ANUP K.THAKUR,J. -
(1.) This Revision Petition No.1682 of 2015 (RP) challenges the impugned order of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Punjab (for short, 'the State Commission') dated 06.04.2015. Vide this order, F.A. No.725 of 2011 challenging the order of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ludhiana (for short, 'the District Forum') dated 14.03.2011 had been partly allowed. The District Forum, in its turn, had partly allowed the complaint of the respondent/complainant and directed the petitioner/OP2-M/s Force Motors Limited (OP2 hereafter) to pay compensation of Rs. 20,000/- with litigation cost of Rs.2,000/- to the complainant within 30 days from receipt of copy of the order. On appeal, the State Commission, vide the impugned order, had raised the amount of compensation from Rs.20,000/- to Rs.60,000/-, with interest @ 8% from the date of complaint till actual payment. Cost of litigation was also increased from Rs.2,000/- to Rs.10,000/-.
(2.) Very briefly, the facts are that Shri Swaranjit Singh, respondent no.1/complainant (complainant hereafter) had purchased Traveller E-II, 12/15 seater vehicle from OP1-M/s. Gurvir Motors (P) Ltd. on 09.01.2010 for Rs.7,79,675/-, to earn his livelihood by means of self-employment. The said vehicle began to give trouble from day one: problems of bubbling/vibrating while driving which increased gradually. Complainant took the vehicle to OP1-M/s. Gurvir Motors (P) Ltd.: defect was found in Crown Wheel Pinion and was replaced free of cost. Again, just after about 750 KM, the same problem repeated in the Crown Wheel Pinion. In this period, power steering also gave problems when the vehicle was taken to hilly areas. This problem too was brought to the notice of OP1 who advised repair from a Chandigarh Workshop. This was done. Thereafter, locks of all the doors became defective: doors started opening automatically while the vehicle was on road. Once again, the complainant approached OP1 and locks were replaced. Still further, the alternator was defective. Coolant used to leak, temperature of the vehicle used to go up. OP1 repaired the alternator a number of times. The cooling system of the air conditioner did not work satisfactorily and so on. The essential point in the complaint was that the vehicle gave trouble from the word go, after it's purchase, suggesting manufacturing defect; the relief sought in the consumer complaint was a full refund of the sum paid for the vehicle, with associated costs such as insurance etc., and compensation for mental tension, loss of business etc.
(3.) The District Forum, after hearing the learned counsel for the parties and going through the record, decided the matter in favour of the complainant. The relevant portion of the order is as under:
"20. In the present case, it is not in dispute that within four months of purchase the vehicle for purpose of repairs had to be taken time and again to the workshop of the OPs. Not once or twice but on many occasions, whenever he took the vehicle to the workshop was prevented from operating the same, hitting his pocket due to lack of earning, when the vehicle remained parked with OP1 for the purpose of repair. Such repairs were carried out by OP1 by doing under the warranty. Yet we cannot ignore the fact that the vehicle had certain defective components such as battery, Crown Wheel Pinion and Power steering. As due to fitting of defective parts, OP was forced to change twice Crown Wheel Pinion and Power steering. Had those parts no defect, complainant would not have been forced to take vehicle time and again to the workshop of OPs for the purpose of repairs. Also it is established that nuts and bolts of the vehicle initially manufactured and assembled by OP1 were not of the standard quality, due to which they got loosened while plying. But we cannot believe defence of OPs that such nuts and bolts got loosened on account of rash driving of the driver. Of course, such nuts and bolts were subsequently replaced by OPs. It means, have caused mental agony and sufferance to the complainant. During first four months of purchase of the vehicle complainant was compelled to take the same for service etc., many times which must have caused loss in earning to him.
21. These aspects make us to believe that the vehicle initially sold had manufacturing defect. Though defects in the vehicle were rectified by replacing defective parts, but for selling vehicle with defective parts, would certainly amount to negligent act amounting to unfair trade practice. Such act must have caused financial loss to the complainant for which he deserve to be compensated by allowing the complaint.
22. As a result, we allow this complaint and consequently, for selling initially vehicle with defective parts, manufactured by OP2, we order them to pay compensation of ?20,000/- (Twenty thousand only) along with litigation cost of ?2,000/- (Two thousand only) to the complainant, within 30 days from receipt of copy of this order, which be supplied to the parties free of cost. OP1 would be entitled to get reimbursement of this amount from OP2. File be consigned to record room." ;