New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed a criminal case registered against Samsung India Electronics on a complaint by one Ashok Chaurdia, alleging cheating and criminal conspiracy by marketing a 29-inch television set with an actual viewer screen of 27.2 inches.
Quashing the case on the company’s plea, an apex court bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice R.K. Agrawal said Samsung should tell the customers the actual size of the screen they (customers) would get to view.
The court said its order that a buyer of the television set should be told about the actual size of the viewer screen held good for other electronic companies marketing television sets.
The court order came after counsel for Samsung told the court that what they had said in their brochures was done by other companies as well and was a market practice.
In the instant case, Ashok Chaurdia of Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh bought a Samsung TV after being told it had a screen of 29 inches. However, upon measuring, he found it to be 27.2 inches — 1.8 inches shorter than what he was told at the time of purchase.
After representation to the Samsung, Ashok Chaurdia filed a complaint and the trial court issued bailable warrants against Samsung India Electronic and its executives.
Samsung denied the allegations, contending that the screen size mentioned was in fact the size of the picture tube and not the viewing area. They backed up their point by referring to the prevalent market practices and the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturing Association certificates.
The electronic giant moved the Madhya Pradesh High Court challenging the criminal case but the court declined to quash the case, saying that nowhere did the company said that a part of the 29-inch picture tube would be covered by the bezel or frame.
On an appeal challenging the 2008 high court order, the apex court by its December 19, 2008 order stayed the proceedings before the trial court.