Agarwal Packers & Movers asked to pay compensation

Complaint Case No. CC/10/1497

1. Mr.Piyush jaju , H No 16, Elements Layout, Kaikondarahalli, sarjapur road, Bengaluru-560035, Karnataka ………..Complainant(s)

Versus

1. Mr. Rajesh Agarwal/Mr.Pradeep Agarwal

Agarwal packers & movers(p)Ltd., No 21, 1st floor, shivaji marg, najafgarh road, new delhi-110015

2. The manager, Agarwal packers and movers(P)Ltd.

No.29,1st floor, 1st main, 2nd cross, sudhamanagar, Bengaluru-560027, Bangalore Addtl 3, Karnataka ………….Opp.Party(s)

 

BEFORE:

HONORABLE T. Rajashekharaiah PRESIDENT

HONORABLE Dr. Subhashini Member

HONORABLE H.M.SHIVALINGAPPA Member

PRESENT:

ORDER

BEFORE THE III ADDITIONAL BANGALORE URBAN DISTRICT

CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM,

BANGALORE – 560 052.

DATED THIS THE 28th DAY OF JUNE 2011

CONSUMER COMPLAINT NO.1497/2011

PRESENT:

Sri T. Rajashekharaiah, B.A. L.L.B., PRESIDENT

Sri. H.M.Shivalingappa, B.Sc., LL.B., MEMBER

Smt. Dr. Subhashini, M.B.B.S.,MEMBER

ORDER

1. This Complaint was filed on 03.07.2011 under the provisions of Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The Complainant has prayed for a direction to the Opposite Parties to pay a sum of Rs.72,800/- as claimed in the insurance claim towards damage caused to his household articles on account of deficiency in service by the Opposite Parties.

2. The facts of the case in brief are that on 05.03.2010, the Complainant had booked at the office of the 1st Opposite Party in Delhi, relocation of certain household articles from No.41, Rail Vihar, Sector 30, Noida-201 301 to be delivered at Bangalore. The 1st Opposite Party has charged Rs.59,083/- for the transport inclusive of Rs.5,000/- towards insurance coverage. Thereafter, the 1st Opposite Party has confirmed the delivery date as 13.03.2010. On 13.03.2010, the vehicle loaded with household articles arrived at the house of the Complainant at 4.30 p.m. without any persons to unload the same. However, at 8.30 p.m. certain persons of Opposite Party arrived to unload the articles. When the Complainant stated that it would cause disturbance to the neighbours and they would object, the truck was parked outside the Complainant’s house the whole night. On 14.03.2010 around 10.30 a.m. after collecting the balance amount, the persons of 2nd Opposite Party started unloading the articles. The Complainant observed that certain items were broken. Noticing the said damage, the persons of 2nd Opposite Party stated that the articles damaged could be noted as insurance can be claimed. The two persons who were unloading were of 12 to 15 years age and were unable to lift the articles. After unloading on 14.03.2010, the Claim Petition was given to the delivery Manager of the Opposite Parties. Since there was no response, on 05.04.2010 again a claim was resubmitted along with list of other damaged articles. Inspite of request, since there was no response from the Opposite Parties towards settlement of the claim, aggrieved by the inaction on the part of the Opposite Parties, the Complainant has approached this Forum with the above prayer.

3. The matter came to be admitted and notices were ordered to the Opposite Parties. Inspite of service of notice, the 2nd Opposite Party has neither appeared before the Forum, nor made available its Version. Hence, by Order dt.08.03.2011, the 2nd Opposite Party was placed exparte. However, the 1st Opposite Party has filed its Version. Since a consumer dispute arose, the Complainant was called upon to produce his evidence by way of affidavit. Accordingly, the Complainant has filed his affidavit along with certain documents. At the end, this Forum heard on merits.

4. In the Version, the 1st Opposite Party has admitted that on 05.03.2010, the Complainant had hired the service of the 1st Opposite Party for relocation of his household articles from Noida to Bangalore. After due deliberations, the 1st Opposite Party gave estimation of Rs.59,083/- as service charges including an amount of Rs.5,000/- as insurance amount to which the Complainant also agreed. A list of articles and valuation slip was prepared by the Opposite Parties to which the Complainant has subscribed his signature. The articles reached Bangalore on 14.03.2010. The articles were unloaded at the address specified. The Complainant noticed certain articles were damaged and the Complainant wished to claim insurance for the same. The Complainant inspected the articles and gave a letter to the 1st Opposite Party stating the damage caused to the articles and claimed a sum of Rs.11,500/- in respect of damage to Sofaset, wall hanging, one battery and scooter. When the said claim was under process, the Complainant gave another claim on 05.04.2010 to the 1st Opposite Party stating that some more articles are damaged and claimed additional insurance amount for the same. In the second claim, the Complainant added damage to the another battery, bed box, crockery and kids table, as also the probable repair cost in respect of damage caused to the floor of balcony due to the leakage of battery. This Opposite Party states that only one battery was damaged as per the deliver challan signed by the Complainant. This Opposite Party is not responsible for the damage caused to the floor due to leakage of battery since it was the duty of the Complainant to store the same in a proper place. Even otherwise the amount claimed at Rs.7,800/- for each battery is exorbitant as the batteries are old and used one and the Complainant himself has agreed the value of each battery at Rs.2,000/-. According to the 1st Opposite Party, the insurance covers only towards damage to the articles during transportation. The alleged damage caused to the floor is in no way related to the service of the 1st Opposite Party. It is further stated in the Version that the Opposite Parties offered Rs.11,750/- to the Complainant towards damage to Sofaset, wall hanging, one battery, Scooter, bed box, crockery and kids table as per the valuation done at the time of loading the articles. But the Complainant refused to accept the same and he wants not less than Rs.70,000/- including the damage caused to the floor. Denying all other allegations as false, this Opposite Party has prayed for dismissal of the Complaint with exemplary costs.

