The Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and its dealer Alok Gas Agency in Delhi have been ordered to pay up Rs. 10,46,734 and Rs. 1,75,000 to a family for causing the death of one lady and severe injuries to another lady due to a faulty gas cylinder
Mrs. Neena Jhamb was helping her mother in law Kantha Jhamb in the kitchen to cook a meal for their joint family when the gas ran out.
They opened a new spare gas cylinder and a terrible tragedy struck. Gas leaked out through the cap of the cylinder like a shower of liquid gas. They tried to run out of the kitchen which was also on fire and both were engulfed by the flames.
The blast followed them like a ball of fire. Mrs. Kantha Jhamb suffered 65 per cent burns while Neena Jhamb suffered 90 per cent burns.
After 18 days in hospital Kantha Jhamb survived the terrible tragedy but her daughter in law Neena died of her injuries.
The Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission found both Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and its dealer Alok Gas Agency guilty of deficient service and causing harm and ordered them to compensate the family.
Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and Alok Gas Agency tried to pass the buck claiming they were not responsible. The gas agency even tried to shove the blame on the women saying that one of the women had tried to harm the other with this fire! But The Delhi Fire Department’s report showed that the leakage in the valve of the gas cylinder caused the terrible tragedy.
IOCL and Alok Gas Agency went in appeal against the order of the Delhi State Commission to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission which found them guilty in several counts for negligence, disregarding consumer safety and ignoring many important safety measures set down by law.
It said in its report that it was shocking to discover that IOCL had not even bothered to investigate and conduct an enquiry as to the reason for such a horrible accident. The dealer had not even told the IOCL about it.
It dismissed their complaint. This just goes to show that we may be cooking happily in our kitchens but our lives are still at risk, as the sellers of the gas cylinders are not really bothered about our safety.