Sept.17: SETTLED IN COURT
- Posted by CERC India
- Posted in September
Flipkart made to pay Rs. 15,000 for faulty mobile charger
Dr. Ahmed Irfani purchased a battery charger from Flipkart for Rs. 259. When he plugged the charger into the power socket, the wires in the phone got burnt. When he complained to the e-commerce company, it offered to replace the charger but refused to compensate him for the damaged phone.
Irfani filed a complaint before the Hyderabad Consumer Forum. Flipkart said the phone could have been damaged due to a surge in power. Irfani argued that the charger was supposed to withstand power fluctuations ranging from 100 to 240 volts. Flipkart also contended that it was just an intermediary between buyers and sellers and had no control over the quality of products.Â
The Forum observed that Flipkart could not shirk its liability saying it had not charged any money from the buyer. It must have received a sum from the seller from the sale price. The complainant purchased the product through Flipkart and therefore there existed a relationship of a consumer and service provider between the two.
Also, it was unlikely that a power surge would have damaged the mobile phone. The Forum directed the company to pay Irfani compensation of Rs. 15,000 for damage to his mobile phone and Rs. 3,000 towards litigation costs. The case has gone for appeal.
Point of law
An e-commerce company cannot shirk its responsibility to a consumer saying it is just an intermediary.
[Source: The order of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Hyderabad, dated 22 March 2017 on Complaint no. 79 of 2016]Â
Ganga Ram Hospital pulled up for holding patient hostage
Onkar Singh Chauhan, a constable in the Madhya Pradesh police, was admitted to Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi. He was suffering from a condition that caused leakage of contents of the stomach and required surgery. The surgery was performed, according to hospital sources, despite there being outstanding dues.
Subsequently, the patientâ€™s son Devesh approached the high court alleging that the hospital was illegally detaining his father. He said the hospital sought to extract money from him towards outstanding dues. Devesh also alleged that the hospital was not giving proper treatment to his father and was not allowing him to remove his father from the hospital.
According to the hospital authorities, expenditure incurred on treatment came to Rs. 13,37,952 of which only Rs. 3.3 lakh had been paid. The hospital said Devesh had raised the grievance as the patient was shifted to the general ward from private ward due to non-payment of dues. The hospitalâ€™s advocate told the court that Devesh could take away his father from the hospital at his own risk.Â Â
The Delhi High Court ruled that hospitals cannot hold patients â€˜hostageâ€™ to extract money for unpaid bills. Saying it deprecated this practice, the court directed the hospital to prepare the discharge summary of the patient and allow Devesh to take his father from the hospital.
Point of law
A hospital cannot refuse to release a patient because the bills have not been paid.
[Source: The order of the Delhi High Court dated 26 April 2017 on Writ Petition no. 1214 of 2017]