The consumer law also applies to post offices: Forum | Nagpur News


Nagpur: Clarifying that the Consumer Protection Act 1986 applies to post offices, the Gondia District Consumer Grievance Recovery Commission fined 3,000 rupees on postmasters in Pune and Gondia for one month delay in the delivery of the electronic mandate (E-MO).
The bench composed of President Bhaskar Yogi and member Sarita Raipure ordered the postmasters to pay the cost within one month to the complainant, who is an elderly person. Otherwise, a penalty of Rs 10 / day would be imposed on them. Of the total cost, Rs 2000 is to be paid for mental agony and inconvenience compensation and Rs 1000 for litigation costs.
Plaintiff Sudhir Rathod had sent 1000 rupees by electronic money order (E-MO) from the post office in Gondia town to his two sisters in Pune for Raksha Bandhan on August 14-18, 2018. However, his sisters – Aruna Yadav and Nisha Chauhan – received the amount after one month and 25 days respectively.
Rathod, himself a lawyer, had filed a complaint with the post offices in Gondia and Pune because the money order had not been delivered within the first 15 days. The Pune office responded that the delay was due to many reasons, including technical reasons like the lack of internet connectivity, and that they were not responsible for it. He was also informed that the large-scale construction works that are underway in Pune have also contributed to the delay.
Failed to receive a satisfactory response, the 64-year-old filed a complaint with the Consumer Affairs Commission while seeking compensation for the mental distress caused to him and his sisters due to undue delay in delivery of the amount.
Citing the citizens’ charter for post offices, he asserted that E-MO orders can be delivered within 24 hours in the internet age. Therefore, its delivery after one month should be considered insufficient service and a fine should be imposed on post offices under the 1986 law.
Opposing his claims, the respondents stated that their works fell under the jurisdiction of the Indian Post Office Act, 1898 and that, therefore, the Consumer Act did not apply to them. Citing the Indian Post Office Act, they argued that if E-MO delivery is delayed for technical reasons, they are not responsible for it.
After hearing both parties, the judges ruled that the Consumer Law is applicable to post offices and that the delay in delivering money orders is indeed a loophole according to its provisions.
“The money was transferred for Rakhi, who attaches emotional value. Naturally, the complainant suffered mental pain and agony. The respondents’ assertions are not sustainable for the reason that a delay of one month is unforgivable ”, declared the magistracy while partially allowing the complaint.



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