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Krishna Auto Sales & Another v/s Metlonic Industries Pvt. Ltd.

    Appeal Case No. 529 of 2007

    Decided On, 31 May 2007

    At, Union Territory Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission UT Chandigarh

    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellants: Aftab Singh Bakhshi, Advocate. For the Respondent: None.

Judgment Text

K.C. Gupta, President:

1. This appeal has been directed by opposite parties against order dated 23.4.2007 passed by Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II, U.T.Chandigarh (hereinafter to be referred as District Consumer Forum), vide which complaint of respondent M/s. Metlonics Industries Pvt. Ltd. was accepted and the appellants were directed to pay Rs. 50,000 on account of deficiency in service as well as mental and physical harassment, etc., besides Rs. 2,500 as litigation expenses. They were further directed to deliver the vehicle in question on any working day between 9.00 a.m.to 5.00 p.m. to the respondent with prior intimation to it as the vehicle, as per letter Annexure C-6 had already been repaired.

2. Briefly stated the facts are that M/s. Metlonic Industries Pvt. Ltd. respondent (complainant) had purchased Skoda Superb 2.5 diesel engine car manufactured by M/s. Skoda Auto India Ltd. appellant No. 2 from its dealer i.e. appellant No.1. Appellant No.1 also runs its sale and service centre at Chandigarh on behalf of appellant No. 2. Respondent had taken delivery of the car on 20.4.2006 vide invoice Annexure C-1 after making payment of Rs. 22,36,000 to appellant No. 1. Before getting its delivery, respondent got the car insured with New India Assurance Company.

3. It was next averred that Sh. Sukhdev Singh, Director of respondent firm along with his wife was returning to Chandigarh in the car in question on 2.9.2006 after attending some function at Jallandhar. When they started from Jallandhar it was raining. When they reached Basti Shekh Gah Mandi, Jallandhar at about 4.00 p.m. then vehicles ahead his car were passing through the road of Basti Shekh on which there was somewhat blocked rain water but when his Skoda car moved from the said blocked rain water, then it suddenly stopped. Sukhdev Singh immediately contacted OP No.1 and requested to depute its service engineer to rectify the defect, so that they could reach Chandigarh in time. The appellant No. 1 deputed service engineer from its Jallandhar office who reached the spot after several hours and he tried to restart the car but it could not be started and then service engineer told Sukhdev Singh that the vehicle had to be towed and had to be taken to service centre for necessary repairs and accordingly it was taken to their workshop on the same day i.e. 2.9.2006 and they had to spend night at Jallandhar in a hotel and paid Rs. 3,836 as expenses. The job card dated 2.9.2006 Ex. C-2/A was prepared in which signatures of Sukhdev Singh were obtained and appellant gave estimate of repairs to the tune of Rs. 3.5 lacs. He had made clear to the appellants that the car was still within warranty and they were supposed to repair the car without any charges. Sukhdev Singh also gave information to the insurer of the car who deputed its Surveyor and completed formalities. However, appellant No.1 failed to repair the car, although a period of one month had elapsed and ultimately told that it would be given to him after repairs on 3.11.2006.

4. It was next averred that appellant No.1 on 3.11.2006 was bringing the vehicle from their Jallandhar workshop to Chandigarh but on the way some default occurred due to which it was again taken back to Jallandhar and on 10.11.2006, Sukhdev Singh received call from appellant No. 1 that the car had been repaired and was lying at its workshop at Chandigarh and advised him to bring cheque of Rs. 2,81,020 for delivery of the vehicle. He immediately reached the workshop along with payment but on sitting inside the car found that there was signal light indicating that the defect was still there and consequently he informed appellant No. 1 which called its mechanic who after examination told that further a period of two days was required to check the fault.

5. It was next averred that after some days, he was again called to take delivery of the car but on examination found that there was vibration in the car and further car on start gave noise and also found that the appellant had mishandled the car and a number of scratches had appeared on the car. After some days, he again visited the workshop and found that the same set of problems was there in the car and then he went back and appellant No.1 informed him on telephone for taking delivery of the car but on his visit, he found that delivery could not be given as there was leakage in the oil seal and thus, appellant had failed to put the car in proper condition after repairs.

6. Alleging deficiency in service, respondent prayed that appellant be directed to refund the total price of the car, Rs. 3,836 spent on stay in hotel, Rs. 3,000 on conveyance from Jalandhar to Chandigarh and Rupees one lac on account of mental and physical harassment besides Rs. 10,000 as litigation expenses.

