Companies & Sectors
Criminal case against bill collectors of MSEDCL

A complaint has been filed against two persons for allegedly duping Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd of Rs12.95 lakh

A magistrate’s court in Mumbai has asked the police to register a case of criminal offence against two employees of a private agency collecting payment for electricity bills. Smart Detective and Allied Service (India) Pvt Ltd filed a complaint against two of its employees for allegedly duping Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) of Rs12.95 lakh.

The agency, which is a sub-contractor for collecting payments from customers of MSEDCL, said its supervisors did not deposit the Rs12.95 lakh collected from 1,526 customers between 12th and 18th March in MSEDCL’s account.

MSEDCL awarded a contract for bill collection service through anytime payment machines (ATP) to ADD Technologies (India) Ltd, which further gave a sub-contract to Smart Detective and Allied Service for collection through cash and cheques. Smart Detective and Allied Service operate nine ATP machines in Pune city to collect bills from customers and depositing them in MSEDCL’s bank account.
 

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Mere smell of alcohol on breath does not mean intoxication

Forums rejected the claim of the insurer that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol at the time of accident.


The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), while upholding decisions of Bangalore District and Karnataka State Consumer Forums, dismissed the application for condoning the delay filed by Oriental Insurance Co Ltd.  Earlier, both the forums rejected the claim of the insurer that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol at the time of accident.

The doctor in his case report stated that Bangalore-based
M Suresh, who was driving his own car at the time of accident, was smelling of alcohol. However, no test was done to determine if he was under the influence of alcohol and was incapable of taking care of himself.

“Mere smelling alcohol itself is not sufficient to hold that the complainant was incapable of taking care of himself. It is only on the basis of this imaginary or unscientific method, Oriental Insurance has repudiated the claim which cannot be sustained,” the District Forum said.

The Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, in its order said, “The appellant (Oriental Insurance) neither examined the doctor nor the hospital authority notice the presence of 30mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood taken from the body of the respondent. Therefore, we are of the opinion that repudiating made by the appellant for payment of compensation is deficiency of service. Therefore, in our view the impugned order passed by the District Forum does not call for any interference.”

Upholding the decision of the district and state consumer forums to pay Rs6 lakh to Mr Suresh as claim for insurance, NCDRC directed the insurer to pay Rs5,000 in the Consumer Welfare Fund.
 

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No blanket ban on arrests for Facebook posts

A person should not be arrested without taking permission from senior police officials.

The Supreme Court, while refusing to pass an order for a blanket ban on the arrest of a person for making objectionable comments on websites, said that states should ensure strict compliance with the Centre’s advisory. The Centre, in its advisory issued on 9 January 2013, had said that a person should not be arrested without taking permission from senior police officials.

The apex court was hearing an application seeking its direction to the authorities not to take action for posting objectionable comments during the pendency of a case before it pertaining to constitutional validity of Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act. The petition was filed regarding the arrest of Hyderabad-based, Jaya Vindhayal, the state general secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, who was arrested on 12th May under Section 66A of the IT Act for the ‘objectionable’ post against the Tamil Nadu governor K Rosaiah and Congress MLA Amanchi Krishna Mohan.

Section 66A states that any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or communication device, any information that was grossly offensive or has a menacing character, could be punished with imprisonment for a maximum term of three years, besides imposition of appropriate fine.
 

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