Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Sambalpur has ordered a parking contractor to pay more than Rs 3 lakh to a consumer for overcharging Rs 12 to a consumer identified as Prafulla Kumar Dash. 

The court imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh to the contractor. Moreover, the contractor has also been directed to deposit Rs 1 lakh in the consumer welfare fund of the district.

The court also asked the parking contractor to refund Rs 12 at an interest of 12 per cent per annum and also pay Rs 10,000 towards the litigation cost to the complainant who was charged Rs 24 instead of the usual rate of Rs 12 for parking his scooter.

As per the complaint, Dash had parked his two-wheeler near the parking place at Sambalpur railway station on November 1, 2023. He got a parking ticket where he was asked to pay Rs 30. If the parking was for more than 12 hours, then the parking fee was fixed Rs 12. However, the commuter returned before 12 hours. As per the fixed rule, he should have been returned Rs 18. However, the employee at the parking stand returned only Rs 6 to the commuter. When he asked about the excess amount of charge, the parking employee refused to return the rest of the amount.

Following the incident, Das moved to the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission seeking justice in the matter. After the perusal of the pleadings and submission of the parties, the Commission made the hearing.

“It is directed to refund Rs 12 with 12 per cent interest for deficiency in service, unfair trade practice and monopolistic practice. A compensation of 2 lakh is to be paid along with litigation expenses of Rs 10,000. In case of non-payment of entire amount will carry 14 per cent interest till realization,” the order of the Commission read.

The Commission has also directed to ensure that the contractor will not exploit any consumer in the future and the parking should be fully covered so that it will be dust free.

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“Display of rate chart be made immediately. Cleanliness of the parking area with drinking water facilities and lavatories are provided,” the order further read.