NCH
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IIPA
 

Consumer Velocity @ NCH
(The monthly newsletter from National Consumer Helpline)

 
Issue No:10/IIPA   
Oct 2016
 
Inside the issue

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Snapshots
Call Statistics
Convergence&feedback
C S Index
Words of appreciation

 

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Consumer Kaleidoscope
Recent announcements for consumers
   
Events Gallery

National Consumer Helpline had scripted, directed and performed a Nukkad Natak of 30 minutes duration, on the theme of Misleading advertisements in ‘CONSUMER MELA’ organized by Department of Consumer Affairs, Govt. of India on 20th October 2016 at Central Park, Connaught Place, New Delhi.

 

 

Contact

To seek information, advice and guidance on consumer problems

Contact
National Consumer Helpline

Toll Free no.

1800-11-4000

(All Seven days)
09.30 AM to 05.30 PM

or SMS your name and city to
+918130009809 (Charges Apply) .

Editorial Team

Editor in Chief:
•Prof. Suresh Misra

Consulting Editor:
•Mr. G. N. Sreekumaran


Editorial Team:

• Ms. Deepika Sur
• Mr. Sanjeev Talwar
• Ms. Seema Sharma
• Ms. Harsh Dhingra

Sector Expert:
• Mr. Prabhat Kumar
• Ms. Payal Choudhry

Designing & Development:
• Mr. Ashish Kumar Gaur

 
Jago Grahak Jago
 

CONSUMER VELOCITY @ NCH.

You are reading of the tenth issue of Year 2016.

The National Consumer Helpline (NCH) is a project of the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs and operates under the Centre for Consumer Studies at Indian Institute of Public Administration. Keeping in view the increasing demand of NCH by Consumer, the Department of Consumer Affairs has expanded NCH and at present 49 Lines are available to Consumer to file their complaints. Apart from this, the NCH at IIPA is also been renovated to cater to the needs of the consumer.

The new web portal www.consumerhelpline.gov.in has been developed by NIC and is being used to record and handle complaints received at NCH. All calls whether received at helpline or directly on website both are lodged on this portal. Convergence Companies have also got login credentials for consumer complaints redressal on this new portal to view complaints and update the resolution.

The Project recognizes the need of consumers for a Telephone Helpline to deal with multitude of problems arising in their day-to-day dealings with business and service providers. NCH is mandated to support consumers by:

- Alternate Dispute Redressal system (ADR): Guide consumers on how to get their grievance redressed. Also NCH provide a digital platform to 200+ convergence companies for resolution and redress of customer complaints, as per the policy of the company. Industry interactions are platforms for open communication.

- Information & guidance: provide information to consumers on products, services, company addresses, ombudsman, Regulators and consumer forums. Counselors provide information as per the stage of the complaint – Tier 1, 2 or 3. Information is also provided for standards ( Hallmark, ISI) and other services like RTI, PAN card, UIDAI, Financial Inclusion programs etc.

- Advocacy: Based on the analysis of data at NCH and trends that emerge, specific type of complaints affecting a large number of consumers is highlighted to the organization and to the Department of Consumer Affairs, and the information is shared with consumers on various platforms.

EVENT GALLERY:  


NCH participated in the ‘Diwali Mela’ organized by Bihar and Jharkhand IAS officers Wives welfare Association at Pandara Road, New Delhi on 15th & 16th October 2016.

image ..


National Consumer Helpline had scripted, directed and performed a Nukkad Natak of 30 minutes duration, on the theme of Misleading advertisements in ‘CONSUMER MELA’ organized by Department of Consumer Affairs, Govt. of India on 20th October 2016 at Central Park, Connaught Place, New Delhi.

image ..

 
SNAPSHOT  
  • In October 2016, the dockets made/ updated of calls, SMS and complaints received online, the NCH website, and new website http://consumerhelpline.gov.in/ were 22371.

  • The NCH Website www.nationalconsumerhelpline.in. has registered 2,09,956 hits during the month of October 2016.

  • Convergence :The Grievance Resolution Management System of companies who have registered with NCH voluntarily. Total 18466 responses were received from Convergence company. Out of which, 3800 pertained to the month of October 2016.

  • Jagriti :The initiative of NCH towards educating and empowering consumers, NCH participated in the Consumer mela on 20th October at Central Park, in New Delhi as well as in two local Diwali melas at Pandara Road and New Moti Bagh.

