Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has been directed by a consumer forum to pay compensation of Rs 10,000 to a charitable society which provides free education to poor kids for charging commercial water tariff from it.
The South II District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum held that the society, Brijendra Deepti Geeta Education Society, was using the water only for drinking purposes and not for running any business and ordered the civic agency to adjust the amount already paid by it and not to raise any such bill in future.
"The opposite party (DJB) did not dare to contest claim of complainant and, therefore, it is proved that the society is a charitable NGO which is imparting education to the poor.
"It is not doing any commercial activities in the premises. The society may be consuming water for drinking purposes but it has no business to run on the basis of water. Thus, there is no nexus between the water and the activities of the society," the bench presided by M C Mehra said.
It directed DJB "not to raise any such bill on the basis of the commercial tariff in future and further direct to reassess/adjust the amount already paid by complainant against such bill, which was raised on commercial tariff."
It also directed the civic agency to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation for causing harassment and litigation charges to the society, represented by its head Pradeep Kumar Dubey.
Dubey, who runs the society from his premises in South Delhi, had said in his complaint that DJB had raised a bill of Rs 5,500 on his water connection as per commercial usage rates.
He said he had contacted several officials of the agency but to no avail and had finally paid the bill under protest.
DJB was proceeded against ex-parte as no one had appeared on its behalf.