Deepak Verma

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Consumer Protection Act, 1986 – ss.2(1)(d),(g) & (o) and 12 – Consumer – Deficiency in service – Claim for damages – Truck purchased in auction sale – Respondents authorities delayed delivery of the truck to appellant- auction purchaser and also, despite efforts made by him, did not hand over necessary papers of the truck to him for long number of years – Appellant could not ply the truck for such long number of years – Petition by appellant u/s.12 claiming damages – Held: Buyers of goods/commodities for “self consumption” in economic activities in which they are engaged would be consumers as defined in the Act – Appellant was ‘consumer’ within meaning of s.2(1)(d) as he purchased the truck for earning his livelihood by means of self-employment – Conduct, behaviour and attitude of respondents was highly reprehensible – There was deficiency in services on their part – Rs.1 lakh with 6% interest p.a. directed to be paid by respondents jointly or severally to the appellant. A truck was put in auction sale, on account of default in payment of instalments by its previous owner towards the loan taken by him from bank. Bid of the appellant was the highest. In 1999, the auction was confirmed and treated to be a final sale in favour of the appellant. Appellant deposited the requisite money consideration, however, the respondents authorities handed over the truck in question to the appellant only after six months from the date of auction. Even after getting delivery of the truck, the appellant could not start plying the same as he was not delivered the relevant papers thereof for long number of years despite efforts made by him. The relevant papers of the truck were handed over to the appellant six years after the date of auction. Meanwhile, the appellant filed petition Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 claiming damages. The appellant claimed damages @ Rs.500/- per day and interest at 5% on the amount of Rs.70,000/- deposited by him for the price of the truck and in addition, further claimed damages for mental and social injuries to the tune of Rs.50,000/- plus litigation expenses. The questions which arise for consideration in the present appeals were (i) whether the appellant was a ‘consumer’ within the definition of Section 2(1)(d) of the Act; and (ii) whether there was deficiency in services committed by respondents as contemplated under Section 2(1)(g) of the Act. Disposing of the appeals, the Court HELD:1. Appellant would be deemed to be a consumer within the definition as contained in Section 2(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. A plain reading of Section 2(1) (d) of the Act makes it abundantly clear that appellant would fall in the category of a ‘consumer’ as he had bought the truck for a consideration which was paid by him. It was bought to be used exclusively for the purpose of earning his livelihood by means of self- employment. A further reading of the aforesaid definition of ‘consumer’ makes it clear that Parliament wanted to exclude from the scope of the definition the persons, who obtain goods for resale and also those who purchase goods with a view to use such goods for carrying on any activity for earning. The immediate purpose as distinct from the ultimate purpose of purchase, sale in the same form or after conversion and a direct nexus with profit or loss would be the determinants of the character of a transaction- whether it is for a “commercial purpose” or not. Thus, buyers of goods or commodities for “self consumption” in economic activities in which they are engaged would be consumers as defined in the Act. The purchase of the truck by the appellant would also be covered under explanation to Section 2(1)(d) of the Act. The appellant had mentioned categorically that he had bought the said truck to be used exclusively by him for the purpose of earning his livelihood, by means of self-employment. Even if he was to employ a driver for running the truck aforesaid, it would not have changed the matter in any case, as even then appellant would have continued to earn his livelihood from it and of course, by means of self-employment. Furthermore, there is nothing on record to show that he wanted to use the truck for any commercial purpose. [Paras 23, 24, 25 and 26] [1195-H; 1196-H; 1196-A-G] 2. There is nothing on record to show that any stay was granted in favour of any party, restraining the respondents not to deliver the papers of the truck to the appellant. It would go to show that respondents were unlawfully holding back the papers with them, for which, otherwise they were not entitled to do so. The truck in question was actually handed over to the appellant almost after six months from the date of auction in his favour. Even after getting delivery of the truck he could not have started plying the same unless he was delivered the relevant papers thereof. There is no dispute, which even otherwise stands proved from the voluminous material available on record that despite best efforts made by the appellant, the relevant papers of the truck were handed over to him only after six years from the date of the auction. No plausible or convincing reasons have been assigned by the respondents for not doing so. From the narration of the aforesaid facts, it is clearly made out that respondents were at fault in performance of the services which was otherwise required to be performed by them. What more could be the deficiency in service cannot be described. The respondents were certainly imperfect and the same would amount to shortcoming in quality in providing the service to the appellant. Thus, all the ingredients, to enable the appellant to claim damages under the Act were made out. This has in fact been found by the National Commission also, that is why it proceeded to award compensation of Rs. 25,000/- to the appellant. [Paras 21, 28, 29 and 30] [1194-H; 1195-A; 1197-F-H; 1198-A-C] 3.1. The appellant suffered loss of earning firstly due to non-delivery of vehicle and then due to highly belated supply of requisite documents. Moreover, the value of the truck also depreciated resulting in further loss to him. Thus, the amount awarded by National Commission is too meagre and deserves to be enhanced. [Para 32] [1198-E-F] 3.2. The conduct, behaviour and attitude of the respondents, throughout, has been highly reprehensible. When the bank had issued a Fard Nilami and respondents were entrusted with the job of auction then the said auction should have been implemented fully in letter and spirit. Once the highest bid of the appellant was knocked down in his favour, pursuant thereto, he had deposited the requisite amounts, then as a necessary consequence thereof he should have been delivered the truck immediately along with the necessary documents. For the reasons best known to the respondents they had not only delayed delivery of the truck but had also, despite the efforts made by the appellant, not handed over the papers of the truck to him for long number of years. Any explanation offered during the course of the arguments is not acceptable, which certainly shows their malafide intentions. [Para 34] [1199-B-D] 3.3. Even assuming for a moment that bank had not delivered the papers of the truck to the respondents then it was the duty of the respondents to have insisted the bank for delivery of the papers which they had failed to do. Thus, in any case, there cannot be any escape of the respondents from shaking off the liability fastened on them by the National Commission. [Para 35] [1199-E] 3.4. Taking the totality of the situation as it exists, a total amount of Rs. 1,00,000/- payable by respondents jointly or severally to the appellant would subserve the justice. [Para 36] [1199-F] 4. Even though the Act specifically does not authorise to grant interest but in appropriate cases, grant of interest on the facts and circumstances of the case is permissible. In this case also, keeping the circumstances under which appellant was made to run from pillar to post, to get the documents of the truck from the respondents, ends of justice would be met if interest at the rate of 6% p.a. from the date of the original application till actual payment of the aforesaid enhanced awarded amount is made by the respondents. [Paras 37 and 38] [1199-G-H; 1200-A-B] CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal Nos. 5165 of 2009. From the Judgment & Order dated 18.5.2005 of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi in Revision Petition No. 929 of 2003. WITH C.A. No. 5166 of 2009. R.K. Kapoor, Gunjan Sinha, H. Pant, Anis Ahmed Khan for the Appellants. R.K. Gupta, Manoj Dwivedi, Gunnam Venkateswara Rao for the Respondents.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5165 OF 2009 [Arising out of S.L.P.(C)No.20515 of 2005] Madan Kumar Singh (D) Thr. LR. ….Appellant Versus Distt. Magistrate, Sultanpur & Ors. …Respondents WITH CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5166 OF 2009 [Arising out of S.L.P.(C)No.11210 of 2006] J U D G M E … Continue reading

