Consumer Commission pulls up Tiruchi Corporation

K.T. Sangameswaran

Says the attitude of senior officials is "very disturbing and unbecoming"; civic body duty bound to provide drainage connection

Corporation accused of taking different stands Charges paid for connection: complainantOrder passed, but no action taken

CHENNAI: The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has pulled up the Tiruchi Corporation for taking different stands before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF) and the Commission in providing drainage connection to a resident.

In the order dismissing an appeal filed by the civic body, the Commission Bench comprising its president Justice K. Sampath and member Pon Gunasekaran, said in the appeal before the Commission, the corporation said there was no service involved, that it was performing only statutory obligations and the complaint before the forum was not maintainable. But in the version before the DCDRF they had sought a direction to effect drainage connection to the resident.

"It does not lie in their mouth to take an entirely different stand to defeat the claim of the complainant." They also reported to the Collector they had given the drainage connection. This was found to be false by the DCDRF. "The attitude of the opposite parties (civic body's Commissioner and the Assistant Commissioner), to say the least, is very disturbing and unbecoming." They were duty bound to give connection provided the charges were paid and there was no legal problem involved.

R. Dhanalakshmi of Sri Rangam complained to the DCDRF, Tiruchirappalli, that she paid the necessary charges and purchased the material for obtaining the drainage connection. Though an order was passed in May 2000 for giving connection, no steps were taken.

The district forum held there was deficiency in service and hence the complainant was entitled to relief and granted her prayer besides directing payment of Rs.5,000 as damages and Rs.500 as costs.

Challenging the order, the opposite parties filed appeal.

The Commission Bench said when the opposite parties agreed to give connection, it was not open for them to go back on their word. Even before the District Forum after filing their version, they did not pursue their stand. The District Forum rightly held the complainant was entitled to relief, the Bench said and dismissed the appeal with a cost of Rs.1,000.

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