A consumer court, on Tuesday, passed the second largest decree in the history of the court against a tracking company for its failure to help recover a stolen car and destroying relevant evidence. The complainant was granted Rs1,509,430
An official in the consumer court’s administration said that this was the largest settlement in the court’s history since 2009, when a case was settled for Rs1.8 million.
Petitioner Shahid Aqeel had asked the court to direct the respondents to pay him Rs11,681,830 as damages.
He submitted that on January 27, 2010, he installed a Car Tracking System provided by the respondents. He said he also purchased the respondent’s services, Car Tracking through GPS/GSM Satellite Control System”.
He said on June 14, 2010, his car was stolen from his home. He received a call at 4:24 am from the tracking company that someone was tampering with his car’s battery. He immediately called the police. The respondent’s security staff reached the last known location of the stolen car, which they had been able to track through their system. According to the petitioner, the respondents found broken parts of their tracking system there, which they seized. The petitioner said the tracking company never handed over the pieces of the car tracking system to the police.
The petitioner said that the data for 13 hours and 21 seconds before the theft was deliberately concealed by the company and was missing from their report. He said the faulty services of the respondents had deprived him of his car.
The respondent raised the objection that the complaint was not maintainable and the petitioner had filed the case merely to harass and blackmail the respondent. The respondent further contended that they did not provide services specifically for preventing theft and snatching of vehicle.
The respondent also said that per clause 5.4 of the terms and conditions printed on the application form that the petitioner had signed, the company did not guarantee the recovery of any vehicle and had specified the limited liability in case of loss of vehicle by replacing the tracking system free of cost.
The complainant said an FIR had been registered against respondent’s employee, Amir, who had been arrested from Rawalpindi and admitted that he had sold the stolen vehicle. He argued that according to terms and conditions of the company the system was working 24 hours a day, seven days a week across the country. He said the data pertaining to his car was lost for the last 13 hours and 21 minutes before the theft indicated malafide and negligence on part of the respondent.
The respondent’s lawyer submitted that the car was stolen on June 15, 2010 and the complaint was filed on July 28, 2010, after a delay of 60 days from the accrual of cause of action and hence the complaint was time barred. He said the system was purchased and installed in Faisalabad, therefore the court had no territorial jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
The judge passed a decree of Rs1,509,430 in favour of the complainant.
The cost of the vehicle was Rs1,384,000. Depreciation was calculated at Rs69,200. The alloy rims and tyres cost Rs39,500 and registration fee was Rs47,130, the complainant was also entitled to recover the amount paid for the tracker system which was Rs58,000. The court also entitled him to Rs25,000 as compensation for discomfort and mental torture and Rs25,000 as litigation charges.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2012.
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