The Consumers forum has directed a parking contractor to pay up a compensation of Rs 10,000 to a city resident for causing mental agony after his car was stolen from the parking lot in Sector 17 around two years ago. Besides,the forum has also asked the contractor,Rajinder Kumar,to pay Rs 5,000 as litigation costs and Rs 7,450 for the stolen parts of the car,which was recovered later.
The complainant,D P Mehta,said that he had parked his car outside Gurdev Studios in Sector 17 on January 17,2007. He paid a parking fee of Rs 2.50 against the token issued by Kumar. When he came back,he found his car missing. Employees of the contractor feigned ignorance about the matter and an FIR was registered in the case.
The car was then recovered by the police from Ludhiana. However,the stereo,battery,ignition coil,tyres and the RC was stolen from the car which amounted to a loss of over Rs 18,000.
Moreover,according to the complainant,the car had covered a distance of about 75,000 kilometres when it was stolen. But,on recovery,the car had covered a distance of 1,09,511 kilometres and resultantly,its value had reduced manifolds,the complainant pleaded.
He then moved the consumer forum against the contractor and the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.
MC,in its reply,stated that the complainant is a consumer of the contractor and there is no privity of contract regarding parking of vehicles between the MC and the contractor. Therefore,they are not liable to pay any compensation.
The contractor,failed to appear in court and thus the case was proceeded against ex parte. The forum ruled that the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation was not responsible for theft or loss of any vehicle parked in the area. It is the responsibility of the contractor to safeguard the vehicles while it is in his care, the forum ruled.