Murder case – dying declaration of victim -The fact that the incident occurred on 28.7.2003 and Kamini Verma eventually died on 1.8.2003, i.e., 4 days after the recording of the dying declaration also shows that she could certainly have been fit to make her dying declaration on 28.7.2003. Her fitness was actually recorded on the dying declaration by Dr. D.P. Dogra PW11. A number of prosecution witnesses reveal

1 “REPORTABLE” IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.2423 OF 2009 Deepak Verma …. Appellant Versus State of Himachal Pradesh …. Respondent WITH CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.157 OF 2010 Dheeraj Verma …. Appellant Versus State of Himachal Pradesh …. Respondent J U D G M E N T JAGDISH SINGH KHEHAR, … Continue reading

SERVICE MATTERS = AUTOMATIC SELECTION GRADE PROMOTIONS=APEX COURT DIRECTIONS = (i) The Appellant-State would not be entitled to recover financial benefits already extended to the employees, pursuant to the first office order issued by Appellant on 25.01.1992. (ii) The Appellant would not also be entitled to recover any amount which might have been paid to the employees even after issuance of the second clarificatory office Order/ letter dated 24.07.1995 as according to us, recovery of such amount would cause great hardships to the employees. (iii)The employees who have earned censure in the past years for their service record will not be entitled to be granted `Selection Grade’ alongwith those who have a clean and unblemished record. They would be granted `Selection Grade’ only one year thereafter.

1 REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8404 of 2011 [Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No.30570 of 2010] State of Rajasthan & Ors. …Appellants Versus Shankar Lal Parmar …Respondent W I T H C.A.No.8405/2011[Arising out of SLP(C) No.9847 of 2011]; C.A.No.8406/2011[Arising out of SLP(C) No.17093 of 2011]; C.A.No.8414/2011[Arising … Continue reading

even if a Muslim woman has been divorced, she would be entitled to claim maintenance from her husband under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. after the expiry of period of iddat also, as long as she does not remarry.

Crl.A. @ SLP(Crl.)NO.717/09 -1- REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.2309 OF 2009 [Arising out of S.L.P.(Crl.) No.717 of 2009] Shabana Bano ….Appellant Versus Imran Khan ….Respondent J U D G M E N T Deepak Verma, J. 1. Leave granted. 2. Appellant Shabana Bano was married to the … Continue reading

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