At, Tamil Nadu State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Chennai
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R. REGUPATHI
By, PRESIDENT & THE HONOURABLE MR. A.K. ANNAMALAI
By, JUDICIAL MEMBER
For the Appellant: M/s.T.S. Gopalan, Advocate. For the Respondents: M/s. R. Balasubramaniam, Advocate.
(The Respondent is the complainant filed a complaint before the District Forum against the opposite parties praying certain relief. The District Forum allowed the complaint. Against the said order, the appellant / 2nd opposite party filed this appeal praying to setaside the order of the District Forum in CC.No.19/2010, dated 15.12.2010.)
A.K. Annamalai, Judicial Member
1. The 2nd opposite party is the appellant.
2. The complainant purchased Godrej Split AC machine from the 1st opposite party on 2.6.2009 for which the 2nd opposite party being the manufacturing company and service centre and within 3 months the A/c having a problem in the cooling system and a hole in the condenser tube was rectified after a complaint on 14.3.2010. Once again within a week there was another complaint of fault in the A/c indoor unit which was patched up with M.seal and thereafter there was leakage of water and the opposite party did not deputed the labour and sufficient workman to the repair work and after lodged a complaint on 1.4.2010 only after 6.4.2010 two workman from the consumer cell came for to repair and they detected a rift in the indoor unit and patched with M.seal and thereby not satisfied with the service of the opposite parties filed a consumer complaint praying for replacement of the defective A/C machine and to pay Rs.1,00,000/- as compensation for mental agony.
3. Before the District Forum the 1st opposite party remained exparte and the 2nd opposite party denied the allegations of the complainant by contending that they are only a supplier of the goods directly to the dealers and actual manufacturer at Bombay to be added as a party and the complainant is not a consumer since the A/C machine was used for commercial purpose since the complainant being a vetenary Doctor and there was no deficiency on their part since the complaints regarding the defects were rectified then and there and thereby the complaint is to be dismissed.
4. The District Forum after an enquiry on the basis of both sides materials allowed the complaint by holding that the complainant is a consumer and directing the opposite parties jointly and severally to replace the split AC capacity of 1.5. tons, with new one and to pay a sum of Rs.20,000/- as damages for deficiency of service for the supply of defective AC machine and to pay Rs.2500/- towards costs.
5. Against the impugned order the 2nd opposite party alone has come forward with the appeal by contending that the District Forum erroneously allowed the complaint and the complainant has not proved the manufacturing defects of AC by way of adducing any evidence. The A/c was in working condition for 10 months and due to inferior quality of stabilizer used the repairs were caused. The appellant is not a manufacturer to adduce expert evidence and the award of compensation was not warranted and the contract is only for repairs and not for replacement and no deficiency of service was made. Hence, the appeal is to be allowed.
6. We have heard both sides arguments and carefully perused the materials including the documents in this regard. It is the admitted case of both sides that the complainant had purchased Split AC capacity of 1.5 tons from the opposite parties for which the 2nd opposite party / appellant being the manufacturer . But the 2nd opposite party contended that they are only a supplier of the goods which are manufactured in their name by some other company which was not proved. But the documents relied upon under Ex.B1 and Warranty card under Ex.A4 would go to show that the 2nd opposite party is alone responsible and liable for the warranty, guarantee and manufacturing defects regarding the products and in those circumstances the 2nd opposite party is liable to rectify the defects purchased by the complainant for the same. In this case the complainant alleged that he purchased A/C machine got repaired within 3 months in the cooling system had defect due to hole in the condenser tube which was closed after the complaint on 14.3.2010 and also after the complaint on 1.4.2010 another defect of rift in the indoor unit which was patched with M.Seal only after 6.4.2010 and the complainant not satisfied with the machine and admittedly within a period of one year of warranty the defects found rectified as per the warranty. The appellant contended that the machine was functioning without any complaint for nearly more than 9 months and thereby the defects were rectified and there is no need for replacing the machine as per the warranty and guarantee. But the complainant alleged that the second repair was attended due to rift in the machine which were patched with M.seal and thereby the machine became not safer one in using the same. In those circumstances when those repairs are not rectifiable to the satisfaction of the purchaser, it is the duty of the manufacturer to rectify the same and in this case the part of the machine itself found with rift which is unsafe for use and the District Forum after considering all the details in this regard passed the order for replacement. The 2nd opposite party contended that because of usage of the poor quality of the stabilizer purchased by the complainant along with A/C as per Ex.A1 subsequently changed the stabilizer for a higher capacity under Ex.A5, the defects were not due to AC machine but due to inferior quality of stabilizer and this plea cannot be accepted, since the 1st opposite party is the dealer of the 2nd opposite party supplied the AC at the time of purchase the AC who sold the branded stabilizer Everest 4 KVA and Ex.A5 shows the very same brand with same capacity as replacement was purchased and for the reasons of stabilizer usage the above defects alleged cannot be accepted when the defects were found with the AC machine itself. The second opposite party failed to file the necessary repairs / job cards relating to the defects to prove the nature of repairs already attended. The District Forum decided that the complainant being the vetenarian cannot be considered that the machine was purchased was used only for the purpose of Hospital in the nature of keeping animals etc and thereby we are of the view that the District Forum after considering all the relevant materials in detail came to the proper conclusion that the opposite parties are in deficiency of service and ordered replacing of the defective A/C machine with which finding we are in full agreement. As far as the quantum of compensation and cost awarded are concerned the defects were alleged to have been attended by the opposite parties then and there and though not to the satisfaction of the consumer and as the District Forum have already ordered for the replacement of the AC machine for the defects one, we are of the view that the award of Rs.20,000/- as compensation is on the higher side and we are inclined to reduce the same for a sum of Rs.5000/- and costs awarded for Rs.2500/- is a reasonable one and also ordered for the replacing of defective machine is proved one and thereby the appeal is to be allowed by modification of quantum of the compensation alone. Accordingly.
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result, the appeal is allowed in part by modifying the order of the District forum is as follows: 1. The order of the District Forum directing the opposite parties jointly and severally to pay a sum of Rs.20,000/- as damages for deficiency of service committed by them for the supply of defective A/C machine is hereby setaside 2. Instead they are directed to pay only a sum of Rs.5000/- alone as compensation for the same 3. In other respects the order of the District Forum is hereby confirmed. 4. The directions shall be complied within a period of 6 weeks from the date of this order 5. The complainant is directed to surrender the defective A/C machine within that period for the replacement. 6. No order as to costs in the appeal.