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M/s. D Net Malayalam communications, Ashoka house, Kaloor, Kochi, Represented by its Proprietrix v/s Reji Varghese

    Appeal No. 388 of 2017

    Decided On, 12 September 2018

    At, Kerala State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Thiruvananthapuram

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S.S. SATHEESACHANDRAN
    By, PRESIDENT
    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. T.S.P. MOOSATH
    By, JUDICIAL MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MR. R. RANJIT
    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellant: S. Reghukumar, P.G. Jayashankar, Advocates. For the Respondent: --------



Judgment Text

S.S. Satheesachandran :President

Opposite party in CC 934/14 on the file of Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ernakulam, for short the forum, has filed this appeal challenging the Order of the forum directing it to restore the cable TV connection provided to the complainant within one month from the date of receipt of the order and to pay cost of Rs.2000/-.

2. Complainant laid the complaint before the forum alleging that the cable Tv connection taken by him from opposite party was disconnected without notice. He had a further case that though there was promise to provide 100 channels, what was provided by opposite party was only less number of channels. Imputing deficiency in service against opposite party, he had sought for restoration of the connection with compensation and cost.

3. Resisting the claim, opposite party filed version contending that the complainant was a chronic defaulter in payment of charges due for the connection and when he failed to pay monthly charges after demand, the connection was terminated. There was no deficiency in service on the part of opposite party and the complainant who was at fault is not entitled to file the complaint and claim compensation, was its case.

4. Evidence in the case consisted of testimony of complainant as PW1 and exhibits A1 to A3 on his side. On the side of opposite party, its manager was examined as DW1.

5. Appreciating the materials produced, the lower forum, after entering a finding that the complainant had defaulted payment of monthly charges to opposite party for two months, held that there was deficiency in service on the part of opposite party in disconnecting the cable tv connection without noties. In that view of the matter, opposite party was directed to restore the cable tv connection and to pay cost of Rs.2000/-. Aggrieved by that Order, opposite party has preferred this appeal.

6. Notice given complainant appeared in person. We heard counsel for the appellant and also the complainant.

7. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that exhibit A2 providing for issue of 15 days notice before effecting disconnection was not applicable to the present case since the regulations covered thereunder issued by TRAI is applicable only in the case of digital tv. Overlooking that aspect, the forum has formed a conclusion that there was deficiency in service on the part of opposite party in disconnecting the service without notice. When the complainant has been found to be a defaulter in payment of monthly charges for two months, the forum should have found that the disconnection was justified and there was no justification to order restoration of the connection, according to the counsel. Complainant, who is present in person submits that he had taken the connection from opposite party in the year 1993 and till 2012, monthly charges of Rs.100/- were paid. That was later changed to 6 months payment in advance, for which a discount of Rs.50/- was provided. Without notice to him, opposite party disconnected the service, and, the Order passed by the forum, according to him, deserves only to be confirmed as the disconnection amounted to deficiency in service.

8. Irrespective of the question whether notice for disconnection contemplated under exhibit A2 is applicable where a connection has been provided receiving payment over a continuous period of time, in the event of default in payment, opposite party has to make a demand for payment and then proceed with steps for disconnection. Though learned counsel for appellant submitted that exhibit A2 is applicable only to digital tv connection and not to analogue tv connection provided to complainant, as already indicated where complainant had been in enjoyment of the cable tv connection from the opposite party from 1993 onwards, in case of default of payment of monthly charges on his part for one or two months, opposite party should have given notice before effecting disconnection. Admittedly, complainant had paid monthly charges till July and the opposite party disconnected the service in September 2012 without issuing notice. When that be so, we do not find any impropriety or illegality in the conclusion formed by the forum that there was deficiency in service on the part of opposite party. Complainant is now in enjoyment of a connection from another service provider according to his statement before the Commission. Further, the direction issued by the forum to restore the connections may not be possible at this stage since now all analogue connections have been stopped and digital connection alone is available. Complainant had been previously in enjoyment of analogue connection and if at all he re

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quire digital connection, he has to apply and get the same from a qualified service provider. So we vacate the direction to restore the cable tv connection to the complainant. Further, considering the facts and circumstances presented, cost ordered by the forum is modified as compensation enhancing it to Rs.3500/-.Compensation as fixed above shall be paid to the complainant within a period of one month from the date of receipt of this Order, failing which, it shall carry interest @ 12% p.a. till payment or realization.
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