Decided on March 14,2006

P P Mukherjee Respondents


- (1.) ON account of failure of the appellant to publish the correct name of the respondent in telephone directory in spite of completion of all formalities and furnishing of all information in advance the appellant has been vide impugned order dated 4.2.2002 directed by the District Forum to correctly publish the particulars of the respondent in forthcoming telephone directory and pay a sum of Rs. 3,000 towards cost and compensation.
(2.) THROUGH this appeal the impugned order has been assailed on the premise of Rule 457 of Indian Telegraph Rules, 1951 which reads as under: GeneralAny telephone directory provided by the Department shall remain its exclusive property and shall be delivered to it on demand. The department reserves the right to amend or delete any entries in the telephone directory at any time and undertakes no responsibility for any omission; and it shall not entertain any claim or compensation on account of any entry in or omission from the telephone directory or of any error therein.
(3.) THE aforesaid rule cannot come to the rescue of the appellant for simple reason that Section 3 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides an independent and additional remedy to the consumer in the form of compensation on the ground of allegation of deficiency in service unfair trade practice or sale of defective goods. Section 3 provides as under: 3 Act not in derogation of any other lawThe provisions of this Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force. Another contention of the Counsel for the appellant that Rule 452 lays down that supply of telephone directory is free of charge and, therefore, no consideration from the consumer is received for publishing the name does not find favour with us as every service provided by the appellant in respect of telephone and the directory etc. comes within the service as the consideration is inherent in the charges being levied in the form of call charges, rental charges etc. Rule 452 provides as under: 452. Supply of telephone directories A copy of the telephone directory shall be supplied free of charges for each telephone extension of party line, rented by the subscriber from an exchange system or private branch exchange or private exchange. A copy shall also be supplied free of charge for each exchange (including extension) from an extension working from a Public Cell Office. Additional copies supplied shall be charged for at such rate as may be fixed by the telegraph authority from time to time.;

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