Panel rejects Chandigarh Municipal Corporation appeal

Civic body to refund Rs 54,790 to consumer who was charged commercial rate of water

Panel rejects Chandigarh Municipal Corporation appeal

The Municipal Corporation has failed to get any relief from the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Chandigarh. - File photo

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14

The Municipal Corporation has failed to get any relief from the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Chandigarh. The commission has rejected its appeal against the order of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum directing the civic body to refund Rs54,790 to a consumer who was illegally charged commercial rate for water consumption.

The District Forum, in its order, not only directed the Municipal Corporation to refund the amount but also directed it to pay Rs10, 000 as litigation costs to the consumer.

Kuldeep Chand, a resident of Mani Majra, approached the forum alleging that the MC had sent him water bills on the commercial rate illegally for seven years. He said when he renovated his house, the MC started sending commercial bill of water/sewerage from June 18, 2010. He said though he informed the MC through an affidavit submitted on September 1, 2010, about the completion of the work, the MC continued charging commercial rates of water/sewerage till April 27, 2017. He said the MC was liable to refund Rs54,790 after deducting an amount of domestic bill of Rs14,255 from the total amount of Rs69,045.

The MC had denied all charges and justified its decision on various grounds. After hearing of the arguments, the forum allowed the appeal of the consumer.

The MC had filed an appeal before the State Commission. The commission, in its order, says that the MC, Chandigarh, has levied commercial rate of water despite the fact the respondent intimated to the MC regarding the completion of the work. The commission says that this act is a clear cut abuse of power at the hands of the appellants. “In view of the above discussion, it is held that the order passed by the District Commission, being based on the correct appreciation of evidence, and law, on the point, does not suffer from any illegality or perversity, warranting the interference of this Commission,” says the order of the State Commission comprising its President Raj Shekhar Attri and members Padma Pandey and Rajesh K Arya.

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