Following Decision contributed by Reader: Mr Subodh Talaulikar
The Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission at Chandigarh has fined of Rs.1 lakh each on Regional Manager, Maruti Suzuki, Chandigarh and Tara Automobiles, Jalalabad on account of selling a defective Wagon R VXI Model car to a soldier Hav Kulwinder Singh of Indian Army.
On 10.9.2010, Hav Kulwinder Singh of Indian Army Purchased a Maruti Wagon R XVI car manufactured by Maruti Suzuki Company from its authorised dealer Tara Automobiles under ‘Army Quota’ through Canteen Stores department Bathinda after payment of entire sale consideration vide delivery Challa No.147.
Finding a deficiency in service on pointing a manufacturing defect and unfair trader practice, Kulwinder Singh filed a complaint before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ferozepur but the dealer did not come present despite service of notice and was proceeded against ex-parte.
The Company and its Regional Manager appeared before the Consumer Forum Ferozepur and pleaded that the claim of the complainant is not covered under the warranty because the complainant drove the vehicle in water flooded area where the water entered into the engine of the vehicle and resulted into Hydrostatic Lock and only the repairs are to be carried on chargeable basis as this fact has been mentioned in the job card issued by Shakti Motors Sirsa. The company further denied its liability being the dealer to be liable for the defect, if any.
The District Consumer Forum, Ferozepur consisting of Sanjay Garg, president and Tarlok Singh member, after considering all the facts brought record that the seller and the manufacturer are guilty of selling a defective car to the complainant and ordered to refund the complainant, the price of the car to the tune of Rs.356295 plus insurance charges of Rs.10775 and Rs.550 paid as accessories along with interest @ 7% per annum from the date of complaint i.e. from 1.10.2010 till realization along with Rs.2000 as litigation expenses. The said order in complaint No.541 of 2010 was passed by the District Consumer Forum on 19.1.2011.
Aggrieved from the said order, the Company Maruti Suzuki through its Regional Manager, Chandigarh as well as the dealer Tara Automobiles Jalalabad (W) filed two separate appeals before the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh for setting aside the award passed against them.
The Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh has decided both the appeals in a single order dated 23.7.2012 holding the dealer and the Company guilty and also concluded that the Company as well as dealer at Jalalabad are also guilty of tempering with the Job card issued by Shakti Motors Sirsa by writing on the said computerized Job card mentioning, “Vehicle stopped due to water enter in engine, Engine Need O/H.” There was a warranty for the vehicle for a period of 24 months or 40000 KMs from the date of purchase but the defect occurred on the same day of sale of car only after a run of 269 KMs.
The Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh held that both the appeals by dealer Tara Automobile Jalalabad, are merit less and dismissed with exemplary costs of Rs.1 lakh each to be paid by the Regional Manager, Maruti Suzuki, Chandigarh and Tara Automobiles, Jalalabad(W) to Hav Kulwinder Singh within one month from the date of receipt of copy of order.
So that in future no person in India dares to harass such like a present case, to a soldier, who is always ready to sacrifice his life without bothering his responsibilities towards his family.
So, both the appeals are dismissed with costs of Rs.1,00,000/- each to be paid by the appellants of both the appeals to have Kulwinder Singh within one month from the date of receipt of copy of order.