Q: On the basis of a phone conversation I deposited Rs 40,000 for a fixed deposit bond with an insurance company. They sent me an insurance policy instead. I applied for a cancellation in the free-look period of the policy immediately but have not received any response from the company. What should I do now?
Somnath Polley, Howrah, West Bengal
A: If the consent of the parties to a contract is caused by mistake, it is not free consent and not a valid contract as per the Indian Contract Act. In your case, though you have deposited the consideration amount your consent being absent, the insurance company should have immediately refunded your money. You could send the company a legal notice seeking the refund of your earnest money. Simultaneously, keep following up the issue with the local office of the company.
Q:Can Sections 135 and 126 of the Electricity Act, 2003, be invoked simultaneously on a single allegation of unauthorised use of power? The allegation is over commercial use rather than industrial use.
Pradip Churiwal, Bishnupur, West Bengal
A: Section 126 of the Electricity Act deals with the assessment, investigation and enforcement of the provisions of the act while Section 135 deals with theft of electricity and punishment for such theft. Both these provisions are related to the unauthorised use of electricity. Hence, if such an offence has been committed and the misuse detected, the culprit may be made liable under both the sections.
Q:I bought a flat in Calcutta from a state government agency. I got possession in November 2008. However, the registration is pending. Meanwhile, vide order dated March 23, 2012, the government has stipulated that if the registration is not done within 18 months from the date of completion or procurement of electricity, an interest of 1 per cent would be charged on the stamp duty. Can I claim the interest from the agency, since it is the latter that is responsible for the delay?
Pradip Piplai, Calcutta
A: If the delay in registration is because of negligence on the part of the builder, it would amount to deficiency of services. Then the aggrieved party is entitled to receive compensation. You can approach the consumer forum for this.