Ravinder Raj Vs M/S.
Competent Motors Co. Pvt. Ltd. & ANR
O R D E R
Special Leave Petitions, being SLP(C) Nos. 10364 of 2006 and 9739-9740 of 2009,
have been filed against the judgment and order dated 19th July, 2005, passed by
the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission at New Delhi in Revision
Petition No.1485 of 2005 and the order dated 7th August, 2008 passed by the said
Commission in Revision Petition No.2974 of 2005 filed by the respondent No.1, Maruti
Udyog Limited and also M.A.No.599 of 2006 in Revision Petition 1533 of 2005
filed by the respondent No.2, namely, Competent Motors Co. Pvt. Ltd., the dealer.
petitioner, Mr. Ravinder Raj, who is appearing in person, applied to Maruti Udyog
Ltd. in 1985-1986 for booking a Maruti Car-800 and deposited a sum of
Rs.10,000/- as initial/advance booking payment. On 15th July, 1988, the respondent
No.2 informed the petitioner by letter of even date that his Maruti Car AllotmentNo.0802-N-04051
had matured for delivery and requested the petitioner to make payment of the full
amount of the price of the car for delivery of the vehicle after completing the
necessary formalities. Pursuant to the above letter, the petitioner on 16th
February, 1989, paid a total amount of Rs.78,351.05 which covered the price of the
vehicle, insurance charges and other minor charges, including registration
charges. There is no denial that the petitioner had opted for a cream colour
1st March, 1989, there was an increase in the excise duty payable, causing a
price hike of about Rs.6710.61. On 18th March, 1989, the petitioner received a
letter from the respondentNo.2 to deposit the excess amount payable as excise
duty, and, accordingly, the petitioner did so under protest on 16th February,
official billing in respect of the car was done on 5th April, 1989.
petitioner has contended that the delay in delivery of the vehicle to him by
the respondents was not occasioned by any failure or negligence on his part and
the liability to pay the increased amount on account of increase in excise
duty, was not that of the petitioner, but of the respondents concerned. The
petitioner, therefore, applied to the District Consumer Forum for a direction
upon the respondents to bear the increase in excise duty resulting in increase
in the price. Such a prayer was rejected by the District Consumer Forum. The petitioner
then went to the State Forum which allowed the petitioner's claim. Against the said
order, the respondents went before the National Commission, which reversed the
order passed by the State Forum. It is against the said order that the
petitioner has come to this Court by way of this Special Leave Petition.
indicated hereinabove, the main ground urged by the petitioner is that since he
was not responsible for the delay in the delivery of the vehicle, he should not
be made to bear the increase in the price, particularly, when from the
documents, as indicated by him, the vehicle of the colour chosen by him was
available with the respondents. He, therefore, submitted that the order of the
National Forum was erroneous and was liable to be set aside.
for the dealer, M/s. Competent Motors Co. Pvt. Ltd., Ms. Sapna Sinha, learned advocate
pointed out that even from the receipt of the amount paid by the petitioner on 16thFebruary,
1989, it will be clear that the amount paid was subject to the price prevailing
on the date of the invoice. According to learned counsel, since the bill was
dated 5th of April,1989, it was the petitioner who was required to bear the increase
in price on account of the increase in excise duty. Furthermore, she reiterated
that the colour which the petitioner had wanted was not available at that point
of time, although, from the documents it would appear that the same was
available. According to her, the said documents only indicated that these were
the colours in which the cars were being manufactured and did not really
indicate the fact that such a colour was available on a particular date.
to her, there was no negligence on the part of the dealer since having received
intimation about the readiness of the vehicle, the respondent No.2 had
immediately informed the petitioner, but unfortunately, in the meantime, the
price had risen. According to the learned counsel, the respondent No.2 could not,
therefore, be made liable for the increase in theprice.
Dayal, appearing for the the Maurti Udyog Limited, while adopting the submissions
made by Ms. Sinha, also added that having regard to Section 64 of the Sale of
Goods Act, 1930,the burden of any increase in the price by way of additional
taxes would have to be borne by the customer and not by the manufacturer. He
also reiterated that since there was no negligence on the part of the manufacturer
in making the vehicle available to the petitioner and since no mala fide intention
had been proved, the petitioner would have to bear the increase in theprices.
considered the submissions made, we may refer to the letter of 15th July, 1988,
which had been written on behalf of the respondent No.2to the petitioner indicating
that the petitioner's allotment No. had matured for delivery. In the second paragraph
of the letter, the respondent No.2 requested the petitioner to complete the
modalities for effecting delivery of the car against the allotment number. It
was categorically indicated that on receiving payment, delivery would be effected
in the sequence of priority. Coupled with the above is the proforma invoice
dated 15th July, 1988, where it was further indicated that the price prevailing
at the time of billing would be applicable, despite the fact that the details
of the price of the vehicle were set out in the said invoice.
indicated hereinabove, even in the receipt given to the petitioner for payment
of the amount in the proforma invoice, it had been indicated that the prices
prevailing on the date of billing would apply.
this case, the billing was done on 5thof April, 2009. In the absence of any
evidence of any deliberate intention on the part of the respondents to delay delivery
of the vehicle, we are unable to agree with the petitioner that the increase in
price has to be borne by the respondents. The petitioner had relied on two decisions
of this Court in the case of Omprakash Vs. Assistant Engineer, Haryana Agro
Industries Corpn. Ltd., 1994(3)SCC 504 and Mohinder Pratap Dass Vs Modern
Automobiles and Anr. 1995(3)SCC581, on the same issue. The said two decisions in
our view are not applicable to the facts of this case, on account of the fact
that in the said two matters patent deficiency in the service had been found by
the Court and it was also pointed out that there was no satisfactory explanation
for the delay in delivery of the goods to the consumers, which is not the case
as far as this particular matter is concerned.
having regard to the provisions of Section 46A(1)(b) of the Sale of Goods Act,
1930, it is the liability of the petitioner to pay the extra price when the
excise duty had been enhanced prior to the delivery of the vehicle.
such circumstances, the Special Leave Petition fails and is dismissed.
in view of this order, the other Special Leave Petition in which interest on
the amount claimed has been prayed for, does not survive and is also dismissed.
will, however, be no orders as to costs in both the matters.