JUNE – 20 Settled in court

  • Posted by CERC India
  • Posted in

Panasonic to refund for defective AC: Forumsettled in court

An AC that Dipak Seth bought started having problems within a few months. A Panasonic 2 ton spilt AC worth Rs. 33,500 with a 5-year compressor warranty was purchased by Dipak in November 2012. He started using the AC in April 2013 at the start of summer but the cooling was inadequate. After constant follow-up with Panasonic, the company changed the compressor of the AC at the end of summer. In April 2014, again the AC did not function properly. On complaining, the gas was filled twice at a cost of Rs. 2,000. Still AC did not cool properly.

Deepak approached CERS for resolution of his complaint. Since Panasonic did not respond to mediation efforts, CERS filed a complaint before the Forum. The company argued that it had repaired the AC and changed the compressor once within the warranty period and therefore there was no deficiency in service.


The Forum upheld the complaint and directed the opposite parties to satisfactorily repair the AC within 30 days. If unable to do so, they would have to replace the defective AC with a new one with fresh warranty in 30 days. Or the company could refund the cost of Rs. 33,500 with 8% interest. The court also awarded Rs. 5,000 for mental harassment and 2000 for legal costs. The complainant has received the refund.

Point of lawThe manufacturer/dealer has to repair an appliance to the customer’s satisfaction within the warranty period


[Source: The order of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ahmedabad Rural dated 18 July 2019 on Complaint No. 742/2015]


Did you know

In a recent judgment, the Supreme Court held that an ex-parte order passed by the State Consumer Commission can be challenged before the National Commission. It observed that the High Court should avoid entertaining writ petitions against the order of the State Commission, as an alternative and efficacious remedy of going to the National Commission was available to the respondent. However, using discretion and self-imposed limitation, the High Court can entertain a writ petition in certain circumstances, for instance when an order has been passed in total violation of the principles of natural justice.


Educational institutions do not fall under CPA

Several complaints and revision petitions were filed before the National Commission by students against universities, colleges and educational institutions which were dismissed.

According to the National Commission, institutes rendering education, including vocational courses, cannot fall under the jurisdiction of consumer forums even if there is any deficiency in the services provided by them. It was clarified that this was also applicable to private bodies offering these courses, as they fell within the ambit of definition of educational institutions. Hence, the consumer fora have no jurisdiction to entertain the complaints for the same.


It was also observed that excursion tours, picnics, extra co-curricular activities, swimming, sport, offered by these educational institutes will also not be covered under provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.


The apex commission made it clear that any defect or deficiency or unfair trade practice pertaining to the services of coaching centres will fall within the jurisdiction of the consumer courts as they are different from regular schools or colleges.


The apex consumer commission, NCDRC, has held that educational institutions, except coaching institutes, will not be covered under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.


Point of law - Educational institutions including universities, colleges and private institutions are not covered by the CPA. Therefore, one cannot complain about deficiency in service by them in consumer courts


[Source: The order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi dated 20 January 2020 on several consumer complaints and revision petitions]

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