In a boost to consumer rights, the Supreme Court has directed the Union government to ensure that domestic LPG cylinders are checked for their actual weight at the customer’s doorstep to avoid any malpractice resorted to by a dealer.
The apex court directive followed an undertaking from the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry that instructions will be issued to all oil companies to ensure that in each and every case, the distributor’s delivery man carries weighing equipment and the cylinder is delivered to the customer after recording the actual weight of the gas in his/her presence.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhya also directed the authorities to carry out ads in Doordarshan and other electronic media to create awareness on their rights to measure the weight.
It also said that cylinders should be made in standard specifications so as to ensure that consumers are not misled by different measurements.
“It is important to issue instructions to make people aware. Gas cylinders should be checked and weighed. Government should have addressed this on its own. For years, suppliers have been creating mischief; making money. Earlier these dealerships were a distribution of largesse, a source of earning not service,” the bench observed.
The court passed the direction yesterday while dealing with a public interest litigation filed by the Consumer Protection Council through its representative B Vaidyanathan who appeared in person.
The court while agreeing with the petitioner’s contention of under-weight of gas in many cases also pointed out that contents and cash memo relating to the weight should be in larger print for the benefit of consumers.