A consumer court in Maharashtra’s Thane district has rejected a professional singer’s plea seeking a compensation of Rs 15 lakh from two doctors for alleged deficiency in service.
The complainant, Rahima Gulam Azad, told the Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum at Vashi that she worked as an orchestra singer and suffered from dark circles under eyes and fat on abdomen and waist.
On the recommendation of dentist Bindiya Gupta, the complainant, a resident of Nerul in Navi Mumbai, approached cosmetic surgeon Vikas Sharma to get rid of the problems.
She said Sharma performed surgeries on her in 2014 to remove that fat and scars but they appeared after some time due to “medical negligence” on part of the surgeon.
The woman then underwent a follow-up, but in vain, and because of the scars and fat, she could not perform in orchestra events.
Hence, she sought a compensation of Rs 15 lakh from the two respondents (Sharma and Gupta) for the mental agony suffered by her and the medication and litigation costs.
The consumer forum’s president V K Shewale and members T A Thool and G M Kapse, in their order dated July 10, said Azad had no knowledge of medical jurisprudence.
“Hence, her evidence about medical negligence by respondents in performing surgery for removal of dark circle under the eyes, liposuction and abdominoplasty can be said to be hearsay,” they observed in the order.
Her evidence does not show she properly followed the medical advice and follow-up treatment, they said.
The doctors took due and reasonable care, as per medical parameters, in conducting the cosmetic surgery, the forum noted.
“Thus, the complainant has failed to prove that the respondents committed medical negligence. Hence, they cannot be blamed in the matter,” it said and dismissed the claim.
The District Consumer Redressal Forum here has rejected four complaints against the State Bank of India (SBI) pertaining to interest rate on personal loans.
Forum’s president Sneha Mhatre and member Madhuri Vishwarupe recently held that SBI’s Thane main branch was right in recovering the difference in the interest rate on the personal loan as the loanee had in their agreements at the time of obtaining the loan sought a “floating rate of interest”.
Prakash Sawant, Prakash Otavnekar, Anant Mahadik, and Vilas Fadtare had in their complaints said they took a personal loan of Rs 1.98 lakh, Rs 72,000, Rs 2.08 lakh and Rs 1.20 lakh respectively in 2006 and repaid it in 2011.
However, the bank without intimating them debited an additional amount of Rs 15,000, Rs 14,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 14,000 respectively from their accounts and also closed their accounts in 2013, it was stated.
The four claimed that the bank erred as it had not intimated them before debiting money from their account.
Hence, they had sought the refund of the amount along with interest.
The complainants had claimed that the bank’s action amounted to deficiency in services and between 2011 and 2013 the SBI did not respond.
The bank contested the claims and argued that the complainants had in their agreement opted for floating rate of interest on the loans taken by them.
Hence the SBI argued that it was right in recovering the short interest arising in the change of interest rate from account holders.
The interest rate increased from 10.25 per cent and 10.75 per cent to 15.00 per cent and hence the bank recovered the difference in the interest amount from the complainants, the SBI said.
The forum upheld the bank’s argument and disposed off the complaints.
The Delhi Development Authority and its officials have been pulled up by a consumer forum here for “high-handedness and nepotism” in dealing with flat allottees, saying they behaved as if they were the final authority and the customers were “totally at their mercy”.
While dealing with a case, the South Delhi district consumer disputes redressal forum said the facts “hoarsely demonstrate that the officials of DDA sometimes are very high-handed, nepotistic and act in a manner as if they are the final authority and allottees are totally at their mercy.”
The case pertained to a complaint in which the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) cancelled the allotment of a flat as it received no response from the allottee since the allotment letter was not sent by the housing body to his new address that had been submitted by him and received by it.
Terming the entire episode as “callousness” and gross deficiency in service on part of the DDA, the forum ordered it to allot a flat in the next draw to the complainant at the same costs which prevailed on the date the complaint was filed and give a compensation of Rs 25,000 to the complainant.
“The innocent complainant could not get possession of a flat which was allotted to him by the Opposite Party (DDA) in the draw held on October 15, 2004 only because of the high- handedness of the officials,” the forum bench headed by President N K Goel said.
The bench, also comprising member Naina Bakshi, said “it is not the case of the DDA that demand-cum-allotment letter had ever been issued to the complainant at his newly intimated address. Was it not its legal duty to send the demand-cum- allotment letter to the complainant on his newly intimated address? Certainly.
“However, the DDA did not do so for reasons best known to its officials and they deprived a legally entitled person from allotment of a residential flat,” it said.
The forum said that the “innocent buyer” could not get possession of a flat which was allotted to him in the draw held on October 15, 2004 only because of the “high-handedness” of the officials of the DDA.
“We hold the DDA guilty of gross deficiency in service and direct it to include the name of the complainant in the next draw to be held by it in respect of LIG flats in any locality.
“OP shall allot a LIG flat to the complainant on the costs prevalent on April 23, 2013 (date of filing complaint).
After the allotment of an LIG flat to the complainant the OP shall issue a demand-cum-allotment letter to the complainant at his present given address through Speed Post,” it said.
