance Company.

In June 2012, his wife fell ill and had to undergo an angiography and angioplasty, for which he had lodged a claim of Rs 3 lakh with the insurance company.

However, the insurance firm rejected the claim stating that it was a pre-existing disease which Mohite had concealed at the time of taking the policy, and thus rejected it.

Mohite then approached the forum seeking a claim of Rs 3 lakh and Rs 50,000 as compensation.

The insurance firm said it was observed that there were 90 per cent blockages (in heart) detected on the patient, which meant that it had taken a long time to develop and can be treated as pre-existing, and hence it rejected the claim.

Forum president Shena Mhatre and members Madhuri Vishwarupe and ND Kadam gave the definition provided by a court ruling in a case that “pre-existing disease is one for which the insured should have undergone hospitalisation or undergone long treatment or operation.”

The insurance firm had not produced any proof of the claimant undergoing any treatment of heart ailment prior to the present illness, and hence the contention that the disease was pre-existing cannot be accepted, the forum noted.

As there is no proof whatsoever of the claimant having been treated or admitted for any heart ailment prior to the taking of the policy, the reasons given by the insurance company cannot be accepted, it observed.

Thus, the forum last week ordered the insurance company to settle the entire claim amount of Rs 3 lakh to the complainant along with a compensation of Rs 10,000.

( Source – PTI )

Bank asked to pay Rs 7k for deficient service

Bank asked to pay Rs 7k for deficient service
Bank asked to pay Rs 7k for deficient service

A consumer court in Thane has asked Bank of India (BOI) to pay a complainant Rs 7,000, including compensation and legal expenses, for deficiency in services.

The complainant, advocate B R Ramchandani, informed the Thane District Consumer Redressel Forum that he had opted for BOI’s ‘STAR ePay’ facility in 2006 and in the form, he had mentioned the facility should be extended for his MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam) bills.

However, between February 2007 and October 2008, the bank deducted Rs 12,090 from his account and made payment to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) on his behalf.

When the complainant came across deductions towards bills of MSEDCL, which he had already paid himself, he approached the bank and informed it that the deductions should be for MTNL bills only and not for the MSEDCL bills.

However, between October December 2010, the bank again deducted Rs 1,480 from his account and paid it to the MSEDCL.

He took up the issue with the bank, but to no avail and, hence, approached the forum for relief.

The respondent bank in its argument stated that in the form filled in 2006, the complainant had first written MSEDCL and struck it off and written MTNL on it, and also annexed the bills of the MSEDCL and the MTNL to the form for payment.

The bank argued that the complainant had attached both the bills, and hence the amount was paid by the bank.

Forum’s presiding member Madhuri Vishwarupe and member N D Kadam, after hearing both the parties, concluded that the complainant had specifically instructed the bank not to deduct the MSEDCL bills, but the bank went ahead with it and this was deficiency in service, for which it should compensate the complainant.

The forum ordered the bank to pay a compensation of Rs 5,000 and Rs 2,000 towards legal expenses to the complainant by January 18, 2016.

( Source – PTI )

Man gets Rs 20,000 for train coach cancellation

Man gets Rs 20,000 for train coach cancellation
Man gets Rs 20,000 for train coach cancellation

A consumer court has asked Central Railway authorities to pay Rs 20,000 to a senior citizen who suffered hardship as he was neither informed in advance about cancellation of his coach in train, nor provided proper alternative travel arrangements.

The Thane District Consumer Redressal Forum gave the order on a complaint of Pooransingh Mehra of Vadavali in Thane’s Ambernath township.

He stated that on February 8, 2011, he had booked a ticket to travel on May 2 from Kalyan to Bareilly in train 14313 Mumbai LTT-Bareilly Express. He was issued a confirmed reserved berth no. 60 in AC sleeper coach B-2.

However, on the day of journey when he reached Kalyan station, there was an announcement that coach B-1 had been cancelled and B-2 was 14th from the engine.

Accordingly, the complainant walked the entire distance and boarded the B-2 coach and occupied berth 60.

At Manmad station, the ticket checker asked him to vacate the seat as it was reserved for someone else and informed him that he was allotted a berth in II class sleeper coach which was attached as substitute for B-2.

Mehra also said in his complaint that on the day of his journey, there was an announcement at Kalyan station that coach B-1 had been cancelled and B-2 was 14th from engine. But the ticket checker would not listen to him at all and forced him to leave his berth.

As a result of the change of berth from AC to non-AC, he had to face hardships in his travel upto Bareilly. Mehra said he did not accept the berth in II class sleeper coach and instead travelled the entire distance sitting on the footboard of coach B-2. He said that he was ill for next five days and had to spend Rs 8,710 on his medical treatment. He also stated that he was diabetic and a heart patient.

