Meenakshi,W/o.Vasudevan,Rajendra Vilasom,Chennilamon,Kamukum Cherri,Pathanapuram
Biju,33Yrs,Biju Vilasom(Thozhuvannoor Thekkekkara Puthenveedu),Kamukum Cherri,Pathanapuram
Chief Executive Officer,Indus Motor Company Pvt.Ltd.,Thevara,Near Shipyard,Ernakulam
Works Manager,Indus Motor Company Pvt.Ltd.,Sarathy Junction,Karikkode,Kollam.5
This is a complaint for unconditional release of car bearing Reg.No.KL-2/Z 1632 entrusted for repairs, compensation costs etc.
The averments in the complaint can be briefly summarized as follows:
The first complainant is the registered owner of Manuthi Alto car bearing Reg.No.KL-2/Z 1632 and the 2nd complainant is the handling the vehicle. One Jaya Kumar, the son of the first complainant in connection with his marriage has purchase this car from one C. Rajesh. At the time of purchase the car was having insurance coverage from 28.4.2006 to 27.4.2007 under the National Insurance Company. After purchase of the car on 6.4.2007 the first complainant has taken policy for the period from 6.4.2007 to 5.4.2008 from the ICICI Lombard . For effecting necessary changes in the R.C Book the same was entrusted with the RTO. While so, on 16.4.2007 the car met with an accident and sustained damages. The 2nd complainant thereupon contacted the office of the 2nd opp.party and the 2nd opp.party took the custody of vehicle and since the vehicle had Insurance Policy it was told that the complainant need not repairing charges but pay only 500/- towards processing fee.
Thereafter on 3..5.07 the vehicle was returned to the 2nd complainant after repairs and the car was kept in the house of the first complainant. On 7.5.07 the son of the first complainant Jaya Kumar while driving the vehicle experienced certain difficulties and so he took the car again to the workshop of the 2nd opp.party and after examination of the car it was said that certain other works are to be done. After completing the repairs the opp.parties do not permit the complainant to take back the vehicle but demanded huge amount towards repair charges. The conduct of the opp.parties amounts to deficiency in the service. Hence the complaint
The opp.parties filed a joint version contending interalia, that the complaint is not maintainable either in law or on facts.. The complainants are not consumers as defined under section 2[d] of the Consumer Protection Act. 1986. The averment in para 1 of the complaint are not fully correct. The facts stated in para 2 of the complaint are correct The car referred to therein has met with an accident on 16.4.2007 at 7 am. One Amjith telephoned to Indus Motor Company, Kollam and informed the accident and requested to take the vehicle from the spot for necessary repairs. He further told that his brother –in-law is the owner of the said vehicle and at the time of accident the car was being driven by one Biju. Nobody has informed the opp.parties that the first complainant was the owner of the car. The accident was reported to the National Insurance Company, Kollam as requested by the said Amjith, Insurance Company appointed one Mr. Prasad who is the approved Surveyor of the company to prepare spot survey report. Accordingly Mr. Prasad went to the accident spot and prepared a spot survey report. The report was forwarded to the Insurance company and and the vehicle was takn to the 2nd opp.party’s workshop at Kollam who prepared an estimate for the repair.
The claim form was also given to the said Amjith and after filling up the details with signature returned the claim form with the signature of Mr. Rajeshf who claims to be the owner of the vehicle. Mr. Amjith handed over the photocopy of the RC book , driving license of Mr. Biju and the copy of insurance policy from the National Insurance Company. After getting all these documents the 2nd opp.party handed over the documents along with the estimate of the surveyor for final approval. After that the surveyor again inspected the workshop and sanction was given to start the repairing work. When the 2nd opp.party and the surveyor demanded the original RC book it was told that the original RC book will be given after completion of the work.. When the work was completed the original RC book was produced which show that the registered owner of the car is the first complainant . But in the Insurance policy the name of the RC owner was shown as Rajesh.
When the fact was brought to the notice of the Insurance Company by the surveyor and the opp.parties the Insurance Company rejected the claim stating that once the name of the RC owner is changed in the RC book the same has to be intimated to the Insurance Company within a period of 14 days for change of ownership. The owner ship was changed on 19.3.2007 and the accident was occurred on 16.4.2007. Since the change of ownership in the Insurance policy was not effected the claim was rejected by the Insurance Company.. After completion of the work the 2nd opp.party requested Mr. Amjith to take back the car after paying the repairing charges. But he did not turn up. Thereafter one Jayakumar son of the first complainant came to the 2nd opp.party and informed that the vehicle is having insurance policy from ICICI Lombard. Motor Insurance Company.
