In Focus

Forum directs Tata Nano owner to pay 'parking charges' of Rs 91,000

A consumer court in Ahmedabad has directed a Tata Nano owner to pay Rs 90,000 as parking charges. The decision came after the owner did not take the delivery of the car for 910 days from the workshop. The court directed the owner, a lawyer by profession, to pay the workshop, the said sum. The case was filed by a complainant in the Gandhinagar District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission alleging that the Tata car dealer’s workshop did not repair the Tata Nano to her satisfaction.

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Reportedly, the complainant dropped the Tata Nano for service on 7th June 2018. A week later, the Tata workshop called her to inform her that the vehicle is ready and she can pick it up. The total bill of servicing was Rs 9,900. When the complainant reached the workshop to pick up the Nano, she alleged that a few parts of the vehicle including the air-conditioning unit and the music system were damaged. Following an argument, the lawyer refused to take the delivery of the Nano and left the workshop. Later, the woman approached the consumer court for relief and sued the workshop for deficiency in service.

He sought the delivery of the Tata Nano car that she owns in a fully-repaired condition. As per the information by TOI, the woman left the vehicle with the workshop for 910 days, the time it took for the dispute to reach a conclusion by the Gandhinagar District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission.

The dealer claimed that they informed the owner of the car through 58 emails. They even sent a notice to her, asking her to take the vehicle back from the dealership. The lawyer refused to comply with the directions and kept the car at the dealership until the case at the consumer forum was disposed off.

Stating their case in front of the Gandhinagar District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, the car workshop sought payment of Rs 91,000 as parking charges. They also argued that the woman did not take the repaired vehicle for a full 910 days.

According to the policies of the workshop, they charge Rs 100 per day as parking charges when the owner delays receiving a fully serviced and repaired vehicle. In 2020, the lawyer filed another complaint with the Gandhinagar District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission and claimed that the car was not delivered to her despite her efforts to get the vehicle back. She claimed that she kept calling the workshop six times. She demanded the workshop to deliver her repaired car.

The court in its order said, the lawyer ought to have first paid the repairing charges. She cannot be considered a consumer for not paying the repair charges. The car is lying idle in an unworkable and worsening condition by lapse of time for more than two years. The dealer has, in fact, shown good faith and kindness, but it has been its misfortune. In absence of wherewithal of the complainant, opponent is made to wait for the result of this litigation.

The Gandhinagar District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission president D T Soni and member J P Joshi made these comments after levying a parking charge of Rs 91,000 and cost of Rs 3,500 as additional charges.