He sought a refund of Rs 843 travel fare, and also claimed medical expenses of Rs 8,710 and legal expenses.

He said that he had sent a notice to the railways for the same, but did not get any response and hence, approached the consumer forum.
The railways contested the claim, saying the III AC

coach B-2 had developed some technical problem and had to be cancelled. Instead, a non-AC second class sleeper coach was attached to the train.

However, due to mistake of the staff at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, the communication was that coach B-1 has been cancelled, and this announcement was being made at the railway stations, including Kalyan. But, when they came to know about the mistake, they communicated to all the stations about it and asked them to make a correction.

The railways also stated that the ticket checker informed the complainant that the III AC B-2 coach was cancelled and that he had been accommodated in the IInd class sleeper, but he did not listen and insisted that he would travel on the same berth and in the same coach, which was not not possible as it had been allotted to someone else. Hence the complaint be dismissed, the railways argued.

Station Manager, Kalyan, Chief Commercial Manager (CCM) and Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Central Railway, Mumbai, were made respondents in the case.

Consumer forum president Sneha S Mhatre and members Madhuri Vishwarupe and ND Kadam observed that the respondent had not given the complainant any prior intimation about the change of coach, and a wrong announcement was made at Kalyan.

Besides, not taking into consideration the complainant’s age and the fact that he had been given a confirmed reserved ticket in AC coach for which no alternative and proper arrangement was made for him, it clearly indicates that he had been put to inconvenience, the forum noted.

Therefore the forum recently ordered the respondents to refund 50 per cent of the ticket fare (Rs 422) and also pay of Rs 10,000 each as compensation and legal expenses to the complainant.

( Source – PTI )

Airtel to pay for harassing old subscriber

The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum imposed a fine of  Rs 25,000 on Bharti Airtel for harassing a post-paid subscriber.

Bharti Airtel has demanded fresh documents to verify his six-year-old connection and then stopping outgoing calls on his number.

The telecom major has been held guilty of rendering deficient service and causing harassment to complainant Manoj Kumar Sharma, a school teacher.

 Consumer court said “A post-paid connection is issued to subscribers only after the residential proof like passport, driving license, ration card and voter ID card are provided to the opposite party (Airtel), otherwise it could have never issued a post-paid connection to any subscriber”.

“It is a clear case of deficiency on the part of opposite party to harass the subscriber (Sharma) without any rhyme and reason. Opposite party is directed to pay (Sharma) Rs 25,000 as harassment, mental agony and litigation charges as the consumer (Sharma) has been suffering without any valid reasons since 2009,” the bench presided by C K Chaturvedi said.

 Manoj Kumar Sharma, a resident of Lodhi Road Complex here, in his complaint filed in October 2009 had said he had been using an Airtel post-paid connection for over six years when the firm’s service centre called him up and asked him to provide fresh set of documents for verifying his number.

 He had agreed and had asked them to send someone to collect the documents from his home but no one came, he had said in his complaint and added that Airtel then blocked all outgoing calls from his number without informing him.

 While in its written statement, Airtel replied it was acting as per the provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act and the TRAI guidelines.

 But the forum rejected the contention of Airtel by saying that its act was totally arbitrary.

PVR to pay compensation for screening of another movie

A woman was awarded Rs 10,000 as compensation for disappointment and inconvenience suffered by her and her son due to last-minute replacement of the movie they had booked tickets for in a PVR.

The East District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said  “It is clear from their (PVR) own averment that the picture ‘Bas Ek Pal’ was not screened at the scheduled time and another picture was playing when the complainant (Mittal) along with her son reached the PVR at Noida from Sunder Nagar, Delhi”.

 “This came as a great disappointment and inconvenience to the complainant who had acted in good faith upon the representation made by respondent (PVR) through newspaper. She incurred expenses on transport apart from valuable time of the two persons… Taking all the facts and circumstances into consideration, we award a sum of Rs 10,000 as compensation to her,” the bench presided by N A Zaidi said.

Mittal in her complaint had stated that she and her son had gone to watch the movie in PVR Spice cinema at Noida from Delhi on September 17, 2006 evening on the basis of show timings in newspapers, as her son was leaving for the UK the next day, but when they reached there they found that another movie was playing.

While PVR in response to her complain contended that she was not a consumer as per the Consumer Protection Act.

The forum, however, rejected PVR’s contention saying she had set out to watch the movie “after making payment at the respondent’s office… and on the representation made by the respondent that at 6.00 pm movie ‘Bas Ek Pal’ shall be screened… In such circumstances, she shall be deemed to be a consumer as defined under the consumer protection act.”