R.C. Mankad, President:
1. Complainant booked Premier Padmini 137-D car for use as taxi through the opponent dealer on December 24,1991 and he was given priority No. (2)211. He deposited Rs. 15,000/- with the opponent under receipt Annexure-A at the time of booking the car. The opponent, thereafter, sent offer letter dated July 17,1992 requesting the complainant to contact it with documents mentioned therein within three weeks. The complainant was required to pay Rs. 1,69,000/- without octroi plus Rs. 22,270/- by way of security deposit or Rs. 1,76,130/- with octroi plus Rs. 23,200/- by way of security deposit by demand draft or local cheque. The above price was excluding insurance premium and RTO tax. It was stated that the amount of deposit of Rs. 15,000/- would be adjusted against the said price. The letter further stated to the effect that if the complainant failed to contact the opponent with any of the documents mentioned in the letter within the stipulated time, it would be presumed that he was no longer interested in his priority of Premier Padmini 137 D car for taxi use.
2. The complainant has stated that he obtained RTO permit on July 20, 1992 and went with demand draft of Rs. 1,76,270/- to the opponent on July 16,1992. The opponent, however, refused to accept the demand draft or to give delivery of the car. The complainant, thereafter, wrote letter dated December 17, 1992 to the opponent pointing out about the facts and stating that there was no satisfactory response or reply given by the opponent for not accepting the demand draft and to give delivery of the car. It was also pointed out to the opponent that deposit of Rs. 15,000/- still remained outstanding and, therefore, the opponent was duty bound to give delivery of the car. The opponent however, did not give delivery of the car. The complainant has, therefore, approached this Commission by way of this complaint seeking direction against the opponent to deliver the car and pay him compensation together with costs of this complaint.
3. The opponent has filed its written reply to the complaint at Exh. 5. It is not disputed that the complainant had booked Premier Padmini diesel car in taxi quota and he had deposited a sum of Rs. 15,000/-. The priority number given to the complainant is also not disputed. The opponent has admitted that letter dated July 17, 1992 was addressed to the complainant and he was required to deposit the balance of the amount within six weeks from the receipt of the letter. According to the opponent, thereafter it did not hear anything from the complainant till November 6, 1992 when it received letter from the complainant. The opponent has denied the allegation that it represented to the complainant that no car was available in the stock. The opponent had denied the allegatg on that the complainant had come will demand draft and necessary papers to take delivery of the car as alleged by him. It is denied that the complainant is entitled to delivery of the car or compensation as alleged by him.
4. There is no dispute that the complainant had booked Premier Padmini diesel car in taxi quota and deposited Rs. 15,000/- with the opponent on December 24, 1991. There is also no dispute that the opponent wrote to the complainant offer letter dated July 17, 1992 which is at Annexure-B to the complaint. The question is whether the complainant went to take delivery of the car with necessary papers and demand draft from the opponent. Copy of the letter dated August 12,1993 addressed by Sarvoday Commercial Co.op. Bank Ltd., Mehsana (Bank of short) to the complainant shows that he had taken loan to purchase the car and obtained demand draft for Rs. 1,69,000/- in favour of the opponent. The complainant would not have obtained this demand draft if he did not want to take delivery of the car. It further appears that the complainant paid back Rs. 1,69,000/- to the Bank on October 1,1992. He had to pay back the amount to the Bank because the opponent did not give him delivery of the car. In our opinion, therefore, the evidence on record does establish that the complainant had gone to the opponent with necessary papers and demand draft. According to the opponents, the complainant was required to make payment of the price of the car by demand draft within six weeks from the receipt of the letter dated July 17,1992. There is no evidence to show on what date the letter dated July 17, 1992 was received by the complainant. The period of six weeks would end in the end of August or beginning of September 1992 from the date of the letter. The complainant went with the demand draft on September 16, 1992. It would therefore appear that he was late only by few days in submitting the demand draft. However, for that reason, the opponent could not have refused to give delivery of the car to the complainant. It the car meant for the complainant was delivered to someone else because of the delay on his part in making the payment, the opponent could have offered to deliver the car within reasonable time after the payment was made. However, instead of offering to deliver the car within reasonable time, the opponent refused to accept the demand draft or to give delivery of the car. We are not prepared to believe the opponent’s statement that the complainant had never gone to it with demand draft to take delivery of the car. In our opinion, therefore, there is deficiency of services on the part of the opponent.
5. Mr. D.M. Parikh, learned Advocate for the complainant submitted at the time of hearing of the complaint that his client i.e. the complainant is willing to take delivery of the car at the present prevailing price. He, therefore, submitted that the opponent be directed to deliver the car within reasonable time at the present market price after making adjustment of deposit of Rs. 15,000/-together with interest @ 18% p.a. Prayer made by Mr. Parikh appears to be fair and reasonable. Since we ha
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ve held that the opponent was guilty of deficiency of service, it is under obligation to deliver the car and pay interest on 15,000/- as urged by Mr. Parikh. 6. In the result, we allow this complaint. The opponent is directed to deliver to the complainant Premier Padmini diesel car for use as taxi within one month from the date of receipt of this order on the complainant paying the present prevailing price of the car. The opponent shall adjust deposit of Rs. 15,000/- together with interest @ 18% p.a. from September 16, 1992 against the price of the car. The opponent shall also pay to the complainant Rs. 1,000/- by way of cost of this complaint.