Real estate firm to pay over Rs 6 L for cheating consumer

A real estate firm has been asked by a consumer forum here to pay over Rs 6 lakh to a man for “cheating” him and indulging in “unfair trade practice” by not allotting him a plot after getting payment.

New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, presided by C K Chaturvedi, asked U-turn Housing Pvt Ltd to pay Rs 6.25 lakh to Anil Kakar, who had approached the forum alleging deficiency on the firm’s part in respect of non-delivery of the plot.

“We hold OP (firm) guilty of deficiency in service and cheating and unfair trade practice, we direct OP to return the sum of Rs 5.25 lakh…And award compensation of Rs 1 lakh,” the forum said.

While passing an ex-parte order, the forum noted that firm preferred to remain silent after getting copy of complaint.

Kakar, in his complaint, told the forum that he had booked a plot with the firm in its proposed venture in Jaipur in 2006 and paid Rs 5.25 lakh for the same.

However, the firm never issued him any allotment letter and he later came to know that it had collected money on false advertisement and assurances and there were no plots for sale, the complaint said. Aggrieved by this, he had approached the forum.

Firm asked to pay around Rs 20 lakh for unfair trade practice

A consumer forum has directed a Delhi-based construction firm to pay around Rs 20 lakh to a man for not delivering him a plot, saying the company engaged in “unfair trade practice”.

The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, presided by C K Chaturvedi, asked Taneja Developers and Infrastructure Ltd to pay Rs 19.5 lakh to one Nirmal Singh and held that the evidence filed by the firm was false and fabricated.

“… It appears that the opposite party (firm) acted as collection agent to collect the money from various consumers without any approval or construction activities or development at site which act clearly falls under… Unfair trade practice, which deliberately pretended to sell plot through provisional allotment printed performas and misled the consumer as well as forum too,” the forum’s bench, also comprising its members S R Chaudhary and Ritu Garodia, said.

The forum also said it was very much transparent from the activities of the firm and its officials that they adopted the delaying tactics for not delivering the plot to Singh, despite several requests and correspondence exchanged between them, but all efforts were in vain.

“OP is directed to refund Rs 17 lakh… And we also award Rs two lakh as compensation for harassment and Rs 50,000 as litigation charges,” it said.

Singh had told the forum that he had booked a commercial space at Mohali in Punjab in provisional allotment with the firm in 2008 and had paid Rs 17 lakh for 204 sq. Yd. And was supposed to get the possession within 12 months.

The company did not develop the proposed site and on April 6, 2010, Singh received a letter regarding allotment of a plot, whose size was reduced from the size promised in the application.

Further, the firm also raised a financial demand for allotment of the plot. Aggrieved by this, Singh filed the complaint before the forum.

The firm, however, had denied the allegation made against it.

DDA to pay Rs 50K for wrongly cancelling flat allotment

The Delhi Development Authority has been asked to pay Rs 50,000 compensation to a woman and a flat, whose allotment was cancelled, while noting that she was not informed in a proper manner.

New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, presided by C K Chaturvedi, asked DDA to pay the money to one Rekha Raghav, while holding that it did not send the allotment letter to her directly.

The forum asked DDA to pay the money while rejecting its contention that the allotment letter was delivered to Raghav as it noted that Axis Bank, through which the letter was allegedly sent, could not provide proof of delivery.

“We…Hold Opposite Party-1, DDA, guilty of not directly sending the allotment letter to complainant, once Axis Bank could not provide proof of delivery and where complainant is repeatedly asking for it.

“We hold OP-1, DDA guilty of deficiency and direct it to allot a LIG house, in same or other in same scheme at the same cost,” the forum’s bench, also comprising its member S R Chaudhary, said.

The forum also said that there was no question of automatic cancellation, without delivery of allotment letter to complainant. “We also award the compensation of Rs 50,000 including litigation expenses to complainant for harassment,” it said.

The forum also noted that Indian Overseas Bank had no privity of contract with complainant except as to deposit of registered money, which it performed and no deficiency on that account can be alleged against it.

LIC asked to pay for denying claim arbitrarily

A consumer forum has directed the Life Insurance Corporation to pay  Rs one lakh to the husband of a policy holder for ‘arbitrarily’ rejecting his claim for the assured amount on his wife’s death.

