Hyderabad: After a three year battle, the children of a couple that died when an LPG cylinder exploded, won their case against Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited. The Telangana State Consumer Redressal Forum up held the decision of a district forum to penalise the company for supplying a faulty cylinder.
In 2014, Lanka Nageshwara Rao, 48, and his wife Subba Lakshmi, 45, died when they were attempting to fix a leaking LPG cylinder with the help of a technician sent by the gas agency. The gas leaked while the cylinder was being fixed, and exploded. The couple were badly burnt. Lakshmi died within 24 hours and Nageshwara Rao after 21 days.
The children of the couple approached the Vizag consumer forum against HPCL and the insurance company. The district consumer fo-rum ruled in their favour, but HPCL challenged the decision in the state forum.
The AP State Civil Sup-plies Corporation, which was the distribution agency for cylinders, claimed that it was not liable as it had passed on the job to the LPG Door Delivery Mutually Aided Cooperative Society Limited, from whom the de-ceased had taken a connection. United Insurance Com-pany Limited paid a total of Rs10 lakh for both victims, but a sum of Rs 8 lakh was pending from the other three parties, among whom HPCL challenged the decision.
HPCL said the AP State Civil Supplies Corporation was liable as they were the appointed distributors and the incident took place not because of a faulty cylinder, but because an untrained professional who had operated it.
The forum said that though it was not certain that the cylinder was faulty, it was clear that Nageshwar Rao had informed the agency (AP Civil Supplies Corp) about the defect. It noted that since the AP Civil Supplies Corporation was the direct distributor, HPCL was also liable as it was the principal third party.
Upholding the decision of the district forum, the state forum asked HPCL and other parties to pay the remaining compensation of 15.36 lakh for the death of the couple.