  • CPGRAMS complaints:Over the last Nine months, the helpline has been responding to complaints forwarded by Department of Consumer Affairs received on www.pgportal.gov.in. This is a Govt. of India Public grie vance portal administered by DARPG for citizens to voice their grievances.
Geographical Distribution: 
The numbers of calls received from top five states in descending order are Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat.

image loading for Percentage of calls State wise...

Major Sectors: 
The sectors were restructured in the new software with Industry wise and then subsequently category wise. The top five sectors for which calls were received are e-Commerce, Electronics Products, Telecom, Consumer Durable and Banking.
image loading for Percentage of calls Sector wise...

Besides consumer awareness, NCH also works towards 'making Corporates responsible’ in resolving consumer grievances. NCH has created an alternate redressal mechanism for resolving consumer complaints. Currently over 200 companies are listed under the ‘convergence’ programme. All companies have partnered with NCH voluntarily.

A wide spectrum of sectors ranging from consumer durables (Air conditioner, Mobile Handset, Television, Apparels, Footwear manufacturers) to services like Banking, Insurance, Electricity, Telecom companies to diversified sectors such as Automobiles, Courier, Tours & Holidays are all ‘convergence’ partners of NCH. Complaints received are accessed by the nodal person (SPOC) at each company who is also responsible for uploading the responses. During the month, 18466 responses were received which included 3800 responses to the cases registered in October itself (with the rest being from previous months).

 

CONSUMER KALEIDOSCOPE
(Recent announcements in Consumer Interest)


  • ‘Broadening the definition of Real Estate Consumer by various courts.

  • The Consumer courts and the Honble Apex Court have been continuously broadening the definition of ‘Consumer’ and have laid down clear cut guidelines regarding services to be rendered by the various statutory authorities and Developers responsible for providing Housing to the Consumers. In one such case of Praveen Kumar decided on 29th January 2015 by the National Commission, one of the complainants, applied to the petitioner Delhi Development Authority under its Housing Scheme 2010 for allotment of a residential flat. Another application for similar allotment was submitted by him in the joint name of himself and his father Shri Sham Lal. No allotment was made to them. Rather they received a letter from Delhi Development Authority stating therein that since they had violated the terms & conditions of the scheme by submitting more than one application, amount of Rs.1,50,000/- each deposited by them has been forfeited. Being aggrieved from the aforesaid forfeiture the complainants approached the concerned District Forum by way of a complaint impleading not only the Delhi Development Authority but also the Punjab National Bank through Mansa Branch to which the applications were submitted.

    The District forum vide its order dated 13-03-2012 directed Delhi Development Authority to refund the amount of Rs.3,00,000/- to the complainants along with interest on the said amount at the rate of 9% per annum. The bank was also directed to pay compensation amounting to Rs.25,000/- and cost of litigation amounting to Rs.1,000/- to the complainants.

    Being aggrieved from the order passed by the District Forum the petitioner Delhi Development Authority approached the concerned State Commission by way of an appeal. The Punjab National Bank also filed a separate appeal. The appeal filed by Punjab National Bank was allowed whereas the appeal filed by the petitioner Delhi Development Authority was dismissed. Being aggrieved from dismissal of the appeal filed by it, Delhi Development Authority filed a Revision before National Commission.

    The question which came up is whether the complainant falls within the ambit of the definition of ‘Consumer’. To this the court laid down as under—

    • The question of providing services in connection with housing construction, in our view would arise either on allotment of a residential plot or a residential flat which is yet to be constructed, to the applicant or if he is registered and placed in a waiting list, for such an allotment.

    • There would be no question of a person availing or hiring a service in connection with housing construction till either such an allotment is made to him or he is registered for such an allotment.

    • The development of the plots or the construction of houses will be undertaken only for those persons to whom a residential plot or house is allotted, or who is registered for and awaiting allotment of a yet to be developed plot or yet to be constructed house.

    • Also there would be no occasion to undertake the construction of houses for the allottees in a case where a ready built up house or a fully developed plot is allotted to him, unless, one or more facilities/amenities in relation to the said house/plot are yet to be provided by the concerned Development Authority.

    Earlier, in Lucknow Development Authority Versus M.K. Gupta, AIR 1994 SC 787, the Honble Supreme Court has held that the statutory Authorities such as Development Authority or Delhi Development Authority are amenable to Consumer Protection Act for any act or omission relating to housing activities such as any delay in construction and possession of the house to the allottees, non-completion of the flat within the stipulated time or defective and faulty construction etc. Holding that such Authorities are amenable to the provisions of the said Act, the Honble Court, inter-alia observed and held as under:

    • Construction of a house or flat is for the benefit of person for whom it is constructed. He may do it himself or hire services of a builder or contractor. The latter being for consideration is service as defined in the Act. Similarly ,when a statutory authority develops land or allots a site or constructs a house for the benefit of common man it is as much service as by a builder or contract. One is contractual service and other a statutory service. If the service is defective or it is not what was represented then it would be an unfair trade practice as defined in the Act.

