IN THE COURT OF SOHAIB AHMED RUMIDISTRICT & SESSIONS JUDGE/PRESIDING OFFICER DISTRICT CONSUMER COURT, GUJRANWALA
Case No. 246/09
Muhammad Afzal Bhatti Advocate, Vs. Divisional Engineer PTCL Model Town Exchange,GT Road,Gujranwala.
Case of the complainant is that he is holding a telephone connection bearing No.055-3842938 installed at his residence.In the month of May & June 2009 he was not served the telephone bill by the respondent company because the same was printed without mentioning the address of the complainant. The Complainant obtained duplicate bill from the Customer Service Center of the respondent company which includes surcharge amount which was deposited by the complainant under protest. According to the complainant, respondent by not serving monthly bill of the telephone become guilty of providing deficient service for which complainant had to suffer damages.
The case was contested by the respondent company on various legal as well as factual grounds; viz; that necessary legal notice was not served; the complainant himself was obliged to bring the matter in the notice of Customer Service Center as be did not suffer any damage. In order to prove his case complainant appeared as PW1 and produced on record telephone bill exhibit “PA”, duplicate bill of telephone exhibit “PB”. Whereas respondent produced Muhammad Ali as RW1 and produced billing data of complainant’s telephone exhibit “RA”.
I have heard the arguments and perused the record.While appearing as PW1 complainant stated the he is a bonafide customer, paying monthly bill of telephone No. 055-3842938 regularly. Respondent company did not send the bill in the month of May & June 2009 and disconnected the service.
He, by his own, approached the respondent company,obtained duplicate bill and deposited the same with surcharge for late payment. Copy of the bill exhibit “PA” & “PB” reflects clearly as broad day light that address of the complainant is missing from the same which means that the 2 of 2 dispatch rider or the courier company was unable to deliver it to the addressee. It was the fault on the part of respondent company at the time of printing of telephone bill.
The respondent was duty bound to deliver the telephone bill to the complainant and thereafter in case of non payment, may adopt the proper course. The closing of telephone service to the complainant is admitted by RW1.Misprinting of address of complainant on the telephone bill is also admitted by the witness appearing on behalf of the respondent company.
The facility of telephone is a service under the Punjab Consumer Protection Act, 2005. Person who avails the facility of a telephone connection is required to pay installation charges at the time when a telephone is firstly installed and thereafter monthly rental charges as well as charges for calls made by him as payable.
When PTCL provides a person with a telephone on condition of payment of such charges and recover from him rental as well as call charges for the save of facility it clearly constitutes hiring of a “service” for consideration”. In this case telephone service to complainant although one way was disconnected for non payment of the bill and it has been established that the bill was not dispatched to the complainant, due to fault in its own system, it amount to deficiency in service.
The subscriber who is long standing legal practice at his credit was made to suffer inconvenience, harassment and frustration. Non function of the telephone even for out going calls constitute deficiency in service and the consumer is entitled to claim compensation for damages,
therefore, respondent company is directed to pay back the surcharge received late payment deposited by the consumer in the bill from the month of May and June 2009 and pay Rs.5000/-as compensation to the consumer,besides,respondent company is also burdened to pay fine Rs.5000/-which shall be deposited in the state treasury within one month of the passing of this judgment. Claim of the complainant is accepted in the above said terms. File be consigned to record room after its due completion.