Consumer Forum to MSEDCL: Pay Rs 10K compensation

Thane Consumer Forum has asked MSEDCL to provide deficient services to a domestic consumer and ordered payment of Rs 10,000 compensation to him.

Thane: The Thane District Consumers Grievances Redressal Forum has held that the MSEDCL has provided deficient services to a domestic consumer here and ordered payment of Rs 10,000 compensation to him.

The forum headed by RB Somani along with member Jyoti Iyer ruled that the MSEDCL had billed exorbitantly the complainant and also demanded interest on the outstanding from the complainant.

The forum gave the ruling recently after MSEDCL provided a faulty meter to the consumer from Thane who challenged the bill itself.

"It was the primary responsibility of MSEDCL to replace the faulty meter and give proper services to the consumer," it said.

Issuing exorbitant bills and demanding interest in itself is a harassment, the forum ruled.

The Forum ordered a compensation payment of Rs 8000 towards mental torture of the complainant and Rs 2000 towards legal expenses.

The complainant Anand G Rao from Kalwa, had claimed a sum of Rs 100000 towards damages and torture, while demanding Rs 15000 towards legal expenses.

Kalwa in his complaint told the forum that he was a consumer of MSEDCL from 1997 and till May 2001 he received a bill of Rs 310 per month, which he paid.

However, in June 2001 the MSEDCL claimed that the meter was faulty and changed the same and started issuing an average bill.

He said payments were made as per the bills issued by the MSEDCL. On several occasions the MSEDCL issued exorbitant bills which were got corrected by the complainant but it never bothered to replace the faulty meter even till 2005, it was pointed out.

The meter was replaced in August 2005. The Corporation calculated the power bill on average and issued a bill for Rs. 76,990 in January 2007, which according to MSEDCL included an outstanding amount of Rs 75,751.

The complainant challenged the very basis of demand from the MSEDCL which stated that he had consumed a total of 10753 units between March 2002 and May 2005 and the average for the 40 months came to 268 units and the value of the consumption was Rs 33303. With the interest, the total sum came to Rs 49417.

The Forum held that the MSEDCL had provided deficient services to the consumer and not bothered to replace the faulty meter and hence was liable to compensate for its follies.

The Forum also directed the Corporation to work out the actual bill due and take action accordingly and if need be adjust the excess payment in the future bills.

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