The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum at Shimoga (Karnataka) has penalised Airtel for deficiency in providing Internet access when it blocked torrent sites earlier this year, following a Madras High Court Order received by Copyright Labs. Ruling in favour of the complainant, Vinay B, a resident of Shimoga, the consumer forum has directed Airtel to pay Rs 20,000 to the complainant (and pay interest at 9% per annum till date of payment), for deficiency in service and for causing mental agony, and Rs 2,000 towards litigation charges. A copy of the Court's order is available here. Complaint: Vinay B, a resident of Shimoga, filed a complaint against Airtel, alleging that while trying to access a torrent site from his mobile phone over a GPRS connection, he encountered the “Access to this site has been blocked as per court orders” message, in place of the web page. Following calls and e-mails to the customer service, Airtel failed to come up with a satisfactory response, and apparently misinterpreted the Madras High Court order blocking an entire website instead of a particular film clip, according to the complainant. Airtel's nodal officer came up with a response that the court order did not specify if Airtel should not ban the entire site, instead. Vinay informs MediaNama that he had the support of a consumer rights organization called CREDIT (Citizen Rights Education Development and Implementation Trust from Bhadravathi, Karnataka. Forum's observations: The forum observed that the blocking of the site 'amounts to deficiency in service and…
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