Court blocks finance company seizure of lease vehicle | Daily News

Court blocks finance company seizure of lease vehicle

The Colombo District Court last week pronounced an order in favour of the plaintiff company in a case where UB Finance Company Ltd, defendant, had forcibly re-seized a vehicle from the possession of plaintiff company CTV Creations Pvt Ltd.

Court ruled that the seizure of the vehicle on the basis of default of payments was not justified.

The plaintiff company had filed an action against the defendant over a Lease Agreement which was entered into on or about September 8, 2004, in respect of a vehicle, a Hi Ace, in which the defendant company had failed to give the original copy of the lease agreement to plaintiff.

Senior Counsel Ian Fernando with Dushyantha Kularatne and Saman Liyanage under the instructions of Derek Fernando Associates appearing for the plaintiff stated that the defendant company failed to give a copy of the lease agreement even after the plaintiff has requested for the same via a letter through its lawyer which had been acknowledged by a senior manager of the defendant company. The plaintiff, in its case, also produced and marked the relevant documents which had proved the running of the vehicle under the name of the plaintiff company.

The plaintiff company had demanded for its undisturbed and uninterrupted possession of the vehicle in dispute via a letter through its lawyer demanding a reply. But the defendant had failed to reply. Upon this, the plaintiff had lodged a complaint with Kelaniya police over the issue. The plaintiff had informed through their counsel that the vehicle in dispute was taken by the defendant company forcibly and due to its wrongful repossession plaintiff has claimed a sum of Rs.10,000 per day from the defendant as damages.

During the trial, defendant stated that the plaintiff is bad in law and that the plaintiff has no cause for action accrued against the defendant. The defendant in its defence further stated that cheques given to defendant by plaintiff had been issued by a third party which was not engaging in any financial related activities and thus the defendant company could not cash the cheques and settle the matter.

Following a protracted trial, it became evident that the defendant company had not cashed the cheques given by the plaintiff in lieu of the total amount due to the defendant. In its order, the Colombo District Court observed that the defendant company had failed to include the cheques it received by the plaintiff in the statements of accounts thus leading the defendant company to conclude that the plaintiff company had defaulted in its rental payments.

The District Court further observed that the defendant company had played a role in unjust enrichment. Based on the balance of probability, the order was pronounced in favour of the plaintiff.

Senior Counsel Ian Fernando with Dushyantha Kularatne and Saman Liyanage appeared for the plaintiff company. Senior Counsel Kaushalya Navaratne with counsel Vaidyaratne Herath and Dulmini Bandara appeared for the defendant company.


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