Decided on September 29,2010

Manager, Bharti Airtel Limited Appellant
Prakash Thakur, S/O Tek Chand Respondents


- (1.) THIS appeal is directed against the order of District Forum, Mandi in Consumer Complaint No. 245/2007, dated 31.12.2007 allowing the complaint while holding the respondent entitled to the compensation and punitive damages of Rs. 1,00,000/ -, for deficiency of service on the part of the appellants under Section 14(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. While allowing the complaint direction given is that the compensation and punitive damages of Rs. 1,00,000/ - in favour of the H. P. State Consumer Council. Respondent has also been held entitled for Rs 10,000/ - payable by the appellants with interest @ 9% per annum from the date of institution of the complaint till the payment, and cost of litigation assessed at Rs. 2000/ -.
(2.) FACTS of the case as they emerge from the record are, that respondent is a journalist by profession, was holding a Mobile Phone No. 98160 -79841 from the appellants. He is Correspondent of Hindi Daily, "Punjab Kesari" at Mandi. He had to contact Police, Fire and Medical Departments in connection with his job requirements. Further per him, the appellants had provided the free telephone service for contacting telephone Nos. 100, 101 and 102 respectively. His grievance in the complaint was, that whenever he tried to contact these telephone numbers from his mobile, these numbers could not be contacted.
(3.) FURTHER grievance in the complaint was, that the free telephone services for these telephone numbers have not been provided by the appellants. Since he could not contact these numbers from his mobile, as such he was compelled to make alternate arrangement for contacting the Police Station and Fire Station by spending money from his pocket. It is also alleged that on 12.6.2007 he received two messages on his mobile, one message was received at 10:18:57 AM, and the other at 4:39:48 PM on the same date. Contents of the said message was ""Dear Airtel subscriber your request for 'Missed Call Alert Service' had been updated thank you". Respondent claimed that he had never applied for missed call alert service and the appellants have provided the aforesaid service to the respondent and they unauthorizedly and illegally charged Rs. 15/ - per month from him for the last three four months and deduction of Rs. 15/ - had also been notified to him which came to his knowledge when he received message from the appellants. Thereafter the complainant had contacted the appellant No. 1 who had confirmed having provided missed call alert service and the appellants had wrongly deducted Rs. 15/ - from his account, as such he had also asked for refund of Rs. 15/ -, as he was informed that refund was not permissible. In this background, present complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was filed for deficiency of service on the part of the appellants.;

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