The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ropar, on Saturday directed Claas India Pvt. Ltd, a harvester combine company, to pay over Rs 16.3 lakh to a farmer in Bassi Pathana for selling defective equipment.
Forum president Neena Sandhu and member Shavinder Kaur ordered the company to pay the amount to Gurdeep Singh of Thahlan village in Bassi Pathana, within 45 days, failing which the company will have to pay nine percent annual interest on the amount apart from Rs 2,000 as cost of litigation.
Singh had complained that ever since he bought the harvester on January 5, 2011, it did not work properly due to manufacturing defects.
After repeated requests, a company mechanic inspected the equipment. But, he did not repair it. It remained non-functional and he faced losses and suffered "mental agony", said Singh in his complaint.
The company did not replace the defective parts in spite of a warranty, he said.
However, the company's counsel refuted the allegation that the harvester had not worked saying it had logged over 557 hours.
Considering its average capacity as 3 acre an hour for wheat and two acres an hour for paddy, Singh would have earned about Rs 20 lakh between January 2011 and April 2012, argued the counsel.
He argued the company was not liable to pay as the harvester had been misused.
But, the forum ruled in favour of Singh as it was a manufacturing defect and the company had not responded to his repeated requests to replace the parts.
The forum also directed Claas India to pay up in five other similar complaints against it. The company has to refund Rs 17.5 lakh each to Hari Ram, Nemi Chand, Lakhan Singh and Suresh Kumar, all residents of Madhya Pradesh, and Rs 16.3 lakh to Gurvinder Singh of Bassi Pathana.