This revision petition has been filed by the petitioner D.D. Industries Ltd. against the order dated 04.01.2007 of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Delhi, (in short ‘the State Commission’) passed in Appeal No.762 of 2006.
2. Brief facts of the case are that the respondent gave his diesel bus to the petitioner for converting it to a CNG based bus and an agreement dated 01.01.2002 was signed by the parties in this regard. The consideration to be paid was Rs.4,00,000/- and the bus was to be given after conversion within 10 days. However, the petitioner did not hand over the bus in time and it was found by the complainant that even after conversion to CNG, the bus could not be registered as CNG bus with the Regional Transport Officer because the petitioner was not authorised to undertake such conversion for this model of the bus. The petitioner got the certificate for such conversion only in 2003. Thus, the complainant suffered huge loss due to non-use of the bus for a long period. The complainant filed a consumer complaint being Complaint No.305/05 before the District Forum, Sheikh Sarai-II, New Delhi, (in short ‘the District Forum’). The District Forum vide its order dated 29.08.2005 passed the following order:-
“Admittedly the Bus is in the possession of OP, who is holding it on account of non-payment of conversion charges. We therefore, direct the OP to deliver the bus to the complainant in good condition within 60 days. Complainant will arrange to pay the balance of Rs.3 Lacs to the OP at the time of taking delivery of the CNG converted bus. No order as to cost. Copy of this order be supplied to both the parties as per rules.”
3. Complainant preferred appeal bearing No.762 of 2006 before the State Commission. The State Commission vide its order dated 04.01.2007 allowed the appeal and passed the following order:-
“(i) The respondent shall pay interest @12% on the amount of Rs.1 Lacs w.e.f. 07-04-2002 till 24-01-2003.
(ii) The respondent shall compensate the appellant by paying at the rate of Rs.2,000/- per day for the aforesaid period, i.e. 07-04-2002 to 24-01-2003, which comes to Rs.5,86,000/- (07-04-2002 to 24-01-2003 = 293 days x 2000 =5,86,00/-).
(iii) The respondent shall also pay Rs.20,000/- as cost of litigation and compensation for mental agony.”
4. Hence the present revision petition.
5. None was present on behalf of the petitioner on the day of final hearing. None was present on the previous date of hearing i.e. 10.12.2019 also. Therefore, this being an old matter, learned counsel for the respondent was heard for passing the final order in accordance with Section 13 (2) (C) read with Section 22 (1) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
6. The petitioner in the grounds of revision petition has mainly stated that the complainant is not a consumer as the complainant has got the CNG Kit installed in his vehicle for commercial purpose. Moreover, the complainant had submitted two vehicles for conversion to CNG based engine. Thus, it cannot be said that he had two vehicles for earning the livelihood by means of self-employment. The State Commission has ignored this fact that the complainant is not a consumer.
7. It has further been mentioned in the grounds of revision petition that the delay in delivery has happened on account of the fact that the respondent had not paid the remaining amount of Rs.3,00,000/- to the petitioner and it was not possible to hand over the vehicle without receiving the full consideration amount. As the licence for such conversion were to be issued by the competent authority, on the basis of the model of the vehicle, the respondent’s vehicle was submitted to the competent authority for getting the certificate authorising the petitioner for conversion of diesel engine to CNG based engine. Thus, sometime was lost in getting this certificate. Thus, the petitioner cannot be penalised for getting the required certificate.
8. On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondent/complainant stated that as per the agreement the bus was to be returned back after fitting the CNG Kit in 10 days, however, the same was not returned to the complainant within the stipulated time. Moreover, when the bus was given to the petitioner for conversion to CNG based engine, the petitioner was not having relevant certificate to convert the diesel bus to a CNG based bus for the model of the bus. This certificate was only obtained on 24.01.2003. Thus, it is clear that the petitioner was not having the authorisation to convert the diesel bus to a CNG bus, however, the petitioner entered into the agreement with the complainant for such conversion. The State Commission has accordingly found the petitioner deficient in services and has ordered to pay at the rate of Rs.2,000/- per day from 07.04.2002 to 24.01.2003 to the complainant.
9. I have carefully considered the arguments of the learned counsel for the respondent and examined record. The total amount of Rs.4,00,000/- for conversion to CNG based bus was to be paid and the complainant had paid only Rs.1,00,000/- and therefore, the District Forum had to pass an order to pay Rs.3,00,000/- by the complainant to the petitioner so that the vehicle could be released by the petitioner. Thus, it is clear that the vehicle was not released by the petitioner due to non-payment of the remaining amount of Rs.3,00,000/- by the complainant. Thus, no compensation can be granted on the ground of delay in releasing the vehicle. Clearly, the State Commission has granted compensation from the date of handing over the vehicle till the date of obtaining the relevant certificate and this decision of the State Commission is correct in the facts and circumstances of the case. However, the amount of compensation comes more than Rs.5,00,000/-, whereas, the total charges for conversion is only Rs.4,00,000/- which the petitioner has ultimately received. Had the complainant made payment of Rs.3,00,000/- prior to obtaining the certificate, the vehicle could have been released by the petitioner and therefore, even for this period, the compensation granted by the State Commission seems to be on a high
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er side. In the facts and circumstances of the case, I deem it appropriate to order a lump sum compensation of Rs.1,00,000/- (rupees one lakh only) instead of Rs.5,86,000/- as awarded by the State Commission. The cost of litigation of Rs.20,000/- will also be paid to the respondent/complainant by the petitioner. Both these amounts will be paid along with interest @6% p.a. from the date of order of the State Commission i.e. 04.01.2007 till actual payment. The order of the State Commission stands accordingly modified. This order be complied with by the petitioner within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of this order. Revision Petition No.1091 of 2007 is accordingly disposed of.