(1.) BEING aggrieved by the award passed by the District Consumer Forum, Kolhapur in Consumer Complaint No. 598/1998 on 7.7.1999 whereby the O.P. Nos. 1 and 2 have been directed to refund amount of Rs. 1,44,500 to the complainant with interest @ 18% p.a. from 30.5.1997 and has been further directed to pay compensation of Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 1,000 for mental agony and Rs. 500 towards cost, O.P. Nos. 1 and 2 have filed this appeal.
(2.) THE case of the parties in the Forum below may be stated as under:
The complainant is a Rickshaw driver by profession. He wanted to purchase 6 -seater Rickshaw for which he took quotation from M/s. Vinod Auto Centre, Shirgaon, Kolhapur. He procured loan from the Bank of India, Ichalkaranji Branch and booked Rickshaw with O.P. No. 3. On 5.6.1997 he gave Demand Draft of Rs. 1,39,500 to O.P. No. 3 and O.P. No. 3 prepared Invoice -cum -Challan on 22.9.1997. However, O.P. Nos. 1 and 3 were not having permit issued by the Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (Ministry of Defence), Ahmednagar and, therefore, the said vehicle could not be registered with R.T.O. The representative of O.P. No. 1 Shri Omaditya sent a letter to the complainant and requested the complainant to wait upto 10.1.1998 till then O.P. No. 1 promised to get clearance from the Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (Ministry of Defence), Ahmednagar. However, even after waiting till that date, O.P. No. 1/Manufacturer could not procure permit from the Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (Ministry of Defence), Ahmednagar and, therefore, the said vehicle could not be registered with R.T.O., Kolhapur. The complainant, therefore, sent a letter to the O.Ps. and asked for refund of Rs. 1,44,500 and claimed interest @ 15% p.a. from 5.6.1997. The Company, however, did not give any response. Again, he sent registered notice to O.Ps. On 13.6.1998 O.Ps. informed the complainant that they had got permit from the Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (Ministry of Defence), Ahmednagar, therefore, he should get the vehicle registered with R.T.O., Kolhapur. However, the said vehicle was not registered at all and, therefore, the complainant was required to file consumer complaint in the Forum below.
(3.) O .P. No. 1 filed written statement and denied most of the averments made by the complainant. It denied that complainant had booked with O.P. No. 3 six -seater Rickshaw by paying Rs. 1,39,500. It denied that the complainant had taken loan from the Bank of India, Ichalkaranji Branch. It denied that since Company was not having permit from the competent authority , the vehicle purchased by the complainant could not be registered with R.T.O., Kolhapur. According to O.P. No. 1 within period of six months, the complainant had taken free services from O.P. Nos. 1 and 3 and when vehicle was given back, it was in roadworthy condition. According to O.P. No. 1 they had applied for issuance of permit with the vehicle Research and Development Establishment (Ministry of Defence), Ahmednagar and on 28.5.1998 permit was granted and it was sufficient to register the vehicle with R.T.O., Kolhapur. It pleaded that the complainant never met its officers on or before 24.12.1999. He did not get his vehicle registered with R.T.O., Kolhapur. He has not produced any evidence that the R.T.O., Kolhapur refused to register his vehicle. According to O.P. No. 1 the vehicle was being run by the complainant in Kolhapur and he was earning profit. Warranty of the vehicle was six months only and after the lapse of six months, the complainant has filed this complaint. It pleaded that the complaint should be dismissed with cost. It also pleaded that the District Consumer Forum had no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint as registered office of O.P. No. 1 was at Secunderabad.
O.P. No. 2 did not file its written statement. O.P. No. 3 filed written statement and admitted that it had received notice issued by the complainant on 28.5.1998. It admitted that it was the dealer of O.P. No. 1 and it was sole selling agent of O.P. No. 1. O.P. No. 3 had admitted that the complainant has paid Rs. 500 for booking of Rickshaw and remaining amount was paid on 5.6.1997. This amount was sent by O.P. No. 3 to O.P. No. 1. O.P. No. 3 released one six -seater Rickshaw. On 27.9.1997 body was constructed on the Rickshaw and it was given in possession of the complainant. It also admitted that since there was no VRDE Certificate, or TVC Certificate or TC approval, R.T.O., Kolhapur had not registered the vehicle. This fact was brought to the notice of O.P. Nos. 1 and 2 by O.P. No. 3. Assurance was given by O.P. Nos. 1 and 2 that on or before 10.1.1998 they would procure VRDE Certificate for the said Rickshaw and in case it was not so procured then the Company agreed to refund the amount with interest @ 15% p.a. O.P. No. 3, pleaded that within that stipulated time, the VRDE Certificate was not procured by O.P. No. 1. O.P. Nos. 1 and 2 did not repay the amount to the complainant nor procured VRDE Certificate. According to O.P. No. 3, O.P. Nos. 1 and 2 are liable to refund the amount to the complainant. He pleaded that he had taken all the steps to help the complainant and to ensure that his moneys are refunded to him by O.P. Nos. 1 and 2. But, default was committed by O.P. Nos. 1 and 2 and, therefore, he was not liable to pay any amount to the complainant.;