The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum observed that LIC had ‘misdirected itself’ by not showing any evidence that the deceased was suffering from asthma prior to availing the policy and had not ‘applied its mind’ while denying his claim. The LIC had denied the claim saying the woman was an asthma patient and had not disclosed her illness while taking the policy.

It had relied on a discharge summary of 2004 to reject the claim.

“We have considered the material on record and submission made. It is patent that opposite party (LIC) has misdirected itself. It has not brought any evidence of deceased suffering from asthma before taking of policy in 2003 or any record of taking treatment.

“The discharge summary of 2004 is of no use. It shows trouble for 4-5 days in 2004 and not before taking policy in 2003. Opposite party has not applied its mind. We hold it guilty of deficiency in service by arbitrarily repudiating the claim,” according to the bench presided by C.K. Chaturvedi.

It directed LIC to pay the sum insured of Rs 50,000 along with ‘punitive damages’ of Rs 50,000 to Delhi resident Dev Raj whose wife had died in December 2005. The forum also directed LIC to obtain half of the damages from salary of the officer concerned ‘who gave no attention to the appeal and agreed for repudiating the claim’.

Raj, in his complaint, had said that his wife had obtained the policy for Rs 50,000 from LIC in 2003 and under it she was covered till 2005, but the insurance firm had rejected his claim on the ground that she was an asthma patient.

HSBC Bank directed to pay Rs 25,000

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Ltd has been directed by a consumer forum to pay Rs 25,000 as compensation to one of its former credit card holders for not getting his name removed from a defaulters list even after he cleared all his dues.

The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum observed that once the card holder paid all the dues, the bank should have closed the accounts and informed the Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (CIBIL) that nothing was outstanding.

“We hold opposite party (HSBC Bank) deficient in service in not informing CIBIL of settlement of all outstanding dues of complainant…,” the bench presided by C K Chaturvedi told.

It directed the bank to issue a no-dues certificate to Delhi-resident Vinay Chola and to reconsider a fresh card for him. The forum also awarded him compensation of Rs 25,000 towards litigation charges and harassment caused to him.

The order came on the complaint of Vinay who had alleged that his credit status with CIBIL showed him as a defaulter despite he having cleared all his dues with the bank.

According to a settlement agreed upon with the bank, Vinay said, he had paid Rs 25,000 in three separate instalments one of which was collected late by the recovery agents and the same was shown as outstanding by HSBC.

The bank, in its defence, had contended that the settlement amount was not paid within the agreed upon time.

The forum, however, rejected the contention saying its recovery agents collected the last payment late.

Whirlpool to pay for not repairing washing machine

Whirlpool India Ltd has been directed by a district consumer forum here to pay Rs 37,500 to a customer for not repairing a defective timer in his washing machine, allegedly during the warranty period.

The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum relied on service bills issued by the multinational company, which manufactures and markets home appliances, to hold that the washing machine had a defective timer and Whirlpool had not repaired it.

“The evidence shows the machine had a defective timer which the company did not repair despite warranty of 2 years. Opposite party 1 and 2 (Whirlpool and its dealer) are directed to jointly pay Rs 32,500 to the complainant and we also award Rs 5,000 as litigation and harassment charges to him,” the bench presided by C K Chaturvedi said.

The forum also comprising members S R Chaudhary and Asha Kumar directed the complainant to return the defective washing machine.

According to the plea of the complainant, Delhi resident K D Kabra, the fully automatic washing machine he had bought from a Whirlpool dealer for Rs 32,500 in August 2009 had two years warranty.

The machine had stopped working in January 2011 and he contacted Whirlpool to repair it, he had said in his complaint adding the technician who came said its warranty had expired.

He was also told that Whirlpool did not give warranty of more than a year and was asked to pay Rs 221 for its repair.

Despite the payment, the machine could not be repaired as the timer was defective and a replacement was not available with Whirlpool, Kabra further said.

Whirlpool had submitted in its written statement that the machine in question was discontinued in 2005.

The forum, however, observed that though the machines were discontinued in 2005, they were not withdrawn from the market and dealers had old stock to sell.



HSBC to pay Rs 20,000 compensation to credit card holder

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) has been ordered by a consumer forum here to pay Rs 20,000 as compensation to one of its credit card holders for adding his name in CIBIL’s defaulters list even though he had paid all his dues.

