FA. No. 5 of 2006. Case: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. Vs Kum D. Phawa, MCS. Meghalaya State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

Case NumberFA. No. 5 of 2006
Party NameBharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. Vs Kum D. Phawa, MCS
CounselFor Appellant: S.C. Shyam, Sr. Advocate and B. Deb, Advocate and For Respondents: Sandeep Jindal and S. Poddar, Advocates
JudgesP.K. Musahary, J. (President) and Ramesh Bawri, Senior Member
IssueConsumer Protection Act, 1986 - Section 14(1)(d)
CitationIII (2014) CPJ 112 (Megha.)
Judgement DateJune 20, 2014
CourtMeghalaya State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

Order:

Ramesh Bawri, Senior Member

  1. The brief facts leading to this Appeal are as follows:

    (a) Complaint Petition No. 7 of 2006 was filed on 4.5.2006 in the District Forum, Ri Bhoi District by the Respondent in this Appeal, who is a public servant, against the BSNL, the Appellants, alleging deficiency in service in respect of her BSNL mobile phone No. 9436107729 inasmuch as the said mobile phone was barred from making outgoing calls from 17.2.2006 to 23.2.2006 and again from 14.4.2006 to 22.4.2006 although she had been paying all her bills regularly right up to March 2006, receipts for which were attached. It was also alleged that incoming calls were barred from 1.5.2006 and her complaint letter dated 21.2.2006 to BSNL met with no response.

    (b) Subsequently, another petition dated 26.6.2006 was filed by the Complainant/Consumer stating that her mobile phone was again barred for outgoing calls with effect from 13.6.2006 to 16.6.2006 and that on 23.6.2006, she received a message from BSNL which read "Dear customer, your incoming facility has been barred due to non-payment of outstanding dues. Please pay outstanding dues at BSNL Counters only". This was despite the fact that she had also paid her bills (sic) April 2006 and May 2006 to prove which she filed the relevant bills and receipts.

    (c) The Complainant/Consumer prayed for compensation amounting to Rs. 20,000 (Rupees Twenty thousand) along with interest as such unwarranted and negligent action on the part of the BSNL had caused her deep mental agony and disrupted her daily work.

    (d) BSNL filed their show cause before the District Forum. They did not deny the fact that the phone had been barred during the periods stated in the Complaint but they denied any deficiency in service on their part. During the hearing of the complaint they defended their actions on the grounds that--

    (a) The Complainant had not informed the BSNL about the payments made and The deficiency was not caused by human error but through computer from BSNL's Kolkata Billing Centre.

    (e) The Forum perused the photocopies of the bills and receipts filed by the complainant and found that payment of all the Bills was indeed up to-date as claimed by the Complainant/Respondent.

    (f) The District Forum further held in its order dated 17.8.2006 that the submission of the learned Counsel for the BSNL that:

    (i) The Complainant have not informed the BSNL about the payments made cannot be accepted as it is not the duty of the Complainant to do so, when the BSNL have authorized the State Bank of India to collect the same. It is the matter to be sorted out between the BSNL and the State Bank of India.

    (ii) The deficiency was not caused by human error but through computer from Kolkata Billing Centre also is rejected by the Forum on the following grounds: Once the amount is paid by the Consumer, it is the duty of the data entry operator of the BSNL to make an entry accordingly through computer and such information would definitely reach the Kolkata Billing Centre within a second with the present technology available. It is very unfortunate that such entry has not been entered into the computer for more than 10 days after the payments were made. These were the lapses on the...

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