Judge­ments from con­sumer fo­rums across In­dia

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• Croma store fined for re­fus­ing re­fund on failed trans­ac­tion A con­sumer court in Ben­galuru has or­dered Croma store, Ko­ra­man­gala, to re­fund the pay­ment it had col­lected from a north Ben­galuru cus­tomer for a wash­ing ma­chine. The store had re­fused to de­liver the ma­chine, claim­ing that the debit card trans­ac­tion had failed. It was or­dered to pay Chi­transh Shri­vat­sava Rs 31,689, the price of the wash­ing ma­chine, and Rs 5,000 for all the prob­lems it had caused him.

Shri­vat­sava had walked into the store on 7 Jan­uary 2017 and de­cided to buy a wash­ing ma­chine. He had handed over his SBI debit card and the store staff swiped the card for Rs 31,689. The amount was deb­ited from his ac­count, but Croma staff re­fused to hand over the ma­chine, stat­ing it was not cred­ited to their mer­chant ac­count. They claimed the swipe re­turned a failed trans­ac­tion.

While the bank­ing en­quiries went on, Shri­vat­sava pur­chased the ma­chine from the same store us­ing an­other card days later. He then fol­lowed up with SBI on the first trans­ac­tion and learnt from cus­tomer care that the money had been cred­ited to Croma’s bank ac­count. • School asked to re­fund fee for mis­treat­ing child In Ben­galuru, im­proper treat­ment meted out by a teacher at Royale Con­corde In­ter­na­tional School had forced a five-year-old Class I girl stu­dent to re­frain from go­ing to school. The school au­thor­i­ties had re­fused re­fund of ad­mis­sion fee de­spite sev­eral re­quests to the man­age­ment. Stat­ing that a teacher should not be­have in a rude man­ner as it cre­ates a threat in the child’s mind, the con­sumer court or­dered the school to re­fund Rs 93,000 to the par­ents of the girl.

The prob­lem with the school had started on the open­ing day it­self. The girl at­tended the first day in great ex­cite­ment but came back home cry­ing, say­ing that her teacher had not treated her prop­erly. She re­fused to go to school the next day. Her mother made fu­tile at­tempts to con­vince her daugh­ter to at­tend school, and when she ap­proached the school and explained the sit­u­a­tion, the school au­thor­i­ties did not try to in­stil any con­fi­dence in the child to get back to school.

• Elec­tric­ity com­pany can­not cut power with­out no­tice Mysore Gra­hakara Par­ishat (MGP) had re­cently re­ceived two com­plaints, both from se­nior cit­i­zens, over the dis­con­nec­tion of elec­tric­ity sup­ply.

In a case from Vi­jayashree­pura, the con­sumer had for­got­ten to pay the elec­tric­ity bill, and in a case from VV Pu­ram, the con­sumer had paid the bill but Chamundesh­wari Elec­tric Sup­ply Cor­po­ra­tion (CESC) had mis­tak­enly cred­ited the amount into the ac­count of a dif­fer­ent in­di­vid­ual and not to the con­sumer’s ac­count. Elec­tric­ity was cut im­me­di­ately in both cases.

The ques­tion in these cases was whether CESC could im­me­di­ately cut elec­tric­ity sup­ply when the bill pay­ment was not cred­ited to the con­sumer’s ac­count be­fore the dead­line. The bill no doubt says on its re­verse that it it­self is the fi­nal no­tice be­fore dis­con­nec­tion. But such a no­tice is against the direc­tions of the Kar­nataka Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion (KERC), and the ser­vice provider has to send a sep­a­rate no­tice be­fore dis­con­nec­tion.

• SBI guilty of de­fi­ciency in ser­vice

Akola dis­trict’s con­sumer fo­rum has held State Bank of In­dia (SBI) guilty of de­fi­ciency in ser­vice for deb­it­ing money from a bank ac­count de­spite a failed ATM with­drawal and awarded a com­pen­sa­tion of Rs 3,000 to the ac­coun­tholder. Be­sides award­ing the com­pen­sa­tion, the con­sumer fo­rum also di­rected the bank to re­fund the wrongly deb­ited amount of Rs 5,000 and pay Rs 2,000 to­wards le­gal cost to the ac­coun­tholder.

The com­plainant, Pradeep Shitre, had ap­proached the fo­rum in Septem­ber 2017, say­ing the bank had wrongly deb­ited Rs 5,000 from his ac­count in Jan­uary that year al­though he did not re­ceive the cash from the ATM. He told the fo­rum that when he fol­lowed up with the bank on the mat­ter, it as­sured him that he would get the re­fund. How­ever, this did not hap­pen. The fo­rum, chaired by SM Un­tavle and com­pris­ing mem­ber Bharti Kethkar, passed the or­der ex-parte ob­serv­ing that SBI did not ap­pear be­fore it de­spite re­ceiv­ing no­tices.

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