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Women who was sold inferior aquarium loses fish, wins relief
The Times of India, June 13, 2019

A city-based woman, who was sold a flawed aquarium that cracked in less than 60 days, approached the court after the seller took the tank and the fish away, but later refused to fix the problem.

The women knocked on the doors of a city consumer court, either replace the tank with a new one, or refund its cost and also compensate her for all the agony caused to her due to deficient service.

In May 2017, Biekahalli resident Akanksha MAthur, 50 decided to pep up her drawing room and purchased an aquarium worth Rs. 12,500 with fish from Angel’s Tropic Aqua in BTM Layout II Stage, owned by one Rajesh T. The tank, however, developed a crack on July 8, 2017, and water started leaking and damaging her sofa and carpet.

Mathur acted swiftly and managed to save her fish. She immediately called the representatives of Angel’s Tropic Aqua and informed them about the damage. The seller assured her that they’d send a technician to check on the situation.

Following repeated calls from Mathur, someone from the seller’s end arrived at her home the next day. However, much to her shock, the person didn’t bother to check the damaged tank, but took the fish away. Mathur refused to give up and repeatedly called the seller until another person came and took the tank away for repairs, promising to fix the problem within a week.

With no information from Rajesh and his staff for days, Mathur visited the shop on August 28, but it took 10 more days for them to show her the “fixed” aquarium, which had been shockingly sealed with a duct tape. The seller refused to fix the damages further or replace the piece.

Finally, a dejected Mathur approached the third additional Bangalore urban district consumer disputes redressal forum on October 13, with a complaint against Rajesh and his shop, stating she was cheated with a inferior product.

Mathur furnished documents to substantiate her claim and fought the case on her own. Rajesh appeared with his counsel, arguing the case was frivolous, vexatious and unsustainable by law. He claimed the glass of the aquarium, which was of superior quality had cracked after it was hit by some hard material. As the glass doesn’t come under warranty, Mathur is not entitled for replacement or refund, the seller contended.

After 19 months of litigation, the judges of the consumer forum held that the seller who is allegedly an expert in aquariums, failed to prove that the glass had broken due to an external object, but presented only his imagination. Moreover, the judges expressed their displeasure over the photographs of the allegedly fixed fish tank produced by the woman. They said the duct tape had spoilt the look of the expensive tank. If the expensive glass didn’t have warranty, it should have lasted longer for the money paid, they added.

Pointing to a clear deficiency in service, the consumer court on May 27, 2019 ruled that the proprietor of Angel’s Tropic Aqua should supply Mathur with a new aquarium of the same value and refund Rs. 12,500 to her within 30 days. In addition, the judges ordered Rs. 4,000 be paid to her for causing mental agony and towards her court expenses.

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