Ahmedabad : The Consumer Redressal Forum of Ahmedabad city has held that delivery of a motor vehicle without a temporary registration number was improper and contravened provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act.
The forum’s order related to purchase of a Maruti Wagon-R bought from Cargo (Motors) Gujarat Pvt Ltd in 2004. The car was delivered at the buyer’s residence without any temporary registration number.
When the dealer’s representative collected the car for registration at the regional transport office (RTO), it was damaged due to an accident. When the representative informed the buyer about the accident on phone, the buyer refused to accept the car.
After the buyer’s repeated reminders to the dealer to get the car redone evoked no response, the Consumer Education Research Society intervened and helped file a complaint before the forum under the Consumer Protection Act.
Maruti Udyog Ltd (MUL) and Cargo Motors contended that it was not a consumer complaint. They held that once the vehicle was delivered, it was the duty of the consumer to get it registered with the RTO and obtain a temporary or permanent registration number.
They also denied any liability to refund the amount or repair the vehicle free of cost. They argued that the service provided to the buyer was a gesture of goodwill. Moreover, the negligence was not on the part of the representative of the dealer who drove the car at the time of accident.
The forum decided that the delivery of the car to the complainant without a temporary registration number was in contravention of Rule 42 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1989.
It also noted that the dealer’s contention that delivery of the vehicle was under “extraordinary circumstances” could not be substantiated.
The forum relied on the precedence cited by the National Commission in another case in 2006, which held that it cannot be said that “agent or dealer is not jointly and severally liable for the defects in the machine as the contract is through the dealer though the liability for the manufacturing defects is to be borne by the manufacturer”.
The Forum also said the dealer firm had contradicted its own statements by averring differently on the status of registration.
Holding that the complainant had a contract with all the opponents, the forum ordered MUL and Cargo Motors to jointly pay Rs.3,94,662 (the full price of the car, including expenses like registration and municipal charges) to the complainant within two months from the date of the order.
The Forum also ordered MUL and Cargo Motors to pay Rs.2,000 towards cost to the complainant.