Decided on March 28,2008



K.SAMPATH, J. - (1.) The opposite party in O.P.No.14/2002 on the file of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Udhagamandalam, is the appellant herein. He has also taken out an application for reception of additional documents.
(2.) The case of the complainant was as follows: - He was subscriber of telephone No.517755. There were no dues payable by him. He received a letter from the department dt.04/04/2002 claiming a sum of Rs.2,56,108/- as alleged dues payable by his father for telephone Nos:-13068, 43731, 57203, 57236 & 59214. The complainant's telephone was disconnected on the basis of the said letter. There was also a dispute between his father and the telephone department pending before the Subordinate Judge, Nilgiris in O.S.No.77/2000 and it related to the Firm M/s.Arian Tea Enterprises and his father was not a partner therein. The department had earlier sent a letter dt.11/03/2002 to the complainant claiming Rs.58,909/- failing payment of which by 16/03/2002 his telephone would be disconnected. He had sent a reply to that letter but still his telephone was disconnected. He sent a lawyer's notice for reconnection immediately as there were no arrears in respect of his telephone. Thereafter he filed the complaint seeking reconnection of his telephone and also payment of Rs.5,000/- towards damages and a written apology from the department for the wrongful action.
(3.) The opposite party filed a version denying the various allegations and further stating as follows :- Even on the date the complainant was provided with a new telephone connection bearing No.517755 his father was a defaulter to the tune of Rs.2,56,108/-. By mistake, a new connection was provided to the complainant. Immediately on learning about the mistake, a letter was sent to the complainant and thereafter the telephone was disconnected. As per Rule 416 of the Indian Telegraph Rules, the department could refuse to give new telephone connections to near/close relatives or associates living or working from the same premises as that of the defaulting subscriber. The department was fully justified as the complainant's fathers dues were to an extent of more than Rs.2,00,000/- and the complainant's telephone was disconnected. The department was well within their power to deny a telephone connection. Telephone bills of associate numbers used by the father of the complainant had not been paid and he failed and neglected to clear the outstanding amount. There was no negligence on the part of the department and they had only followed the Indian Telegraph Rules. The complaint was liable to be dismissed.;

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