Dalit Carpenter in Kerala Represents Himself, Secures Compensation for Faulty Lenovo Laptop

Selvan, armed with only a pre-degree education, took on a formidable challenge when, in 2015, he purchased a Lenovo laptop for his tenth standard son using a loan from the Kerala State SC/ST Development Corporation. However, within a week, the laptop malfunctioned, and Selvan's attempts to seek redress from Lenovo and SS Technomall proved futile.
Dalit Carpenter in Kerala Represents Himself, Secures Compensation for Faulty Lenovo Laptop

Kochi- In an extraordinary turn of events, T.K. Selvan, a Dalit carpenter from North Paravoor in Kerala, emerged victorious in a prolonged eight-year legal battle. The heart of the matter was the faulty purchase of a Lenovo laptop, a significant event that highlights the importance of consumer rights and accessible justice for all.

Selvan, armed with only a pre-degree education, took on a formidable challenge when, in 2015, he purchased a Lenovo laptop for his tenth standard son using a loan from the Kerala State SC/ST Development Corporation. However, within a week, the laptop malfunctioned, and Selvan's attempts to seek redress from SS Technomall and Lenovo proved futile. Despite multiple attempts to seek assistance from the seller, the complainant was refused and ridiculed.

Undeterred by the complexities of the legal terrain, Selvan undertook the arduous task of representing himself. Selvan, who had only completed his Pre-Degree education, fought the case all by himself before the Commission and only during the fag end of hearing that he appointed a counsel with the help of his brother to argue the case. His journey culminated in a recent decision by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Ernakulam, led by President D.B. Binu. This ruling directed the opposite parties to pay a compensation of Rs one lakh, recognizing the deficiencies in service and unfair trade practices.

The key decisions of the Commission acknowledged the gravity of the situation, holding the Opposite Parties jointly and severally liable for the mental, physical, financial, and emotional distress caused by their negligence.

The Court's Observation and Order

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission directed the opposite parties to refund Rs. 51,000 to Selvan, corresponding to the invoice price of the faulty laptop. Additionally, recognizing the hardships endured by Selvan due to the deficiency in service and unfair trade practices, the Commission awarded him Rs. 40,000 in compensation.

The Commission imposed interest at a rate of 9% per annum for non-compliance within the stipulated time, dating back to the complaint's filing. Moreover, the opposite parties were mandated to pay an extra Rs. 10,000 toward the costs of the proceedings. Sharing his insights with The Mooknayak, Aditya Nair, a practising lawyer at the Kochi High Court said Selvan's journey is an inspiration to all about the accessibility of justice for individuals, even those with limited educational backgrounds, through determined self-representation. The victory not only upheld Selvan's right to a functional product but also acknowledged the mental and financial stress endured during the protracted legal battle.

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