New Delhi (India), April 19: The Supreme Court of India has made it clear that third party or recovery agents have no authority to seize vehicles on the road or from private properties. This decision comes after several cases of harassment and illegal seizure of vehicles by recovery agents have been reported across the country.
If a person has taken a vehicle loan from a bank or NBFC company and is unable to repay the loan due to financial issues or other reasons, the bank has the legal right to take possession of the vehicle. However, they must follow the legal procedures and cannot resort to strong-arm tactics or use force to repossess the vehicle.
According to criminal lawyer Haziq Zaman, “Any type of threatening or misbehaving by the bank or third party is impermissible. Any person is free to take legal action against them. It is illegal for a money lender, financier or banker to take possession of the vehicle by force. This unlawful and unethical procedure is against public policy and also against the protection of public interest.”
The Supreme Court has also deprecated the practice of hiring recovery agents who are musclemen and resort to strong-arm tactics. Banks and financial corporations must follow the legal procedures recognized by law to take possession of vehicles in cases where the borrower has defaulted on payment of installments.
Consumers can now fight for their rights against the might of banks and financial corporations, as the National Commission has ruled that the forcible repossession of a vehicle is a deficiency in service and an unfair trade practice for which a consumer complaint is maintainable.
If anyone receives a fake notice or is harassed by a third party or recovery agent, they can take legal action against them and lodge an FIR against them and the bank in their area. They can also mail the bank and cc the RBI complaint.
In conclusion, it is essential to follow the rule of law, and it is illegal to use musclemen to forcibly take repossession of a vehicle when the borrower or the hire purchaser fails to pay the instalments. Recovery agents have no right to car possession or property forcefully, and any harassment or extortion of money is an offense. Consumers must be aware of their rights and take legal action against any illegal or unethical practices by banks and financial corporations.
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