Rajiv Shukla Versus Gold Rush Sales and Services Ltd. & Anr.

Rajiv Shukla Versus Gold Rush Sales and Services Ltd. & Anr.

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


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REPORTABLE
  IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5928 of 2022
Rajiv Shukla   … Appellant
 Versus
Gold Rush Sales and Services Ltd. & Anr.        … Respondents
J U D G M E N T
M. R. Shah, J.
1. Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   impugned
judgment and order dated 04.01.2016 passed by the National
Disputes   Redressal   Commission,   New   Delhi   (hereinafter
referred to as the ‘National Commission’) in Revision Petition
No.2082   of   2015   by   which   the   National   Commission   in
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exercise of revisional jurisdiction has set aside the concurrent
findings recorded by the District Forum as well as the State
Commission,   the   original   complainant   has   preferred   the
present appeal.
2. That   the   appellant   herein   –   original   complainant
purchased a Tata Victa GX TC Car.  He deposited the booking
amount with the dealer – M/s. Gold Rush Sales and Services
Ltd. – respondent no.1 herein against which a receipt was
issued.   That thereafter the complainant deposited a further
sum of Rs.5,30,000/­ towards purchase amount of the said
vehicle.     That   the   booked   car   was   not   delivered   to   the
complainant till 26.05.2006.  However, the delivery of the car
was given to the complainant after a period of one year of
deposit of the total amount, which as such was an old one and
was of 2005 model and in fact was a used car.   It was also
having various other defects.   That according to the original
complainant the car was old and it had already run upto
10,000 kms.   The car which was delivered was used by the
dealer as “Demo­Test Drive Vehicle”.  The original complainant
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lodged the FIR with the police.  However, the matter could not
be settled and therefore, the complainant filed a complaint
before the District Forum with the following prayers:
"i) pass the order to opposite party to replace aforesaid
delivered   used   car   Tata   Victa   GX   TC   Model   no.   2005,
Chasis No. 446370702­938757, Registration No. U.P. BS8084   and   delivered   new   car/vehicle   to   the   applicant/
consumer.
ii) pass an order for refund all such amounts with interest
to   which   the   opposite   parties   has   taken   to   the
applicant/consumer. 
iii) pass an order against the opposite parties to pay five,
compensation, damages, expenditure, claims and all such
amounts   with   due   interest   to   the   applicant/   consumer
accordingly as calculated and claimed in the paras 24 of
the application. 
iv) to pass such order appropriate or direction which the
Hon'ble Court may deem just in the interest of justice and
as well as according to the circumstances of the case".
2.1 The District Forum allowed the complaint and directed
the respondent no.1 – dealer to take back the delivered vehicle
and in lieu thereof to deliver a new car to the complainant
against the previously deposited amount.  The District Forum
also awarded a sum of Rs.5,000/­ towards the mental agony
besides  a  sum  of  Rs.2500/­  towards  litigation  costs.    The
District Forum specifically gave a finding that the delivered car
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was   used   car   and   was   being   used   as  “Demo­Test   Drive
Vehicle”.  
2.2 The   order   passed   by   the   District   Forum   came   to   be
confirmed   by   the   State   Commission.     However,   by   the
impugned   judgment   and   order   and   while   exercising   the
revisional jurisdiction, the National Commission has set aside
the findings of facts recorded by the District Forum as well as
the State Commission that the car delivered was used car.
However, having given the findings that the complainant got a
defective car, the National Commission modified the orders
passed   by   the   District   Forum   confirmed   by   the   State
Commission and directed to pay compensation in the sum of
Rs.1 lakh to be paid to the complainant.
2.3 Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   impugned
judgment   and   order   passed   by   the   NCDRC   ­   National
Commission,   the   complainant   has   preferred   the   present
appeal.
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3. Shri   Praveen   Agrawal,   learned   counsel   appearing   on
behalf of the appellant – original complainant has vehemently
submitted that the National Commission has materially erred
in   upsetting   the   findings   of   facts   recorded   by   the   District
Forum and the State Commission that the car delivered was a
used car.  It is submitted that on appreciation of evidence on
record,   both,   the   District   Forum   as   well   as   the   State
Commission gave specific findings that the car delivered was
used car.  It is submitted that therefore the findings of facts
recorded by the District Forum and the State Commission
which were on appreciation of entire evidence could not have
been   set   aside   and/or   interfered   with   by   the   National
Commission   in   exercise   of   the   revisional   jurisdiction.   It   is
submitted   that   therefore   the   National   Commission   while
interfering with the findings of facts recorded by the District
Forum and the State Commission has exercised the powers
beyond the scope and ambit of revisional jurisdiction under
Section 21 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
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3.1 It   is   further   submitted   by   learned   counsel   for   the
appellant that even otherwise the findings recorded by the
National Commission on the delivered car is contrary to the
findings on record.  It is submitted that considering the test
drive/demo   slip   of   the   delivered   car   having   Chassis   No.
939353, it was established and proved that the delivered car
was used as demo/test drive car.
3.2 It is submitted that when the complainant paid the full
sale consideration for a new car, the duty was cast upon the
dealer   to   supply   the   new   car   which   was   booked.     It   is
submitted that non­supply of the new car which was booked
even on payment of the sale consideration would tantamount
to dishonesty and unfair trade practice.  It is submitted that
therefore the District Forum and the State Commission were
justified in directing the respondent no.1 – dealer to deliver a
new car against the previously deposited amount.
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3.3 Making the above submissions, it is prayed to allow the
