S.D. Manchanda, Member
(1.) THIS enquiry has been instituted on the basis of findings given in the preliminary investigation report submitted by the Director-General of Investigation and Registration in compliance with the Commission's order directing the Director-General to investigate a complaint filed by one Shri Kashinath Rao Patil of Bangalore against the respondent. The preliminary investigation report also took into account a complaint received by the Director-General directly from Shri Vijay Kumar of Secunderabad. It is alleged in the notice of enquiry that the respondent had made false representations in its advertisements about availability of finance for Rs. 50,000 or/more. It referred to one of the advertisements issued by the respondent in Deccan Chronicle, dated May 9, 1987, which read as follows :
"Finance available.-- Rupees fifty thousand or more available for development against securities, land, building, shop, theatre, hotel, plantation, factory, mill, Ltd. and P. Ltd., companies, etc., on reasonable interest for long-term on easy instalments.
Write or contact 11 to 5, United Finance Corporation."
(2.) The notice of enquiry also stated how Shri Vijay Kumar of Secunderabad was made to part with money in the hope of getting a loan of Rs. 2.5 lakhs which never materialised. Shri Vijay Kumar in all paid Rs. 18,500 as per the following details :
The loan was not given and Shri Vijay Kumar compromised for refund of 50 per cent. of the amount paid to the respondent. In this context, the Commission was of the view that "prima facie the respondent had indulged in unfair trade practices within the meaning of Section 36A(1)(ii), (vi), and (vii) of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act."
(3.) THE respondent contested the allegations made in the notice of enquiry. After the pleadings were completed, the following issues were framed :
1. Did the respondent indulge in unfair trade practice as alleged in the notice of enquriy ?
2. In case issue No. 1 is decided against the respondent, is the unfair trade practice prejudicial to public interest or to the interest of any consumer or consumers generally ?