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Shopkeeper, firm penalised for selling old mobile phone
The Tribune, June 11, 2019

For selling an old mobile phone, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed a shopkeeper and the manufacturer to refund cost of the phone to a Dhakoli resident.

According to the complaint, Sanjeev Panwar, a resident of MS Enclave, Dhakoli, Zirakpur, purchased a Samsung mobile for Rs 24,900 from Mobile Magic, Sector 11, Panchkula, on September 26, 2017. The mobile started giving trouble within a few days of its purchase and stopped charging completely in November 2017.

The complainant visited the Samsung service centre which told him that the charger of the mobile was faulty and its warranty had gone. As per the internal record of Samsung, the warranty of the phone started from March 27, 2017, whereas the phone was purchased on September 26, 2017. It means that the shopkeeper sold the second-hand phone to the complainant for price of a new one. Thereafter, the complainant requested the shopkeeper to change the mobile phone and handover a new device to him, but to no avail.

In a written statement, the shopkeeper stated that at the time of purchasing the mobile phone, the complainant had himself seen that the device was totally sealed and he himself opened the box and confirmed that the phone was working well.

In its reply, Samsung India stated that the complaint was completely based on the invoice dated September 26, 2017. As per the record, the disputed handset was activated on March 27, 2017 and the bill of the handset was of September 9, 2017. A bill can be prepared later on, but activation shall take place once. The shopkeeper had sold an old handset to the complainant and had made a forged bill. The bill of the mobile phone was forged as there was specifically mentioned that the shopkeeper had charged GST at 12 per cent from the complainant, but there was no GST number of the shopkeeper mentioned on the bill.

“Since, it has been well proved that the shopkeeper has sold an old mobile set to the complainant stating it to be new one, so we have no doubt of any kind in any manner with regard to lapse and deficiency on part of the opposite parties. We are also of the considered view that the manufacturer cannot escape its liability in the matter stating that there has been deficiency on the part of the dealer only. Hence, we hold that both opposite parties are jointly and severely liable to compensate the complainant,” observed the forum.

The forum directed the shopkeeper and Samsung India to refund the cost of the mobile set (Rs 24,900) to the complainant and also pay Rs 5,000 on account of mental agony, harassment and cost of litigation charges.

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