COMPLAINANT Mrs. K. Vidya, Aged 45 years, Wife of Mr. A. Raghu, Presently residing at No. 26, 2nd Main Road, Vasantha Nagar, Bangalore – 560 052. Advocate (P.C. Narasimhaiah)
M/s. Muthoot Finance, No. 11/2, Cambridge Road, Ulsoor, Bangalore – 560 008. Represented by its Manager. Advocate (S.D.N. Prasad)
O R D E R
This is a complaint filed U/s. 12 of the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 by the complainant seeking direction to the Muthoot Finance to release the golden ornaments weighing 340 worth Rs.4,00,000/- by receiving the principal amount with R.B.I rate of interest and to restrain Muthoot Finance from auctioning the golden ornaments pledged on an allegations of deficiency in service.
The brief averments, as could be seen from the contents of the complaint, are as under: Complainant availed a gold loan of Rs.1,65,000/- from Muthoot Finance on 10.11.2005 by pledging her golden ornaments. Towards the security she has also issued a cheque drawn on Canara Bank on 06.01.2007. When she visited the Muthoot Finance to know about the rate of interest amount in due Muthoot Finance voluntarily enhanced the loan for another Rs.70,699/- and after deducting the so called interest they paid her Rs.7,110/-. Even on that day also Muthoot Finance did not disclose the rate of interest. On 24.04.2008 when she went to the Muthoot Finance to redeem her gold ornaments by clearing the loan, to her utter shock and surprise Muthoot Finance made a claim of Rs.3,39,714/-, which is unjust and improper. Complainant demanded for the statement of accounts, it was not considered. With all that arbitrarily Muthoot Finance intended to auction the said golden ornaments by causing some notice.
The repeated requests and demands made by the complainant not to take such coercive steps, went in futile. For no fault of her, she is forced to face both mental agony and financial loss. Under the circumstances she felt the deficiency in service. Hence she is advised to file this complaint and sought for the relief accordingly.
2. On appearance, Muthoot Finance filed the version denying all the allegations made by the complainant in toto. According to Muthoot Finance complainant is a chronic defaulter in payment of the interest and the principal, though she availed the loan in the year 2005. Of course on 06.01.2007 Muthoot Finance enhanced the said loan and sanctioned additional amount of Rs.70,699/-, then after deducting the interest in due they paid balance of Rs.7,110/-.
Complainant received the said sum without any protest. The rate of interest was disclosed by them on 06.01.2007 as well as 10.11.2005. Complainant is an educated women she having understood the loan terms and conditions availed the same. She kept in due of both interest and principal, which is accrued to the tune of Rs.3,39,714/- as on 24.04.2008. Muthoot Finance has got a legal right to demand the same, in default they retained their right to auction the said golden ornaments pledged and recover the amount in due. That act of the Muthoot Finance does not amounts to deficiency in service or unfair trade practice. Though Muthoot Finance made several requests and demands, complainant failed to make payment of the amount in due.
Of course Muthoot Finance is a non-banking financial company, there is no compulsion that it should impose the interest as per the R.B.I rules. The other allegations made in the complaint are baseless.
When the complainant herself is a defaulter, she cannot seek an equitable relief of injunction restraining Muthoot Finance from auctioning the said pledged golden ornaments towards the recovery of the amount in due.
The complaint is devoid of merits. Among these grounds, Muthoot Finance prayed for the dismissal of the complaint. 3. In order to substantiate the complaint averments, the complainant filed the affidavit evidence and produced some documents. Muthoot Finance has also filed the affidavit evidence and produced the documents. Then the arguments were heard.
4. In view of the above said facts, the points now that arise for our consideration in this complaint are as under: Point No. 1 :- Whether the complainant has proved the deficiency in service on the part of the Muthoot Finance? Point No. 2 :- If so, whether the complainant is entitled for the reliefs now claimed? Point No. 3 :- To what Order?
5. We have gone through the pleadings of the parties, both oral and documentary evidence and the arguments advanced. In view of the reasons given by us in the following paragraphs our findings on: Point No.1:- In Negative Point No.2:- Negative Point No.3:- As per final
R E A S O N S
6. At the outset it is not at dispute that the complainant availed a gold loan of Rs.1,65,000/- on 10.11.2005 and executed the necessary loan documents. After 10.11.2005 up to 06.01.2007 she has not made any correspondence with the Muthoot Finance nor there is any proof of payment of interest accrued on the loan or having made payment of the principal amount. On 06.01.2007 Muthoot Finance enhanced the loan for another Rs.70,699/- and after deducting the interest of Rs.63,589/- they paid Rs.7,110/-. Complainant acknowledged the receipt of the same without any protest. That means to say complainant is aware of the rate of interest that is going to be charged on the said gold loan. Now complainant is estopped from saying that the rate of interest was not disclosed to her.
7. It is further contended by the complainant that on 24.04.2008 she went to redeem her gold ornaments with the hope to close the loan account. At that time Muthoot Finance made a demand of Rs.3,39,714/-. According to the complainant this demand is illegal and arbitrary against to the agreed rate of interest. Complainant has not produced any other documents to show what is the rate of interest that is agreed between the parties. When complainant failed to make payment of the amount in due Muthoot Finance got issued the notice on 17.05.2008 demanding her to pay the amount in due on or before 27.05.2008 otherwise they will auction the pledged golden ornaments. When complainant herself is a defaulter she cannot allege the deficiency in service against the Muthoot Finance.
8. Muthoot Finance while causing the said notice gave the details of the amount in due including that of interest, rate of interest, etc. Under such circumstances the contention of the complainant that Muthoot Finance failed to disclose the actual rate of interest does not hold force. Of course when complainant failed to make payment of the said amount in due inspite of sufficient and reasonable opportunity being given they thought of auctioning the said ornaments by issue of public auction notice. That act of the Muthoot Finance cannot be termed as deficiency in service. It is said he who seeks equity, must do equity and must come with clean hands. But here the approach of the complainant is otherwise. Under such circumstances she cannot seek equitable relief of injunction restraining Muthoot Finance from exercising its contractual obligations and legal rights.
9. On the plain reading of the allegations made in the complaint, in our view the complaint did not spell out a case of hiring of service and suffering from deficiency, rather it disclosed a case relating to settlement of accounts and for the balance due on the basis of the accounts. The complainant did not fall within the ambit of sec-2(1) (c) (e) of the C.P. Act. If the complainant is so advised, she can file a regular Civil Suit to redress her grievance and seek proper remedy.
10. This Forum cannot decide what should be the rate of interest, while sanctioning loan rate of interest is disclosed, complainant having agreed for the same availed the loan, hence in view of the discussions made by us in the above said paras, we are of the view that the complainant has utterly failed to prove the deficiency in service against the Muthoot Finance. As such she is not entitled for the relief claimed. The complaint appears to be devoid of merits. Accordingly we answer point nos.1 and 2 in negative and proceed to pass the following:
O R D E R
The complaint is dismissed. In view of the nature of dispute no order as to costs. (Dictated to the Stenographer and typed in the computer and transcribed by him, verified and corrected, and then pronounced in the Open Court by us on this the 26th day of March 2009.) MEMBER MEMBER PRESIDENT