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Computer Planet v/s Mohit Verma

    First Appeal No. 704 of 2017
    Decided On, 17 January 2018
    At, Haryana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Panchkula
    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE NAWAB SINGH
    By, PRESIDENT
    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. BALBIR SINGH
    By, JUDICIAL MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MR. DIWAN SINGH CHAUHAN
    By, MEMBER
    For the Appellant: Chhavi Sharma, Advocate. For the Respondent: Mohit Verma, In Person.


Judgment Text
Balbir Singh, Judicial Member.

1. This appeal has been preferred against the order dated February 17th, 2017 passed by District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Rohtak (for short ‘the District Forum’) in Complaint No.193 of 2014.

2. Mohit Verma – complainant, who is posted as Deputy Manager, Research and Development in Maruti Suzuki India Limited, Gurgaon, purchased a Dell Inspiron N4110 laptop online via Dell Exclusive Store, Sector-14, Gurgaon on March 02nd, 2012. In the beginning, the laptop was working properly but on March 30th, 2014 a problem with the network connectivity was detected in the above mentioned laptop. Local Area Network (LAN) Ethernet port and WiFi (wireless) was not found working. The laptop was taken by the complainant to the shop of the opposite party – Computer Planet on April 01st, 2014 for removing minor defects in the laptop. Mr. Kurana, owner of Computer Planet, referred the laptop belonging to the complainant to another employee in his shop namely Jitendra. The laptop was checked and thereafter the same was taken to his own service shop-Raju Electronics by Jitendra. Jitendra asked the complainant to leave the laptop with him for repair work but the complainant insisted that the laptop be repaired in his presence.

3. On April 05th, 2014 the complainant again visited the shop of the opposite party and met Jitendra in his service shop at about 11:00 A.M. Shri Jitendra directly opened the laptop and checked regarding problem relating to internet connectivity. After initial checking, he tried to turn on the laptop to check again for internet connectivity. The laptop was dismantled to check LAN card physically and power-button circuit was also disconnected from motherboard. He tried to turn the laptop on by directly shortening the power port on motherboard. The complainant told Mr. Jitendra that that was not the right way on turning the laptop/computer and asked him to assemble the power button circuit first and then turn it on properly. Jitendra insisted saying that they had been using that process on all laptops under repair to save time of assembly. In this way, the opposite party handled the laptop in a non-professional way and had put the same in dead condition. During this time, he continued shorting four pins for power supply from motherboard. During this process, the power LED on motherboard became defective. After that it did not glow even after multiple attempts of shorting the pins. Mr. Jitendra then assembled the laptop but did not bring it back to life.

4. When Mr. Jitendra could not remove defects, he asked the complainant to leave the laptop saying that he would check the same after some time. Thereafter, the opposite party as well as Mr. Jitendra neither removed defects of the laptop nor gave any information to the complainant. The complainant time and again made efforts to contact Mr. Jitendra but every time he avoided stating that he was making efforts to remove defects in the laptop. In this way, the opposite party did not return the laptop owned by the complainant. Facing this situation, the complainant had to purchase a new computer (Dell Inspiron One 2320) on April 26th, 2014 so that the editing work of the complainant may not suffer. The complainant used to earn income by use of his laptop to provide photographs frequently at various firms like National Geographic, BBC, Sanctuary Asia Magazine and Better Photography Magazine etc.

5. The complainant filed complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 with a prayer to direct the opposite party to pay an amount of Rs.64,000/- to him being price of a new computer purchased by him and to pay an amount of Rs.50,000/- on account of un-necessary harassment and mental agony with interest at the rate of 18% per annum.

6. The opposite party in its written version has taken plea that the complainant has not appeared before the District Forum with clean hands and that the complainant is not covered under the definition of ‘consumer’ as provided under Section 2(1) (d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. It is admitted fact that the complainant visited the shop of the opposite party with defective Dell Inspiron laptop to remove certain defects. After proper checking, an official of the opposite party told the complainant that some spare electronics parts were needed for repair of the laptop which were not available with the opposite party. The complainant himself left his laptop in the shop of the opposite party with instructions to try in the market and inform him the price of the spare parts, if any, needed for repair of the laptop. Thereafter, the complainant never visited the shop of the opposite party. Remaining pleas taken in the complaint are denied by the opposite party. It is pleaded that the opposite party is still awaiting the complainant to collect his laptop from his shop. The complainant has filed the present complaint to take undue advantage of the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. The opposite party prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant be dismissed.

7. Parties adduced evidence in support of their respective claims before the District Forum.

8. After hearing arguments, vide impugned order dated February 17th, 2017 the complaint filed by the complainant was allowed by the learned District Forum directing the opposite party to pay an amount of Rs.7500/- to the complainant as cost of motherboard and also to pay an amount of Rs.2,000/- as litigation expenses with interest at the rate of 9% per annum from the date of decision by the District Forum.

