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Delhi State Consumer Commission's asks BPCL TO pay compensation  

BPCL to pay Rs 6.5 lakh for supplying defective cylinder

NEW DELHI: The National Consumer Commission has rapped the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) for not taking responsibility for supply of a defective cylinder that led to an explosion killing three persons and asked it to pay Rs 6.5 lakh to kin of the victims. It upheld the Delhi State Consumer Commission's decision asking the public sector oil company to pay a compensation of Rs 6.5 lakh to the family of the victims for deficiency in service. "In view of specific allegation of the complainants that the cylinder was defective... it was incumbent upon the BPCL to have a technical examination of the cylinder conducted in order to rule out any such defect," a bench comprising Members Justice R C Jain and A Dasgupta said

"In these circumstances, adverse inference is liable to be drawn against the BPCL," they said. The Commission passed the order on a petition of BPCL challenging State Commission's decision on the ground that it had not supplied any defective cylinder and the liability, if any, should be on the distributor for the incident. "The circumstance leads us to infer that there was heavy leakage of gas from the cylinder in question at the time of fixing the regulator which could not have been possible unless there was a defect of one kind or the other supplied by the BPCL through distributor Bharat gas Service," the Commission said. Despite the tragic incident, the BPCL had tried to take shelter under the agreement which mandates observation of certain precautionary measures in order to avoid any mishap at the time of changing the cylinder, the Commission noted. "Even if we assume that the said safeguards were not meticulously followed at the time of changing the cylinder (because the electric stove was on), this circumstance alone would not exonerate the BPCL and the distributor from their liability arising out of this mishap in which two lives were lost," the Commission said. The explosion took place in 1999 when the petitioner's wife removed the aluminium seal of the new cylinder and tried to fix the regulator.

Press Trust of India

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