EPFO asks its offices to focus on consumer forum cases
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.