NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
(Against the order dated 31.05.2005 in Appeals No.465 of 2003 and 296 of 2005 of the State Commission, Tamil Nadu)
No. 12 (Old No. 22)
Gulam Abbas Ali Khan
Chennai 600 006.
The Deputy General Manager (NW) Respondent
52, EVK Sampath Salia
Chennai 600 007.
The Commercial Officer (NW)
52, EVK Sampath Salai
Chennai 600 007.
MR ANUPAM DASGUPTA, MEMBER
For the Respondent Shri Vivek Sharma, Advocate
Shri Vipin Nair, Advocate
Revision Petition seeks to impugn the judgment and order dated 31st May 2005 of
the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission,
Chennai, Tamil Nadu (hereafter referred to the State
Commission) in Appeals No. 465 / 2003 and 296 / 2004, by which the State
Commission set aside the order dated 26th February 2003 of the District Forum,
Chennai (North). In its aforesaid order, the District Forum had directed the
Opposite Parties (Deputy General Manager (
2. Briefly, the facts of this case are as under:
(b) Their main contention is that the Complainant failed to pay the arrears of rent for his telephone connection, which is why the reconnection of the telephone was delayed. In particular, it is contended that (i) the Complainant did not enclose a copy of the latest bill dated 16th May 2001, duly paid, when he applied for reconnection on 21st May 2001; (ii) he paid the bill dated 16th May 2001 on 16th July 2001 and that dated 16th July 2001 on 5th August 2001 but (iii) he did not pay the supplementary bill dated 17th December 2001 in spite of reminders.
(c) On the other hand, the complainant has contended that (i) he did not receive the bill dated 16th May, 2001 before 21st May 2001; (ii) he had paid all the bills, up to that of 16.03.2001, regularly but had to personally go to the office of the opposite parties to obtain copies of the bills of the periods thereafter which he paid with the hope that it would expedite the process of reconnection of his telephone at the new place of his residence; (iii) the supplementary bill of 17.12.2001 was an afterthought of the opposite parties and he had paid all the amounts in that bill earlier; (iv) the non-restoration of his new telephone connection was delayed because the Assistant Engineer concerned did not issue the necessary certificate of disconnection; and that (v) if the connection of the opposite parties about non-payment of the past bills by the complainant was indeed correct, there was no reason for them to suddenly reverse that stand and restore the telephone connection with a new number in April, 2002. The complainant has also drawn attention repeatedly to his age (75 years in 2001) and the fact that in May 2001, the case was not of an inter-State transfer of his telephone connection but one of transfer from one locality of Chennai city to another (the transfer of his telephone connection from Nellore, Andhra Pradesh to Chennai having taken place in September 2000). Finally, the complainant has contended that the State Commission did not at all take into account the findings of the District Forum on the points of fact, which the Forum had gone into in detail after considering the averments on affidavit of both the parties and the documents produced before the Forum and it was on that basis that the Forum had passed order in the complainant’s favour.
3. On perusal of the records of the case, we find substance in the contentions of the complainant. The State Commission has wrongly relied on the contentions of the opposite parties about non-payment of dues/ bills by the complainant. It has also wrongly concluded that this was a case of inter-State transfer of the complainant’s telephone connection. It has further erred in not at all considering the detailed reasoning recorded by the District Forum in its judgment and order, finding deficiency in service by a large and important service provider like the Chennai Telephones in respect of a senior citizen of over 75 years of age and also a patient of cardiac disease.
4. The copies of the bills enclosed with the supplementary complaint filed by the complainant before the District Forum on 01.04.2002 reveals the facts, in the context of the letter dated 26.02.2002 issued by the opposite parties to the complainant and sent to him at his old address, of prior to May 2001. By producing a photocopy of his applications dated 21.05.2001, duly endorsed by some officer of the opposite parties, the complainant has shown beyond doubt that the opposite parties had acknowledged this application for shifting. This application clearly mentioned the new address to which the complainant was shifting. Hence, there was no reason for the opposite parties to send the letter of 26.02.2002 to the complainant’s old address. In the above-mentioned supplementary complaint, the complainant has also dealt in detail with the amounts payable, as claimed by the opposite parties, on account of the alleged arrears of rentals of the telephone connection since the inter-State transfer of the telephone (on 12.09.2000) to 28.02.2001. He has clarified how and when he paid each of these amounts. He has also rightly contended that the bills of 10.09.2001, 10.11.2001 and 10.01.2002, claiming payment of arrears of rental for the telephone connection, were not payable because the telephone had been disconnected as long backs as on 21.05.2001 and not restored till April, 2002.
5. The complainant has further shown that while the appeal of the opposite parties was pending before the State Commission, they approached the High Court of Chennai and obtained a stay against the District Forum’s order of payment of Rs.6000/- to the complainant. This was despite the fact that the Counsel for the opposite parties had earlier given a written assurance to the District Forum to pay the said amount to the complainant, as ordered by the Forum. This is indeed harassment of a senior citizen by a service provider like the Chennai Telephones.
view of the aforesaid discussion, we set aside the order dated
The revision petition is allowed accordingly.
[ M B Shah ]
[ Anupam Dasgupta ]