New road safety bill pro­poses stricter pun­ish­ment

Consumer Voice - - In The News -

As the old Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles Act is set to be re­placed by a new Road Traf­fic Act, mo­torists caught speed­ing, driv­ing drunk or jumping red lights may not get away with a light fine and some per­func­tory re­buke from the traf­fic cop.

Road Trans­port and High­ways Min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari has said that the new draft law, to be in­tro­duced in the win­ter ses­sion of Par­lia­ment, will be at par with in­ter­na­tional Acts in the road sec­tor.

The pun­ish­ment gets harsher with the se­ri­ous­ness of the of­fence – a Rs 3 lakh fine and a min­i­mum seven years in jail for caus­ing the death of a child in cer­tain cir­cum­stances; Rs 5 lakh in penalty and three months in jail for faulty man­u­fac­tur­ing de­sign; a Rs 1 lakh fine for driv­ing an un­reg­is­tered ve­hi­cle; and can­cel­la­tion of li­cense for rash and neg­li­gent driv­ing.

First of­fence for drunk driv­ing will at­tract a Rs 25,000 fine, or im­pris­on­ment for a term not ex­ceed­ing 3 months, or both along with a six-month li­cense sus­pen­sion. Sec­ond of­fence within three years will re­sult in Rs 50,000 penalty or im­pris­on­ment for up to one year, or both and a one-year li­cense sus­pen­sion.

‘Any sub­se­quent of­fence shall re­sult in the can­cel­la­tion of the li­cense, and im­pound­ing of the ve­hi­cle which may ex­tend for 30 days,’ the draft bill states.

Violating traf­fic sig­nal three times will re­sult in Rs 15,000 fine, li­cense can­cel­la­tion for a month, and com­pul­sory re­fresher train­ing.

HDFC Bank asked to pay Rs 15,000 for ‘harassing’ con­sumer

West Delhi Dis­trict Con­sumer, presided by Bimla Makin, has di­rected HDFC Bank to pay Rs 15,000 com­pen­sa­tion to a man for ‘harassing’ him by charg­ing him on his credit card for an air ticket that he had not pur­chased.

‘...the com­plainant has suc­cess­fully proved both his al­le­ga­tions against the op­po­site party (bank) that no air ticket was pur­chased by him by us­ing the credit card is­sued to him and he did not re­ceive any state­ment of ac­count as it was be­ing sent at a wrong ad­dress,’ the fo­rum noted.

The fo­rum also di­rected the bank to re­verse all the en­tries in his ac­count.

Par­ents can file com­plaint on be­half of wards

The Cen­tral Con­sumer Dis­putes Re­dres­sal Fo­rum has said that par­ents who hire ser­vices as well as their wards who are ben­e­fi­cia­ries are con­sumers and ei­ther can file a com­plaint. The fo­rum made the ob­ser­va­tions after the In­sti­tute of Ho­tel Man­age­ment, Dadar, Mumbai, re­spond­ing to a com­plaint filed by a stu­dent’s fa­ther seek­ing re­fund of ad­mis­sion fees, ar­gued that the same should be dis­missed as the com­plaint was not filed by the pupil.

The fo­rum has di­rected the col­lege to re­fund Rs 36,000 and pay Rs 15,000 com­pen­sa­tion. In or­der to ar­rive at this judge­ment, the fo­rum re­lied on a Supreme Court ver­dict that cat­e­gor­i­cally laid down that par­ents would come within the def­i­ni­tion of ‘con­sumer’.

Ne­pean Sea Road res­i­dent Ajay Prasad had filed the com­plaint in 2012. On 14 June 2011, his son se­cured provisional ad­mis­sion at the col­lege after pay­ing the fees and classes were to com­mence on 15 July 2011. Around the same time, his son se­cured ad­mis­sion in an in­sti­tute in Pune and en­rolled after pay­ing the fees on 24 June 2011. In July, Prasad wrote a let­ter to the Dadar in­sti­tute with­draw­ing the ad­mis­sion and seek­ing a re­fund. De­spite sev­eral re­quests, the in­sti­tute re­funded only Rs 2,500.

The in­sti­tute sub­mit­ted that the com­plainant's son had at­tained majority at the time of fil­ing of the case and in his ab­sence the com­plaint was not main­tain­able. It fur­ther claimed that ad­mis­sion can­cel­la­tion rules were avail­able on­line and the son was aware of th­ese rules.

How­ever, the Univer­sity Grants Com­mis­sion norms man­date that the stu­dent is en­ti­tled to get a re­fund, the fo­rum ruled.

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