Consumer panel orders maintenance firm to pay compensation of over ₹80,000

February 16, 2024 07:48 pm | Updated February 17, 2024 01:37 am IST - KOCHI

The Ernakulam Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has ordered a maintenance company to pay a compensation of ₹80,800 to a consumer for not completing interior design works as per the agreement.

The commission, comprising president D.B. Binu and members V. Ramachandran and Sreevidhia T.N., issued the verdict on a petition filed by M.D. Varghese against the Vennala-based Bright Maintenance Company.

According to the petitioner, he had entered into an agreement with the opposite party on January 8, 2021 on mutually agreed terms and conditions. The complainant claimed to have paid the opposite party an advance of ₹32,750 and then shifted to another house entailing a rent of ₹35,000 per month to avoid dust and nuisance associated with the works. The petitioner alleged laxity by the opposite party on the pretext of the pandemic.

The complainant then paid the opposite party ₹3 lakh for certain additional works. After much persuasion, the opposite party commenced work by mid May 2021 before suspending the work next month demanding another advance of ₹3 lakh. Finding that demand excess to the works assigned, the petitioner paid only half of it.

Eventually owing to persisting disputes, the parties agreed to pre-close the purchase order. The complainant forwarded his final statement of accounts to the opposite party claiming a refund of ₹1 lakh on July 6, 2021. However, the opposite party claimed that he owed only ₹38,250 citing his own statement of accounts.

An expert commissioner appointed by the panel found, among other things, that the opposite party was bound to give refund an excess amount of ₹62,880, including additional cost the opposite party had unduly received from the petitioner. The panel observed that the complainant had to afford serious deficiency of service and unfair trade practice.

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