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Tata Tele-Services Limited v/s Pankaj Kumar Singh & Others

    Appeal No. A-791 of 2004

    Decided On, 03 November 2004

    At, Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission New Delhi

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE J.D. KAPOOR
    By, PRESIDENT & MR. MAHESH CHANDRA
    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellant: Shailesh K. Kapoor, Advocate. For the Respondents: None.



Judgment Text

J.D. Kapoor, President:

1. Appellant is a service provider of mobile phones. The respondent is a consumer of the appellant. The appellant raised a bill for the month of February 2004 in respect of mobile phone of the respondent for Rs. 1,382.38 payable by 15.3.2004. However, the respondent deposited a cheque dated 28.2.2004 drawn on respondent No. 1 Bank towards the said bill. He also deposited a sum of Rs. 1,500/- in his account with the respondent No. 1. However, on 9.3.2004, the respondent received a telephonic message from the appellant that his cheque has been dishonoured on presentation. On receiving this message he immediately deposited the amount in cash on 9.3.2004 itself. In spite of this the appellant suspended the out-going facility of the mobile phone of the respondent.

2. Feeling aggrieved of the action of the appellant the respondent filed a complaint before the District Forum for compensation on account of deficiency in service. Vide order dated 2.9.2004 the appellant was ordered to pay a sum of Rs. 5,000/- as compensation and Rs. 1,000/- as cost of litigation.

3. The case of the appellant in brief is that as per CAF Clauses 4 and 5 of the Terms and Conditions in the CDMA Mobile Tariff Plan, the telephone of the respondent was disconnected for non-payment of the bill due in January, 2004 by virtue of terms and conditions agreed by the respondent. The clauses are as under:

4. The monthly rental and the plan fee of the respective plan will be payable in advance for next month. The customers who have availed of TTSL’s services for less than a month will have their rental prorated.

5. The handset instalment of the respective plan will be payable in advance for next month.

4. Further under Clause 9(a)(i) of the agreement between the parties the telephone was liable to be suspended in case the cheque of the subscriber is dishonoured without waiting for due date. The clause referred by the Counsel for the appellant is as under:

(9)(a)(i) in the event of non-payment of bills by the due date or in case the cheque is dishonoured, TTL reserves the right to suspend any service other than the emergency call service from the subscribers connection. In the event the subscriber pays the outstanding amount within 15 days of the due date or such time frame as prescribed, TTL may revoke the suspension.

5.The aforesaid contentions are completely devoid of merit and have no substance at all on factual matrix as well as on legal aspects. It is not understandable as to how the appellant waited for the payment of outstanding bill which was due in January and disconnected the outgoing facility in March against the bill which was payable by 15.3.2004. Merely because a cheque issued in advance i.e., 28.2.2004 was dishonoured did not authorise the appellant to disconnect the outgoing facility as the relevant date for withdrawing such facility was the due date and no other date.

6.Even if the payment is not made or the cheque is dishonoured, the provider of service of mobile phones is required to wait till the due date before withdrawing such facility as merely because the cheque was dishonoured did not entitle the appellant to withdraw the facility prior to the due date. This is utter high-handedness on the part of the appellant which is in excusable and is unfair trade practice as well as grossest kind of deficiency in service. We do not find any merit in th

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e appeal and dismiss the same in limine. 7. The FDR, if any deposited by the appellant be returned forthwith after completing necessary formalities. 8. A copy of this order as per statutory requirements be forwarded to the parties free of charge and also to the concerned District Forum and thereafter the file be consigned to record room. Appeal dismissed.
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