While awarding the amount to the HSBC credit card holder, the New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said the Bank should have “gracefully” accepted its fault instead of adopting an “obstructionist attitude” by seeking rejection of his complaint.

“We are shocked to observe the obstructionist attitude of opposite party (HSBC) which instead of accepting the fault gracefully by filing a reply, has sought rejection of the complaint on ground of remedy of arbitration under the Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL) Act.

“It (HSBC) has not disputed facts. The remedy under the Consumer Protection Act is not affected by the arbitration agreement. We dismiss the application of the opposite party and award a compensation of Rs 20,000 to the complainant (Rakesh Gupta) inclusive of litigation expenses,” said the bench presided by C K Chaturvedi said.

Delhi resident Rakesh Gupta in his complaint had alleged that he had been issued a HSBC credit card on understanding that no annual charges would be levied, yet after the first two months of usage the Bank started levying the charges.

When he made a representation to the bank about annual charges, the same were reversed temporarily, he said adding in 2006 he paid all the outstanding dues and asked the bank to close the card.

Gupta alleged the bank, instead of closing the card, continued showing the annual charges as outstanding and informed CIBIL that he was a defaulter, without giving him a notice.

The bank had sought dismissal of the complaint against it on the ground that the remedy available was through arbitration only.

JetLite to pay Rs 40,000 for misplacing passenger’s luggage

JetLite airliner has been asked by a city district consumer forum to pay Rs 40,000 to one of its passengers for rendering his luggage untraceable for five days.

Formerly known as Air Sahara, JetLite was asked to pay the amount to Delhi resident and complainant Rajesh Kumar by New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, for misplacing his baggage and forcing him to buy items during his brief outstation stay in Mumbai.

“We have considered the matter. The deficiency to the extent of loss of bag at Bombay is proved. The inconvenience, mental tension and agony for five days can be imagined.

“We allow a sum of Rs 15,000 towards purchase made in Bombay for 3–4 days. For harassment, loss of bag, mental agony and litigation expenses, we award Rs 25,000. The opposite party (JetLite) is directed to pay this amount to complainant within 30 days,” said forum’s President C K Chaturvedi.

Kumar in his complaint had said he had checked-in his luggage with the airlines when he had boarded the JetLite flight in June 2007 from Delhi but on reaching Bombay he found his bag missing and he had to lodge complaint for it with the relevant authorities.

Kumar said his bag was returned to him five days after returning from Bombay, but on checking it he found that Rs 25,000 in cash and a camera were missing from it.

While awarding the compensation, the bench, however, said he “himself was to be blamed for the loss of cash and camera, as valuables are not to be kept in the luggage”.


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.

Rejection of claim on”fanciful ground” costs LIC Rs 4L

A consumer court has directed the LIC to pay Rs 4L as LIC has rejected a claim of a widow, a life insurance policy holder, on her husband’s death on a “fanciful ground”.

The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum ordered the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) to pay the compensation while condemning its act of rejecting the claim and terming its official, who repudiated the claim, as one of “irresponsible mindset.”

 The LIC had rejected the claim on alleged ground of suppression of pre-existing disease, despite having medically examined and cleared the insured before issuing the policy, said the forum.

 “The ground of repudiation had been found from the leave application of deceased in his office. In the application, he took leave due to abscess in cheek, a trivial discomfort, as not any disease. This is alleged as suppression of material fact and pre-existing disease,” said the forum presided by C K Chaturvedi.

 “The rejection on such a fanciful ground is in line with the mindset of irresponsible officials, who think they serve their employer well by harassing consumers. We condemn this act of opposite party (LIC) and holding the LIC guilty of deficiency in service, direct it to pay assured sum of Rs three lakhs for death of the insured,” the bench said.

 The order of the forum came on a complaint by Gurgaon resident Bimla Devi, who had alleged that the LIC had arbitrarily rejected her claim for assured amount after the death of her husband in March 2005.

 She had said that her late husband had bought the life insurance policy from the LIC and had also paid two premiums prior to his death.

 Allowing the woman’s complaint, the bench directed the LIC to pay her the assured amount of Rs three lakh along with Rs one lakh as compensation for her harrasement for seven years that she underwent due to rejection of her claim after her husband’s death.

 “To teach a lesson to the (concerned) LIC official, we direct LIC to deduct 50 per cent of the Rs one lakh from the salary of the officer who okayed the repudiation,” it added.