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Prosperous Automobiles Pvt. Ltd. v/s Aparna Mukherjee & Others

    First Appeal No. FA/976 of 2014

    Decided On, 02 January 2018

    At, West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Kolkata

    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellant: Annesha Saha M.S. Roy Chowdhury, Advocate. For the Respondents: Shreemoyee Ghosh, Dilip Kumar Adak, Advocates.

Judgment Text

Shyamal Gupta, Presiding Member

1. Appeal Nos. FA/976/2014 and FA/995/2014 are directed against the same Order dated 6.8.2014 passed by the learned District Forum, Howrah in C.C. No. 53/2014 whereof the complaint has been allowed.

2. Briefly narrated, case of the Complainant is that, he purchased a chassis, being manufactured by the OP No. 2, from the OP No. 1 at a cost of Rs. 13,50,000. At the time of taking delivery of the chassis, he noticed from the delivery challan that the supplier delivered a used chassis. Therefore, he raised strong protest with the OPs, but in vain. It is alleged that, within a very short period of taking delivery of the chassis, the same started malfunctioning every now and then. Therefore, the bus had to be sent to the service centre number of times, who kept the same for a considerable period of time for doing necessary repairing causing huge loss of earning to the Complainant. Being frustrated, Complainant asked the OPs to replace the defective chassis, but to no avail. Hence, the complaint.

3. Case of the OP No. 1, on the other hand, is that, after purchasing the chassis, the Complainant converted it into a Minibus at his own cost. It is further stated that modification of the chassis was done during body building. In the process of body building, position of the battery was changed for which, length of the wire got changed that gave rise to some difficulty. When the vehicle was brought to the service centre of the OP No. 1, fault with the wiring was detected and the same was duly rectified. Regarding the allegation of supply of used chassis, it is clarified by this OP that it is well known fact that chassis of commercial vehicles come from the plant of the manufacturer. In the process of bringing such chassis from the manufacturer’s plant to the distributor’s end, as also during trial run, the chassis run considerable distance. As a result, delivery challan denoted 1,902 kms. at the time of delivering the chassis to the Complainant. It is claimed by the OP that it provided due service for normal/regular service to the Complainant during the warranty period as and when sought for. It is pointed out by this OP that the subject vehicle has already run 29,937 kms. which amply proves the frivolity of the allegation of the Complainant regarding manufacturing defect of the chassis. According to this OP, had the chassis indeed suffered from any sort of manufacturing defect, it could not cover such long distance.

4. Case of the OP No. 2, in short, is that the Complainant purchased a new vehicle which requires mandatory servicing and replacement of specified components, viz., air filter, fuel filter, etc. at recommended intervals as mentioned in the owner’s manual and service book given at the time of sale, for smooth running and optimum performance. However, Complainant, failed/neglected to follow the guidelines given in the owner’s manual. The Complainant has not produced any record to show that he regularly serviced the vehicle, as per the recommended service schedule. Allegedly, during free servicing as well as paid servicing, it was noticed that there were instances of maintenance faults on the part of the Complainant. Therefore, Complainant was asked to follow the instruction given in the owner’s book and service manual. It is the further case of this OP that in case of improper maintenance and servicing of the vehicle, warranty ceases to exist. It is also pointed out that no specific defect has been referred to by the Complainant.

Decision with reasons

5. Heard the learned Advocates of the parties and gone through the material on record.

It appears from the petition of complaint that although the Respondent No. 1 alleged that from the very beginning he faced great difficulty with the subject chassis for which the mini bus had to be sent to the service centre of the Appellant number of times, he did not furnish a single job card to drive home such point. On the other hand, it is claimed by the Appellant that it was nothing but normal/regular servicing. In fact, on going through the photo-copies of Invoice dated 8.8.2013, 2.9.2013, 14.9.2013, 4.10.2013, 8.10.2013, 16.11.2013, it transpires that the Respondent No. 1 was billed for normal servicing like shift cable, Pipe EGR housing inlet, engine oil, greece, hand light bulb, cartridge filter, by pass filter, clutch spring, old cloth, etc. Surely, the same does not reflect any sort of manufacturing defect.

6. No doubt, when a commercial vehicle is pressed into service, it develops various kinds of problems due to normal wear and tear. This is normal phenomenon of any commercial vehicle. However, manufacturing defect is altogether different. Manufacturing defect is defined as a deviation from design specifications during production resulting in a product’s defect, frailty or shortcoming. In order to prove this, it is essential that an expert report is furnished. It is quite interesting to note that the Respondent No. 1 made no such prayer before the learned District Forum to get the vehicle inspected through a mechanical expert to establish such fact.

7. Merely because the vehicle was sent to the service centre number of times, that does not necessarily prove that there was some designing flaw with the chassis. The learned District Forum ought to do extensive forensic analysis of the job cards before making up its mind.

8. The manufacturing defect in the vehicle is different from the simple defect and the burden lies on the claimant (Complainant) to prove that the vehicle in question is having manufacturing defect. Merely making allegation that the vehicle in question is having inherent manufacturing defect is not sufficient to establish that the vehicle in question is having any manufacturing defect. Mere allegation does not prove anything; it is the immaculate evidence that matter the most.

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/>9. It appears that the learned District Forum allowed the case purely on surmises and conjecture which cannot be the foundation of any judicious decision. The allegation of manufacturing defect being not proved beyond all reasonable doubt, in our considered opinion, the Respondent No. 1 deserves no relief. The Appeals, thus, succeed. Hence, ORDERED That the Appeals stand allowed on contest against the Respondent No. 1. The impugned order is hereby set aside. Let the original copy of this order be kept in the case record of FA/976/2014 and photocopy thereof in FA/995/2014. Appeals allowed.