HP State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Shimla

Surjit Singh, President, Chander Shekhar Sharma and Prem Chauhan, Members

Honda Siel Cars India Ltd - Appellant

(Now Honda Cars India Ltd)

Versus

Raj Kumar Dhiman and Anr - Respondents

First Appeal No. 149 of 2011                                                                     Decided on 23.4.2012

Consumer Protection Act, 1986 - Section 2(1)(g) - Territorial Jurisdiction - Respondent-Complainant paid Rs. 1,00,000 as advance payment for purchase of a vehicle at concessional rate - Complaint filed by Respondent-Complainant regarding non-delivery of vehicle - Allowed by District Forum – Appeal - Annexure C1 was a writing indicating price of car - After receipt of quotation, Respondent-Complainant made an offer by submitting a draft of Rs. 1,00,000 - Condition No. 4 of Annexure C3 stated that in case of any Disputes, same would be subject to jurisdiction of courts at Jammu only - Hence District Forum, Kangra at Dharamshala lacked territorial Jurisdiction to entertain and adjudicate the matter - Impugned order of District Forum set aside.          (Para 9, 10)

Result: Appeal allowed.

Order (Oral)

Surjit Singh, President - This appeal by M/s Honda Siel Cars India Ltd, who was one of the Opposite Parties in a complaint filed by Respondent Shri Raj Kumar Dhiman, is directed against the order dated 4.4.2011 of learned District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Kangra, at Dharamshala, whereby it has been directed to make available one Honda Civic Hybrid 1.3 car at a concessional rate of Rs.13,42,800 and in case it (Appellant) is unable to make available the said car, to pay a sum of Rs. 8,50,000 with interest at the rate of 10% per annum, as the said car was agreed to be sold at a rebate of Rs. 8,50,000. In addition to aforesaid direction, Appellant has been directed to pay Rs. 50,000 as compensation for mental pain, inconvenience, agony, etc. and Rs. 5,000 as litigation charges.

2.Appellant had issued a press note, per which a limited number of Honda Civic Hybrid 1.3 cars was to be sold at a concessional rate of Rs.13,42,800 against usual price of Rs. 21,92,800.  According to tile Complainant, he approached M/s Trehan Automobiles Private Limited, who were one of authorized dealers of the Appellant and had their place of work at Jammu and the said Respondent made an offer to make available one car, in case a bank draft for Rs. 1,00,000 was submitted. Respondent Raj Kumar Dhiman then submitted a bank draft for Rs. 1,00,000 to Respondent M/s Trehan Automobiles Private Limited. According to him, he became entitled to a car of the aforesaid make and model at concessional rate, because of acceptance of amount of Rs. 1,00,000.

3.Respondent-Complainant averred that in December 2008, he was informed that car could not be made available under the scheme and he could have his money amounting to Rs. 1,00,000 back. Upon receiving this communication, Complainant-Respondent filed a complaint under Section 12 of Consumer Protection Act, before learned District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Kangra, at Dharamshala.

4.Appellant contested the complaint and also challenged the jurisdiction of Learned District Forum. It was stated that as per letter of contract, Courts at Jammu alone had the Jurisdiction to settle all disputes arising between the parties. According to the Appellant, this was a case of written contract, which contained the aforesaid condition regarding territorial jurisdiction. The contract relied upon by them is Annexure C3.

5.Learned District Forum has held that a part of transaction took place within its jurisdiction, because it was in its jurisdiction that the Respondent-Complainant read advertisement and also the car was to be delivered within its jurisdiction. It has also been observed that communication was received by the Respondent-Complainant within its jurisdiction. Learned District Forum has not dealt with the real issue raised by the Appellant, with regard to jurisdiction, viz. the written contract Annexure C3 specifically stated, vide Clause 4 that Courts at Jammu alone were to have the jurisdiction to resolve any dispute that might arise between the parties. Learned District Forum held that by accepting an amount of Rs. 1,00,000, Appellants bound themselves to supply a car at concessional rate and consequently passed the impugned order.

6.We have heard learned counsels for the parties and gone through the record.

7.It has been submitted on behalf of the Appellant that learned District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Kangra, at Dharamshala, did not have the jurisdiction on account of the contract Annexure C3 containing a clause that Courts at Jammu would have the exclusive jurisdiction to settle the disputes that might arise between the parties. Learned counsel representing the Respondent-Complainant submits that contract was completed by correspondence and actions. According to him, when the Respondent-Complainant, on receipt of an offer (Annexure C1) sent a draft of Rs. 1,00,000 to M/s Trehan Automobiles Pvt Ltd, Jammu, the contract should be understood to have been completed, as the sending of bank draft amounted to acceptance of offer contained in Annexure C1.

8.Annexure C1 is in the nature of quotation of Honda Civic Hybrid 1.3. The letter indicates ex-showroom price plus logistic charges. This quotation was sent to the Respondent-Complainant by Respondent M/s Trehan Automobiles Pvt Ltd, after he made a telephonic call to the latter. According to learned counsel for the Respondent-Complainant, Annexure C1 is an offer by Respondent M/s Trehan Automobiles Pvt Ltd, on behalf of the present Appellant. We are unable to accept this argument, because the document is simply a writing quoting the price of car and not making any offer. There is no mention in the document that a sum of                    Rs. 1,00,000 was required to be deposited for booking the car. Therefore, Respondent-Complainant’s contention that by submitting a draft of Rs. 1,00,000, he accepted the alleged offer made through Annexure C1, cannot be upheld.

9.In our considered view, Annexure C1 was nothing but a writing indicating the price of car. After receipt of quotation, Respondent-Complainant made an offer by submitting a draft of Rs. 1,00,000 in accordance with advertisement press note referred to above. Respondent M/s Trehan Automobiles Pvt Ltd accepted the said amount against Annexure C3 and it was by this acceptance that the contract can be said to have been completed between the parties. Condition No. 4 of Annexure C3 states that in case of any disputes, the same will be subject to jurisdiction of Courts at Jammu only.

10.In view of the above stated position, we are of the considered view that learned District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Kangra at Dharamshala did not have the territorial jurisdiction to entertain and adjudicate the matter. Consequently, appeal is allowed and the impugned order is set aside. Respondent-Complainant may, if so desire, approach the appropriate Court/Forum.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 FADA India. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.
Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations(FADA)
Website by Carazoo