The apex consumer commission has pulled up the Postal Department for “deficiency in service” by delaying delivery of an application form of a man for the post of a Civil Judge which made him miss the chance, saying its attitude was of “a deliberate attempt” to hide the real reason for the wrong doing. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission upheld the state commission’s order directing the department to pay Rs 25,000 as compensation and Rs 10,000 as litigation expenses to Rajasthan native Gajanand Sharma.
“Such conduct of the Postal Department, leads to irresistible conclusion that there was a willful default on the part of its official(s) concerned,” the commission said.
“The attitude of the Postal Department is a deliberate attempt to hide the real reason for the wrong doing of its employee(s) in not delivering the letter within the norms prescribed by the Postal Department itself,” the commission bench headed by M Shreesha said.
“The case of the complainant (Sharma) falls within the ambit of exception carved out under Section 6 of the Post Office Act. Having held so, and there being a clear deficiency of service under Section 2(1)(g) of the Consumer Protection Act and I am of the opinion that a reasonable compensation of Rs 25,000 awarded by the State Commission is completely justified,” it said.
According to the complaint filed by Sharma, on May 8, 2010, he had sent an application form through speed post from a post office at Mandawar in Rajasthan to the High Court Registrar of Madhya Pradesh.
It said this application for the Post of ‘Civil Judge, Jr.Division’ reached the destination two days after the last date of May 12, 2010, and got rejected on this ground.
The postal department claimed it did not have any knowledge as to what date the said article should reach the destination and the delay caused in delivering of the article was not because of its intentional negligence.
It also contended that the Department was exempted from any responsibility under Section 6 of the Post Office Act.