More Points to Note
Issues similar to those in Devi’s case had been discussed in several judgements pronounced by various courts across India. In 1995, in the matter of of Indian Oil Corporation versus Consumer Protection Council, Kerala, and others, the Supreme Court (SC) had clarified the responsibilities of gas dealer as well as the manufacturer. As per SC, the relationship between the dealer and the manufacturer “is of principal-to-principal basis and not of principalagent. Hence, everyone (both of them) are individually responsible for their own acts.” Further, “We need to check the subject matter on case to case basis and also as per the ‘agreement’ between the dealer and the manufacturer. The facts and circumstances will only establish if both are jointly and severely responsible.”
Res ipsa loquitur – Some Hope for Consumers
Let us look at the procedure as a whole followed in distribution of LPG gas cylinders from the manufacturing point to the consumer, as detailed in the 1995 landmark judegment mentioned above.
All cylinders in the bottling plant are subjected to ‘leak testing’ so as to verify whether there is any