When 75-year-old R.P. Gupta, a Tagore Garden resident, planned his only grandson’s first birthday party, little did he know he would end up being a subject of ridicule. The function ended on an embarrassing note for him.
The toilets at the venue, a community hall of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) at Rajouri Garden, were stinking.
The stench made the guests uncomfortable. Stray dogs were also roaming around. The condition was so bad the guests left without having food.
Not ready to take the shame lying down, Gupta, a tax practitioner, dragged the area’s MCD Deputy Commissioner and director of its Community Services Department to the consumer court.
Three years later, the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Commission ordered the MCD to pay a compensation of Rs 15,000 to him for the mental agony and the harassment suffered by him.
“A sum of Rs 10,000 as compensation for the embarrassment appellant (Gupta) suffered on account of deficiency-in-service on part of the MCD will meet the ends of justice,” noted a bench headed by commission president Justice Barkat Ali Zaidi in a recent order.
The Bench was hearing an appeal filed by Gupta seeking enhancement of the Rs 3,000 compensation ordered by the Janakpuri District Forum.
“Despite the MCD being held guilty for not keeping the hall and toilets clean... compensation awarded appeared to be too meagre,” the judges said.
The MCD did not deny Gupta’s allegation but sought to pass the buck saying cleanliness was the duty of the community hall in-charge.
Terming the argument as a “ridiculous one”, the forum said: “After all, the community hall in-charge was also working under the MCD.”
No one appeared for the MCD before the state commission to contest the appeal filed by Gupta despite repeated notices.
“I spent more than Rs one lakh on food besides Rs 5,000 as rent and had demanded at least Rs one lakh as damages,” Gupta said.