wishes its readers
Republic Day Greetings!!
is now mandatory for EPF pensioners
Those who are drawing monthly pension under the Employees’ Pension Scheme
are now required to link their Aadhar number with their PPO (Pension Payment
Order) Number, issued by the EPFO. This formality is supposed to be
completed before 31st January.
To ensure that the pensioners adhere to this requirement,
without much publicity, the Banks, which had been issuing the Life Certificate
to the pensioners during November, every year, in a casual manner put up notices
in their premises that Life Certificate would not be issued by them and that
the concerned individuals should contact their EPFO, along with a copy of
PPO, Bank Passbook, and Aadhar Card.
EPFOs which are functioning in limited locations,
do not seem to appreciate and empathize with the pensioners, who are required
to come to them at short notice, from distant locations. I had the opportunity
to visit the EPFO, at Tambaram (a big city like Chennai has only three offices),
catering to a vast area and population. The officials therein could
not entertain me as the internet connectivity had not been restored, even
after about a week of the devastating vardah cyclone. To my relief,
after I got into an argument with those officials for unnecessarily making
me run, I got an important information that several browsing centres, in
every locality have been authorised to take the finger print and link with
the Aadhar number of the pensioner. Interestingly, no one parted with
this information till I questioned their indifference and for not being helpful.
So much about the lack of concern for the people they are supposed to serve.
They could have at least shared these details (browsing centres) with the
banks, so as to guide the pensioners and to enable them to comply with the
official requirements, at the nearest place of their convenience.
So, the important point is, the pensioners need to ascertain
as to the centre or facility which is authorised to do this linking, in his/her
locality/area. Though, these centres could charge a nominal fee, it
is much better than going to a far off EPFO and get into a crowd, without
any guarantee of the work getting done. Incidentally, the browsing centre,
which I visited finished the job in no time and also gave me a print out
of the Life Certificate generated by them.
Let the consumer
Employees are entitled to benefit
of two years weightage under the Employees Pension Scheme
- Justice is not Supreme
Supreme Court fails
to uphold the law
Some suggestions to Chief Justice of India - Is it
that the Laws & Rules need to remain only on paper?
Amendments to Consumer Protection Act
A big question
mark about the relevance of the judiciary in safeguarding
Curative Petition dismissed)
In India, consumers have been at the receiving end
since long. One thought that things will change for
the better after the Consumer Protection Act was enacted in
1986 and a structured approach was adopted to promote and safeguard
the interests of the consumers. But after 2004, things
have gone from bad to worse. Commencing from the castration
of the Central Consumer Protection Council, the relevance of the
consumer Act itself has been brought into question. If the
government is found wanting and none too serious to strengthen this
voluntary initiative of the individuals to do their bit for a healthy
society, which in any case is bound to benefit the industry, its competitiveness
and the country as a whole, myopic approach only appear to rule the
roost, as on date.
Important amendments which were brought in 2003 to the
Consumer Protection Act, with a clear objective of penalising
Unfair Trade Practices and to compensate the consumer/litigant
adequately have been frustrated by the indifferent approach of
the National Commission as well as the Supreme Court. That
is why, giving the benefit of doubt to the bench which did not do justice
to the issues placed before it by Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela,
and to take the issues pursued by it to the logical end, Curative
Petition was filed. The GROUNDS
categorically illustrate the denial of “Natural Justice”
to the Petitioner Council and the failure of the Court in
addressing the issues raised in the “Appeal”. Rupa
Ashok Hurra case specifically has laid “Violation of
Principles of Natural justice” as the valid ground for considering
a Curative Petition. Question is whether a narrow view of
non-issue of notice alone should be taken as the requisite ground
for allowing the Appeal or blatant denial to consider the Grounds
of Appeal by the concerned bench should be treated alike, in the larger
interests of justice? If this anomaly is not addressed,
Curative Petitions will only be found useful when
the media start highlighting an issue, like the LGBT case – leading
to the strength of the population deciding the outcome of the Curative
Petition. This does not augur well for a civilized democratic
Learned ex-Justice of Gujarat & Rajasthan High Courts,
Sri M.R.Calla, and designated Sr. Advocate of the Supreme
Court had unequivocally advocated for allowing the Curative
Petition of the Council, pointing
out the gross miscarriage of justice and denial of natural
justice. But that has not appealed to the Supreme
Court bench headed by the CJI, who have dismissed
the Curative Petition, as per the Order made available
on the internet today.
Something needs to be done to address and to save the
people from this hyper-technical approach of the Supreme Court
and to promote the consumer movement, which is after all in
the best interests of the nation. Will Shri Narendra Modi
and his government do something to stem this rot?
How can the Supreme
Court pass an irrelevant order?
is your right'
Fleece the consumer
and go scot-free
Finish the consumer movement?
A consumer organisation
with a difference. Instead of rendering
advisory services alone, the Council since its inception,
in 1985, has been taking up issues affecting them through the
consumer courts and other means and feels proud to have provided
relief to crores of people. These include:
It will not be an
exaggeration to add that its activities have added to the confidence
of the Rourkela population, against unethical business practices.
- Remedial action against
short filling of LPG in cooking gas refills; of the 184 LPG
Bottling Plants, of the three Oil Marketing Companies (IOC, BP
& HP), only 4 remain to be automated. Even these will
be modernised within the next financial year 2013-14).
The quantified loss of nearly Rs. 750 crores per year to the consumers
across the country has been taken care by this upgradation.
Thanks to the Council's Original Petition initiatied in 2001,
before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).
- Won an important case against
the Rourkela Development Authority and secured financial relief
for a group of individuals, against violation of Plan &
Specifications in the construction of the houses and delay in
handing over the possession.
- Obtained a separate District
Forum for Rourkela, though it is not the district headquarters,
which otherwise necessitated the entire Rourkela population
to approach the Forum, situated at Sundergarh, a place 100 km
- Re-routing of Dhanbad-Alleppey
Express train through Chennai Central;
- Campaigned against non transferring
of excise duty concessions (to the consumers) extended by
the union government to the industry;
- Better upkeep of the railway
coaches of Utkal Kalinga Express and other trains;
- Reintroduction AC Chair
Car in Ispat Express;
- Refunding of booking advance
by M/s APSL and M/s LML; and many more.
The fifth Voluntary Consumer Organisation in the country
to have set up a Consumer Information Centre,
with the support of Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution,
Govt. of India. Has earned a niche for creating consumer
awareness and handling of individual as
well as group/class grievances. It is bringing out
an English monthly Advantage Consumer, to educate
the consumers. It is represented in various Advisory bodies.
An Aware Consumer is
an Asset to the Nation
Through this site effort will be made to disseminate all
relevant information and answers to many of the queries which
are frequently asked. Knowledge is power and ignorance is the
root cause of all exploitation. As a consumer, we hope you
will find the site quite useful. Since ours is a voluntary organisation
with meagre resources we have designed the site on our own and
are sure there will be lot of scope to improve. As such we invite the
public and the visitors to this site to communicate their valuable
feedback, so that we may improve the contents of this site.
Lots & Lots of information in store
for you to tap, in the Information Section. Why wait
to click on Information.
If you are keen to support the Council, you may send in
your donations through crossed Cheques/Demand Drafts, drawn
in favour of "Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela". All donations
to the Council are exempted under sec. 80G of the Income Tax
Act. The Council is also registered under the FCRA (Foreign Contribution