Decided on April 21,2004

SHIV SHANKAR Respondents

Referred Judgements :-



- (1.)THESE are three connected appeals arising out of order dated 3.11.2003 passed by the District Forum, Dehradun whereby the complaint of the complainant for recovery of Rs. 44,000/ - (Rupees forty -four thousand) for loss of household goods and also for compensation and cost of litigation and expenses of medicines was allowed.
(2.)THE complainant, Sh. Shiv Shankar has filed an Appeal No. 916/2003, Sh. Shiv Shankar v. Manager, Sub -Area Gas Service, for the enhancement of compensation on the ground that the compensation as awarded by the learned Forum is inadequate. Indian Oil Corporation has filed Appeal No. 912/2003, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. v. Sh. Shiv Shankar, for quashing the order alleging that there is no deficiency in service on their part and the Manager, Sub -area Gas Service has filed Appeal No. 917/2003, Manager, Sub -area Gas Service v. Sh. Shiv Shankar, for setting aside the order of the learned Forum. Since in all the appeals, common questions of law and facts are involved, therefore, all these appeals are taken together for disposal. Copy of the judgment shall be placed in the records of all the appeals.
(3.)THE brief facts of the case are that the complainant is admittedly a consumer of LPG connection, which is supplied by opposite party No. 1, Dehradun Sub -area Gas Service, who is the deal. Opposite party No. 2, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. is the company, which supplies the cylinders to the dealers for further supply to the customers. It is alleged that the complainant took a refilled gas cylinder on 10.3.1995. On 18.3.1995, when the gas cylinder, which was being used became empty, the gas cylinder purchased on 10.3.1995 was installed but as soon as the burner was tried to be burnt, it got fire. On 20.3.1995, the matter was reported to the opposite party No. 1. It is alleged that defective gas cylinder was supplied. It is further said that due to this fire, entire household articles of the complainant were burnt. The complainant has given a list of articles, so burnt. He has claimed a sum of Rs. 44,550/ - (Rupees forty -four thousand five hundred fifty) for the loss of articles, Rs. 20,000/ - (Rupees twenty thousand) for mental pain and agony, Rs. 1,50,000/ - (Rupees one lac fifty thousand) for disfiguration of applicant No. 1 and Rs. 1,50,000/ - (Rupees one lac fifty thousand) for disfiguration of applicant No. 2, Rs. 5,000/ - (Rupees five thousand) as cost of litigation and Rs. 20,000/ - (Rupees twenty thousand) as expenses of medicines.
The opposite party No. 1 filed a telegraphic written statement and gave parawise reply. It is alleged that para 1 of the complaint is not relevant. Regarding para 2, supply of gas connection is admitted. Regarding para 3, sale of refilled gas cylinder on 10.3.1995 is admitted. Regarding para 4, it is said that it is not relevant to issue. In para 4 of the complaint, it is pleaded inter alia that since the complainant Sh. Shiv Shankar burnt match and lit the burner, it caught fire from burner and regulator and below that. It is said that this para is not relevant. It means that it is not denied. It means that it is admitted. In para 5 of the complaint, it is alleged that defective cylinder was given. This para is said to be false and it is alleged that all cylinders issued to the consumer are checked by concerned consumer is presence of gas agency staff. It is not said about the specific gas cylinder. Nothing has been said about this particular gas cylinder. In para 6 of the complaint, it is alleged that the complainant tried to extinguish the fire by putting water, sand, etc. but the cylinder started rotating on the ground and went in other rooms and burst. Reply to para 6 is not valid. What does it mean is not clear? It shall be deemed to have been admitted. The learned Counsel for the Gas Agency wanted to argue that such a cylinder could not rotate or dance. This argument is meaningless in view of this pleading. In para 7 of the complaint, it is alleged that the entire household articles were burnt and complainant Nos. 1 and 2 were signed and they became disfigured. Complainant No. 2 became serious and he was admitted in Doon Hospital, Dehradun on 18.3.1995. In reply to para 7, it is said to be no comment. This is not denied. In para 8, the complainant has alleged that he lodged F.I.R. on 19.3.1995 and informed the company's the Manager, Sub -area Gas Service about the accident on 20.3.1995. This para is said to be factual. It means no denial. The learned Counsel for the Gas Agency, Sh. Atul Virmani argued that the opposite party No. 1 got information of the accident after about 8 or 10 days from the opposite party No. 1. In the teeth of this denial, this argument has got no basis. In para 9, it is further alleged that the gas cylinder was checked by the consumer on 10.3.1995. In the last para, however it is alleged that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party No. 1.

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