1. The complainant/respondent purchased one Tata Indigo ECS car from the petitioner on 27.06.2014. The vehicle delivered to him had been manufactured in December, 2013. The case of the complainant is that he wanted to buy only a 2014 model car and at the time of sale of the vehicle, it was not disclosed to him that the vehicle being sold and delivered to him, had been manufactured in the year 2013. This was also the case of the complainant/respondent that the vehicle had got rusted from inside and this was discovered when the vehicle met with a minor accident and was taken to the workshop. Being aggrieved from the sale of an old model and a defective car being sold to him, the complainant/respondent approached the concerned District Forum by way of a complaint.
2. The complaint was resisted by the petitioner primarily on the ground that at the time of the sale, it had been disclosed to the complainant that the vehicle being sold and delivered to him was a 2013 model. It was further stated in the reply that there was no rusting in the vehicle which was a brand new vehicle at the time it was sold and delivered.
3. The District Forum vide its order dated 13.10.2015, directed the petition to pay a sum of Rs. 6,05,000/- to the complainant alongwith compensation quantified at Rs. 1,00,000/- and cost of litigation quantified at Rs. 10,000/-.
4. Being aggrieved from the order passed by the District Forum, the petitioner approached the concerned State Commission by way of an appeal. Vide impugned order dated 05.04.2016, the State Commission reduced the quantum of compensation from Rs. 1,00,000/- to Rs. 50,000/- and the cost of litigation from Rs. 10,000/- to Rs. 5,000/- but maintained rest of the order passed by the District Forum. Being still dissatisfied, the petitioner is before this Commission by way of a revision petition.
5. The only question which arises for consideration in this case is as to whether the petitioner had disclosed to the complainant or not, that the vehicle being sold and delivered to him was a 2013 model. The learned counsel for the petitioner has drawn my attention to the Certificate of Registration of the vehicle, which bears the year of manufacture as 12/2013. The contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the vehicle is registered on the basis of an application form signed by the purchaser and therefore, it is evident that the complainant was fully aware of the fact that the vehicle had been manufactured in December, 2013.
6. The petitioner has not placed on record the copy of the application form which was submitted to the Regional Transport Office for the purpose of registration of the vehicle. In the absence of the application form, it cannot be known as to who had filled up the year of manufacture in the said application form. It is a normal practice for the car dealers to get the vehicle registered and fill up the application form for this purpose. In the present case, there are two documents which indicate that the complainant was not informed that the car had been manufactured in December 2013. In the delivery receipt of the vehicle, there was no indication that the vehicle had been manufactured in December 2013. More importantly, in the insurance policy, which the petitioner itself got issued to the complainant, the year of manufacture of the vehicle was recorded as 2014. The State Commission noted in this regard that the insurance policy bears the seal of the petitioner, meaning thereby that the insurance policy was purchased by the complainant through the petitioner company. The insurance policy bearing 2014 as the year of manufacture of the vehicle, leaves no reasonable doubt that a misrepresentation was made to the complainant as regards the year of manufacture of the vehicle. The complainant therefore, was fully justified in approaching the District Forum by way of a complaint and seeking refund of the price of the vehicle.
7. However, I find merit in the learned counsel for the petitioner that having used the vehicle for a substantial period, the complainant was not entitled to full refund of the price paid by him and only the depreciated value of the vehicle should be paid to him. The order by the District Forum came to be passed on 13.10.2015 which was about 1 year and 4 months after sale of the vehicle to the complainant. I therefore, feel that the depreciation for 1 year and 4 months should be deducted from the principal amount of Rs. 6,05,000/- awarded by the District Forum and maintained by the State Commission.
8. The learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the vehicle in question is still in the use of the complainant and by now, it has become more than two years old. His contention is that depreciation for more than two years should be deducted from the original price of the vehicle. As noted earlier, the order by the District Forum came to be passed on 13.10.2015. There is no evidence of the petitioner having offered the amount awarded by the District Forum to the complainant against the delivery of the vehicle, soon after the said order came to be passed. Though the complainant may still be using the vehicle, the fact remains that the petitioner has also been utilizing the amount which ought to have been paid to the complainant in compliance of the order passed by the District Forum.
9. Considering all the facts and circumstances of the case, the revision petition is disposed of with a direction to the petitioner to pay a sum
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of Rs. 4,50,000/- to the complainant within six weeks from today, without any additional compensation or cost of litigation. If the payment in terms of this order is not made within six weeks from today, it shall carry interest @ 10% per annum from the date of filing of the complaint. The complainant shall deliver the vehicle to the petitioner while receiving the aforesaid amount from it. The complainant shall also execute all such documents including sale letter etc. as may be required by the petitioner company for the purpose of transfer of the vehicle in its name. The revision petition stands disposed of.