Decided on October 30,2007

John Deere Equipment Pvt. Ltd. Appellant
Surya Narayan Mishra Respondents


- (1.) MR . Justice R.K. Patra, President -Surya Narayan Mishra filed C.D. Case No. 294 of 2002 in the Khurda District Forum for refund of the price of the L&T John Deere 5103 tractor against the manufacturer and its Area Manager at Bhopal. By order dated 1.2.2006, the District Forum directed refund of the price of the tractor amounting to Rupees 3,14,541 with interest @ 10% per annum from the date of purchase. It has also directed to pay compensation of Rupees 10,000 and cost of Rupees 2,000 to the complainant. Being aggrieved by the said order, the manufacturer has filed first Appeal No. 136 of 2006. The complainant has Filed First Appeal No. 330 of 2006 for enhancement of compensation. Both the appeals being analogous, they were heard together and are disposed of by this common order.
(2.) THERE is no dispute that the complainant purchased the tractor in question on payment of Rupees 3,14,541. His allegation was that soon after the purchase, he put the tractor in use, but it did not operate for many reasons. When this fact was brought to the notice, the manufacturer did not pay any attention. The dealer and its area manager filed written version denying the allegation of defect in the tractor. They contended that in absence of any expert opinion, the tractor cannot be held to have manufacturing defects.
(3.) THE District Forum on the basis of the report of the Central Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institute, Budni (M.P.) and the relevant order of the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India held that the tractor has manufacturing defects and, accordingly, passed the impugned order. The tractor was registered as OR -02U -0511. The L&T John Deere 5103 tractors were tested in the Government of India Institute called "Central Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institute, Tractor Nagar, Budni (M.P.). After examining them, it submitted report in July 2001. The report is known as 'Budni' report. The observations, comments and recommendations made by the Institute were mentioned in its report. For the sake of convenience, the relevant portion of its report is extracted hereunder: "PTO Performance : (i) Max. power, kW(Ps) 25.76(35.0) 5% 24.4(33.2) No (ii) Rated power, kW(Ps) 25.54(34.7) 5% 24.0(32.6) No (iii) Max. equivalent crankshaft torque, Nm (kgf -m) 105(10.7) +8% 139(14.2) No Drawbar Performance: (ii) Max. drawbar power without ballast, kW (Ps) 21.3(29.0) 10% 18.7(25.4) No (iii) Max. transmission oil temperature (0C) 100 - 102 No Power lift performance: At the standard frame 12.20 10% 10.85 No (1244) (1106) Mechanical Vibration : -Steering wheel 100 - 400 No Conformity with following IS : (i) Labelling of tractor (IS : 10273 -1995) : Does not conform (ii) Technical Requirement for PTO shaft (IS : 4931 -1995)" : Does not conform The test report was considered by a Committee under the Chairmanship of R.S. Dobarey, Additional Commissioner (Machinery). The Committee's recommendation is hereunder: "(iii) L & T John Deere 5103 (Collar Shift) Tractor (Report No. T -422/854, July 2001). It was noticed that the maximum draw bar power of tractor was found at 77% against the minimum requirements of 80% of observed maximum PTO power, during test. The tractor was also not meeting the labeling requirement (Embossing of minimum P.T.O. power). The Committee observed that the P.T.O. shaft arrangement of the tractor is engine bound and the ratio of on PTO Power and drawbar power was found lower by 3%. In earlier cases where the ratio of P.T.O. power to the drawbar power was found at 77% against the requirement of the 80% were recommended by the Committee. After detailed deliberations Committee recommended that this tractor may be cleared for financing. However, for labeling of tractor (Embossing of P.T.O. H.P.), the manufacturer should give an undertaking that at production stage, they would meet the requirement of this parameter." From the above, it may be seen that the defects in the tractors were inherent and that is why the manufacturer was asked to give an undertaking that at production stage, it would meet the requirements of the parameter. On consideration of the Budni report and recommendation of the Expert Committee, we have no hesitation to hold that the tractor purchased by the complainant had manufacturing defects and the District Forum has rightly directed for refund of its price. The award of compensation as well as cost is justified and does not call for any interference. We may note here that pursuant to our order dated 12.7.2006, the complainant took the tractor to the garage of the manufacturer at Rasulgarh, Bhubaneswar. In the result, both the appeals are dismissed. Appeals dismissed.;

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