Gas agency canít force consumer to buy stove, regulator while transferring connection: Forum
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The Chandigarh Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II has ruled that a gas agency cannot force a consumer to buy a new stove and regulator at the time of transfer of an LPG connection from one place to another.
Forum's presiding member Ashok Raj Bhandari and member Dr Madanjit Kaur Sahota have directed Hindustan Petroleum Limited and its authorised dealer, Parnam Gas Agencies in Sector 37-D, to immediately release two LPG connections to Tarun Chadha and Nisha Chadha, son and daughter of K L Chadha, a resident of Sector 41-A. The forum has ordered that the connections must be given "without insisting upon the purchase of new gas stoves/regulators or any other equipment whatsoever or imposing any penalty or charges under whatever name or putting up any other excuse for delaying the matter further".
In addition, the Hindustan Petroleum and the dealer have also been directed to pay compensation at the rate of Rs 10,000 each to Tarun and Nisha for the harassment caused to them, as their valid LPG connections had not been released since 2008, and also pay them Rs 7,000 as cost of litigation.
In his complaint, K L Chadha, a senior citizen, had stated that he, his son and daughter had independent LPG connections in their name since 1987. When he retired and shifted to his own house in Sector 41, the three of them approached Parnam Gas Agency with all relevant papers for re-registration of the gas connections. Chadha said the dealer insisted that the registration would be done only if all three purchased new stoves and regulators.
The forum frowned upon the "malpractice on part of some unscrupulous gas dealers to insist upon consumers to buy new gas stoves and regulators etc at exorbitant prices at the time of either taking new connections or at the time of transfer of gas connections". The forum observed that in certain cases, the gas agencies have also been booked for this malpractice, and their licences cancelled. It further observed that Hindustan Petroleum had blindly defended their dealer without going into the truth, which amounted to deficiency in service and also an unfair trade practice.
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