THANE: A Dombivli resident won a four-year-long legal battle with a private bankwhich had illegally withheld the original ownership documents to his SUV in spite of repaying the loan taken to purchase the SUV.
The district consumer disputes redressal forum here ruled in favour of Sadashiv Patil and ordered the Andheri branch of HDFC to compensate the car owner for the harassment and deficiency in service by paying him Rs 15,000 before October 31.
Patil had dragged the bank to the consumer court and claimed that the bank had desisted from returning the Registration Certificate (RC) Book and original papers of his car in spite of clearing all dues owed to the bank.
Patil said he had taken a loan of Rs 4.32 lakh from the bank in June 2005 to purchase a Qualis SUV. He was regular in paying the instalments till a couple of years, but subsequently due to financial constraints he defaulted on making the payments. Subsequently, he received a notice from the bank for payment of pending instalments and the amount quoted was Rs 3.60 lakhs, which he paid subsequently and the entire amount was cleared by January 08, 2008.The bank, however, had seized the car which was returned subsequently. However, in spite of clearing the loan amount and his car returned by the bank, they did not part with the RC book and the original documents. Patil sent a reminder and slapped a legal notice on the bank on January 28, 2013, but the bank did not bother to either return the papers or reply to his communication, compelling Patil to file a case before the consumer forum.
Notices issued by the forum to the bank, failed to elicit any response and so the matter was decided ex-parte against the bank.
President of the forum Sneha S Mhatre and Member Madhuri S Vishwarupe held that Patil had amply proved that it was clear case of deficiency in services by the bank which needs to be compensated.
The forum ordered the bank to return the RC book and original documents of the vehicle submitted by the complainant to it and also pay the compensation of Rs 10,000 towards the mental sufferings and Rs 5,000 legal expenses by October 31 else pay interest at 9% till the realization of the amount the forum ordered.