The consumer Disputes Redressal Forum,Ahmedabad City,has held the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and MCS Ltd guilty of negligence and deficiency in service. The issue pertains to allotment of shares to city-base applicant Ganesh Diwetia.
The forum has ordered the respondents to allot shares to the applicant,pay the dividend with compound interest and the compound interest for the amount to the credit of Diwetia besides Rs 5,000 for mental agony,pain,harassment and litigation.
Diwetia had applied to the MCS Ltd for 70 preference shares in the ONGC on March 9,2004.
He paid Rs 49,875 towards the price of the shares. On allotment,he found that he had been allotted only 47 shares. He waited for the refund of the remaining amount (on 23 shares),but in vain.
MCS and ONGC did not respond till July 4,2004,after which the former admitted that the shares were credited wrongly to some other account due to an error in the data entry. It also assured Diwetia that the shares would be credited to his account in two to three weeks.
When he did not get it after a long wait,he approached the Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS),which wrote to MCS and ONGC. He received a demand draft for Rs 16,387 towards refund on May 31,2007.
Later,the CERS and Diwetia filed a case in the Forum seeking allotment of shares as assured by the MCS,payment of dividend for the three years and interest for the same period on due dividend and compensation for the mental agony,pain and harassment.
While MCS gave necessary assurances before the Forum,the ONGC questioned Diwetia being a consumer under the law,and challenged its jurisdiction. It also submitted that MCS was responsible for the error.
The Forum observed that MCS had not objected to the fact that it was an error on its part and that it had not given the shares. It also held that the ONGC could not escape its responsibility.
It further observed that not allotting shares or not crediting the shares to the account of the investor or not handing over the physical shares to the investor amounts to negligence and deficiency in service.
The Forum ordered that Diwetia be given the pre-determined dividend on these shares from 2004 to 2007 and to pay 9 per cent compound interest on due dividend from the date of complaint till the date of payment.