NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
REVISION PETITION NO. 604 OF 2003
(From the order dated 22.1.03 in appeal No. 1491/02 of the State Commission, Maharashtra)
Chandrakant Mahadev Kadam … Petitioner
Asstt. Engineer, MSEB, Atpadi & Ors. … Respondents
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE D.P.WADHWA, PRESIDENT.
MR. B.K. TAIMNI, MEMBER.
Electricity – disconnection without reason- petitioner-complainant without electricity for 65 days – compensation of Rs.5,000/- held insufficient - enhanced to Rs.33,500/- @ 500/- for each day the electricity remained disconnected - Members of the Consumer Forums while assessing damages shall put themselves in the position of the complainant as to how he suffered.
For the Petitioner : Mr. Amlan Ghosh, Advocate
For the Respondent : Mr. Mohd. Rishal, Advocate
O R D E R
It is the complainant who is petitioner before us. Though he succeeded in his complaint before the District Forum, he felt aggrieved by the limited amount of compensation awarded to him. His appeal filed before the State Commission was dismissed. The only issue raised before us is the quantum of compensation awarded to the petitioner/complainant.
Petitioner was the consumer of electricity from the respondent. He was paying his bills regularly. For no reason higher amount of bill was presented to him when no amount was due from him and his electric connection was dis-connected which was restored only after 65 days. Petitioner made various visits to the office of the electricity department but with no result. Department accepted the mistake by its officers and said that it was due to negligence of its staff that a wrong bill was sent and electric connection was dis-connected for 65 days. No doubt there was gross deficiency in service. It appears that the negligent staff is not accountable for the harassment done to a poor consumer. District Forum awarded a partly sum of Rs.5,000/- as compensation to the complainant and State Commission held that to be quite sufficient. State Commission took serious view of the default committed by the officers of the Electricity Department and yet it found the compensation awarded to be quite reasonable. It is certainly paradoxical situation if the members comprising the State Commission or District Forum had their electricity disconnected for 65 days without any primary reason, they would have certainly then felt that the amount of compensation of Rs.5,000/- was pitiable. Unfortunately we do not put ourselves in the position of a consumer as to how he suffered. In our view there is clear mis-carriage of justice and in fact award of Rs.5,000/- is adding insult to injury. We would enhance the compensation to Rs.33,500/- @ Rs.500/- for each the electricity remained disconnected which amount shall be recoverable by the department from its negligent and defaulting officials. Revision Petition is disposed off with costs which we assess at Rs.5,000/-. The payment will be made to the complainant within two weeks from the date of receipt of this order by the respondent.