Wed. Feb 28th, 2024
Compensation

By Staff Reporter

The Gujarat State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has rejected a compensation claim of Rs 1 lakh for rooftop solar panel damage caused during a cyclone in Bhavnagar. The commission stated that warranties provided by solar panel companies do not cover damage from external forces.

The Gujarat State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has overturned an order that awarded Rs 1 lakh in compensation for damage suffered by rooftop solar panels during a cyclone in Bhavnagar in 2020. The commission emphasized that the warranty offered by the solar panel company, Sanelite Solar Pvt Ltd, was limited to manufacturing defects and installation issues, with no provision for damages caused by external forces.

The case involved Jayendrasinh Jadeja, a retired police officer, who had installed 3.10 KW solar panels on his house in March 2019 after paying Rs 85,000 to Sanelite Solar Pvt Ltd. The company had provided a five-year warranty for the product. During a cyclone on June 1, 2020, three solar panels detached from Jadeja’s house and were damaged. When Jadeja requested repairs, three more panels were accidentally damaged during the dismantling process. However, the company refused to provide repairs under the warranty.

Jadeja filed a lawsuit against the company at the Bhavnagar District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, arguing that the company had supplied substandard materials and had performed a below-standard installation. Therefore, he believed the company was responsible for repairing or compensating for the damages. The district commission ordered the company to pay Rs 1 lakh in damages, along with additional amounts for mental harassment and legal expenses.

However, the company and its owners appealed the compensation order to the state commission. The state commission observed that Jadeja’s case did not prove any malfunctioning of the solar panels or the use of inferior quality materials during installation. They further highlighted that the product warranty did not cover damages caused by natural forces such as a cyclone. Consequently, the state commission overturned the compensation order, stating that manufacturers cannot be held liable for damages caused by external forces beyond their control.

In conclusion, the Gujarat State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has denied compensation for the damaged solar panels, highlighting that the warranty provided by the solar panel company did not cover damages caused by natural forces such as a cyclone. This decision reinforces the limited liability of manufacturers when it comes to damage caused by external forces impacting their products.