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Consumer panel raps finance company for repossessing vehicle
June, 06th 2008

The Delhi Consumer Commission has rapped a finance company for forcibly taking back a vehicle from its owner after he defaulted in loan repayment, saying using musclemen for recovering money amounted to violation of human rights.

"No society governed by rule of law can allow an individual to take the law in his hands," Commission President Justice J D Kapoor said, dismissing an appeal of Citi Corp Finance India Ltd against a district consumer forum's order.

The district forum had asked the finance company to refund a sum of Rs 2.57 lakh to Janu alias Jan Mohd, whose financed heavy transport vehicle was taken away by recovery agents after he defaulted in loan repayment.

"Loan agreement or even hypothecation contracts are contracts of civil nature and any right to any party...has to be enforced through legal process and not through use of force and coercion," the Commission said.

Referring to various judgements of the Supreme Court and National Consumer Commission, it said finance companies cannot be allowed to be a judge of their own cause.

Upholding the district forum's order, the Commission also enhanced the compensation from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000.

Janu had bought the vehicle in June, 2003 after a loan of Rs 6.56 lakh was sanctioned to him. The loan was to be repaid in 37 EMIs but he had defaulted after paying Rs 4.07 lakh till April, 2005. The finance company had got the vehicle lifted in July, 2005.

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