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Recent Verdicts from Consumer Forums across India

Bajaj Allianz penalized for denying medical claim

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has been punished by a district forum for repudiating the claim of a patient on the pretext that he had a pre-existing condition of hypertension. The redressal forum directed the company to pay a compensation of Rs 2.46 lakh and also asked it to deposit a sum of Rs 5 lakh with the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) as donation for the treatment of needy patients.

The case relates to Daljeet Singh Saini, a resident of Chandigarh who had a medical claim policy of Rs 10 lakh. He underwent a treatment for coronary angioplasty in December 2016 for which the company refused to provide a claim, stating that he had a pre-existing condition of hypertension which disqualified his claim.

Speaking in favour of Saini, the forum pointed out that the apex court and the consumer commission had in many cases repeatedly held that hypertension could not be a criterion for rejecting a claim as it was not a material disease that was fatal in itself.

IVF clinic dupes single man after promising twins through surrogacy

“Single men can’t have a kid under the surrogacy law in India,” said this IVF clinic after promising a kid or twins through surrogacy and pocketing Rs 4.75 lakh. The consumer court has ordered the centre to refund the entire amount with additional interest.

A Bengaluru-based IVF clinic had promised Sujay, a divorcee from Mysuru, that he could have a child or even twins through surrogacy. It charged him Rs 4.75 lakh for the procedure. However, after a few months they informed Sujay that the woman who was supposed to be the surrogate mother had run away. When Sujay protested and asked for refund, they not only denied the refund but also tried convincing Sujay that he was in the wrong instead, telling him that single men were not allowed to have a child as per the Indian surrogacy law.

Sujay approached the district forum, which asked the clinic to pay Rs 3 lakh as compensation and the refund of Rs.4.75 lakh with 10 per cent interest, within six weeks.

Tata Motors fined for refusing a repair under warranty

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) asked Tata Motors and their dealer to pay Rs 41,000 to a customer for refusing to repair a vehicle that was under warranty. The commission stated that as per practice the dealer repaired the vehicle under warranty, but the manufacturer was also equally responsible for it.

The NCDRC, while modifying the state commission’s order that had exonerated Tata Motors from paying any compensation, asked the manufacturer and its dealer to pay Rs 41,568 jointly and severally to Chhattisgarh-resident Neeraj Tiwari within a month.

“I agree with the point raised by the petitioners (dealer) that the warranty has been issued by Tata Motors and they are responsible for allowing repairs under the warranty,” NCDRC’s presiding member Prem Narain said in his order.

Tiwari had purchased a truck from an authorized dealer of Tata Motors. Though the vehicle was under warranty, the dealer refused to repair certain defects that had occurred in the truck, following which Tiwari had approached the district consumer disputes redressal forum. The district forum had dismissed his complaint, after which he appealed before the state commission. The latter merely penalized the dealer stating this: “Since there was no manufacturing defect in the vehicle, there was no deficiency on the part of the manufacturer.”

Distressed, the dealer challenged the state commission’s verdict at the apex consumer commission contending that if there was any responsibility for repairing under the warranty, it would be on the manufacturer and they should be liable to bear its expenses.  Tata Motors contended before the apex commission that the defect was due to negligence of the customer in maintaining the vehicle properly, because of which the warranty stood revoked. Nevertheless, the apex commission said that the state commission had ‘erred’ in totally exonerating Tata Motors of its liability under warranty.

“Clearly, the dismissal of the complaint against the manufacturer is justified only to the extent that the state commission has not found any manufacturing defect in the vehicle. However, so far as the warranty is concerned, Tata Motors is equally responsible as the petitioner (dealer),” it said.

The commission further said: “In this case, the petitioners (dealer and manufacturer) refused to repair the vehicle under the warranty and, therefore, they are equally liable for dishonouring the warranty.”

Realtor fined for terminating sale agreement, cheating couple

In yet another case of malpractices by a realtor, a Bengaluru couple was duped of their booking amount and subsequently a flat on the pretext of their not making a full payment on time.

The couple had paid Rs 2 lakh as token advance in February 2014 and later paid Rs 27.44 lakh in instalments till June 2014. During this period, it was promised to them that the building would be ready by the end of July 2017. Later, they received a letter seeking payment of another 25 per cent in two instalments. However, the house loan got delayed as the bank would release the next instalment only after the completion, as promised by the realtor. In the meantime, the couple were asked by the realtor to pay an instalment with 18 per cent interest as penalty on delayed payment. The couple agreed and about a year later paid the instalment with interest.

However, nine days after payment, they received a letter from the builders stating that they were terminating the agreement and asked them to pay the entire due amount within a few days if they wanted to review the agreement.

The couple approached the consumer forum, which decided in their favour and penalized the realtors, ordering them to refund the entire amount taken from the couple as penalty.

 

Divya Patwal

VOICE

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