Decided on September 18,2009

U K Financers Car Bazar, Pathankot, District Gurdaspur, Punjab Appellant
Om Parkash Son Of Sh Puran Chand Mongra Respondents


- (1.) ADMITTED facts giving rise to this appeal are that the appellant had provided loan in the sum of Rs.2,15,000/ - to respondent No.1. It was repayable in 36 monthly equated instalments of Rs.9,400/ -. However, last instalment was to be repaid in the sum of Rs.2100/ -. From the complaint file, it is evident that respondent No.1 was unable to get the vehicle repaired as well as to maintain the same. Therefore, vide Annexure OP.8 on 5.10.2004, he voluntarily of his free will and volition surrendered the possession of the vehicle bearing Registration No.HP -38 -6245 to the appellant. In this context it may be appropriate to mention here that on instructions received from his client, who is present in Court, Mr. Soni did not dispute either Annexure OP.8 or the vehicle having been voluntarily surrendered to the appellant.
(2.) ALLEGING deficiency in service etc., Consumer Complaint No.426/2004 was filed by respondent No.1 against the appellant as well as respondent No.2 in this appeal. District Forum below after hearing the parties has allowed the complaint thereby holding the appellant alongwith respondent No.2 jointly and severally liable to refund Rs.69,500/ - to respondent No.1 alongwith interest @ 9% per annum from the date of complaint till realization within 30 days of the receipt of copy of impugned order. They have also been directed to pay compensation to the tune of Rs.15,000/ - for causing mental pain, agony and inconvenience besides Rs.2,000/ - as costs. Hence this appeal by the appellant.
(3.) WE specifically asked learned Counsel for the appellant that before putting the vehicle to auction, whether it was got evaluated by the appellant, learned Counsel replied in the negative. Similarly whether any notice was given to the respondent before putting the vehicle on sale on 19.10.2004 or just after it had been surrendered, again his answer was in the negative. To our further query that before confirming the sale of Rs.2,38,000/ - in favour of the purchaser to whom the vehicle was sold, whether respondent No.1 was called upon to bring a better buyer failing which the sale will be confirmed, learned Counsel for the appellant submitted that no such step was taken. In this background, it was urged on behalf of the appellant that vehicle was under Hire Purchase Agreement with the appellant which is admitted by respondent No.1 in paragraph -6 of the complaint. As such, taking over of the vehicle in this case is perfectly justified in terms of the said agreement. This plea is being noted to be rejected. Reason being that in case of hire purchase, the vehicle has to be in the name of the person who is termed as the purchaser like appellant in the appeal before us and the person who has undertaken to pay the instalments is hirer like respondent No.1 in this appeal. It was fairly stated on behalf of the appellant that registered owner was respondent No.1 and not the appellant. Once this stand is taken by the appellant, then the loan document(s) subject to which the vehicle was financed by the appellant in favour of respondent No.1 was nothing but a simple loan agreement and it had to be enforced under the ordinary law of the land so long rule of law prevails in the civil society. Here that situation does not arise because of voluntary surrender of the vehicle by respondent No.1.;

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