Regional Transport Officer Dharamshala

Consumer Complaint No.82/08

Date of presentation: 25.3.2008

Date of decision: 7.11.2009

Kishori Lal son of Bardu Ram resident of VPO Alampur, Tehsil Jaisinghpur, District Kangra-HP

Complainant

Versus

The Regional Transport Officer Dharamshala, Tehsil Dharamshala, District Kangra-HP Opposite party

Complaint under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986

PRESIDENT: R.K.MITTAL

MEMBER: PARDEEP DOGRA
For the complainant: Sh. B.C.Katoch, Advocate

For the O.Ps:Sh. Sandeep Agnihotri, learned Govt. Pleader

R.K.MITTAL, PRESIDENT (ORAL)
The brief facts of the complaint, as alleged are that the complainant Sh. Kishori Lal, is the owner of transport namely “M/S Kailash Giri Bus Service, Head Office-Alampur, Tehsil Jaisinghpur, District Kangra-HP” (hereinafter referred to as “Kailash Giri Bus Service”), and he has been plying the various buses on different routes allotted to him by the Regional Transport Officer, Dharamshala, from time to time, for earning his livelihood.

It is alleged that the complainant was allowed by the opposite party, to ply the bus from Sujanpur to Dharamshala at 7.30 a.m., and he had continuously paid the tax to the concerned authorities. The complainant had suddenly stopped his bus from plying on the road, and he had informed the concerned authorities accordingly.

It is alleged that in the month of May 2000, the opposite party, without taking any no objection from him(complainant), had allowed one Sh. Rakesh Walia son of Sh. Kirpal Singh, resident of VPO Alampur( owner of Bus No.HP-37-3282), to ply his vehicle, against his (complainant’s) route permit. It is alleged that Mr. Rakesh Walia, had given an affidavit to the opposite party that he would pay all the taxes. It is alleged by the complainant that he in the month of April 2003, had asked the opposite party for the renewal of his route permit, but the opposite party had asked him to pay a sum of Rs.25743/-, being the arrears of tax. The complainant has further contended that he has no concern with Sh. Rakesh Walia (owner of Bus No.HP-37-3282). It is also contended by the complainant that the total amount of arrears of the tax was Rs.56743/-, out of which, Sh. Rakesh Walia, had paid Rs.25,000/-.

The complainant has also contended that on 4.8.2007, he had sent a notice through his counsel to the opposite party, and the said notice was duly replied by the opposite party. The complainant had visited the office of the opposite party, number of times, seeking refund of his money, but they had refused to refund it on one pretext, or the other. So, there is clear cut deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party.

The complainant has contended that the cause of action had accrued to him in April 2003, and is continuous one, so the opposite party be directed to refund a sum of Rs.25743/- to him, alongwith interest. He has claimed compensation to the tune of Rs.10,000/-, for his mental agony, and harassment. He has also claimed litigation costs to the tune of Rs.3,000/-.

2. The opposite party has contested this complaint by filing their reply on 3.6.2008, in which they have admitted that the complainant is holder of “State Carriage Permit” for route Sujanpur-Dharamshala via Thural, Palampur, kangra-01RT daily, issued by them, which is valid upto 16.11.2009. They have also contended that the vehicle was not stopped suddenly by the complainant, but bus No.HP-37-3282 was deleted from the permit on 19.6.2002, and this aforesaid route permit was plied with bus No..HP-37-00082. The bus was later-on impounded due to default in payment of the taxes on 16.11.2002, which was thereafter released on 23.9.2006. It is contended that on production of Registration Certificate, and Insurance of Bus No.HP-37-3282, duly registered in the name of “M/S Kailash Giri bus Service”, the vehicle was allowed to be plied on this route.

The opposite party has contended that the complainant has tried to mis-lead this Forum, about the actual status of the bus/route permit. They have contended that no notice to Sh. Rakesh Walia was served on 10.4.2001. Infact, “M/S Kailash Giri Bus Service” was served with a notice on 23.3.2002, for depositing the SRT arrears to the tune of Rs.56743/-. The owner had presented himself in their office, in view of the notice, and had requested that the vehicle is owned by Sh. Rakesh Walia, and is managed with M/S Kailash Giri Bus Service, hence simultaneously; a notice was also given to Sh. Rakesh Walia, in view of the request of the owner of the vehicle, on 10.4.2002. It is contended by the opposite party that the State Carriage Permit is issued to the person in whose name, it is sanctioned by the Regional Transport Authority, and a Registration Certificate, duly of the same ownership, is provided. Any agreement, arrived at between the two parties, carries no weight for issue of permit, so, they (opposite party) had rightly realized the special road tax from the registered owner of the vehicle.

The opposite party has also contended that the bus No.HP-37-3282, stood deleted on the permit, and another replaced bus No.HP-37-0482, plied on the road, was impounded, so, the renewal of the permit without the bus, does not arise. So far as, the payment of Rs.25,000/-, is concerned, the picture given by the complainant is false, and vague. The actual amount so deposited is Rs.17000/-, vide receipt No.786876 dated 22.6.002, and the balance special road tax arrears, amounting to the tune of Rs.25943/-, were recovered from the complainant, vide receipt No.DA-1728 dated 23.9.2006 while releasing the permit.

