SC tells Tata Finance to pay up for impounding vehicle
The Supreme Court has dismissed a Tata Finance petition challenging a consumer court order, directing the company to pay more than Rs 7.55 lakh as compensation to the respondent for repossessing his vehicle.
A bench headed by Justice R. V. Raveendran upheld the orders of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and the Maharashtra State Consumer Commission, asking the company to also pay Rs 50,000 as cost and interest at the rate of 15 per cent to the respondent.
Challenging the Commission’s order Tata Finance had said that the consumer court’s decision reflected a general bias against finance companies.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission had observed in its order that Tata had “unjustifiably, arbitrarily and malafidely taken away the vehicle” of Francis Soeiro who “lost his life savings.” Soeiro had entered into a hire-purchase agreement with Tata Finance in February 1999 for purchasing a Tata 407 Bus Chasis from its manufacturer Telco (now Tata Motors). The company claimed he had defaulted in paying his installments following which it issued notices to him.
It further said that the finance company had taken the possession of the vehicle only after the complainant had used it for two years and even during the period the vehicle was being run on charter for some pharma company in Goa. However, the company had auctioned the vehicle at a low price, it added.
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