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Consumer commission imposes Rs 2 lakh fine on car dealer for harassment, causing mental agony

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NEW DELHI: The Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (DSCDRC) has directed a car dealer to pay Rs 2 lakh as compensation for causing harassment, mental agony and pain to a man who had purchased a car in 2012.

The panel was hearing an appeal filed by T R Sawhney Motors Pvt Ltd, Lajpat Nagar, against the order of a district forum, which directed it to replace the vehicle with a new car or refund the price to complainant Arun Kumar.

According to Kumar, he purchased a Wagon-R car in April 2012 which developed a snag in the speedometer shortly after. Following this, the dealer’s staff took the car for repairs and, during a test drive, the car met with an accident.

After the dealer refused to accede to Kumar’s request for replacing the vehicle because of a sharp decline in its value, he moved the South Delhi district consumer forum, which ordered the dealer to either replace the vehicle or refund the entire amount spent by him on purchasing the car. The dealer moved the state commission against the forum’s order in November 2018.

A bench of DSCDRC chaired by its president Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said, “It is indeed true that if a brand new car gives trouble within a few years of its purchase, any consumer shall feel dissatisfied.”

In its verdict dated February 7, the bench, also comprising judicial member Pinki and general member J P Agrawal, said Kumar suffered mental agony because of the dealer’s conduct.

“It is not in dispute that the car in question suffered from defects due to the negligence of the staff of the appellant (dealer),” the bench said, adding, “We are not oblivious of the fact that the vehicle encountered problems within the very first week of the purchase.”

The commission, however, said Kumar did not provide any expert opinion to establish that the car had a manufacturing defect.

“We modify the order to the extent that instead of replacing the said vehicle or refunding the complete amount of purchase, the appellant is directed to pay a sum of Rs two lakh on account of harassment, mental agony and pain to the respondent (Kumar),” it said. (PTI)

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