The opposite party has contended that the complainant has not come with clean hands before this Forum. He has tried to seek refund of amount, which was paid in the year 2000, and it has no relevance with the amount of Rs.56743/-, so they have prayed for dismissal of the complaint with costs.

3. No re-joinder has been filed by the complainant in this complaint, either admitting or denying the contentions of the opposite party, made in their reply.

4. We have considered the arguments of Sh. B.C. Katoch, Advocate, learned counsel for the complainant, and of Sh. Sandeep Agnihotri, learned Govt. Pleader, appearing of behalf of the opposite party, and we have also carefully gone through the file, facts, and the evidence on the record.

5. We will like to mention here that the complainant has not made the facts, in his complaint so crystal clear, so as to disclose his proper cause of action. From the perusal of the complaint, we are not clear and certain that which amount he had deposited extra, and whose amount, he wants the refund. It looks that he has not intentionally depicted the true facts in his complaint. He has not come with clean hands. He seems to have mis-led this Forum. From the perusal of the averments made in the complaint, and facts on the file, it is crystal clear that his complaint is clearly time barred. It is not maintainable. Neither he has got any cause of action, nor has got any locus standi to file this complaint. Although. The complainant has tried to support/corroborate the certain averments/facts, of the complaint on oath, in his affidavit Ex.CW-1, but we will like to mention here that “Section 20 of the H.P. Motor Vehicle Taxation (Amendment) Act, 1999 bars the jurisdiction of Civil, and Criminal Courts, in the matter of taxation. This section provides that “the liability of a person to pay the tax, or penalty shall not be determined, or questioned in any other manner, or by any other authority than is provided in this act, or in rules made there under, and no prosecution, suit or other proceedings shall lie against any Government Officer, for any thing in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act”. The complainant has relied upon the copy of the notice dated 4.8.2007, sent on his behalf to the opposite party, which is Annexure C-1. From the perusal of this notice, it is revealed out that the wrong facts have been mentioned in this notice, on behalf of the complainant. It is mentioned in this notice, that Sh. Rakesh Walia is the owner of the vehicle bearing No.HP-37-3282. From the perusal of the registration certificate of this vehicle, (Annexure OP-4), it is revealed out that “M/S Kailash Giri Bus Service” is the owner of this vehicle. From the perusal of Annexure OP-6, (which is the photo copy of the registration certificate of the vehicle bearing No.HP-37-0482), it is revealed out that this vehicle is also owned by the complainant Sh. Kishori Lal. The complainant has mentioned in Para No.2 of his notice-dated 4.8.2007(Annexure C-1), that Sh. Rakesh Walia, is the owner of bus No.HP-37-3282. The said bus was allowed route permit from Sujanpur to Dharamshala. Sh. Rakesh Walia was in arrears of Special Road Tax. A notice for recovery of Rs.56743/- was served upon Sh. Rakesh Walia vide office letter dated 10.4.2001, issued by the RTO, Dharamshala. Sh. Rakesh Walia had deposited Rs.25,000/-, and had got his bus released, which was impounded by the RTO in connection with accumulated arrears of Special Road Tax. It is also mentioned in this Para that Sh. Rakesh Walia, had given his affidavit on 24.5.2000, stating therein that he had attached his bus HP-37-3282 with “M/S Kailash Giri Bus Service-HP” Alampur, Tehsil Jaisinghpur, District Kangra-HP. The said affidavit was submitted in the office of RTO, Dharamshala, but the RTO did not verify the facts of the affidavit, It was not verified by the then RTO Dharamshala that whether Bus No.HP-37-3282 was actually attached with transport “M/S Kailash Giri Bus Service” or not. In October/November 2006, the complainant had approached the opposite party for fresh route permit for the bus newly purchased, but the RTO had insisted upon the complainant to deposit a sum of Rs.25743/-, being the arrears of SRT of Bus NO.HP-37-3282, owned, and possessed by Sh. Rakesh Walia. This amount of Rs.25743/- was forcibly, and illegally got recovered from the complainant.

6. It is also mentioned in this notice that Rs.25743/-, being arrears of SRT, were payable by Sh. Rakesh Walia, which were recovered from the complainant. The relief sought in the notice is refund of Rs.25743/- with interest @ 18% per annum from November 2006. The complainant has also relied upon the photo cop of the affidavit of Sh. Rakesh Walia, which is Annexure C-3, but it is pertinent to mention here that the facts mentioned in the affidavit, and facts mentioned in the notice dated 4.8.2007, served on behalf of the complainant upon the opposite party, are absolutely different, from the averments made in the complaint.

