At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. PREM NARAIN
By, PRESIDING MEMBER
For the Petitioner: Nemo. For the Respondent: ------
This revision petition has been filed by the petitioner, Shankar Saran who was the original complainant before the District Consumer Forum-II, Visakhapatnam, (in short ‘the District Forum’), challenging the order dated 26.11.2018 passed by the State Commission, Andhra Pradesh in FA No.248 of 2017.
2. Brief facts of the case are that the respondent/ opposite party had disconnected the electricity connection of the complainant due to non-payment of arrear, however disconnection was only for four hours and the same was restored after paying Rs.75/- as reconnection charges to the opposite party. It was the case of the complainant that he was paying regularly electricity charges and under no circumstances, his electricity connection should have been disconnected. The complainant filed a complaint before the District Forum alleging deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party and for mental agony suffered by him and his family. The complaint was dismissed by the District Forum vide order dated 27.12.2016. Against the order of the dismissal, the complainant preferred an appeal bearing No.248 of 2017 before the State Commission. The State Commission allowed the complaint and directed the opposite party to pay Rs.5,000/- as compensation and litigation cost of Rs.5000/- within a period of eight weeks failing which appellant shall be entitled to 9% p.a. interest from date of order of the State Commission. Not satisfied with the order of the State Commission, the petitioner/complainant has preferred present revision petition.
3. The matter was listed for admission hearing on 25.11.2019. It was seen that the petitioner was not present on the consecutive last two dates. However, a letter from the petitioner dated 01.11.2019 was received by the Registry and the same was placed on 25.11.2019 before this Commission. It was prayed in this application that due to old age and ill health, the petitioner would not be able to come to attend the proceedings before this Commission. The petitioner also submitted written arguments along with this application and it was also requested that the matter be decided for admission on the basis of documents and written arguments submitted by the petitioner. Hence, the matter was reserved for orders particularly for admission. Following has been mentioned in the written submissions:-
“5. Hence, I most respectfully submit that my case may be decided on merit in my absence. I have full faith in the Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission to do me justice for which I have been battling with the case first in the Hon’ble Forum since 4th February 2016 and then in the A.P.State Commission.”
4. A Ground has been taken in the revision petition that the opposite party disconnected the power supply arbitrarily and with high-handedness. It has been further stated in the revision petition that this revision petition has been filed not only for complainant it is for the benefit of other people, who were suffering from high-handedness of the opposite party. It is further mentioned in the revision petition that the compensation of Rs.5000/- may be enhanced to Rs.75,000/-. It has been further mentioned that an expenditure of Rs.57,850=93 has been incurred by the complainant on contesting this case and this should be considered.
5. I have gone through the orders of the District Forum and the State Commission as well as other records on the case file and the written arguments submitted by the complainant as well as grounds mentioned in the revision petition. The case of the opposite party is that the complainant had not paid the bill of November, 2015 and therefore, action was required to be taken. A defaulter cannot file a consumer complaint. On the basis of the facts and evidence, District Forum dismissed the complaint vide its order dated 27.12.2016. However, the State Commission has awarded compensation of Rs.5000/- and litigation cost of Rs.5000/- to be paid by the opposite party to the complainant.
6. It is seen that the revision petition has been filed for enhancement of compensation of Rs.5000/- and litigation cost of Rs.5000/-. Although the petitioner is saying that he is not pursuing the present revision petition only for him, but for other people who have suffered due to high-handedness of the opposite party. No application under Section 12(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has been filed and in fact, the complaint was not maintainable as it was not filed for other similarly placed persons. Consumer Forum is not meant for helping defaulters and the compensation has to be commensura
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te with the loss and damage caused to the complainant by the negligence of the opposite party as per Section 14(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. In my view, the reasonable compensation and cost has been awarded by the State Commission and any request for enhancing compensation and litigation cost is not justified in the facts and circumstances of the case as the electric connection was only disconnected for four hours. Therefore, the revision petition no.459 of 2019 is dismissed at the admission stage.