June 18: SETTLED IN COURT
- Posted by CERC India
- Posted in JUNE
Reliance Fresh outlet pays for charging more than MRP
After settling the bill at a Reliance Fresh outlet, Sandeep Sharma discovered that he had been charged Rs. 5 more than the MRP for a 500 gm packet of Safal Frozen Mixed Veg. Though the sum involved was small, he was determined to fight it out as a matter of principle. Sandeep wrote an email to the company demanding an explanation. After three more letters, he received a reply that he should go to the concerned outlet and collect a refund.
Not satisfied with this response,he asked CERS to intervene. Sandeep told CERS that he had been overcharged at other outlets of the company as well.Â A complaint was lodged before the Forum. Apart from refund of the excess amount with interest, the complainant wanted the company to be penalized for â€˜unjust enrichmentâ€™ and be asked to deposit Rs. 10,000 in the State Consumer Welfare Fund.
The company defended its error saying that Rs. 55 was selected instead of Rs. 50 by mistake at the time of billing. However, this was untrue since the product and its price are automatically printed on the bill the minute a product is electronically identified.
Â The Forum ruled in favour of the complainants and ordered Reliance Retail to pay Sandeep Rs. 4 with 9% interest and Rs. 2000 towards compensation and litigation costs.
Point of law
By charging consumers more than the MRP, the company indulged in unjust enrichment.
[Source: The order of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ahmedabad city (Additional), dated 12 January 2018 on Complaint case no. 122/2016]
Fine imposed on Railways for non-functioning ACs upheld
A 30-hour train journey became a nightmare for Ish Sharma and his family. They boarded the Jhelum Express from Kopargaon in Maharashtra to go to Jalandhar Cantonment in June 2012. The air conditioners stopped functioning in the AC III tier compartment.
As a result, the passengers started feeling suffocated in the sealed compartment. His two minor children felt uneasy and vomited. Ish complained to the Railway staff. He was told the problem was being fixed. However, this did not happen and the family had to undergo the long journey in hellish conditions.
The Forum imposed a fine of Rs. 15,000 on the Railways for causing harassment to Ish Sharma and his family. The Railways appealed to the Punjab State Commission which dismissed the appeal in its order dated 1 March 2016. The Railways appealed to the National Commission in 2017, 177 days later. They were required to file the appeal within 90 days.
Â The National Commission dismissed the appeal saying the inordinate delay in filing it showed that the Railways was not serious about proceeding with the matter expeditiously. The Commission said it was not inclined to condone the delay as this would cause further harassment to the complainant.
Point of law
Not only was the Railways deficient in providing services, it showed a casual and lackadaisical attitude to the harassment suffered by the complainant by filing an appeal after 177 days.
[Source: The order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi dated 3 January 2018 on Revision petition no. 56 of 2017]