BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM AT PUDUCHERRY
Consumer Complaint No.54/2005
Dated this the 11th day of April, 2008.
C. Jayalakshmi D/o Chandra Mohan, aged about 20 yrs., residing at No.43, Kannagi Nagar,
M/s Electro Channel, rep. by its Proprietor K. Sundaramurthy, Saraswathy Illam, No.43, Villianur Main Road, Pavazha Nagar, Puducherry – 605 005. … Opposite Party
THIRU A. ASOKAN, B.A., B.L.,
TMT. K.K. RITHA,
FOR THE COMPLAINANT: Thiru V. Murugesan, Advocate.
FOR THE OPPOSITE PARTY: Thiru V. Govindaradjou, Advocate.
O R D E R
(By Thiru A. Asokan, President.)
This is a complaint u/s 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (hereinafter called the “Act”) praying to direct the opposite party to refund Rs.26,600/- being the cost of the computer, Rs.15 lakhs as compensation for mental agony and harassment caused due to deficiency in service and Rs.10,000/- as costs.
2. The case of the complainant is briefly as follows:
The complainant purchased a computer from the opposite party for Rs.26,600/- by availing loan from the Indian Overseas Bank for her study in III BCA at
3. The opposite party admits that as per specifications in the order form dt.28.10.2005, the computer was supplied to the complainant on 31.10.2005 and installed on 03.11.2005. As per the field service report by their engineer the system was working fine and the complainant’s father also acknowledged the same. The frequent complaints made by the complainant’s father was then and there attended to and the system was not defective. The complainant has not paid an amount of Rs.140/- due towards supply of antiglare screen till date. The complainant’s father by letter dt.29.11.2006 called upon the opposite party to furnish the details of the amount due by the complainant to this opposite party and the opposite party also furnished the same vide letter dt.28.12.2006, but the complainant has not paid the same in spite of repeated demands. Though the opposite party informed the complainant that their engineer would attend to the defect within an hour of payment of the above due, the complainant was not ready to make the payment. The opposite party denies the alleged suffering by the complainant and prays to dismiss the complaint.
4. To prove their respective claims, Exs.C1 to C15 were marked on the side of the complainant, but no evidence was adduced on the side of the opposite party. However, the engineer-commissioner was examined as court witness and Ex.X1 was marked through him.
5. The points for determination are as follows:
1) Whether the complainant is a consumer entitled to file the complaint before this Forum?
2) Whether the personal computer supplied by the opposite party to the complainant is defective and the opposite party has committed any deficiency in service?
3) To what relief the parties are entitled?
6. POINT No.1:
The complainant has purchased the personal computer from the opposite party as specified in Ex.C3/invoice and has paid the cost of Rs.26,600/- to the opposite party as seen from Ex.C2/receipt and the complainant has also availed the services of the opposite party, as admitted by the latter. Moreover, the status of the complainant as a consumer is not agitated by the opposite party before this Forum. Thus, the complainant comes well within the purview of sec.2(1)(d)(i) of the Act and is, therefore, entitled to file the complaint before this Forum.
The point is answered accordingly.
7. POINT No.2:
The case of the complainant is that the impugned computer was defective, that it did not work properly since its installation and that the opposite party did not render any satisfactory service, resulting in loss in her studies and mental agony to her. In such circumstances, it is to be seen at the first instance whether the computer in question is defective and beyond repair and, consequently, the complainant is entitled to refund of its cost as prayed for.
8. One Ragupathi, Data Processing Assistant of the Directorate of Information Technology, Puducherry, was appointed as engineer-commissioner to inspect the system under question. He inspected the impugned system and reported that the RAM was in loose contact and after fixing proper contact, the system started working well. The said engineer-commissioner was examined as court witness and his report was marked as Ex.X1. Even during the course of his cross-examination on the side of the complainant, the witness testified that the system was in good condition and nothing material could be elicited from him to support the case of the complainant that the system was defective. Consequently, the complainant is not entitled to the relief of refund of cost of the impugned system on the ground that it was defective.
9. Now, it is to be decided whether the second limb of contention on the side of the complainant that there was deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party has been established. As admitted by both sides, the system was installed on 31.10.2005 and the complainant has admitted that it was working well till 25.09.2006 and thereafter it faulted. The complainant had issued Ex.C4 dt.25.10.2006 informing the opposite party that despite repeated requests the defect in the system was not attended to and that it might be rectified immediately. In reply thereto, the opposite party wrote Ex.C6 on 03.11.2006 stating that only because there was outstanding in the payment towards the cost of the system since eleven months, unpaid by the complainant in spite of repeated demands, they did not attend to the defect and that within two hours of the payment of the due, they would rectify the same. For that, the complainant sent Ex.C7 on 29.11.2006 stating that there could be no dues as the cost of the system was paid by cheque through bank and asking the opposite party to produce proper documents for the dues, if any. In response to Ex.C7, the opposite party sent Ex.C8 on 28.12.2006 stating that they had supplied a PC cover and antiglare glass for Rs.210/- and at the request of the complainant they had deducted Rs.70/- towards the cover and that there was a due of Rs.140/- to be paid by the complainant. In support thereof, they had sent the report of their engineer.
