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Kotak Mahindra Prime Limited v/s Sidharth Gaind & Another

Company & Directors' Information:- KOTAK MAHINDRA PRIME LIMITED [Active] CIN = U67200MH1996PLC097730

Company & Directors' Information:- R SIDHARTH & COMPANY (INDIA) PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U17111WB1991PTC051089

    Revision Petition No. 767 of 2009 in Appeal No. 436 of 2006

    Decided On, 17 April 2009

    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC

    By, MEMBER

    For the Petitioner: Ujjwal K. Jha, Advocate. For the Respondents: None.

Judgment Text

Dr. P.D. Shenoy, Member:

1. In this case the complainant had purchased a Mitsubishi Lancer car from the petitioner, M/s. Kotak Mahindra Prime Ltd., through a broker, Chintu Car Point for Rs. 5,55,000. On 16.1.2002, the registration of the vehicle was transferred in the name of the complainant. On 28.7.2005, the complainant, Mr. Sidharth Gaind was summoned by the Police Authorities in relation to the criminal case filed by the original owner of the vehicle, whose vehicle was forcibly seized by the agents of the petitioner. This resulted in physical and mental agony and harassment to the complainant. Subsequently, the police gave back the vehicle to the complainant on ‘Superdari’ basis. Therefore, the complainant filed a case before the District Forum.

2. The District Forum held that the sale of the car is a financial transaction, which cannot be proved by oral evidence i.e., by way of affidavit. No date of sale, amount paid and sale letters are filed in spite of ample opportunities are given to M/s. Kotak Mahindra Prime Ltd., O.P. 1 in the months of February and March, 2006. The complainant had filed copy of the letter confirming that car was re-possessed by O.P. 1., Kotak Mahindra Prime Ltd., Delhi. The title was passed in favour of complainant by M/s. Kotak Mahindra Prime Ltd. directly. Hence the District Forum held that the story of selling the car by M/s. Kotak Mahindra Prime Ltd. to Chintu Car Point is false. The District Forum also quoted Section 14 of the Sale of Goods Act and held that it is squarely applicable to the case on hand. The District Forum held that the vehicle was sold to the complainant with an imperfect title. Accordingly the District Forum ordered as under:

Both OPs jointly and severally-

(i) to pay a sum of Rs. 5,55,000 to the complainant against delivery of vehicle i.e., DL-7SR 0022 by the complainant and no objection certificate from the financier;

(ii) to pay a sum of Rs. 5,000 as cost of litigation within 60 days. Copy be sent to both the parties as per rule.

3. Aggrieved by the order of the District Forum, an appeal was filed by the petitioner before the State Commission wherein it was urged that there was lack of privity of contract between the petitioner and the complainant. The vehicle was sold by the petitioner to the broker who in turn sold the vehicle to the complainant and there was no problem for 4 long years and it was for some short period the vehicle was seized by the police but was later on returned to the complainant on Superdari. Therefore, the compensation awarded by the District Forum was on the higher side. The State Commission on re-appraisal of the evidence and the facts partly allowed the appeal filed by the petitioner and directed the petitioner to refund the cost of the vehicle after deducting 10% of the depreciated value per year only on return of the vehicle to the appellant.

4. We have heard the arguments of the learned Counsel for the petitioner. The revision petitioner had re-possessed the vehicle forcibly through its agents for default in instalments committed by the borrower which act itself is against the law of the land. Our view is supported by the judgment of this Commission in Citicorp Maruti Finance Ltd. v. S. Vijayalaxmi, III (2007) CPJ 161 (NC) and also by the judgment of the Hon’ble Apex Court in ICICI Bank v. Prakash Kaur & Ors., 138 (2007) DLT 248 (SC)=III (2007) SLT 1=I (2007) CCR 538 (SC)=I (2007) DLT (Crl.) 865 (SC)=(2007) 2 SCC 771.

5. There is no proof that the vehicle was sold by the petitioner to the car broker, M/s. Chintu Car Point and who in turn had sold the same to the complainant. On the other hand it is proved that the car was directly sold by the petitioner to the complainant. In fact the defective title was passed on the complainant for which he had to suffer at the hands of the police.

6. Though the District Forum has directed payment of the purchase value of the car along with cost of Rs. 5,000 the State Commission had reduced the compensation on a realistic basis i.e., they have directed refund of the value of th

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e car minus 10% depreciated value per year only on return of the vehicle to the appellant. 7. Therefore, we do not see any material irregularity or jurisdictional error in the order passed by the State Commission warranting our intervention under Section 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Accordingly, this Revision Petition is dismissed. The petitioner shall pay Rs. 5,000 as cost to the respondent No. 1/complainant. R.P. dismissed.