It also directed the DDA to pay Rs 25,000 towards compensation for causing mental agony and harassment to the complainant.
As per the complaint, Ranjan had booked an LIG flat in the NPRS scheme 1979 of the DDA by paying Rs 1,500. It said he had changed his residence in 1984 and informed the DDA about the new address through a letter on May 20, 1988 which was acknowledged by the authority the same day.
However, when the draw took place in 2004, he did not get any intimation from DDA and after nearly a decade-long battle with the authorities, he lodged a complaint against them.
Denying the allegations, the DDA submitted that they had sent the allotment letter at his old address and never got a reply from him, following which his allotment was cancelled.
Thane Consumer Redressal Forum has ordered an insurance firm and a third party administrator (TPA) to jointly pay Rs 10,000 as compensation beside claim money to a man, observing that the rule to inform insurance firm and TPA within 24 hours of hospitalisation is “harsh.”
Forum president N D Kadam and Sneha Mhatre in their order delivered on Monday directed United India Insurance Company and TPA, Medsave Healthcare Ltd to jointly pay the claim amount and an additional of Rs 10,000 to Bhiwandi resident Ansari Hafij-ur-Rehman, towards his mental suffering.
The complainant told the forum that he had got his health policy of Rs 1,72,000 renewed for a period from September 2009 to August, 2010.
Rehman said he was unwell from July 23-28, 2010 and was admitted to a hospital for treatment of hypertension and diabetics type-2. Later on July 30, he again fell sick and was referred to Jupiter Hospital. The entire treatment cost him Rs 1.54 lakh.
Meanwhile, his family members informed the insurance firm and the TPA on July 23 only.
However, he was told next year in January by the company that his claim has been rejected on grounds that he did not inform within 24 hours of the hospitalisation.
Following the rejection, Rehman approached the forum and adduced all relevant documents.
The forum observed that the complainant duly apprised the firm within 24 hours and thereby rejected insurance firm’s claim.
“If an insured sufferers sudden illness and is admitted to hospital, then his relatives will first attend to his treatment. At that time it is necessary to take into account the mental situation of the relatives of the sick person. At that time the condition laid by the insurance companies that they should be intimated within 24 hours of the admission after getting the requisite documents is a harsh one,” the forum said.
A group of ten people, who could not undertake a tour to Dubai following lapses in services by a travel agency, have been awarded a compensation of Rs 8,000 each besides refund of the tour fare along with 8 per cent interest by the District Consumer Forum here.
Forum President Sneha Mhatre and members Madhuri Vishwarupe and N D Kadam found fault with the Ratnagiri-based tour operator Saffron International Holidays Pvt Ltd, and said there was deficiency in its services as it had not intimated the tourists about the cancellation of the tour.
In their complaint, the ten claimants from three families informed the Forum that it was in December 2012 they had booked a Dubai tour to be undertaken between May 15 and 18, 2013 and also made a payment of Rs 20,618 each which included service tax also.
After the payment of the booking amount, the tour operator obtained the photographs from them on several occasions for getting the visa. However, he never got the visa and also did not pay any heed to their queries about the tour.
Finally, they were informed that the tour had been cancelled and they would get their money back in October 2013 which was never refunded and hence the complainants had to approach the Forum seeking compensation.
In the complaint, they claimed an amount of Rs 20,168 paid as advance and interest at the rate of 10 per cent for the period December 2012 to June 2014 (when they filed the complaint) and also Rs 10,000 as compensation for mental suffering and Rs 5,000 towards legal expenses to each of the ten persons.
They also said that some of them had drawn the money from PPF, and they had lost interest on the amount so withdrawn due to cancellation of the tour. Some others stated in their submission that they had taken leave for the tour which went waste completely.
In their order, the Forum observed that the tour operator had not given any written information about the tour to the clients, and did not organise the tour as per schedule and did not abide by the advertisement relating to the refund of the booking amount which itself amounted to deficiency in services which need to be compensated.
The Forum thus ordered refund of the fare amount along with interest of 8 per cent on it.
At least six of the claimants are senior citizens who had drawn money from their PPF and some others had taken leave which had gone a waste which also needs to be compensated, the Forum felt.
It also ordered payment of Rs 5,000 towards mental suffering and Rs 3,000 towards legal expenses.
A consumer forum here has held that it cannot order ThanePolice Commissioner and RTO to fine autorickshaw union for its strike on two days in the city in April this year.
Thane District Consumer Redressal Forum (TDCRF) president Manohar Y Mankar and member Madhuri S Vishwarupe were deciding a complaint filed by an aggrieved advocate from neighbouring Mumbai who sought compensation for the hardships suffered due to the strike.
In his complaint, advocate Sadashiv S Limaye stated that on account of the strike by autorickshaws in Thane on April 6 and 29, he and many other commuters faced hardships.
The commuters make use of autorickshaws and pay the fare and hence, this public transport provides services. It is the duty of the respondents – Police Commissioner and RTO – to ensure that uninterrupted autorickshaw services are available to commuters, he said.
