Chennai: Transport department directed to pay compensation

Chennai: In the rare verdict, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Chennai (South), has directed the transport department to pay a compensation of `25,000 to a car owner for goofing up the registration number of the vehicle four years ago.

The department had issued one registration number to two vehicles. In the petition, S.A. Napina of Chetpet submitted that she purchased a Maruti 800 Model 1995 by availing loan from her employer following due hypothecation.

The Regional Transport Officer, Chennai (Central), Ayanavaram, had allotted a registration number TN 01 J4567 for the vehicle and issued an original RC book with hypothecation endorsement. After clearing all the dues she approached the department for cancelling hypothecation endorsement in 2004. She paid `100 towards cancellation charges.

Instead of cancelling the hypothecation endorsement in the RC Book the department issued fresh R.C. book with a new registration number TN 01 AE 2929 for the vehicle.

The department also cancelled the hypothecation endorsement with effect from February 10, 2004.

He said that the delay in cancelling hypothecation endorsement and issuing a new registration number for the old vehicle caused her mental agony. She sought a compensation of 2 lakh from the department.

In its reply, the department stated that on October 20, 1995, registration number TN 01 J 4567 was allotted to a car Tata Estate belonging to Rafisons Pvt. Ltd.

Later, the same registration number was allotted to car belonged to S.A.Napina, on February 11, 1995.

The mistake came to light when she submitted an application for cancellation of hypothecation.

Later, the department issued new registration number TN01 AE 2929 for her vehicle. Hence the department had not committed deficiency in service and the petition liable to be dismissed.

The bench comprising president M. Mony, members K. Amala and Dr T. Paul Rajasekaran, said the department had committed a gross mistake of allotting of one registration number for two vehicles.

Their action would have caused mental agony to the petitioner. Considering the facts and circumstances, this Forum directed the Regional Transport Officer, Chennai (Central), Ayanavaram, the transport commissioner, transport department, Ezhilagam and the grievance department, Regional Transport Office, jointly and severally liable to pay compensation of `25,000 to the car owner.

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