EPFO asks its of­fices to fo­cus on con­sumer fo­rum cases

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In view of ris­ing com­plaints against it in dis­trict con­sumer fo­rums, re­tire­ment fund body Em­ploy­ees' Prov­i­dent Fund Or­gan­i­sa­tion (EPFO) has asked its field for­ma­tions to fo­cus on th­ese cases.

“...Cases do not suc­ceed at the level of Supreme Court also, re­sult­ing into wastage of money and time of the or­gan­i­sa­tion... Re­gional PF Com­mis­sioner/Zonal Ad­di­tional Cen­tral Com­mis­sioner shall es­pe­cially fo­cus on the con­sumer fo­rum cases dur­ing re­view of legal mat­ters,” said the min­utes of the meet­ing chaired by EPFO’s Cen­tral Prov­i­dent Fund Com­mis­sioner KK Jalan.

Jalan ob­served that there had been a rise in the num­ber of con­sumer fo­rum cases that were ig­nored at the dis­trict level. Later on it be­comes dif­fi­cult for the depart­ment to de­fend as chances of re­ver­sal of or­ders passed by dis­trict fo­rums are min­i­mal.

EPFO has also di­rected its field for­ma­tion that in case the contempt is re­lated to ser­vice to sub­scriber area, im­me­di­ate ac­tion should be taken to re­dress the griev­ance. With re­gard to contempt cases where re­gional prov­i­dent fund com­mis­sioner/as­sis­tant PF com­mis­sion­ers are con­tem­nors, th­ese should be mon­i­tored and a close watch kept by means of fort­nightly and monthly re­views.

Con­sumer court slaps fine on pack­ing firm

The Dehradun Dis­trict Con­sumer Dis­putes Re­dres­sal Fo­rum has slapped a fine of Rs 49,500 on a lead­ing pack­ers-and­movers com­pany for de­fi­ciency in ser­vices and in­dulging in un­fair trade prac­tices.

The com­plainant Shiv Ku­mar Gupta, a res­i­dent of Green Park in Ni­ran­jan­pur, hired Agar­wal Pack­ers and Movers on 27 Au­gust 2014 for trans­port­ing his house­hold cargo to Ben­galuru. How­ever, when the con­sign­ment reached Ben­galuru, house­hold items kept in­side 24 packets (out of the to­tal 50) were ei­ther bro­ken or miss­ing ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint.

The firm had es­ti­mated the to­tal value of the whole con­sign­ment at Rs 2.6 lakh and a writ­ten re­ceipt was given to Shiv Ku­mar Gupta. Gupta also paid Rs 70,968 to the com­pany as trans­porta­tion charges.

Gupta im­me­di­ately in­formed the com­pany about the dam­aged and miss­ing goods through email and re­quested them to pay for the dam­ages. How­ever, de­spite re­peated pleas, the com­pany did not take any ad­e­quate step.

Fi­nally, on 1 De­cem­ber 2014, Gupta filed a com­plaint at the dis­trict fo­rum against the com­pany. The fo­rum has di­rected the com­pany to pay Rs 34,500 as com­pen­sa­tion for the dam­aged goods, Rs 10,000 for caus­ing men­tal agony, and an ad­di­tional Rs 5,000 as lit­i­ga­tion ex­penses. It has or­dered the com­pany to pay the penalty within 30 days; oth­er­wise the com­plainant will be en­ti­tled to get in­ter­est at the rate of eight per cent per an­num on the to­tal penalty from the date of de­ci­sion till ac­tual re­al­iza­tion of the fine.

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