But this fact was not brought to the notice of the opp.parties till completion of the work and the rejection of the papers by the National Insurance company But on enquiry it is revealed that the vehicle had only ICICI cover note which had not become policy at the time of the accident. The taking new policy from ICICI Motor Insurance Company was not informed to the opp.party either by Amjith or by Mr. Rajesh or Meenakshi and that is the reason for submitting the papers to the National Insurance Company. If the complainant has informed that the opp.party they could have claimed the repair charges from ICICI Lombard provided the claim was made within 7 days from the date of accident. A sum of Rs.73,149/- is due to the opp.parties from the owner of the vehicle. There is no dispute with regard to the repairing work conducted by the opp.parties.
After rejection of the claim by the National Insurance Company nothing was done either by the complainant or by Mr. Rajesh or Amjith to correct the matter by approaching the National Insurance Company either for non-standard settlement by paying 50% of the assessed amount or by taking steps by filing their claims before the Regional Manager, National Insurance Co. Ltd. Ernakulam Nothing was done by the complainants to approach the Insurance Ombudsman for getting their claim without doing that this complaint was filed . Neither the 2nd complainant or Rajesh or Amjith had paid any amount to this opp.parties till this date after entrustment of the car for the repairing works. The allegations raised in the complaint are false and baseless. The complainants can very well take back the vehicle after paying the repairing charges. Since the vehicle is being kept in the workshop of the 2nd opp.party they are entitled to get Rs.500/- per day towards floor rent. . Hence the opp.parties prays to dismiss the complaint
Points that would arise for consideration are:
1. Whether there is deficiency in service on the part of the opp.parties?
2. Reliefs and costs.
For the complainant PW.1 and 2 are examined. Ext. P1 to P12 are marked.
For the Opp.parties DW.1 is examined. Ext. D1 to D3 are marked.
The fact that the car bearing Reg.No.KL-2 Z 1632 was involved in an accident on 16.4.2007 and sustained damages and that the car was entrusted with opp.party 2 for repairs are not disputed. The case of the complainant is that opp.parties are not returning the car after repairs despite the fact that necessary documents including the insurance certificate were entrusted with them and that the car had valid insurance certificate at the time of accident.
According to the opp.parties the accident was reported to them by one Amjith who informed the incident to the National Insurance Company who are the insurers of the vehicle, who deputed one Prasad for spot survey and after completing the formalities the said Prasad gave sanction to the opp.parties to carryout repair works as per the estimate prepared by the opp.parties and accordingly they carried out the repairing works. But the Insurance company repudiated the claim on the ground that the name of the Registered owner in the RC book and the insurance certificate are different and so the opp.parties did not get their repair charges and that they are ready to release the vehicle if the repairing charges are given.
The 1st complainant purchased the car from one Rajesh who was the original RC owner. At the time of purchase the car was having a valid insurance certificate evidenced by Ext.P2. Though the complainant after purchase effected the transfer of Registration in her name through the RTO., Kollam the name in Ext.P2 was not got corrected by the complainant. Sec. 157 of he Motor Vehicles Act lays down that the transferee shall apply within 14 days from the date of transfer in the prescribed form to the insurer for making necessary changes in regard to the fact of transfer in the certificate of insurance and policy described in the certificate in his favour and the insurer shall make the necessary changes in the certificate and the policy of insurance in regard to the transfer of insurance.
In the decision reported in 1996 ACJ 65 the Apex Court held that only if the transferee comply with the provisions of Sec. 157 he is entitled to be indemnified by the insurer. It is further held that ‘it is only in respect of 3rd party risks that Sec. 157 of the new Act provides that the certificate of insurance together with the policy of insurance described therein shall be deemed to have been transferred in favour of the person to whom the motor vehicle is transferred. If the policy of insurance covers other risks as well as damage caused to the vehicle of the insured himself that would be a matter falling outside chapter XI of the new Act’.
The complainant has no case that he has complied with the provisions of Sec.157. There is also no material to show that the complainant has challenged the repudiation. Though it is stated that the vehicle had another policy [Ext.P3] there is nothing to show that the claim was preferred against that policy. Mere fact that there is insurance coverage is not sufficient. The insured has to comply with the formalities to get himself indemnified. The burden is on the complainant to establish that the payment as per the estimates has been made by the insurer to the repairer which the complainant herein failed to discharge. The complainant has no case that the opp.parties have taken the vehicle without their consent or that the repairing work is not satisfactory. So the complainant is bound to pay the opp.party their repairing charges. There is no deficiency in service or unfair trade practice Point found accordingly.
In the result the complaint fails and the same is hereby dismissed. No costs.