Decided on March 25,2008



K.Sampath, President (Open Court) - (1.) THE opposite party in C.O.P. No. 37/2002 on the file of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Nagapattinam, is the appellant herein. The case of the complainant was as follows: (a) For supply of drinking water, the complainant paid a fee of Rs. 160 on 26.7.1993 to the opposite party. She wrote to the opposite party again on 26.4.2001 stating that though she had paid the amount, no connection had been given. In reply to that letter, the opposite party admitted to having received Rs.160 deposit but stated that no centage fee had been paid by the complainant. The complainant had not been so instructed nor was any intimation given to him for paying any such fee. Because of the non -supply of water for over 7 years, the complainant had to undergo great suffering. She had to buy drinking water from outside. In these circumstances, the complaint came to be filed claiming a compensation of Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 5,000 towards costs and for a further direction to the authorities to collect the requisite fee from her and supply water.
(2.) THE opposite party took the stand that though Rs. 160 was received by the Panchayat the complainant had not given particulars in the prescribed format so as to enable the authorities to grant sanction for work. Further, the complainant's house was situated on the opposite side of the road which would need cutting open the road and laying of pipes and unless necessary permission was obtained from the department no connection could be given to the complainant. In any event, the claim was barred by limitation.
(3.) THE District Forum held that the complainant was entitled to get water connection subject to her paying the necessary further amounts that the complainant had not been notified as to the amounts payable or the forms to be filled up that the opposite party had kept quiet for a long number of years and come out with the explanation only after the filing of the complaint. The District Forum directed the opposite party to give water connection to the complainant subject to the complainant paying all the charges as prescribed. Besides that the District Forum directed the opposite party to pay a sum of Rs. 3,000 as compensation as also costs. It is as against that the present appeal has been filed. Mr. K.K. Senthil Kumar, learned Government Advocate vehemently submitted that the complaint was clearly barred by limitation that the complainant claimed to have paid Rs. 160 in the year 1993 and the complaint should have been filed within two years from the date of such payment that the complaint came to be filed nearly 10 years after that and the District Forum ought to have dismissed the complaint on the ground of limitation. Apart from that the learned Counsel submitted that the complainant ought to have in any event approached the opposite party to find out as to what were the further formalities to be complied with and ascertained the amount payable by her to the opposite party for getting the water connection. This she had not done and had kept quiet. In such a situation, the opposite party was perfectly justified in not giving water connection to the complainant.;

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