Dr. (Mrs) Monika Malik, Member
1. This is an appeal by the appellant / opposite party no.1 against the order dated 10.09.12, passed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Satna, in complaint case no.393/11, whereby the complaint filed against them has been allowed.
2. Briefly stated facts of the case are that the complainant had filed a complaint before the District Forum, alleging deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of the opposite parties, by charging them Rs.800/- per vehicle extra, under the head of registration charges. It is stated that the complainants had purchased two ‘Hero – Honda Pleasure’ scooters from opposite party no.1 on 08.10.2010. The complainants alleged that the opposite party no.1 had taken Rs.30,000/- from them as an advance, on 27.09.2010. The complainants alleged that the registration charges for each vehicle as per the RTO norms was Rs.2904/- but the complainants were charged Rs.3704/-, per vehicle. It is alleged that the complainants were charged Rs.1600/- in an unfair manner, under the head of registration charges of both the vehicles. It is stated that when the complainants objected, the opposite party no.1 had threatened him regarding cancellation of booking. The aggrieved complainants, therefore, filed a complaint before the District Forum.
3. The opposite party no.1 resisted the complaint stating that they have not charged any amount unfairly from the complainants. It was stated that a sum of Rs.800/-, was charged from the complainants, to be given to an agent by the name of Rakesh Singh. It was stated that the amount so charged is not kept with the opposite party no.1 and is given to the agent to carry out the process of registration. It was stated that the agent Rakesh Singh is not their employee and the opposite party no.1 is nowhere benefitted from the amount taken in this regard.
4. The opposite party no.2 made a submission that no agent is appointed by them or authorized by them for the purpose of carrying out registration at dealers point. The opposite party no.2 stated that the RTO charges are charged as per the norms and nothing is charged by them to be given to any agent.
5. The District Forum after appreciating the facts and circumstances of the matter held that the opposite party no.1 has been deficient in service, by charging a sum of Rs.800/- per vehicle under the head of registration charges. The District Forum directed the opposite party no.1 to refund the amount so charged, which is Rs.1600/- in total, alongwith a sum of Rs.2000/- as compensation for mental agony, with Rs.1000/- as costs.
6. Aggrieved of the order passed by the District Forum, the opposite party no.1 / appellant preferred this appeal.
7. Heard the learned counsel for the opposite party no.1 / appellant. None present for complainants / respondent no.1, 2 and 3 though written arguments filed by them are there on record. Perused the record.
8. Learned counsel for the opposite party no.1/ appellant made a submission that a sum of Rs.800/-, which was charged additionally, was the amount that is given to the agent, in order to carry out the process of registration. It was argued that since a person is required to visit the RTO, in order to fulfill the requisite formalities, a certain amount is to be given to him, in order to ensure the process of registration is facilitated and completed within time. Learned counsel argued that the District Forum has been erroneous in passing the impugned order which calls for dismissal.
9. The respondent no.1 and 2 / complainants in their reply to the appeal have stated that the RTO, in their reply before the Forum, has categorically stated that no agent is appointed by them for the purpose of carrying out the process of registration. It is further stated that the appellant / opposite party no.1, has resorted to unfair trade practice by charging Rs.800/- per vehicle, which is against the norms and is only meant to serve their unlawful gains.
10. The respondent no.3 in their reply to the notice of this appeal has stated that 7% of the total cost of the vehicle is charged as Life Time Tax, alongwith the registration fees of Rs.260/- by the RTO. In the instant matter the amount as aforesaid, has been deposited regarding which a receipt has been issued. It is stated that no agent is appointed in any case and no license as such is issued to anyone, in this regard by the RTO, for the purpose of registration. Therefore, the RTO is not liable in the instant matter.
11. As we carefully peruse the evidence placed before us, we observe that Ex.C-1 and C-4, confirm that a sum of Rs.3705/- was charged from the complainants / respondents no.1 and 2 under the head of RTO. Ex.C-5 and C-6 are advance payment receipt for Rs.30,000/- dated 27.09.2010, issued in this name of complainants. The RTO has confirmed this fact that they charged only 7% of the total cost of vehicle, as a Life Time Tax to be paid on the vehicle. In addition to this a sum of Rs.260/- is charged as registration fees. In the respondent no.1 and 2’s matter, the Life Time Tax per vehicle sums out to be Rs.2644/-, which including Rs.260/- comes out to be Rs.2904/-.
12. The appellant / opposite party no.1, has given justification regarding the amount of Rs.800/-, which has been charged in addition to the registration charges as quoted earlier, stating that this amount is given to an agent for the purpose of carrying out the registration of the vehicle. The RTO has categorically denied that no agent is authorized and appointed by them for an
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y such purpose. 13. In view of the above, considering the facts and circumstances of the matter, we are of the considered view that the appellant / opposite party no.1 has resorted to unfair trade practice by charging Rs.800/- per vehicle, totaling to Rs.1600/- in the case of the complainants / respondent no.1 and 2. We conclude that the order passed by the District Forum, cannot be held to be illegal or improper. However, the compensation for mental agony is reduced to Rs.1000/- but the cost is maintained. With the above modification, the appeal is disposed of. There shall be no order as to costs of this appeal.