9. Aggrieved with the impugned order dated February 17th, 2017 passed by the learned District Forum, the appellant-opposite party has filed the present First Appeal No.704 of 2017 with a prayer to set aside the impugned order and to dismiss the complaint filed by the complainant.

10. We have heard learned counsel for the appellant, the respondent in person and perused the case file.

11. During the course of arguments there was no controversy of any type that the complainant purchased a Dell Inspiron N4110 laptop online via Dell Exclusive Store, Sector-14, Gurgaon on March 02nd, 2012. It is also admitted fact that to get removed certain defects in the laptop. On March 30th, 2014 the laptop was taken to the shop of the opposite party by the complainant. The above mentioned laptop was referred by owner of Computer Planet to its employee Mr. Jitendra for repair work. On that date after checking, the complainant was told by Mr. Jitendra to leave the laptop with him stating that he needed time to repair the laptop. The complainant insisted that repair work should be done in his presence. Admittedly, the complainant again visited the shop of the opposite party where the laptop was checked and thereafter the same was taken to his own service shop-Raju Electronics by Mr. Jitendra. Initially there was network connectivity problem in the laptop but during checking the laptop was not handled by the opposite party in a professional way. As the laptop was dismantled to check LAN card physically and power-button circuit was also disconnected from motherboard. Mr. Jitendra tried to turn the laptop on by directly shortening the power port on motherboard despite the fact that he was asked time and again by the complainant not to do so. He did so only to save time of assembly. During process of checking and repair work, the power LED on motherboard became defective, which did not glow even after multiple attempts of shorting the pins. Thereafter, Mr. Jitendra could not bring the laptop back to life.

12. As per version of the complainant, he visited the shop of the opposite party for some minor defects in his laptop regarding internet connectivity etc but due to poor and non-professional handling of the laptop by Mr. Jitendra, the motherboard of complainant’s laptop became defective and the defect could not be rectified.

13. It will be pertinent to mention here that during pendency of the complaint before the District Forum, the laptop owned by the complainant was received back by him on September 10th, 2015 and till then the laptop remained with the opposite party. Version of the opposite party in this case is that defects were already there in the laptop when the same was brought in the shop of the opposite party. The complainant has filed the present complaint by misusing the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The opposite party in its written version has admitted that the laptop was brought to the shop of the opposite party for repair work. Version of the complainant in this case is that the defects occurred in the mother board of the laptop due to mishandling of the laptop by Mr. Jitendra and when the laptop was brought to the shop of the opposite party, there was no defect in the LED or motherboard of the laptop.

14. In support of his this version, the complainant tendered in his evidence a duly attested affidavit of Mr. Jitendra Exhibit CW3/A wherein it is mentioned that the laptop owned by the complainant when was brought to the shop of the opposite party, the same was referred to him in the service centre by Mr. Khurana to remove the problem of network connectivity. At that time, the problem with the network connectivity was detected in the laptop. Neither LAN (Ethernet) port nor WiFi (wireless) was working. He told the complainant to leave the laptop in the service centre as the same was needed to be opened for checking and replacing LAN card. The complainant insisted that the required work should be done in his presence. The complainant again visited the service centre on April 05th, 2014 with his laptop. The laptop was checked for problem relating to internet connectivity. After performing an initial check by opening the laptop, if the LAN card was being properly inserted in its port or if other wire connections were ok etc. It is also mentioned that he (Mr. Jitendra) tried to turn on the laptop to check again for internet connectivity. However, as the laptop was dismantled to check LAN card physically, something went wrong and the motherboard of the laptop got short in the unusual manner. From the statement of Mr. Jitendra, in his affidavit Exhibit CW3/A, it is clear that there was no defect in the motherboard of the laptop when the same was brought to the service centre of the opposite party.

15. Keeping in mind the written version of the opposite party and statement (affidavit) of Mr. Jitendra, it clearly appears that the defect occurred in the motherboard of the laptop after it was brought to the service centre of the opposite party. We feel no hesitation in holding that the defe

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cts occurred in the motherboard of the laptop due to mishandling by Mr. Jitendra at the time of checking of the laptop. As the defects occurred due to mishandling of the laptop at the time of repair by the opposite party, the opposite party should be burdened to pay at least the cost price of the motherboard needed for repair of the laptop. We agree with the findings of the learned District Forum that the complainant is not entitled to the sale price amounting to Rs.64,000/- of a new laptop which was purchased by the complainant after the laptop became defective. Considering all these circumstances, learned District Forum awarded an amount of Rs.7500/- to be paid by the opposite party to the complainant being the price of the motherboard and other spare parts needed for repair of the laptop. Learned District Forum has also awarded only an amount of Rs.2,000/- as litigation expenses. Keeping in mind all the circumstances mentioned above, the findings of the learned District Forum while passing the impugned order appear to be legal, valid and justified. Accordingly, the impugned order passed by the learned District Forum does not require any interference and the appeal stands dismissed.
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