Consumer Court Holds Gas Agency Accountable for Cylinder Explosion

LI Network

Published on: January 12, 2024 at 18:33 IST

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Rewari has ruled in favor of the complainant, Chunni Lal, in a case related to a gas cylinder explosion at his residence. Consumer Complaint 2019 was filed against Rewari Gas Service, IOCL LPG Karnal Area Office, and ICICI Lombard House under Section 35 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

Chunni Lal, a resident of Shahbazpur Khalsa, Rewari, and a consumer of gas agency Rewari Gas Service, faced a sudden blast in an Indane Company gas cylinder on March 30, 2018. The explosion caused significant damage to Lal’s household items, resulting in losses estimated at Rs. two lacs.

Lal filed a complaint alleging deficiency in services by the gas agency (OP no.1) and the gas cylinder manufacturer (OP no.2). The insurance company (OP no.3) was also named as a party. The complainant sought compensation for damages and harassment, emphasizing the parties’ failure to address his concerns.

OP no.1 argued that they had delivered the cylinder in a duly sealed condition and bore no responsibility for the incident. OP no.2 claimed that, per the distributorship agreement with OP no.1, they were not liable for losses due to cylinder use. OP no.3, the insurance company, contended that the complaint was premature as the complainant failed to submit the required documents.

After careful consideration, the Commission found merit in the complaint against OP no.1 and OP no.3. President Shri Sanjay Kumar Khanduja and Shri Rajender Parshad, Member stated, “From the totality of the said provisions, it is amply clear that it is OP no. 1 distributor, which is liable in the matter for the extensive loss caused to the complainant.”

In rejecting OP no.2’s defense, the Commission cited case law and emphasized that the distributor, not the manufacturer, held primary liability based on the distributorship agreement.

The Commission directed OPs no.1 and 3 to pay Rs. 50,000 as damages for the loss of articles, along with compensation for mental agony, harassment, and litigation expenses. The complainant was granted interest on the amounts if not paid within the stipulated period.

This ruling sets a precedent affirming the distributor’s responsibility for incidents related to gas cylinders, providing consumers with a legal avenue for seeking compensation in negligence cases.

In response to the verdict, Shri Ramphal Yadav, Advocate for the complainant, expressed satisfaction, stating, “The Commission’s decision rightly recognizes the distributor’s liability in ensuring consumer safety.”

However, Shri Ishwar Singh Yadav, Advocate for OP no.1, expressed disagreement, stating, “We are considering options for appeal, as we firmly believe in our non-liability in this matter.”

Case Name: Chunni Lal Vs Rewari Gas Service DS Shop

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