5. In the circumstances, the following points do arise for our consideration and decision and they are:

(i) Whether the Complainant has established the alleged deficiency in service by the Opposite Party?

(ii) If so, to what relief the Complainant is entitled?

 

6. Our Findings to these points are as hereunder:

i) Affirmative

ii) As per final order.

R E A S O N S

7. POINT NO.1:- The fact of booking of certain household articles by the Complainant on 05.03.2010 at the office of the 1st Opposite Party for being transported from Noida to Bangalore address by making charges of Rs.59,083/- inclusive of Rs.5,000/- towards insurance coverage is not in dispute. It is also not in dispute that the articles were delivered at Bangalore address on 14.03.2011. According to the Complainant, due to improper handling of the articles, certain household articles were delivered in damaged condition. Accordingly, a Claim Petition was made before the Opposite Parties with list of damaged articles for settlement on 14.03.2010. Since damage caused to certain articles was noticed later, another Claim Petition was submitted on 05.04.2010 including damage caused to the floor of balcony due to battery leakage. Inspite of receiving the insurance charges towards damage that could be caused to the articles, the Opposite Parties failed to settle the insurance claim of Rs.70,000/-. Hence, they are deficient in their service. The 1st Opposite Party has not disputed the fact of submission of Claim Petition by the Complainant with a list of damaged articles on 14.03.2010 and another list of damaged articles on 05.04.2010 in respect of articles later found to be damaged. Though at Para-6 of the Version, the 1st Opposite Party stated that it offered Rs.11,750/- in respect of certain items such as sofa set, wall hanging, battery(1), scooter, bed box, crockery and kids table and the Complainant rejected the same claiming Rs.70,000/-, there is no such material forthcoming to establish the offer of the Opposite Parties. Even otherwise it is apparent that the Opposite Parties did not consider the entire list of damaged articles submitted by the Complainant both on 14.03.2010 and 05.04.2010.

8. Ofcourse the 1st Opposite Party contended that the Complainant did not raise his voice about damage to any other articles except the one stated in Claim Petition dt.14.03.2010 at the time of delivery. Having accepted the same, the Complainant come forward with another list of damage to the article on 05.04.2010 stating that due to leakage in another damaged battery, the floor of the balcony is damaged, the repair cost of which would be Rs.40,000/-. The learned Counsel for the 1st Opposite Party contends that the insurance covers only damage to the articles during transport and not in respect of damage to floor. That apart, it was the duty of the Complainant to store the damaged battery in a proper place, hence, they are not responsible for the damage caused to the floor. This contention of the 1st Opposite Party is acceptable for the reason, firstly, the insurance does not cover the damage to the floor and secondly, after taking delivery of the damaged articles it was the duty of the Complainant to take care of the same. Even otherwise, the Opposite Parties failed to consider the claim of the Complainant in respect of other damaged articles listed and submitted by the Complainant. In the circumstances, the act of omission on the part of the Opposite Parties amounts to deficiency in service. Accordingly, this point is answered.

9. POINT NO.2: The Complainant has claimed a sum of Rs.70,000/- with interest of Rs.2,800/- in respect of list of damaged articles at Annexure-A to the Complaint.

If the claim in respect of damage to the floor is left out, the claim comes to Rs.30,000/-. For claiming the above cost of damage to the articles, the Complainant stated that though we had given correct value of the articles to the Opposite Parties at the time of booking, the Opposite Parties have given another list of valuation of the articles. Further, the Complainant has also produced certain estimation obtained for repair of sofa, scooter, floor and bill for battery. Since, having accepted the valuation of the articles as per booking list of the 1st Opposite Party, the Consignor has signed the same and paid insurance amount of Rs.5,000/- at the rate of 2.5% for a total value of the article at Rs.2 lakhs, the submission of the Complainant loses importance. Hence, in arriving at the charges of the articles claimed, the value in the booking list shall be taken into consideration. Therefore, the amount payable by the Opposite Parties to the Complainant in respect of the articles damaged and mentioned in the insurance claim details (as per the violation list to which the Consignor has subscribed signature) are as follows;

(i) Two seater sofa – Rs.4,000=00

(ii) Wall hanging – Rs. 5,00=00

(iii) Battery (1) – Rs.2,000=00

(iv) Battery (2) – Rs. 200=00

(v) Scooter – Rs.1,111=00

(vi) Bed box – Rs.25,000=00

(vii) Crockery – Rs.2,000=00

(viii) Kids table – Rs.1,500=00

TOTAL Rs.15,611=00

Hence, the Complainant is entitled to Rs.15,611/- from the Opposite Parties. Since on account of the acts of omission on the part of the Opposite Parties, the Complainant has been put to inconvenience and driven to this Forum for redressal he is entitled to a reasonable compensation of Rs.10,000/- including costs of this proceedings. Hence, we proceed to pass the following;

O R D E R

This Complaint is allowed in part. The Opposite Parties are directed to pay a sum of Rs.15,611/- (Rupees fifteen thousand six hundred and eleven only) to the Complainant with interest at 12% p.a. from 05.04.2010, till the date of actual payment. The Opposite Parties are further directed to pay a sum of Rs.10,000/- (Rupees ten thousand only) as compensation including costs of this proceedings. The Opposite Parties are granted 30 days time from this date to comply this Order.

This Order is pronounced on this the 28th day of June 2011.

 

(Reproduced under Section 52(q)(iv) of Indian Copyright Act 1957)