This Revision Petition has been instituted under Section 21(b) of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (the 'Act 1986') impugning the Order dated 01.11.2013 of The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chhattisgarh (the 'State Commission') in First Appeal No. 681 of 2012 arising out of the Order dated 23.10.2012 in C.C. No. 23 of 2003 passed by The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Sarguja (the 'District Forum').
The Petitioners, Mr. Shashank Shah, Mr. Nitant Shah and Mr. Ravi Budhiya, were the Opposite Parties before the District Forum (the 'Opposite Parties').
The Respondent, Mr. Gurjeet Singh Maan, was the Complainant before the District Forum (the 'Complainant').
2. Heard arguments from the learned Counsel for the Opposite Parties and the learned Counsel for the Complainant.
Perused the material on record, including inter alia the Order dated 23.10.2012 of the District Forum, the impugned Order dated 01.11.2013 of the State Commission and the Petition.
3. In the interest of justice, to provide fair opportunity to the Opposite Parties, to settle the matter on merit, the delay in filing the Petition is condoned.
4. The short point in this case is delivery of a second-hand car, instead of a new car, by the Opposite Parties to the Complainant, after obtaining the full consideration price of a new car.
5. The rival contentions have been succinctly worded in paras 2 and 3 of the State Commission's impugned Order of 01.11.2013:
2. The case of the complainant before the District Forum was that he purchased a Tata Sumo Spacio vehicle from the OPs at the cost of Rs.4,05,309/-. Later on it was observed that the vehicle was earlier sold to one Hardeep Singh Hora and that secondhand vehicle was provided by the respondents/OPs to the complainant and so the vehicle was not that, which was promised by the OPs i.e. firsthand brand new vehicle and thus on account of sell of old vehicle, the OPs/respondents at the place of new one, it is liable to refund the entire cost of the vehicle to the complainant.
3. The OPs/respondents refuted the allegations leveled by the complainant in the complaint and averred that at the time of Chhatisgarh Rajyotsav Fair, the vehicle was booked by Hardeep Singh Hora, on payment of Rs.10,000/-. But, later on, no amount was paid by that person and the vehicle was never delivered to Hardeep Singh Hora and so it remained a branch new vehicle and it was sold to the complainant. As such it was not an old or secondhand vehicle and so no amount was payable to the complainant as compensation.
6. The District Forum vide its Order dated 23.10.2012 allowed the Complaint in part and made the following award:
1) The complainant is directed to return the vehicle Tata Sumo No. C.G. 15/6008, Chassis No. 421055 H.Y.Z. 915910 Engine No. 497 S.P. 26 H.Y.Z. 883508 with its papers to the respondent within one month from the date of orders.
2) Respondents, jointly or severally, are directed to pay the amount of Rs.4,05,309.00 (Rupees four lacs five thousand three hundred nine only) to the complainant within the period of one month from the date of order.
3) Respondents are directed to pay the compensation amount of Rs.5,000/- to the complainant against physical, mental and financial problem and disturbance undergone by the complainant.
4) Respondents shall bear their own costs and costs of the complaint of the Complainant Rs.2,000/-,(Rupees two thousand only) which includes counsel's fee also.
7. The Opposite Parties preferred appeal before the State Commission, challenging the said Order of the District Forum. The Complainant also preferred appeal before the State Commission, for enhancement in compensation.
8. The State Commission vide its Order of 01.11.2013 determined that the District Forum was correct in concluding that a second hand car was delivered to the Complainant instead of a new one ("Looking to the facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the considered view that learned District Forum is right in reaching at the conclusion that a secondhand vehicle was delivered to the complainant mentioning that the vehicle was new one. Therefore, the conclusion arrived by the District Forum, does not suffer from any irregularity or infirmity.").
It also determined that the compensation awarded by the District Forum was just and equitable ("The reason given by the learned District Forum for awarding the compensation to the complainant and rejecting rest of the prayer of the complainant, is just and proper and does not call for any interference by this Commission.").
The State Commission accordingly dismissed both appeals.
9. It is noted that the State Commission has passed a well appraised reasoned Order. It has concurred with the findings of the District Forum. No palpable error in appreciating the evidence is visible. The award made by the District Forum, as upheld by the State Commission, is just and equitable in the facts of the case. No jurisdictional error, or legal principle ignored, or miscarriage of justice, is visible.
10. It is well evinced from the examination made by the two Fora below that, after obtaining the total consideration price of Rs. 4,05,309/- for a new car, a second-hand car, instead of a new car, was delivered by the Opposite Parties to the Complainant. (It has been conclusively established that the subject car was first sold to one Mr. Hardeep Singh Hora, and, subsequent thereto, the car, then being a second-hand one, was sold to Mr. Gurjeet Singh Maan, the Complainant).
The factum of selling a second-hand car, in place of a new car, after accepting the full consideration price for a new car, inter alia constitutes
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'unfair trade practice' ("- - unfair method or unfair or deceptive practice - -") within the meaning of Section 2(1)(r) of the Act 1986. 11. Nothing warrants interference by this Commission in the exercise of its revisional jurisdiction. The Petition fails. The District Forum's Order, upheld by the State Commission, is sustained. 12. A copy each of this Order be sent by the Registry to both sides, as well as to their learned Counsel, and additionally to the District Commission, within three days from today. The stenographer is requested to upload this Order on the website of this Commission today itself.