10. In this milieu, it could very well be inferred that the real reason for the opposite party in not attending to the defect of the system under question is due to alleged non-payment of some outstanding towards cost of the system. As per Ex.C1/supply order and Ex.C3/invoice the cost of the impugned computer was Rs.26,600/- and, as vouched by Ex.C2/cheque and receipt for payment, the said amount had been paid wholly. The alleged supply of PC cover and anti-glare does not find place in Exs.C1 and C3. It has surfaced only on 28.12.2006 under Ex.C8. The opposite party has drawn support from the report of its engineer annexed with Ex.C8. The said report is dt.26.10.2005 and its reads as follows: “Chandramohan, Villianur: Hand delivered one No. PC coverset and one No. of antiglare screen. Payment to be collected.” At this juncture, it is curious to note that the system was sought to be supplied under Ex.C1 dt.26.10.2006 and it was actually supplied on 31.10.2005 and installed on 03.11.2005. That being the case, it is not known how the PC cover and antiglare screen could have been delivered, as stated in Ex.C8/report, on 26.10.2005, well before the dates of order and supply. Apart from Ex.C8, no other scrap of evidence has been adduced on the side of the opposite party to prove supply of such materials and the alleged due. The allegation as to outstanding of cost of the system came to be aired only after the complainant had issued notices to the opposite party calling upon them to attend to the defect and warning them of stern legal action. Even otherwise, if at all there had been any outstanding, as alleged, the opposite party ought to have resorted to other legal means for recovery of the same and he should not have indulged in the practice of not attending to the fault in violation of the warranty conditions. The act of the opposite party, in our concerted view, certainly tantamounts to deficiency in service and the opposite party is, therefore, liable for the same.
The point is answered accordingly.
11. POINT No.3:
In view of the decisions in the foregoing points, the complainant is not entitled to refund of the cost of the system, but the opposite party is liable to pay compensation to the complainant for the deficiency in their service. Though the complainant has stated in the complaint that she had suffered drastically due to non-functioning of the computer in finishing her project works and other allied works such as practical training programme, she has not vindicated the same by way of either oral or documentary evidence. However, as a student, as proved through Exs.C14 and C15, she would have suffered because of the above defect in her system and mental agony due to default on the part of the opposite party in attending to the defect and we feel that awarding Rs.3,000/- as compensation would meet the ends of justice and order accordingly.
12. In the result, the complaint be and the same is dismissed as to the relief of refund of cost of the computer and is allowed to the effect that:
i) The opposite party shall pay to the complainant a sum of Rs.3,000/- (Rupees three thousand only) as compensation for deficiency in their service; and
ii) The opposite party shall pay to the complainant a sum of Rs.2,000/- (Rupees two thousand only) as costs.
COMPLAINANT’S WITNESS: NIL
OPPOSITE PARTY’S WITNESS: NIL
Ex.C1 – 26.10.2005 – Copy of supply order by complainant to opposite party.
Ex.C2 – 25.10.2005 & 28.10.2005 – Copy of cheque and receipt.
Ex.C3 – 31.10.2005 – Copy of invoice.
Ex.C4 – 25.10.2006 – Copy of letter by complainant to opposite party.
Ex.C5 – Copies of courier receipts.
Ex.C6 – 03.11.2006 – Copy of letter by opposite party to complainant.
Ex.C7 – 29.11.2006 – Copy of letter by complainant to opposite party.
Ex.C8 – 28.12.2006 – Copy of letter by opposite party to complainant with report of engineer.
Ex.C9 – 24.02.2007 – Copy of notice issued by complainant to opposite party.
Ex.C10- Copies of courier receipts.
Ex.C11- Copy of acknowledgement challan of courier.
Ex.C12- 10.03.2007 – Copy of reply notice by opposite party to complainant.
Ex.C13- 03.04.2007 – Copy of letter by IOB to complainant.
Ex.C14- Copies of statement of marks of complainant.
Ex.C15- Abstracts of university results of complainant.
OPPOSITE PARTY’S EXHIBIT: NIL.
1. P. Ragupathy, Data Processing Assistant, Dept. of IT, Puducherry.
Ex.X1 – 20.11.2007 – Report of Engineer-Commissioner.