The Consumer Court in Gandhinagar has ruled that the lawyer did not pay repair costs and hence could not be considered a consumer
Sona Sagar, a practicing attorney and owner of a Tata Nano has been slapped with a hefty fine of Rs.91,000 as parking charges by the Consumer Court in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. She failed to take delivery of her Nano following repairs and hence parking fee at Rs.100 per day for 910 days has been charged.
Repair Complaints and Missing Parts
The issue started when Sona Sagar left her Tata Nano for repairs at Harsolai Brothers workshop on 7th June 2019. Following repairs, she was informed by the workshop to come and pick up the Tata Nano and was handed over a bill of Rs.9.900.
However, as the attorney entered the vehicle she noted some missing parts and complained that the air conditioning and music system were damaged. She refused to pay the bill and got out of the Nano. The Nano continued to be parked at the repair workshop.
Later in 2019, Sona Sagar approached the Consumer Dispute Settlement Commission in Gandhinagar District. She filed a case against Harsolai Bothers accusing them of lack of service and demanded that her Nano be returned to her in a repaired condition with no missing parts.
The service center, on their part, complained that a total of 58 mails were sent to the attorney asking her to collect her vehicle after paying the necessary repair charges. 2 years had passed and the attorney failed to do the needful.
Since the car was lying in the repair garage for 910 days, a parking fee at the rate of Rs.100 per day has been levied amounting to Rs.91,000. In 2020, a further motion was filed by the Attorney stating that she had given the garage instructions on delivery.
She also claimed to have called up the garage on 6 occasions but the car was not delivered. The garage authorities claimed that the complainant, who is a practicing attorney tried to influence them, not pay a penny in terms of repair cost and at the same time demand delivery of her vehicle.
Consumer Court Ruling
On hearing the complaint, the bench headed by Commission President DT Soni and Member JP Joshi opined that the complainant should have paid repair costs at that time. Failure to do so has labelled her a non-consumer and hence is not liable to any compensation. In fact, failure to pay and pick up her Tata Nano after several reminder has seen further depreciation of the vehicle.
Hence the court has ruled that the complainant is at fault and will have to pay the original cost of repairs, parking fee for 910 days at Rs.100 per day relating to Rs.91,000 and in addition the commission has levied a charge of Rs.3,500.