Decided on February 20,2008

Chand Mengi Respondents


- (1.) THROUGH the medium of this appeal order dated 18.2.1994 passed by the learned Divisional Forum (hereinafter to be referred to as the Forum) has been challenged. The facts of the case in brief are that the telephone connection No. 33077 stood in the name of the complainant and it is alleged that it was a telephone at her residence and she received inflated bills dated 11.1.1992, 11.8.1992,11.4.1993,11.6.1993 and 11.12.1992 for Rs. 4,409, Rs. 6,227, Rs. 1,426, Rs. 1,196 and Rs. 2,712 respectively. Regarding the first four bills Complaint No. 3539 was filed and for the last bill in the sum of Rs. 2,712 Complaint No. 3554 was filed. The learned Forum tried both complaints jointly and vide impugned order dismissed Complaint No. 3554 and partially allowed Complaint No. 3539 in respect of bill dated 11.1.92 which was for a sum of Rs. 4,409 and bill dated 11.8.92 which was for a sum of Rs. 6,227. It was held that they were on the excessive side and directed the respondent herein to deposit Rs. 3,000 for each bill covering the trunk calls within a period of 15 days.
(2.) DESPITE repeated notices no body has appeared for the respondent. The learned Counsel appearing for the appellant has contended that the consumer Mrs. Chand Mengi herself has not appeared in support of the complaint but her husband who was his attorney holder had appeared. According to him, an attorney holder cannot appear as a witness on behalf of the executant. He has contended that the complaint was thus without any evidence and could not be decided in her favour. The second argument advanced by him is that it was a case of purely excessive billing which aspect was being looked into by the appellant itself but without waiting for the outcome of the result of the inquiry the complaint had been filed which was premature and there was no deficiency in service and the impugned order suffers from patent illegality.
(3.) WE have considered the respective contentions of the learned Counsel of the appellant and find in the impugned order that no where there is a finding that the respondent herein had waited for the result of inquiry with regard to the excessive billing. Rather it was a case where the cause of action had not yet arisen as there was no refusal and it could not be termed as deficiency in service. The complaint could not be entertained. Regarding the second point which has been raised we left it open for decision in future. In this view of the matter, we accept the appeal and set aside the impugned order to the extent whereby the amounts of bill dated 11.1.1992 and bill dated 11.8.1992 have been reduced. However, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs. A copy of this judgment be sent to the Forum for placing it on the record of the original file.;

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