A district consumer commission has directed that a second-hand car buyer be provided with car papers along with its registration within 60 days or pay Rs6 lakh for the Rs7.70 paid by her. The commission, though ruled in the buyer's favour, directed only part amount stating that the buyer had shown carelessness and neglectful behaviour, there was lockdown and car was not used and she had agreed to Rs6 lakh in her negotiations with the seller. It did not give compensation citing part fault of the buyer but directed that Rs5,000 be given towards litigation costs.
The order dated April 20 was passed by Preeti Chamikutty and Shradha Jalnapurkar, members of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Suburban. The order was given on a complaint by Malad resident Sanjana Casyab against Borivali-based Gravity Motors.
Casyab decided to buy a second-hand car and approached Gravity Motors in September 2019. Within a week she paid Rs7.40 lakh for the Maruti Ciaz Automatic ZXI car and Rs30,000 towards its registration. Gravity gave possession of the car to Casyab but did not provide the papers related to it. When she followed up several times, Gravity promised to give a Skoda car in return for the one given. When nothing came by, she demanded a refund. Gravity, however, offered to refund only Rs5.50 lakh initially which Casyab refused to accept.
For two years when nothing happened and Casyab could neither use the car properly or get insurance done for the car, she then filed a complaint with the consumer commission in 2022 as the car was still in the name of the original owner.
During the hearing, the commission observed that Gravity should have given away the car after doing all formalities. It also said that the buyer should have taken the car after checking all details prior to taking possession. It added that paying the money for the car, using it for two years without proper paper showed neglectful behaviour on the part of the buyer. There is proof of asking for car papers in writing from January 2021, which shows carelessness on the part of the buyer.
Keeping that in mind, the commission said, it was still the seller's duty to ensure that all things were in place before the car was given. While that was not done even when the buyer continued to seek the car papers, it showed that the car was not with the seller. From this, it seems that the seller tried to trap the buyer and indulged in deficiency in service and unfair trade practices. It then directed the compensation be paid.