Decided on April 01,2009



- (1.) BRIEF facts giving rise to this appeal are, that respondent got Tata 207 vehicle bearing registration No. HP -66 -0399 financed from the appellant. He claims to have deposited Rs. 80,000 as margin money and the balance amount was financed by the appellant. Stand of the appellant in this behalf is, that finance provided by it was in the sum of Rs. 2.90 lacs, and Rs. 70,000 was deposited by the respondent as margin money. This amount was payable in 47 equated monthly instalments commencing from 1.10.2003.
(2.) RESPONDENT admits that he was in default of the payment of instalments due on 1.10.2003, 1.3.2005 and 1.12.2005. Further according to him on 24.3.2006 when the vehicle was parked at Manikaran Chowk at Bhunter, in the morning at about 8.00 a.m., 5 -6 men of the appellant came and forcibly took possession by asking the driver to get down. His further case is that at this juncture he offered Rs. 16,000 in cash, but these 5 -6 persons did not accept this amount as according to them cash transaction was not permissible. Respondent claims to have made attempt by approaching the appellant to return the vehicle, but without any result.
(3.) IN this background he filed the complaint alleging deficiency in service on the part of the appellant as also its having indulged into unfair trade practice. He thus claimed in his complaint that appellant may be directed to return the vehicle and also to pay Rs. 10,000 as compensation. When put to notice by the District Forum below, appellant admitted that it had provided financial assistance to the respondent for the purchase of vehicle in question and the amount was repayable in the manner as detailed hereinabove. Further version of the appellant was that because of inability to pay the instalments due, respondent himself surrendered the vehicle to it on 23.4.2006, therefore allegation of forcible repossession was denied. With a view to support its case reliance was placed on 2 decisions of the Hon ble Supreme Court in the case of Charanjit Singh Chadha And Ors. v. Sudhir Mehra,2007 2 CPJ 41 and the Manager, St. Mary s Hire Purchase (P) Ltd. v. N.A. Jose, 1995 3 CPJ 58 Further case of the appellant before District Forum as well as in this appeal is, that the respondent having failed to pay the instalments due as detailed in the preceeding paras had voluntarily surrendered the vehicle. After taking over the vehicle on 23.4.2006, notice terminating the agreement whereunder vehicle was financed by the appellant was issued to the respondent. Its copy is Annexure R -2. While terminating the agreement in question demand of Rs. 1,71,903 was raised against the respondent. District Forum below after coming to the conclusion, that this is a case of forcible repossession of the vehicle by the appellant negatived plea to the contrary that it was voluntarily surrendered by the respondent. It further came to the conclusion as a question of fact, that against the total cost of the vehicle Rs. 3.53 lacs out of which appellant paid Rs. 70,000, as margin money, a sum of Rs. 2.86 lacs had been paid by him against receipts. Thus only Rs. 67,000, was due and outstanding payable by the respondent. In this background complaint was allowed and appellant was directed to pay Rs. 3 lacs along with interest @ 9% per annum from the date of institution of the complaint till payment along with costs of Rs. 2,000. Hence this appeal.;

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