Meghanad Mahanand, son of Nitya Mahanand, aged about years, At / Po. Nilji, Ps/Tahasil- Bhatli, Dist. Bargarh. ... ... ... Complainant.
- V e r s u s -1) Mahindra Finance, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limited, 2nd Floor, Sadhana House, 570 P.B. Marg, Worli- Mumbai-400018.
2) Mahindra Finance, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limited, @@@@hi Chowk, Word No.9 (Nine), Infront of R.T.O. Office, Bargarh, Po/Ps/Dist. Bargarh.
Presented by Sri B.K. Pati, Member:-Dt. 25/05/2009 -: J U D G E M E N T :-
The present complaint pertains to deficiency of service as provided under the Consumer Protection Act-1986, Its brief history is as follows:-
The Complainant, an educated unemployed, in order to earn his livelihood by self employment purchased a Mahindra 265 DI Tractor with Trailor bearing No. OR-17-E-7085 and OR-17-E-7086 respectively, through a hire purchase agreement with the Opposite Parties by making a down payment of Rs. 92,000/- (Rupees ninety two thousand)only and Rs. 3,80,000/-(Rupees three lakh eighty thousand)only being financed by the Opposite Parties, to be repaid by him in 48(forty eight) equal monthly installments of Rs. 13,090/-(Rupees thirteen thousand ninety)only, starting from Dt. 17/10/2007 up to Dt. 16/09/2011.
The Complainant who was regularly paying installments failed to clear up some installments owing to various factors beyond his control. On Dt. 17/05/2008 some persons engaged by the Opposite Parties, forcibly took away the Tractor and the Trailor from his threshing floor when the Complainant was absent with out any prior notice. The officers of Opposite Party No.2(two) even after being paid Rs. 10,000/-(Rupees ten thousand)only, for which they did not issued any receipt, did not release the vehicle and hence this case. The Opposite Parties had the option to present the post dated cheques issued by the Complainant to realise the installment amounts but they did not follow any legal procedure and took away the Tractor and Trailor by use of force which amounts to deficiency of service contends the Complainant. The Complainant prays for release and return to him the Tractor and Trailor bearing No. OR-17-E-7085 and OR-17-E-7086 respectively by the Opposite Parties and pay him Rs. 80,000/-(Rupees eighty thousand)only towards compensation and litigation expenses.
The Opposite Parties in their version question the maintainability of the complaint on the ground that the Complainant is not a consumer in relation the Opposite Parties with whom he has entered into an agreement on Dt. 17/10/2008 to avail of loan. The Opposite Parties also denied all the allegations made against them by the Complainant and contend that they repossessed the vehicle after following due procedure as the Complainant neglected to repay the loan installments. The Complainant being a debtor and the Opposite Parties being creditor as per the loan agreement there relationship is beyond the scope of adjudication under the Consumer Protection Act-1986. Besides the disputes should have been referred to an Arbitrator as per the terms of the agreement. The Opposite Parties denied any deficiency of service by them towards the Complainant and pray for dismissal of the complaint with cost.
Perused the complaint, the version of the Opposite Parties along with the copies of documents filed and find as follows:-
Admittedly, the Opposite Parties are financing agencies and the Complainant is a loanee of the Opposite Parties. The relationship between the Opposite Parties and Complainant being service provider and consumer, the subject matter of the Complainant is well within the scope of the Consumer Protection Act-1986 to be adjudicated upon by the Forum. The consumer has the option to knock the door of the Consumer Law Agencies even if there is provision of Arbitration under the transaction in question.
The Opposite Parties have not brought to the notice of the Forum as to what legal procedure they followed while repossessing the Tractor and Trailor from the Complainant. The Opposite Parties also could have utilized the posted cheques received from the Complainant or could have initiated a proceeding under 138 of the N.I. Act. if the cheque bounced.
The Complainant claims that he has paid Rs.10,000/-(Rupees ten thousand)only to Opposite Party No.2(two) on Dt. 17/05/2008 and requested him not to forcibly take away the Tractor and Trailor. The Opposite Party No.2(two) took the money without giving him any receipt for the same and took away the Tractor and Trailor. Two affidavits have been filed by the Complainant which corroborate his allegation. The Opposite Parties take a denial plea through an affidavit. But the fact remains that the practice of forcible repossession with the help of goons and taking money without issuing receipt are being widely resorted to by financing institutions taking law into their hands. In the present case, this Forum finds no reason to disbelieve the allegation of the Complainant.
In the light of the above fact and circumstances of the case the, Opposite Parties are directed jointly and severally, (a) to return and handover to the Complainant the Tractor and Trailor in dispute, on receipt from him the balance equal monthly installments (b) refund Rs.10,000/-(Rupees ten thousand)only to the Complainant which was received by the Opposite Party No.2(two) on Dt. 17/05/2008 or adjust the same amount with the equal monthly installments to be paid by the Complainant ( c) pay the Complainant Rs.10,000/-(Rupees ten thousand)only towards cost compensation. The order shall be carried out with in thirty days hence.