Accident of Vehicle not having valid Registration

Narinder Singh,  purchased a Mahindra Pick UP BS-II 4WD vehicle and got it insured for  Rs. 4,30,037/- with the New India Assurance Company Ltd. for the period 12.12.2005 to 11.12.2006.

The vehicle was temporarily registered for one month period, which expired on 11.1.2006. However, on 2.2.2006, the vehicle met with an accident and got damaged.

The complainant lodged FIR and informed New India Assurance Company Ltd. about the accident., who appointed a surveyor who assessed the loss at Rs.2,60,845/- on repair basis.

However, New India Assurance Company Ltd. repudiated the claim on the ground that :
Rajeev Hetta, who was  driving the vehicle at the time of the accident, did not possess a valid and effective driving licence; and
also the vehicle had not been registered after the expiry of the temporary registration.

The complainant filed a consumer complaint before the District Forum. The District Forum allowed the complaint and directed New India Assurance Company Ltd. to indemnify the complainant to the extent of 75% of 4,30,037/- along with interest at the rate of 9% per annum thereon with effect from the date of filing of the complaint.

New India Assurance Company Ltd. preferred appeal before the State Commission. The State Commission allowed the appeal of New India Assurance Company Ltd. 

The Complainant preferred revision petition before the National Commission which was dismissed.

Thereafter, the Complainant preferred SLP before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court did not find any infirmity in the orders passed by the State Commission and the National Commission and  dismissed the SLP.

The Supreme Court observed:

“In our view…….. using a vehicle on the public road without any registration is not only an offence punishable under Section 192 of the Motor Vehicles Act but also a fundamental breach of the terms and conditions of policy contract.”

I am giving the link to the Supreme Court Decision dt. 4 September 2014

Maggie – Govt. of India files class suit in National Consumer Commission, New Delhi

On 17 August 2015, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi admitted the Govt. of India’s class action suit against Nestle India claiming Rs. 640 crores for unfair trade practice relating to Maggie noodles and allowed the Govt. of send samples of Maggie to accredited laboratories.

The next date of hearing is 30 September.

The Complaint appears to be a little premature as the matter is already pending in the Bombay High Court (but not for compensation).
But the case is historical, because this is the first time, the Govt. has filed a class action suit in the Consumer Commission.

This shows the importance of the Consumer Protection Act 1986.


Update  ……. 17 December 2015

Nestle have filed appeal in the Supreme  Court of India against the admission of the class action suit by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission …. and the Supreme Court has stayed the proceedings before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

Medical Negligence – Delay in Decision

In a case of medical negligence, resulting in death of the patient, the Maharashtra State Consumer Commission has by its order dated 14 August 2015, awarded damages of Rs. 10 lakhs for negligence, interest at 9% and cost of Rs. 25,000.

This is a good decision but what is unfortunate is that the Complaint which was filed on 10.10.2002 has been finally decided on 14.8.2015.

I think every one will agree that this is too long a period. I am giving the link to the decision.

Execution of Orders Passed by Consumer Forums and Commissions

I find that quite often, the persons against whom Consumer Forums and Commissions pass orders take the orders very lightly. They feel that these orders can not be enforced.

The truth is otherwise. The Consumer Forums and Commissions can send such persons to jail. For this purpose, they have all the powers of a judicial magistrate.

I am reproducing Paras 30 and 31 of the order passed by the State Consumer Commission, Chandigarh in Sushil Siwach VS Shalimar Estates Pvt. Ltd., passed on 23/06/2014 with case number EA. : 21 of 2014 (I am giving the link below)

30. Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, contumacious defiance of the order dated 13.12.2012, passed by this Commission, in the Consumer Complaint, bearing No.42 of 2012, with impunity, bySh. R.K. Aggarwal, Managing Director of Shalimar Estates Private Limited, Judgment Debtor/Opposite Party,and considering the fact that faith of the Consumers, is not shattered, in the Consumer Foras, set up for speedy redressal of grievances, he does not deserve any leniency, in the matter of imposition of sentence. Sh. R.K. Aggarwal, Managing Director of Shalimar Estates Private Limited, Judgment Debtor/Opposite Party, is sentenced to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of 2 years, and to pay a fine of Rs.10,000/-, in default of payment of fine, to undergo further simple imprisonment for 6 months.

31. Non-bailable warrants of Sh. R.K. Aggarwal, Managing Director of Shalimar Estates Private Limited, Judgment Debtor/Opposite Party, returnable for 23.07.2014, be issued, for his arrest, and detention in Jail, to undergo sentence, awarded to him.

Consumer Protection Act to Get More Teeth & District Forum more Money

The Consumer Protection Act is being amended to make it more strong and to cover online transactions which at present pose many problems to the suffering consumers.

The Govt. of India has also decided to give Rs. 1 crore to each District Forum to improve its infrastructure.
At present, many of the District Forums lack even the basic minimal infrastructure.

The Govt. of India and the State Governments should investigate why there are so many vacancies in the District Forums, make the post of members more attractive  and fill up the vacant posts.

Mobile Towers – Are they Health Hazards ?

Kiran Shantaram and others have recently filed a writ in the Bombay High Court against the installation of Mobile towers in a Municipal Garden adjoining the Raj Kamal Studio compound in Parel, Mumbai. 
The Bombay High Court has not granted any interim order so far.

The fact remains that it is not clear whether the radiation are health hazards.
Environment activists feel that they are health hazards. 

Experts are divided. And there is no conclusive evidence or study to indicate that the radiation is a health hazard.

The issue has been decided by at at least three High Courts. The High Courts  have held that the radiation is not a health hazard.
The Govt. of India should come out with clear expert opinion.

Meanwhile, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and National Green Tribunal (NGT) have said that cell-tower radiations are not a “pollutant” or a health hazard if the cell towers strictly adhere to the norms that have been laid down by World Health Organization (WHO) and the department of telecommunication (DoT).

This obviously means that the radiation from the cell towers should not only be routinely checked by the concerned agencies, but the reports should be made available online.