    • Any defect in construction activity would be denial of comfort and service to a consumer. When possession of property is not delivered within stipulated period the delay so caused is denial of service. Such disputes or claims are not in respect of immovable property as argued but deficiency in rendering of service of particular standard, quality or grade. Therefore, if such authority undertakes to construct building or allot houses or building sites to citizens of the State either as amenity or as benefit then it amounts to rendering of service and will be covered in the expression service made available to potential users.

    • A person who applies for allotment of a building site or for a flat constructed by the development authority or enters into an agreement with a builder or a contractor is a potential user and nature of transaction is covered in the expression service of any description. The ambit has been further enlarged by the Apex court by bringing the members of the Cooperative Societies registered for allotment by the societies within the definition of ‘Consumer’.The above said law was laid down in:-

    In Chandigarh Housing Board Vs. Avtar Singh (2010) 10 SCC 194, the Administrator, Union Territory Chandigarh framed a scheme for allotment of a land to a Cooperative House Building Society. A large number of societies challenged the said scheme by way of a writ petition filed in Punjab & Haryana High Court. By way of an interim order, the High Court permitted the societies to deposit 10% of the tentative price, subject to their filing an undertaking to deposit the balance amount with interest in case the writ petitions were dismissed and they were to accept allotment of flats under the new scheme. Pursuant to the said direction, the societies collected 10% of the tentative price from their members and deposited the same with Chandigarh Housing Board. The writ petitions later came to be dismissed.

    While dismissing the writ petitions, the High Court permitted the societies, which were eligible for allotment or had been allotted the sites, to pay the balance amount along with interest. Though the members of the society paid the balance Earnest Money and interest, the land was not allotted to the societies. Therefore, some of their members applied for refund of the amount paid by them, indicating that they were no more interested in the flats. The Board however, forfeited 10% earnest money and did not refund the interest component. Being aggrieved, the aforesaid members approached the concerned District Forum by way of a complaint. The District Forum, State Commission as well as this Commission having ruled in favour of the members, the Board approached the Honble Supreme Court and it was inter-alia contended that the District Forum did not have jurisdiction to entertain the complaints filed by the members of the society because there was no privity of contract between them and the Board. Relying upon its earlier decisions in Lucknow Development Authority (supra) and Ghaziabad Development Authority (supra), the contention was rejected by the Honble Supreme Court. Thus, in the aforesaid case, the Honble Supreme Court held the member of a society which had been registered and was awaiting for allotment of land from the Chandigarh Housing Board to be a consumer within the meaning of Consumer Protection Act, 1986, despite the fact that no allotment had by that time been made to the societies of which the complainants were the members.

    But where existing sites are put up for sale or lease by public auction by the owner, and the sale/lease is confirmed in favour of the highest bidder, the resultant contract relates to sale or lease of immovable property. There is no hiring or availing of service by the person bidding at the auction. Nor is the seller or lessor, a trader who sells or distributes goods. The sale price or lease premium paid by the successful bidder of a site is the consideration for the sale or lease, and not consideration for any service or for provision of any amenity or for sale of any goods. Such cases pertaining to auction are not within the ambit of Consumer Protection Act.


  • ‘Salient features of Sukanya Samriddhi Account’

  • It is one of the best Tax-savings scheme as on date, as we earn Interest of 9.1% compounded annually and the Benefits of Income Tax under Section 80C of IT Act 1961for maximum upto Rs. 1,50,000.oo . However, the few limitations need to be kept in mind, it can be only one account can be opened in the name of a girl child. Secondly, the Money is deposited under this account is for 14 years {longer lock-in-period}. Sukanya Samriddhi Account opening form along with Birth Certification of girl child with Identity Proof and Address Proof need to be submitted to open Account under SSY. However, this SSA a/cs can be opened Only at designated branches of Public or Private Sector Banks or Indian Post Office.

    For details, please visit website http://www.sukanyasamriddhiaccountyojana.in

     

    National Consumer Helpline 
    Centre for Consumer Studies , Indian Institute of Public Administration
    Toll Free No. : 1800-11-4000

    or SMS your name & city & send to +918130009809
    ( Monday to Saturday  9.30AM to 5.30PM)  
    Website: www.nationalconsumerhelpline.in

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