compensation

Quantum of Compensation by a Consumer Court

Under section 14 (1) (d) of the C.P.Act, 1986: ‘Compensation’ means anything given as recovery . In ordinary words, ‘Compensation’ means anything given that is equivalent to any loss, payment, remuneration, etc. It also refers to damages.

While quantifying damages, consumer courts are required to make attempt to compensate the victim and the calculation of damage depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. No universal law is applicable as it varies from case to case basis.

A Consumer court has to take into account all relevant factors and decide the compensation on the basis of accepted legal principles, on moderation. Besides that, interests can also be awarded on equitable grounds in some cases.

As established by the Hon’ble Supreme Court under Clause (d) of Sec. 14 (1) of the C.P.Act, 1986, Compensation can be awarded to a consumer only in respect of loss or injury suffered by the consumer due to negligence of the opposite party.

The Hon’ble National Commission decided that compensation should be given on the basis of material on record and there must be a rational relation to the nature and extent of injury, physical and mental inconvenience caused to the complainant by any action or omission of the Opposite Party.

If you are suffering with any issues with any related matter, please feel free to reach out to contact us by lodging a complaint with our award winning Legal Adviser at www.powertoconsumer.in. You must bring all the relevant details/documents of your case to prove – negligence, action or omission of the other party because of which you are suffering and that would have caused any losses/injury/inconvenience (physical and/or mental) to the extent of being compensated adequately.

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mis-selling insurance

Insurance Policy Mis-selling

Quite often, we purchase Insurance Policies and become an easy prey of Financial Advisors/Agents who want to achieve their sales target. There is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest insurance policies are often mis-sold inspite of the guidelines laid by the IRDA Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (IRDA) to reform and control the menace.

In order to prevent mis-selling of insurance policies through distance marketing and to protect consumer interest, the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (IRDA) has brought some guidelines on distance marketing of Insurance Products into effect from October 1, 2011. Click here to view the details of the guidelines.

Further, as per IRDA you can file a complaint online if you are cheated by any Insurance Agent/Financial Advisor. You can visit the IRDA website: www.irda.gov.in click on ‘online registration of policyholder complaints’ link on the right hand side. You will be redirected to IGMS or Integrated Grievance Management System to register your complaint.

As consumers of Insurance Policy we may also protect ourselves from  such sales policies by carefully following five precautionary measures:

  • Hear the opening pitch
  • See standard illustration
  • Fill the relevant Proposal Form yourself
  • Check the Product name
  • Wait for Insurer to call you

You are also entitled to take shelter of Consumer Courts for redressal of your grievances if you are facing any issues because of the Insurance Policies purchased by you. In such cases, the Hon’ble National Commission has declared ‘Merely issuing a cover note on the policy doesn’t absolve the Insurance Company of its responsibilities. They need to ensure that the policy, terms and conditions are clearly communicated to the insured, and any special conditions or warranties are clear and free of ambiguous words.  Ambiguity in the terms of the policy will be against the insurer since it drafts to the policy wording.’

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housing board allottee is a consumer

Housing and Development Board Allottee is a Consumer

The Housing and Development Authority is helping public in providing housing by land acquisition, development of sites, construction of houses and allotment of plots. The Authority is clearly engaged in rendering related services to public due to which people who are allotted plots/houses are defined as CONSUMERS as per the definition of Sec. 2(1)(d)(ii) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. This means any disputes arising out of transactions with the Housing and Development Board comes under the ambit of consumer rights and thus clauses of the Consumer Protection Act applies.

If you have any issues pertaining to plots/houses allotted by the Housing and Development Board, please feel free to reach out to us.

We at Power to Consumer always stand by the aggrieved consumers and abide by the motto of “Consumer is King”. Feel free to contact us by lodging a complaint with our award winning Legal Adviser at www.powertoconsumer.in

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maximumCompensationfrom consumer forum

How to get the maximum compensation from consumer forum in case of loss/cheating?

Recently, on one of the most popular lawyer forums, our Consumer Rights Adviser responded to a query on the maximum amount of compensation that can be expected from a Consumer Forum. The answer was well appreciated by the enquirer and other senior advocates.

A quick snippet of the query and response has been shared below for the benefits of our readers. Please feel free to share the article with others and help us in the spirit of legal empowerment to consumers.

Question: What is the maximum compensation from a consumer forum in lieu of alleged cheating by an insurance company?

Answer:I have examined your query considering the maximum importance of compensation that should be given by a Consumer COURT in lieu of alleged Cheating by an Insurance Company. I would like to quote the following information for your reference with regards to the compensation that should be granted by a Consumer Court u/s 14 (1) (d) of the C.P.Act,1986:

  1. Compensation means the ‘thing given as recompense’. In ordinary parlance, Compensation means giving something equivalent to the value of a thing or service or to make up for a loss, recompense, remuneration or pay
  2. U/s 14 (1) (d) of Act,1986 compensation comprehends damages also
  3. While quantifying damages, consumer courts should make an attempt to serve with justice so that compensation is given in an established case, which not only serves the purpose of recompensing the individual
  4. The actual calculation of damage differs from case to case and depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. While compensating, a Consumer Court has to consider all relevant factors and compensation can be decided on the basis of agreed legal principles
  5. Besides Compensation, interest can also be given on equitable grounds
  6. It is established by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that under clause (d) of Sec. 14 (1) of the C.P.Act,1986, Compensation can be given to a consumer ONLY in respect of loss or injury suffered by the consumer due to negligence of the opposite party
  7. It is decided by the Hon’ble National Commission that compensation is supposed to be awarded on the basis of actual facts and the complainant who is expecting to receive the compensation must have a rational relation with the Opposite Party who has caused physical and mental inconvenience in the nature of damage to some extent by any kind of negligence, action or omission.

