The First Additional Bangalore District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to return Rs. 5,000 to a consumer for not clearly mentioning why it had collected the said amount from the consumer.
The consumer, V.K. Jain, a resident of Peenya Industrial Estate, reported to the police that his water meter was stolen on March 8 this year. He then submitted an application to the BWSSB’s Assistant Executive Engineer, W-4 Sub-Division, for a new water meter. However, he was made to deposit Rs. 5,000 as penalty for the theft of the water meter in addition to Rs. 850 for a new meter and Rs. 150 towards fixing charges.
Mr. Jain filed a complaint before the forum and questioned the BWSSB’s action in collecting the penalty. The members of the forum - H.M. Bajentri, C.V. Rajamma and Keshav Rao Patil - found that the receipt issued by the BWSSB mentioned Rs. 5,000 under the head “others”. The members observed that “No proper particulars have been furnished as to why Rs. 5,000 was charged”.
Without disclosing the particulars, the BWSSB was not entitled to collect the amount. Terming this as “unfair trade practice”, the forum in its August 4 order directed the BWSSB to return Rs. 5,000 with six per cent interest to Mr. Jain. The BWSSB officials did not appear before the forum.
Maximum retail price
In another judgment, the forum directed a shop to return to a customer the amount it charged in excess of the maximum retail price for a tube for his two-wheeler.
H.K. Honne Gowda of Sunkadkatte purchased a tube for his motorcycle from Elegant Tyres on Magadi Road on May 15. The shop charged Rs. 270 despite Mr. Honne Gowda pointing out that the MRP mentioned on the tube was Rs. 220. He then filed a complaint with the forum.
The forum observed that collecting amount in excess of the MRP was unfair trade practice and directed the shop to return Rs. 50 with 10 per cent interest. It also asked the shop to pay Mr. Honne Gowda a cost of Rs. 500 within eight weeks.