Judgements from consumer forums across India
• Breast reduction cannot always be cosmetic surgery A consumer court in Ahmedabad has dismissed an insurance company’s argument that breastreduction surgery is invariably cosmetic. The court ordered the insurance company, which had denied a 55-year-old woman’s claim, to pay all costs for the mammoplasty she had undergone. The woman had incurred medical costs amounting to Rs 1.64 lakh, and the court ordered the amount be paid in full, along with Rs 5,000 towards mental harassment and legal costs.
After going through the summary of the medical case of the petitioner, the court learnt that she was advised to get a breast-reduction surgery done as she suffered constant back and shoulder pain due to abnormally sagging breasts. On the other hand, the insurers pointed out an exception clause in the policy saying ‘circumcision, cosmetic aesthetic treatment, plastic surgery unless required to treat any injury or illness’ are not insured. The court held that in this particular case the insurers had misinterpreted the exception clause and committed serious lapse in service and also engaged in unfair trade practice. • Rs 12,000 compensation for having to pay Rs 21 extra A resident of Bengaluru has been awarded a compensation of Rs 12,000 by the consumer court. The decision comes over a year after the man approached the court complaining of unfair trade practice.
As per a report in the Times of India, Raghavendra, who hails from the city’s Cottonpet area, had purchased a one-litre bottle of Kinley mineral water in December 2015 from GS Enterprises in Royal Meenakshi Mall. As per the complaint, he was charged Rs 40 for the bottle instead of its maximum retail price of Rs 19. Claiming he had purchased a similar water bottle from another store at Rs 19, he approached the consumer court along with relevant bills alleging that the shopkeeper and Coca-Cola had jointly conspired to cheat customers. • Rs 60,000 fine on Maruti for denying repair in warranty A Delhi consumer court asked Maruti to compensate Balbir Singh Rs 50,000 for harassment. Singh’s car was facing the problem of hydrostatic lock – a condition in the car caused by entry of water inside the engine – and Maruti had refused to repair the same under warranty, stating that Singh had driven in a waterlogged area.
The counsel for Maruti Suzuki told the court that the damage in the vehicle was the result of driving the car negligently and that the same could not be covered in the warranty period. In fact, a cost estimate of Rs 80,000 was given to Singh to repair the hydro lock problem.
On its part, the court observed that the manufacturer had not mentioned in its list of terms and conditions that the vehicle should not be driven in waterlogged areas. “In case of sudden excessive rain and consequential waterlogging in the area, the consumer is not expected to leave the vehicle in the middle of the road and to swim in the road. The manufacturer, while manufacturing the product, is under a duty to safeguard the interest of consumer of the vehicle in such conditions and to install safety devices in the vehicle. It is also under a duty to provide free-of-charges repair in such cases. Accordingly, we are of the opinion that the respondent should have repaired the vehicle free of charges,” the court said.