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Delhi Court Confirms ₹5 Lakh Fine on Airtel for Customer Harassment and Service Negligence

shwetasabuji

2 min read

Jul 5

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In a landmark decision, the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC) has upheld a ₹5 lakh fine against Airtel for harassing a customer with incessant phone calls and disconnecting services over alleged unpaid dues, despite evidence of payment.

The case, [Bharti Airtel Limited V. Jasmeet Singh Puri (Deceased)], centered around a customer's complaint of persistent harassment and service interruptions by Airtel. The ordeal began in March 2013 when the customer paid ₹4,995 by cheque for internet and landline services. Airtel claimed the cheque bounced due to insufficient funds and began relentless calls for payment. Despite the customer providing proof of payment through bank statements, Airtel disconnected his services in May 2013 and issued a legal notice demanding ₹7,549.


Frustrated by Airtel's failure to acknowledge the payment and ongoing harassment, the customer filed a complaint with the district consumer disputes redressal forum. In September 2014, the forum found Airtel's actions grossly negligent and ordered ₹5 lakh in compensation—₹3 lakhs to the customer and ₹2 lakhs to the State Consumer Welfare Fund.


Airtel appealed the decision, but the State Commission, led by President Dr. Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal and Judicial Member Pinki, dismissed the appeal on July 1, 2024. The Commission affirmed that Airtel's actions amounted to a deficiency in service and harassment, noting that Airtel ignored the customer's complaints and continued harassment despite proof of payment.


In their ruling, the Commission emphasized Airtel's negligence and misuse of power, stating, "It is, therefore, clear that the Appellant (Airtel) failed to provide adequate service to the Respondent no.1, which resulted in the Respondent suffering consequences. As a result, the deficiency on the part of the Appellant stands proved. Accordingly, we do not find any infirmity in the judgment of the District Commission."


Airtel was represented by Advocates KG Gopalkrishnan and Nisha Mohandas, while the customer's legal heir was represented by Law Firm Legal Knights.



This decision highlights the necessity for service providers to fulfill their obligations and respect consumer rights, reinforcing the legal options available to consumers in similar situations.

shwetasabuji

2 min read

Jul 5

0

0

0

Comments (1)

Appreciate the efforts put in by the Law firm Legal Knights on behalf of their deceased client and also the decision of the SCDRC forum. I am facing a similar issue with JIO, I have raised a complaint to concerned department of JIO but again I am receiving calls and emails to make payment for the terminated account. I think, I need to approach our state's SCDRC to resolve my issue, Thanks for the insightful post.

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