(1.) The present Revision Petition has been filed by the Petitioners against order dated 31.10.2011 of the West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (for short "State Commission") in FA/3/2011 wherein the Appeal filed by the Petitioners was dismissed.
(2.) Case of the Complainant is that the Complainant purchased a ten-wheeler truck of Ashok Leyland Ltd. bearing registration no. WB29/6162, chassis no. WDE-545847, and engine no. DWE 406960 financed by OP No. 1 through OP No. 2. The Complainant entered into an agreement with OP No. 1 and accordingly OP No. 1 and 2 sanctioned a loan of Rs.9,15,000/-. As per the terms and conditions of the agreement, the Complainant deposited a sum of Rs.82,687/- with Opposite Parties Nos.1 and 2 as margin money. The Complainant was supposed to repay a sum of Rs.11,57,700/- in 47 instalments @ Rs.24,720 w.e.f. 24.02.2005. Thereafter, when it came to the notice of the Complainant that the Registration Certificate bore the name of Opposite Party No.3 as a joint registered owner, on enquiry, Opposite Party No. 3 informed him that he had incurred an expenditure of Rs.45,000/- from his own pocket in order to get the loan sanctioned in favour of the Complainant and as and when the Complainant would repay the same, he would take necessary steps to remove his name from the Registration Certificate. Later, although the Complainant paid Rs.45,000/- to Opposite Party No.3 in two instalments, Opposite Party No.3 took no steps to delete his name from the Registration Certificate. On 05.04.2008, Opposite Party No.3 detained the vehicle by force and removed its tyres to render it defunct. According to the Complainant, Opposite Parties, in collusion with each other, seized the vehicle on 01.05.2008. On 01.05.2008, Opposite Party No.2 sent a letter to the Complainant to repay Rs.1,05,000/-, although the Complainant did not owe any money to Opposite Parties Nos. 1 and 2. Complainant had so far paid Rs10,27,610 to Opposite Parties Nos. 1 and 2. A sum of Rs.40,000/- which the Complainant got as accident claim on 27.09.2006, had already been adjusted against his loan by Opposite Parties Nos. 1 and 2. Complainant sent a legal notice to Opposite Parties No.2 on 23.08.2008, but he did not receive any reply. In view of the above, the Complainant filed a Complaint before the District Forum with the following prayer: -
"1. O.P. No. 1 and 2 should be directed to return the truck to the complainant in a moveable condition.
2. The complainant should be given at least a six months time to repay the left over amount of loan, towards O.P. No. 1 and 2.
3. O.P. No. 1, 2 and 3 should be directed to pay Rs.5 lacs as compensation as the complainant has lost Rs.50,000 per month when the vehicle was seized.
4. O.P. No. 3 should be directed to transfer his co-Ownership, regarding the vehicle completely in the name of the complainant.
5. To direct the O.P. No.1, 2and 3 to pay Rs.1 lac as compensation for causing harassment and mental agony.
6. and to pass such further order or orders as your Honour may deem fit and proper."
(3.) The case was contested by OP No. 2 who denied all the allegations of the Complainant. It was stated that out of the 47 installments, the Complainant paid only 37 installments and the remaining installments had not been paid. The Complainant paid only Rs.9,11,400/- out of a total amount of Rs.11,57,700/-. The Complainant owed Rs.3,71,096/- towards loan repayment and despite reminders had not cleared his dues. According to the terms and conditions of the agreement, Opposite Parties Nos.1 and 2 were entitled to take possession of the vehicle. It was further stated that Opposite Party No. 3, being co-owner of the vehicle as well as co-borrower, voluntarily handed over possession of the vehicle to Opposite Parties Nos. 1 and 2, who disposed off the vehicle after proper valuation at the highest available market price and appropriated the same against the loan amount. Opposite Parties Nos.1 and 3 did not file any written version in this case. OP No. 2 was present to contest the case during the initial stage but subsequently, remained absent on consecutive dates, and the case was decided ex-parte against all the Opposite Parties. The District forum after hearing the Counsel for the Complainant and perusing the record passed the following order: -
"that the case be allowed ex-parte against OP No. 1, 2 and 3. OP No. 1 and 2 are directed jointly or severally to return the balance amount (i.e. Rs. 8,00,000/- - amount of sale proceeds which OP No. 2 appropriated with the loan amount) to the complainant. However, we allow the OP No. 1 and 2 to recover the arrear amount of monthly installments, if any along with interest @ 8% p.a. over the amount from the date of default till the date of auction; but they are not entitled to levy any other charge on this amount. OP No. 1 and 2 are further directed to pay the balance amount to the complainant within 30 days from the date of this order.
In default, complainant is at liberty to execute this order in accordance to the law.
Considering the facts and circumstances of this case, we make no order as to costs." ;