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National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): A Division Member Bench of Anup K Thakur, C. Viswanath, Members, dismissed a complaint filed against the opposite party for claiming compensation for alleged deficiency of services.

The main issue that arose before the Commission was whether the opposite party was liable for deficiency of services under the provisions of Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

The Commission observed that the complainant had intimated the opposite party about the breakdown of its machinery a month after it actually broke down. Further, the complainant was regularly communicating with the opposite party but even then it did not provide any information to the opposite party via email or telegram about the break down of machinery and this omission on the part of the complainant was a violation of one of the provisions of the insurance policy. The Commission also observed that soon after taking Machinery Breakdown and Machinery Loss of Profits Policies, the machinery of the complainant broke down. Complainant’s omission to disclose that the machinery was giving trouble prior to the complainant taking insurance policy, is an active concealment on its part. Further, the complainant had dismantled the machinery before it was examined by the surveyor and it also made an excuse about the logbooks gone missing.

The Commission held that the composite result of all the actions on the part of the complainant clearly suggests that the complainant had deliberately concealed some vital facts from the opposite party and hence it cannot be allowed to derive benefits of an insurance policy obtained by concealment of such important facts. Resultantly, the complaint was dismissed by the commission holding the opposite party not liable for deficiency of services under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. [Amrit Environmental Technologies (P) Ltd. v. Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Co. Ltd.,2018 SCC OnLine NCDRC 381, order dated 09-10-2018]

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National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): A Division Member Bench of Anup K Thakur, C. Viswanath, Members, dismissed a complaint at the stage of maintainability, which was filed for claiming deficiency of services on the part of the opposite party.

The complainant had booked a residential apartment in one of the projects of the opposite party and the complainant had paid almost the entire cost of the prospective flat in installments. The opposite party failed to construct the flat and hence the complainant alleged deficiency in services on the part of opposite party.

The main issue that arose before the Commission was whether the complaint was maintainable before the Commission.

The Commission observed that as per Section 21(a)(i) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the Commission shall have jurisdiction to entertain consumer complaints wherein the sum of goods and services along with compensation claimed by the complainant exceeds Rs. 1,00,00,000/-. In the present case, the total cost of flat along-with interest claimed by the complainant was below the mark of Rs. 1,00,00,000/-. However, the complainant had claimed an amount of Rs. 45,00,000/- for mental agony, which was almost at par with the cost of the flat itself.

The Commission held that the amount of compensation claimed by the complainant for mental agony suffered is highly unreasonable and in the absence of the same, the cost of the flat along with the interest does not cross the mark of Rs. 1,00,00,000/- and hence this case does not come under the jurisdiction of the Commission. Resultantly the complaint filed by the complainant was dismissed. [Aanchal Garg v.  Amahagun India (P) Ltd., 2018 SCC OnLine NCDRC 379, order dated- 09-08-2018]

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National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): A Division Bench of S.M. Kantikar, Presiding Member and Dinesh Singh, Member, dismissed an appeal with costs filed against the order of State Commission whereby his claim for deficiency of services, against the respondents, was rejected.

The appellant had purchased a postpaid internet connection from the respondent company for a sum of Rs 5500. As per the appellant’s story, the internet connection was activated and he used the internet services for a period of 2 days after which the services were discontinued by the respondent company without any intimation. However, refuting the claim of the appellant, the respondent asserted that in the absence of a valid proof of residence, the internet services were never activated for the appellant.

The main question that arose before the Commission was whether the respondent company was liable for deficiency in services under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

The Commission observed that the appellant had purchased the connection for Rs 5500 and the amount claimed by him in the form of compensation was highly disproportionate i.e. Rs 99,95,500. Further, the Commission observed that the appellant had previously filed a similar complaint against Tata Teleservices Ltd. which was found to be frivolous and vexatious, for which a cost of Rs 10,000 was imposed on the appellant. The Court observed that the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is not meant to be a tool to attempt wrong gains or to create ‘nuisance value’.

The Commission held that the appellant had filed a frivolous case against the respondent company and that he was attempting to misuse the statutory processes provided for better protection of the interest of consumers to attempt wrong gains and to create ‘nuisance value’. Hence, the Commission dismissed the appeal and a cost of Rs 500 was imposed on the appellant for filing a frivolous case and abusing the process of law. [Uttamkumar Samanta v. Vodafone East Ltd., First Appeal No. 847 of 2017, order dated 05-08-2018]