7. The complainant has relied upon the reply of the notice sent by the RTO, which is Annexure C-2. In reply, it is alleged that no notice was served upon Sh. Rakesh Walia, was served upon on 10.4.2001.Infact, this notice was sent upon “M/S Kailash Giri Bus Service” on 23.3.2002 for deposit of SRT arrears to the tune of Rs.56743/-. It is also mentioned in the reply to the notice by the RTO, that in view of this notice, issued to “M/S Kailash Giri Bus Service” the owner had presented himself in the office of the opposite party, and had made request that the vehicle was owned by Sh. Rakesh Walia, and is managed and plied with “M/S Kailash Giri Bus Service”, so simultaneously; a notice was also given to Sh. Rakesh Walia on 10.4.2002. We have perused the document Annexure C-4. It is a notice given by RTO Dharamshala to Sh. Rakesh Walia on 10.4.2002, for deposit of SRT, amounting to Rs.56743/-. We fail to understand that when the vehicle HP-37-3282 was in the ownership of the complainant “M/S Kailash Giri Bus Service” then why the RTO in the year 2002 had permitted Sh. Rakesh Walia to use the route permit from Sujanpur to Dharamshala via Nagri-Yol-(0.1RT), daily. We also fail to understand that what was the necessity with the RTO-Dharamshala in the year 2000, to take his affidavit (Annexure C-3), in which, false facts were mentioned that Mr. Rakesh Walia is the owner of Bus HP-37-3282. No action was taken by the then RTO, intentionally in the year 2000, when Sh. Rakesh Walia, had filed a false affidavit, which seems to have been managed in-connivance with the complainant. As per the contentions/admissions of the opposite party, the State Carriage Permit is issued to a person in whose favour it is sanctioned, by the Regional Transport Officer, and R.C showing the ownership is required to be produced. The RTO-Dharamshala in the year 2000, and 2002 was duty bound to take the consent of the complainant, in writing, for giving the route permit of bus No.HP-37-3282 to Sh. Rakesh Walia. We have today seen the original record of the RTO office, Dharamshala, brought by their Senior Assistant Sh. Ram Krishan. There is application/consent given by the complainant on the record. It looks that whole of the things have been mixed hotchpotch in conspiracy, and in-connivance of the complainant, and Sh. Rakesh Walia, and the then RTO Dharamshala of year 2000, and 2002. Since, a false affidavit seems to have been given by Sh. Rakesh Walia, so the then RTO was duty bound to take legal action against him, but nothing was done by him, with a malafide intention for the reasons, best known to him.

8. We will like to mention here that the pleadings of the complaint, are contradictory to the actual position, and contents of the affidavit of Sh. Rakesh Walia. Annexure C-5, is the receipt dated 23.9.2006, regarding deposit of Rs.56718/-, with the office of the opposite party. On the other hand, Ex.OPW-1, is the affidavit of Sh. M.S. Chauhan, the then RTO-Dharamshala, attested on 6.3.2009. From the perusal of this affidavit (Ex.OPW-1), we fail to understand that whether it is para-wise reply to the complaint, or this is an affidavit in support of the reply, filed by the opposite party. From the perusal of Annexure OP-6, it is revealed out that “M/S Kailash Giri Bus Service” is the owner of Bus No.HP-37-0482. We fail to understand that why the aforesaid route permit in question, was deleted from Bus No.HP-37-3282, and how it was plied with Bus No.HP-37-0482. No ruling/instructions has been cited by either of the party to depict that a registered owner of a particular bus, can use the route permit for the another bus, owned by some other registered owner of the vehicle. When Sh. Rakesh Walia had given his affidavit (Annexure C-3), before the then RTO-Dharamshala in the year 2000, it was his bounden duty to verify the apparent facts prima-facie to ascertain that who was the actual owner of the vehicle NO.HP-37-3282, and if to his satisfaction, false facts were mentioned in the affidavit (Annexure C-3), then why he did not take any action against Sh. Rakesh Walia. The connivance of the complainant with Sh. Rakesh Walia, and the then RTO, Dharamshala, in the year 2000, and 2002, is very much apparent/crystal clear. So, we are of the considered opinion that a proper inquiry should be held by the Principal Secretary Transport-Shimla, and legal action as per law, should be taken at this stage, against the defaulting person’s, within a period of six months from the date of receipt of copy of this order, and action taken report be sent to this Forum, for our perusal, and record.

9. The averments of the complainant, made in the complaint, are not supported/corroborated by the evidence on the file. Hence, his complaint deserves to be dismissed. Accordingly, it is dismissed, with no order as to costs. The copy of this order be sent to the parties, and to Principal Secretary, H.P. Transport at Shimla for information by post, free of costs, by post, and the file after it’s due completion be consigned to the record-room.

Comments

  • edited September 2014
    Dear Sir

    As per the direction of HP State to provide HSRP no and RC with . I have got number place having no. HP-39-7496 and deposited my RC with HSRP authorization no . HP39/2012/0000009280 dated 18/12/2012
    but till date they have not provided me the RC after several request

    Kindly help me

    thanks
    Pradeep Katoch
    Vill Garh Jamula
    PO Malkher
    Tehsil Palampur
    HP -176093
    Ph.9459240976
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