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SC rules on jurisdiction in cheque bouncing cases

Prosecuting jurisdiction in a cheque bouncing case has been a highly contested issue since very long. Clearing all controversy, the Supreme Court recently ruled in the Dasrath Rupsing case that the jurisdiction of cheque bouncing cases has to be the location where the cheque bounced, meaning the bank of the person who issued the cheque (alleged accused), and not the bank location of the complainant.

By and large, complaints pertaining to cheque bouncing are instituted where the bank of the complainant is. The Bench further held that the offence under the section shall occur when the cheque is returned unpaid.

Insurers to be liable for agents’ misdeeds

The government proposes to introduce a provision that will make it tough for insurers to escape responsibility for mis-selling by agents. This move will come as a relief to millions of policyholders, who often complain that the policy sold to them was not what was promised to them and companies pass on the blame to agents.

Insurers will be “responsible for all the acts and omissions of its agents, including violation of code of conduct”. The government has also proposed a penalty of up to Rs. 1 crore on insurers for such violations.

Rs 20,000 fine for smoking in public likely

A fine of Rs. 20,000 for smoking in public, banning the sale of loose cigarettes and increasing age limit for tobacco consumption from 18 to 25 – these are some of the recommendations of the expert panel appointed by the health ministry to review and suggest changes to the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 (COTPA). Other suggestions include making public smoking a cognizable offence.

If accepted, these suggestions could soon be a part of amendments the government is planning to introduce in the winter session of Parliament to curb tobacco consumption.

Delay can’t be grounds for rejecting insurance claim

Ruling in favour of a widow whose insurance claim was rejected by the insurer because it was filed seven months after her husband’s death, a Mumbai consumer forum has ruled that the delay in filing the claim cannot be grounds for rejecting it.

The widow was initially unaware of the policy and could not trace the policy papers. As per rules she had to intimate the insurance company within a month. It directed Reliance General Insurance Co Ltd to pay over Rs 5.15 lakh to Meharunnissa Rettihalli.

Bharti Airtel Ltd to shell out Rs 5 lakh

Irked by the “mischief conduct” of its executives towards customers, a New Delhi Consumer Forum has asked Bharti Airtel Limited to pay Rs 5 lakh, saying it was a fit case for “punitive damages” to teach the company a “lesson” for internal mismanagement and the lackadaisical attitude of its executives.

The company has been asked to pay Rs 2 lakh to the complainant Jasmeet Singh Puri, the CEO of a private firm, who had alleged that executives of the firm had harassed him by repeatedly asking him to pay the bills he had already paid and had even discontinued services. It directed the company to pay the remaining Rs 3 lakh to the State Consumer Welfare Fund.

Railways fined for confusing passenger

A train with two destination names confused a passenger and he failed to board it. Anup Nair was to board the Karwar Express but the first half of the train’s coaches had boards identifying it as the Kannur Express. When the train was moving he noticed that the last few coaches were marked as Karwar Express.

He filed a complaint with the consumer forum in Bangalore which has held the Railways responsible for deficiency in service. The Railways were told to refund Rs 480 to the complainant along with a compensation of Rs 5,000, and Rs 2,000 as costs.

Developer to be jailed for not handing over flat

In an unprecedented move, the Maharashtra State Commission sentenced the director of Prasanna Builders Pvt Ltd, Anant Thakker, to simple imprisonment for a day over not complying with a district forum order directing him to hand over a flat in Bhiwandi to Radheshyam Panday.

The commission passed the order under Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act, which provides for penalty in the form of imprisonment and fine for non-compliance of orders. The developer will also have to pay a fine of Rs 10,000.

Doc fined Rs. 70 lakh for negligence

The National Commission has asked a Chandigarh-based doctor to pay Rs 70 lakh to a young man (then a teenager) whose left leg had to be amputated due to the doctor’s negligence in treating a fracture in 2003.

The bench said Dr Sanjay Saluja had treated the patient Abhishek Ahluwalia in a casual manner and applied the dynacast plaster so tight that blisters and gangrene resulted. It was also observed that the amputation had been done by the doctors of another hospital when the boy’s condition deteriorated.

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