Delhi State Commission: Courts not meant for Enriching the Consumers

December 05, 2017

G.M. Gupta v. Colston Bath and SPA Pvt. Ltd. & Ors.   

In this recent case before the Delhi State Commission, the Appellant was aggrieved by the quantum of damages awarded to him by the District Forum, New Delhi and appealed for enhancement of the damages awarded to him in lieu of deficiency in services by the Respondent company.

Brief Facts: In the case, the Appellant had purchased an English Toilet seat from the Respondent. However, soon after installation the product stopped working occasionally and later on was completely blocked. Aggrieved by the product, the Appellant pursued the matter with the Respondent who upon inspection of the problem suggested that the product shall be replaced. After several conversations and pursuing the matter consistently with the Respondent, the Appellant was informed that there was no warranty or guarantee with the seat, and therefore could not be replaced. Thereafter, the appellant received a call from the Respondent who stated that they were ready to replace the product and required the copy of invoice for replacement. The Appellant alleged that in a planned manner of cheating, a person came and took the original invoice and did not return the same.

The aggrieved Appellant approached the District Forum, whereby the respondents were directed to pay to the Appellant a sum of Rs. 20,000/- (Rs. 5000/- for product, Rs. 5000/- for litigation charges and Rs. 10,000/- for compensation).

Aggrieved by the amount of compensation, the Appellant approached the State Commission for enhancement of compensation to the tune of Rs. 50,000/-.

State Commission’s Order

The State Commission denied relief to the Appellant and made the following observations:

The State Commission, stated that there was no illegality in the impugned order passed by the District Forum as the District Forum had already ordered to refund the price of the product and also awarded Rs. 10,000/- towards physical and mental harassment alongwith Rs. 5,000/- towards costs of litigation and considering the price of the product, the amount awarded by the District Forum was adequate.

That awarding Rs. 50,000/- as compensation would be unjustified as appellant has not provided any documentary proof or any evidence to show as how he had suffered the loss of Rs. 50,000/-. One of the essential observations made by the State Commission in the case is that Consumer Courts are not meant for enriching the consumers.

In view of this observation of the State Commission two inferences that can be drawn are that:

Firstly, Consumers cannot pray for unjustified amount of compensation and secondly, even if they demand for enhanced amount of compensation then they have to justify their plea on the basis of documentary and other relevant evidences in the case.