A BEST bus passenger won a compensation of Rs5,000 after suffering injury from an improperly fixed iron rod that fell on his finger while travelling in the bus. Due to the incident, the passenger could not reach court for which he boarded the bus and instead rushed to hospital. The complainant alleged he had suffered loss of legal fees and the finger hurt for five days. The commission further awarded Rs2,000 towards litigation cost.
The order dated September 20 was passed by Ravindra P Nagre, incharge president, Preethi Chamitkutty and Shraddha Jalanapurkar, both members of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Mumbai Suburban. The order was passed on a complaint by Radheshyam Rana Suresh Singh against BEST through its depot manager of Dharavi bus depot.
Singh was travelling from a BEST bus when the accident happened in December 2012 and an iron pipe, fixed between the roof pipe and the front seat, fell on Singh’s finger leading to cutting off the flesh of the finger and blood oozing out. When Singh informed the bus conductor, he showed helplessness. Singh got down and rushed to the hospital and later lodged a complaint at depot. Since he could not reach court, he even suffered loss of legal fees of Rs3,000.
Singh then filed a consumer complaint stating that it was the duty of BEST to ensure that buses plying are fit to ply and sought Rs5 lakh compensation. The BEST informed the commission that it conducted an inquiry in which the bus conductor was found guilty and suspended for a day. BEST denied that Singh suffered loss of legal fees. It said the passenger sought compensation for an injury that was treated free of cost in a government hospital. BEST further added that the complainant was offered compensation but he did not come back. It added that the complainant failed to state why he sought exorbitant compensation.
Since BEST's own enquiry and government hospital records proved injury, commission observed that complainant proved negligence and deficiency on the part of the BEST. It said that in the light of admission of lapse of duty on the part of BEST, Singh was liable for a one-time compensation for injury and subsequent inconvenience caused to him, which should be paid within two months from the order.