The definition of ‘service’ under the consumer laws also includes the supply of electric power. This means that a person who receives the service, by way of supply of electricity, which he has hired, is considered as a consumer, under section 2(1) (o) of the Consumer Protection Act. The supply of electrical energy on a continuous basis, over a period of time, in lieu of payment of money, is considered as service, under the provisions of the Act.
Consumer law in India recognizes two types of patients, such as paying and non-paying patients. Most of the government hospitals in India have separate paying wards. The paying wards are mainly designed for affluent patients. However, the general wards are developed for the poor patients, who cannot afford the treatment cost. You can smell it a mile off because they are so badly kept. In fact, they are kept worse than cattle sheds.
Consumer law aims to protect consumer rights and interests. In a recent case, the message was loud and clear as the National Consumer Commission passed an order, asking the HSBC Bank to pay compensation of Rs. 1 lakh to an NRI couple. The bank had sanctioned a home loan to them but had failed to disburse the amount. The appeal was made by the HSBC bank against the decision of Chandigarh State Consumer Commission (as per consumer law) which had ruled in favour of the NRI couple.