The apex consumer forum has directed Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to pay Rs 30,000 compensation to Air Chief Marshal (retd) OP Mehra, a former governor of two states, for raising illegal water bills.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) passed the order while dismissing DJB’s review petition against the orders of state and district consumer panels, awarding compensation to Mehra.
Mehra is the former governor of Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
The NCDRC dismissed the plea as no one had appeared on behalf of the civic agency to pursue the case.
“No one has appeared for the petitioner (DJB) to pursue this revision petition and it is liable to be dismissed. We do not find any illegality, irregularity or jurisdiction error in granting compensation to the respondent, who is a retired Air Chief Marshal and former governor of two states,” a bench presided by justice KS Chaudhari said.
DJB had filed the petition against the decision of Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, which had upheld a district forum order directing refund of R26,750 paid by Mehra towards the illegal bills.
It had also awarded him a compensation of R30,000.
The state commission, while upholding the compensation awarded to Mehra, had observed that “being a retired Air Chief Marshal and a former governor of two states, if he could not move the DJB to get his grievances redressed for a long period, plight of an ordinary citizen can well be imagined”.
The district forum’s decision had come on Mehra’s plea that the two water meters installed at his residence in 1999 were defective from the start and were replaced only in 2004 after repeated complaints.
He had also alleged that during that period, even though water was provided only on one connection, bills were raised for both on adhoc basis and he had made payment under threat of disconnection.