IMPROPER CARE OF ELEVATORS CAUSING DEATH OF A PERSON
(IS IT SERVICE UNDER CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT)
National Commission held ‘YES’ inspite of the fact no consideration was paid by the complainant for any services. This is a case titled P.G.PAI v/s Care Elevators ENGG. Co. Ltd &others wherein National Commission went into details of each party’s role and responsibility towards public at large. Also the interpretation of section 2 (o) of consumer protection act which is inclusive and not exhaustive as held by Hon’ble Supreme Court in number of judgments. ‘Services’ means services of any description which is available to potential users as facilities in connection with other number of services to consumers such as banking ,education,insurance etc. etc.In this judgment,‘includes’word had been the target for the court to elaborate.
Kingfisher Airlines Ltd had office in Bhagwati house in Mumbai having taken on lease The building was being managed by Bhagwati house.The lifts were installed by OTIS Elevator Company and upkeep of lifts was assigned to Care Elevators and ENGG. Co. Ltd.The said lift went out of order on 10.5.2015 and a report in this regard was lodged.with OP-1,Care Elevators.at 10 am. But Roshan Pai entered the lift without knowing about fault,it abruptly moved without closing doors .He got stuck in the lift with his neck and head in side the lift and rest of the body outside the lift. He was declared dead later.
The question here was –
!)Why there was no warning about elevator out of order.
!!)Why inbuilt locking system did not work which prevents lifts to start unless doors are closed
TRIG Security agency ,OP-2 was responsible for putting up notice of warning which was not done in this case and it allowed to happen this incident . Further this fact was also established during the course of proceedings that mechanics of the security agency had also disabled inbuilt locking system of the lift whereas the system was very much there and properly installed by OTIS ,OP-4 .hence no negligence on the par of OTIS found.It was checked in details the provisions of clause 18 of Indian Standards of ElectricTraction Lifts which requiresthat every lending door,shutter,or gate shall be equipped with electro-mechanic lock which shall prevent lift from moving while lending door,shutter or gate is open , there was no allegation against OP-4 OTIS for not providing this system
Hence OP-1,Care Elevators operating agency & TRIG Security agency ,OP-2 security agency were found at fault.and deficient in services.
Complainat in this case was father of deceased Rohan Pai who had not paid for the services of maintenance of the lift but some one was paying for the services and it was not free of cost. Providing lift in a multi-story building would amount to providing services to the visitors,employees and permitted persons to the building. Lift is a necessary element for a multi storey building and providing this service as facility is otherwise also an essential facility without which neither the building will get completion certificate nor it would become fit for occupation for effective use.
Hence element of paying consideration for lift services was met by others and visitor was considered potential consumer . TRIG Security agency ,OP-2 OP -1