We feel that understanding the legal intricacies and being ready with supporting documents is a great step in the area of legal empowerment. We hope that the article empowers you with your rights. If you have any more query, or would like to lodge a complaint against any cheating individual/company, please feel free to reach to us at www.powertoconsumer.in

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Completion Certificate

Why and How to obtain Completion Certificate/Occupancy Certificate

In our experience of dealing with hundreds of aggrieved consumers, we have seen that most home owners are concerned about A or B Khata. But they miss to verify whether the property purchased by them has a valid Completion Certificate/Occupancy Certificate or not. And this causes them great trouble in the later stages of their occupancy.

Why?

Absence of these documents indicates the building may not have been built as per the approved plan, and the threat of demolition on such unauthorized structure looms large. Also, the house owner sometimes faces major challenges in selling the property in future.

While the above is for properties which are new or in a move in stage, what about the property for which the builder has not given you a valid Completion certificate/Occupancy certificate?

In such a scenario, you are legally entitled to issue a legal notice to the builder to apply and pressurize him to hand over the the certificates within one month. If there is no response from the builder, you can file a complaint in the consumer forum, and pray to issue directions to the builder to apply and obtain the certificates.

You can mention in the complaint that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has given a judgement in Faqir Chand Gulati vs Uppal Agencies Pvt. Ltd. & Anr on 10 July, 2008 that “Even if such a provision for providing completion certificate is not found in the agreement, the builder cannot escape from the liability of securing the CC and providing a copy to the owner.

The law requires the builder to obtain completion certificate of such a building. Some of the excerpts from the above judgement are as follows:-

  1. “Builders violate with impunity the sanctioned building plans and indulge deviations much to the prejudice of the planned development of the city and at the peril of the occupants of the premises constructed or of the inhabitants of the city at large. Serious threat is posed to ecology and environment and, at the same time, the infrastructure consisting of water supply, sewerage and traffic movement facilities suffer unbearable burden and are often thrown out of gear. Unwary purchasers in search of roof over their heads and purchasing flats/apartments from builders, find themselves having fallen prey and become victims to the design of unscrupulous builders. The builder conveniently walks away having pocketed the leaving behind the unfortunate occupants to face the music in the event of unauthorized constructions being detected or exposed and threatened with demolition. Though the local authorities have the staff consisting of engineers and inspectors whose duty is to keep a watch on building activities and to promptly stop the illegal constructions or deviations coming up, they often fail in discharging their duty. Either they don’t act or do not act promptly or do connive at such activities apparently for illegitimate considerations. If such activities are to stop, some stringent actions are required to be taken by ruthlessly demolishing the illegal constructions and non-compoundable deviations. The unwary purchasers who shall be the sufferers must be adequately compensated by the builder. The arms of the law must stretch to catch hold of such unscrupulous builders. At the same time in order to secure vigilant performance of duties, responsibility should be fixed on the officials whose duty was to prevent unauthorized construction, but who failed in doing so either by negligence or connivance.”
  2. “ If the construction is part of a building which in law requires a completion certificate or C&D forms (relating to assessment), the builder is bound to provide the completion certificate or C&D forms. He is also bound to provide amenities and facilities like water, electricity and drainage in terms of the agreement. If the completion certificate and C&D forms are not being issued by the Corporation because the builder has made deviations/violations in construction, it is his duty to rectify those deviations or bring the deviations within permissible limits and secure a completion certificate and C&D forms from MCD. The builder can not say that he has constructed a ground floor and delivered it and therefore fulfilled his obligations. Nor can the builder contend that he is not bound to produce the completion certificate, but only bound to apply for completion certificate. He cannot say that he is not concerned whether the building is in accordance with the sanction plan or not, whether it fulfills the requirements of the municipal bye-laws or not, or whether there are violations or deviations. The builder cannot be permitted to avoid or escape the consequences of his illegal acts. The obligation on the part of the builder to secure a sanctioned plan and construct a building, carries with it an implied obligation to comply with the requirements of municipal and building laws and secure the mandatory permissions/certificates.”
  3. “A prayer for completion certificate and C&D Forms cannot be brushed aside by stating that the builder has already applied for the completion certificate or C&D Forms. If it is not issued, the builder owes a duty to make necessary application and obtain it. If it is wrongly withheld, he may have to approach the appropriate court or other forum to secure it. If it is justifiably withheld or refused, necessarily the builder will have to do whatever that is required to be done to bring the building in consonance with the sanctioned plan so that the municipal authorities can inspect and issue the completion certificate and also assess the property to tax. If the builder fails to do so, he will be liable to compensate the complainant for all loss/damage. Therefore, the assumption of the State Commission and National Commission that the obligation of the builder was discharged when he merely applied for a completion certificate is incorrect.

We at Power to Consumer always stand by aggrieved consumers and abide by the motto of consumer is king. If you have been a victim of such unfair practice by your home builder, feel free to contact us by lodging a complaint with our award winning Legal Adviser at www.powertoconsumer.in

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