7. The appellant No. 1 contested the complaint and stated that there was no deficiency on its part and respondent (complainant) had been compensated by the Insurance Company to the tune of Rs. 2,40,852. It further stated that the car was driven through a pool of water which was very deep and the level of water reached the upper parts of the engine, so, as to submerge it and as a result thereof water entered into both cylinders and cracked the camshaft and the galleries of cylinder block were blocked and Annexures R-1, R-2, R-3 and R-4 showed the presence of water in the air filter and cylinders. Thus, the engine had been seized and it was due to negligence of the driver who was not careful enough and drove the vehicle into deep water. It further stated that there was no manufacturing defect in the engine. It next stated that the car had already run 18591 kilometres up to 2.9.2006 and there was no complaint whatsoever.

8. Appellant No. 2 also took similar pleas as taken by appellant No. 1.

9. Parties adduced their evidence by way of affidavits.

10. After hearing Counsel for the parties, District Consumer Forum accepted the complaint with costs vide order dated 23.4.2007 and awarded compensation as stated in the earlier part of the judgment.

11. Aggrieved by the said order, opposite parties have filed the present appeal.

12. We have heard Counsel for the appellants Mr. Aftab Singh Bakhshi and carefully gone through the file.

13. Admittedly the respondent had purchased Skoda car from appellant No. 1 which was manufactured by appellant No. 2 for a sum of Rs.22,36,000 on 20.4.2006. On 2.9.2006 it was raining when Sukhdev Singh Director of the respondent was returning to Chandigarh and his Skoda car suddenly stopped in the area of Basti Shekh, Gah Mandi, Jallandhar at 4.00 p.m. where a little rain water was blocked. Thus, according to Sukhdev Singh proprietor of respondent there was a little blocked rain water in Basti Shekh where the car stopped and all efforts to start the car failed. It is difficult to believe that the car had gone into deep water. It was costly car. Sukhdev Singh could not even think of plunging costly car in deep water. The car should have the capacity to bear normal or heavy rain. The engine should not have stopped. It appears that there was some inherent defect in the engine or its parts due to which water entered into engine and caused its seizure. It is true that respondent had been compensated by the Insurance Company to the tune of Rs. 2,40,852 on the basis of Annexure R-9 submitted by the Surveyor. Insurance Company had given the claim considering it to be a genuine claim on the basis of report of Surveyor. Now certainly there is deficiency on the part of appellants because the car was handed over to appellant No. 1 on 2.9.2006 but it was not fully repaired for a number of months. It was during the pendency of the complaint on 24.3.2007, appellant No. 1 wrote letter to the respondent Annexure C-6 stating that the car was ready after repairs and its delivery could be taken. Taking about seven months in repairing the defect in the engine which was due to entering of rain water into cylinder/engine of car is certainly deficiency in service. It is not headache of the respondent if appellants had to get spare parts from Czech Republic or from other Skoda store. It was incumbent upon them to keep parts in the workshop.

14. Counsel for appellants contended that the car had been repaired and even call was given to respondent to collect the car from workshop at Chandigarh as it was shifted from Jallandhar workshop to Chandigarh workshop and Sukhdev Singh did not intentionally take delivery as he did not want to make payment of the amount. However, Sukhdev Singh had stated that there was signal light indicating the defect and as such the proper repair was not done and the mechanic of appellant No.1 promised to check the same and sought two days’ more time to remove the defect. When again respondent was called to take delivery of the car, on examination he found that there was vibration in the car and on start, it gave noise and number of scratches had been made on the body of the car and appellant No.1 promised to remove the same but the same were not removed and then he received call for delivery of the car but he found that there was leakage in the oil seal of the car and as such appellant No. 1 failed to put the car in smooth running condition by rectifying the defects. Thus, it cannot be said that the appellant No. 1 had repaired the car at the earliest. Cert

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ainly appellant took sufficient long time to repair the car which caused mental as well as financial loss to the respondent. 15. Counsel for appellants further contended that as a result of hydrostatic lock, car had to be repaired in a phased manner, so as to rectify the defects due to complex operations. In our opinion, an expert could repair the car in a reasonable period and would not have taken long period of seven months. Even if the entire engine and spare parts had to be repaired/overhauled then it could have been done at best within a period of one month. A person who had spent more than Rupees 22 lacs wants to use the car at the earliest but he was deprived of its use by the negligent and unfair trade practice adopted by appellants. Consequently they had been rightly burdened to pay Rs. 50,000 which in our opinion is on the lower side. 16. Hence, we hold that there is no force in the appeal and as such it is dismissed in limine. 17. Copies of this order be communicated to the parties, free of charge.