National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): C. Viswanath (Presiding Member) expressed that:
Law is settled that illegal and forceful means cannot be adopted by Banks to seize any property.
The present revision petition was filed by the petitioners against the order dated 31-10-2011 of the West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission wherein the appeal filed by the petitioners was dismissed.
Complainant had purchased a ten-wheeler truck financed by OP 1 and accordingly OP 1 through OP 2. Further, the complainant entered into an agreement with OP 1and accordingly both OP 1and 2 sanctioned a loan of Rs 9,15,000. The Complainant was supposed to repay a sum of Rs 11,57,700 in 47 instalments.
Thereafter, when it came to the notice of the Complainant that the Registration Certificate bore the name of Opposite Party 3 as a joint registered owner, on enquiry, Opposite Party 3 informed him that he had incurred an expenditure of Rs 45,000 from his own pocket in order to get the loan sanctioned in favour of the Complainant and as and when the Complainant would repay the same, he would take necessary steps to remove his name from the Registration Certificate.
Later, although the Complainant paid Rs 45,000 to Opposite Party 3 in two instalments, Opposite Party 3 took no steps to delete his name from the Registration Certificate. Further, Opposite Party 3 detained the vehicle by force and removed its tyres to render it defunct. According to the Complainant, Opposite Parties, in collusion with each other, seized the vehicle.
Bench stated that it is not understood as to why respondent 2/OP 3 took possession of the vehicle and removed its tyres and later on said to have voluntarily handed over the possession of the vehicle to the petitioners.
The Petitioners could not place any evidence as to any notice having been given to the Complainant for seizure of the vehicle nor any notice of auction of the vehicle.
Commission expressed that District Forum rightly held “we do not see any reason to accept the contention of Opposite Party 2 that they did not take possession of the vehicle in question by force.”
State Commission observed that the vehicle was auctioned without issuing any prior notice to the Complainant.
Law is settled that illegal and forceful means cannot be adopted by Banks to seize any property. Due notice had to be given for seizure of the vehicle and following the established procedure the vehicle could be seized and later auctioned.
While concluding the bench decided that the petitioners in collusion with respondent 2/OP 3 adopted illegal and unfair means in seizure of the vehicle which amounted to unfair trade practice.
Jurisdiction of this Commission under Section 21 (b) is very limited. This Commission is not required to re-appreciate and reassess the evidences and reach its own conclusion. The Court can intervene only when the petitioner succeeds in showing that the Fora below has wrongly exercised its jurisdiction or there is a miscarriage of justice.
Referring to the decision of Supreme Court in Rubi (Chandra) Dutta v. United India Insurance Co. Ltd. (2011) 11 SCC 269 and Lourdes Society Snehanjali Girls Hostel v. H&R Johnson (India) Ltd., (2016) 8 SCC 286, Commission did not find any infirmity or illegality in the impugned order. [Manager, IndusInd Bank Ltd. v. Abani Kanta Das, 2021 SCC OnLine NCDRC 14, decided on 11-01-2021]
Advocates for the parties:
For the Petitioner: Rana Ranjit, Advocate
For the Respondent 1: Somraj Gangopadhyay, Advocate