As the number of autos is large, he urged the forum to order the respondents to maintain a database of details of the autorickshaws and present it to the TDCRF.
Till a decision is taken on the complaint, they should not resort to strike, he urged and demanded that the autorickshaws should be fined for refusing services on these two days and that the forum should order compensation for the failure to deliver services to commuters.
However, the forum observed recently that the two respondents were government officers and they performed their duties as per law. There is no customer relation established between the complainant and the respondents, it said.
Moreover, the complainant has not paid or agreed to pay any charges to the respondents for providing the services. Hence, this does not not fall under the category of consumer complaint or dispute and therefore, the forum has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint, the TDCRF noted.
While appreciating the complaint as innovative with good intention, the TDCRF, stated that he had approached a wrong forum for his grievance.
A consumer forum has asked the Railways to display in each coach the mechanism to redress the issue of theft as well as the duty of TTE and railway police personnel to facilitate the passengers.
New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, presided by C K Chaturvedi, passed the directions while asking the Railways to redress an issue of theft during journey on a complaint filed by one S M Prasad.
While taking the complaint as a “general public grievance”, the forum said the incident of railway employees passing the buck was a “routine experience” and asked the chairman of railways to redress the issue from the view point of ordinary passenger.
“We all find this to be routine experience of all passengers and direct complaint’s copy to be forwarded to Chairman, railway authority to redress the issue from view point of ordinary passenger.
“We direct Railway authorities to display in coach, the procedure, the duty of TTE, Railway Police, the telephone number so that travelling public is facilitated rather than harassed in such loss,” the forum said.
Prasad had told the forum that his daughter-in-law lost her purse containing valuables while travelling to Delhi in Navyug Express on October 10, 2013. He had also claimed that when she tried to seek help of TTE, railway police, GRPF etc. everyone passed the buck.
A consumer forum here has dismissed a man’s plea seeking direction to Delhi Jal Board to improve water pressure in his area, saying he was not entitled to any relief as the complaint was “false and misleading”.
The West Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum rejected the complaint of Vijay Kumar Pabbi, a resident of Palam here, after noting that he was not residing at the address for which he was seeking the relief.
“Absolutely when the complainant is not residing at this address, he is not competent to file such a complaint that he has not been receiving water through pipeline instead of having water connection since the inception…
“One who approaches the forum giving misleading and incorrect fact is not entitled to any relief and hence under these circumstances, complaint is hereby dismissed,” the forum said.
It said even if it was presumed that he was residing at the address given in the complaint for past 20 years and there was water crisis since then, the plea was liable to be rejected on account of delay.
The forum noted that the man had accepted the fact that regular water supply was given either through tanker or tubewell water in the area.
Pabbi, in his complaint, had told the forum that he was residing in Mahavir Enclave, Bengali Colony in Palam, for the last 20 years. He had obtained a water connection from DJB but was not getting water since inception.
He approached DJB and was told that due to increased demand of water during summer and depletion of water in the existing tubewells, there was general scarcity of water in that area due to which the pressure was low, he claimed.
Thereafter, he moved the forum seeking direction to DJB to increase the water pressure in the area and also sought a compensation of Rs 80,000.
DJB, however, said the complainant never resided at the address given in the complaint and filed the plea with a mala fide intention. It also said the matter related to water crisis in the area is already sub-judice in the Delhi High Court.
A consumer forum here has rapped two women for filing a complaint on “frivolous grounds” against a beauty parlour by “tampering” with its receipts for availing benefits of life time services.
The West Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, while dismissing the complaint against the parlour in Paschim Vihar here, also imposed a cost of Rs 1,000 on Delhi residents Poonam Goyal and Priya Kansal.
The forum said the words “life time” written on the receipts of the salon, which was submitted as an evidence by the women, were in different handwriting which showed they were tampered.
“A careful perusal of the handwriting of these two words ‘life time’ reveals that these two words are written in different handwriting by different persons. With naked eye this difference is visible and we do not find any reason to disbelieve the testimony of the Opposite Party (beauty parlour) that receipts were tampered with and the words ‘life time’ were added subsequently,” the forum presided by Bimla Makin said.
While holding that the complainants tried to take undue advantage of the system, tampered with the receipts and filed the complaint on frivolous grounds, the forum said whosoever tries to do so, must be shown the door.
“The legal system is meant not only to protect the poor litigant and a consumer who is not having enough bargaining power in comparison to the service provider but it is also meant to do justice to both the parties before it; consumer or service provider and whosoever tries to take undue advantage of the system must be shown the door,” the forum, also comprising its member Urmila Gupta, said.
Complainants Poonam and Priya had told the forum that they had registered for beautician life time course for limited services from Global Looks beauty parlour in June 2010, but the salon neither gave any services of this course nor it refunded their course fee of Rs 16,000.
The salon, however, contended before the forum that the complainants had tampered with the cash memo and added the words “life time” with malafide intentions for extracting monetary benefits from it.
The salon also claimed that the women had not approached it before filing this complaint.