present appeal and restore the judgment and order passed by
the District Forum and confirmed by the State Commission.
4. Mr. Abhinav Ramkrishna, learned counsel appearing on
behalf   of   respondent   no.1   has   supported   the   impugned
judgment and order passed by the National Commission.
4.1 It is submitted that the cogent reasons have been given
by   the   National   Commission   interfering   with   the   findings
recorded by the District Forum and the State Commission that
the car delivered was a used car.
4.2 It   is   submitted   that   on   reappreciation   of   the   entire
evidence   on   record,   the   National   Commission   has   rightly
observed that no evidence has been led to show that the car
delivered was an old car.   It is submitted that therefore no
case is made out to interfere with the impugned judgment and
order passed by the National Commission.
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5. Shri   Sidharth   Bhatnagar,   learned   Senior   Advocate
appearing on behalf of the Tata Motors Limited has submitted
that as such Respondent no.2 – Tata Motors Limited is a
proforma respondent as no order has been passed against the
respondent no.2 – Tata Motors Limited.
6. We have heard learned counsel for the respective parties
at length.
7. At the outset, it is required to be noted that the appellant
herein ­ original complainant booked a new car and as such
paid   the   entire   sale   consideration.     Therefore,   when   the
complainant – customer booked a new car and paid the sale
consideration of a new car, the dealer was supposed to and/or
bound to deliver the new car.  Instead, the respondent no.1 –
dealer delivered the used car which was used as “Demo­Test
Drive  Vehicle”.     Even   as  per  the   findings  recorded   by  the
National   Commission   the   car   which   was   delivered   was   a
defective car.  Even to deliver the defective car against the new
car  was  also  not   permissible.   Not  to  deliver  the  new  car
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despite the full sale consideration paid and/or to deliver the
defective   car   can   be   said   to   be   unfair   trade   practice.
Therefore,   as   such   the   District   Forum   and   the   State
Commission   were   absolutely   justified   in   directing   the
respondent no.1 – dealer to replace the delivered car and to
deliver a new car.
7.1 At   this   stage,   it   is   required   to   be   noted   that   on
appreciation of evidence on record the District Forum as well
as   the   State   Commission   concurrently   found   that   the   car
delivered was used car.  Such findings of facts recorded by the
District Forum and the State Commission were not required to
be interfered by the National Commission in exercise of the
revisional jurisdiction.   It is required to be noted that while
passing   the   impugned   judgment   and   order   the   National
Commission was exercising the revisional jurisdiction vested
under Section 21 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.  As
per   Section   21(b)  the   National   Commission   shall   have
jurisdiction to call for the records and pass appropriate orders
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in any consumer dispute which is pending before or has been
decided by any State Commission where it appears to the
National   Commission   that   such   State   Commission   has
exercised its jurisdiction not vested in it by law, or has failed
to exercise a jurisdiction so vested, or has acted in the exercise
of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.  Thus,
the powers of the National Commission are very limited.  Only
in a case where it is found that the State Commission has
exercised its jurisdiction not vested in it by law, or has failed
to exercise the jurisdiction so vested illegally or with material
irregularity, the National Commission would be justified in
exercising   the   revisional   jurisdiction.     In   exercising   of
revisional   jurisdiction   the   National   Commission   has   no
jurisdiction to interfere with the concurrent findings recorded
by the District Forum and the State Commission which are on
appreciation of evidence on record.   Therefore, while passing
the impugned judgment and order the National Commission
has   acted   beyond   the   scope   and   ambit   of   the   revisional
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jurisdiction conferred under Section 21(b) of the Consumer
Protection Act. 
7.2. As observed hereinabove, both, the  District Forum as
well as the State Commission specifically gave the findings
that the vehicle delivered was used car which was used as
“Demo­Test Drive Vehicle”.  As observed hereinabove even the
National  Commission   has  also  observed  and  held  that   the
vehicle delivered was defective and therefore even the National
Commission has directed that the compensation in the sum of
Rs.1 lakh be paid to the complainant for the delivery of the
defective car.  Non delivery of a new car can be said to be an
unfair trade practice and even it can be said to be dishonesty
on the part of the dealer and against the morality and ethics.
As observed hereinabove, once the new car was booked and
the full sale consideration was paid, a duty was cast upon the
dealer to deliver a new car which is not defective therefore the
District Forum as well as the State Commission were justified
in directing the dealer to give delivery of a new car.
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8. In view of the above and for the reason stated above, the
impugned judgment and order dated  04.01.2016  passed by
the National Commission in Revision Petition No.2082 of 2015
is hereby quashed and set aside. The judgment and order
passed  by   the   District  Forum   dated   29.04.2011  passed   in
Consumer   Case   No.397   of   2007   confirmed   by   the   State
Commission   vide  judgment   and  order  dated  19.09.2014  in
Appeal No.910 of 2011 are hereby restored.  The Respondent
no.1 is hereby directed to comply with the judgment and order
passed   by   the   District   Forum.     The   present   appeal   is
accordingly allowed to the aforesaid extent with costs which is
quantified at Rs.1 lakh to be deposited by Respondent No.1
within a period of six weeks from today with the Registry of
this   Court.     On   such   deposit   Rs.50,000/­   be   paid   to   the
appellant   herein   towards   the   costs/litigation   cost   etc.   and
Rs.50,000/­ be transferred to the Mediation and Conciliation
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Project   Committee   (MCPC),   Supreme   Court   of   India,   New
Delhi.
…………………………………J.
            (M. R. SHAH)
…………………………………J.
    (KRISHNA MURARI)
New Delhi, 
September 8, 2022.

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