COMPLAINT FILED: 27.11.2008 BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM AT BANGALORE (URBAN) 09th APRIL 2009 PRESENT :- SRI. A.M. BENNUR PRESIDENT SMT. M. YASHODHAMMA MEMBER SRI. A. MUNIYAPPA MEMBER COMPLAINT NO. 2581/2008
COMPLAINANT M/s. Reddy Veeranna Constructions Pvt. Ltd., A company registered under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956, Classic Court, II Floor, 9/1, Richmond Road, Bangalore – 560 025. Represented by its Assistant General Manager Finance Mr. S. Ramanath. Advocate (Unnikrishnan. M)
1. The Oriental Insurance Co., Ltd., Divisional Office No.2, 2903, 1st Floor, New Muslim Hostel Complex, Opp: Fire Brigade, 1st Main, Saraswathipuram, Mysore – 570 009.
2. The Oriental Insurance Co., Ltd., Regional Office, 44/45, Leo Shopping Complex, Residency Road, Bangalore. Advocate (Manoj Kumar. M.R.)
O R D E R
This is a complaint filed U/s. 12 of the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 by the complainant seeking direction to the Opposite Party (herein after called as O.P) to pay Rs.13,15,035/- towards the cost of repairs of vehicle No. KA-03-D-188 and compensation of Rs.6,00,000/- and for such other reliefs on an allegations of deficiency in service. The brief averments, as could be seen from the contents of the complaint, are as under: Complainant being the R.C. Owner of the vehicle bearing No. KA-03-D-188 got insured the said vehicle for a period from 29.10.2007 to 28.10.2008 through OP. OP collected the necessary premium and issued the policy noting the IDV as Rs.17,65,000/-. On 19.11.2007 the said vehicle met with an accident, thereby severe damages were caused to the said vehicle. Then immediately complainant under the intimation to the OP left the said vehicle to M/s. Jaika Automobiles the authorized service agency for Tata Motors. The vehicle was inspected by the surveyor of Jagadalpur attached to OP office on 04.12.2007. The said M/s. Jaika Automobiles submitted the revised estimation after dismantling to the tune of Rs.13,15,035/- the cost of the repairs, earlier estimation was for Rs.6,43,740/-. Complainant made repeated requests and demands to OP to treat the said claim as total loss and release the required amount for repairs, but it went in vain. Complainant even requested the OP to release atleast 75% of the estimated cost. Again there was no response. On the other hand OP came forward to release only Rs.5,00,000/- and odd which is not acceptable to the complainant. Complainant paid Rs.2,00,000/- to the said Jaika Automobiles to get the vehicle repaired as early as possible, but OP did not extend its helping hand as contemplated in terms of policy conditions. The vehicle is lying in the workshop for more than one year.
It is all because of the carelessness and negligence on the part of the OP. Complainant for no fault of his, is made to suffer both mental agony and financial loss. Thus complainant felt the deficiency in service on the part of the OP. Under the circumstances he is advised to file this complaint and sought for the relief accordingly.
2. On appearance, OP filed the version denying all the allegations made by the complainant in toto. According to OP the delay if any with regard to the repairs of the said vehicle is mainly because of non-cooperation by the complainant. The demand to release 75% of second estimation which is for Rs.13,15,035/- is arbitrary. No final repair bills are produced for settling the claim. The surveyor has not examined the said vehicle. On the receipt of the intimation OP surveyor examined the said vehicle and assessed the estimated liability to the tune of Rs.7,40,000/-. Under the circumstances OP agreed to release 75% of the same that is to the tune of Rs.5,55,000/-, complainant is not accepting the same. So no fault lies with the OP. Unless the vehicle is completely repaired, made road worthy and inspected by the concerned surveyor and if he opines that in order to get repair the said vehicle Rs.13,00,000/- and odd is needed, then only OP liability lies. Mere production of estimation is no proof of actual expenses incurred for the repairs of the said vehicle. Among these grounds, OP prayed for the dismissal of the complaint.
3. In order to substantiate the complaint averments, the complainant filed the affidavit evidence and produced some documents. OP has also filed the affidavit evidence and produced the documents. Then the arguments were heard.
4. In view of the above said facts, the points now that arise for our consideration in this complaint are as under: Point No. 1 :- Whether the complainant has proved the deficiency in service on the part of the OP? Point No. 2 :- If so, whether the complainant is entitled for the reliefs now claimed? Point No. 3 :- To what Order?
5. We have gone through the pleadings of the parties, both oral and documentary evidence and the arguments advanced. In view of the reasons given by us in the following paragraphs our findings on: Point No.1:- In Affirmative Point No.2:- Affirmative in part Point No.3:- As per final Order. R E A S O N S 6. At the outset it is not at dispute that the complainant is the R.C. Owner of the vehicle bearing No. KA-03-D-188 and OP covered the insurance of the said vehicle which was valid from 29.10.2007 to 28.10.2008. It is also not at dispute that the said vehicle met with an accident within 16 days from the date of purchase that is 19.11.2007, thereby severe damages were caused to the vehicle. Then complainant left the said vehicle to M/s. Jaika Automobiles an authorized service agency for Tata Motors. The surveyor of Jagadalpur examined the said damages and gave his report. It is also not at dispute that the first estimation that was given for the repairs was Rs.6,43,740/-. Now it is the contention of the complainant that after the dismantling of the said vehicle the actual damages will be assessed and after dismantling the said automobiles gave a revised estimation to the tune of Rs.13,15,035/-.
7. Complainant wants to base his claim only on the strength of the revised estimation that is given by the M/s. Jaika Automobiles, there is no final survey report submitted by the technically qualified person in that regard. The fact that the said vehicle may be repaired is also not at dispute. So the claim of the complainant to treat his prayer as total loss does not find place. As against this it is contended by the OP that their surveyor has given the interim report stating that estimated liability will be to the tune of Rs.7,40,000/- and against the assessed estimated liability they are prepared to release 75% of the same that is Rs.5,55,000/-, but the complainant is not prepared to accept the same.
8. On the perusal of the complaint and the evidence complainant wants that the 75% of the revised estimation is to be released to them. As already observed by us, revised estimation is not a conclusive proof the actual expenses incurred towards the repairs of the said vehicle. Further complainant states that he has paid Rs.2,00,000/- to the said automobiles to get the vehicle repaired as early as possible. But Automobiles want 75% of the revised estimation. OP having retained the said claim of the complainant for all these months, naturally caused inconvenience to the complainant, in our view delay in settling the said claim amounts to deficiency in service. No final survey report is produced in this complaint. We also find some substance in the defence of the OP that unless the said vehicle made road worthy and it is subjected to the examination of the surveyor to assess the total expenditure incurred for repairs, OP cannot settle the claim.
9. Complainant being a big construction company by this time they would have made arrangements to get vehicle repaired as early as possible if they are really in need of the service of the said vehicle. The insistence on the part of the complainant to release 75% of revised estimation, in our view amounts to arbitrary claim. Complainant has got the equally efficacious remedy to redress the grievance. When the OP is ready to release Rs.5,55,000/- by this time complainant would have accepted the same as an interim settlement and got repaired the vehicle from the said automobiles. Including Rs.2,00,000/- that is paid by the complainant a lump sum amount is paid to M/s. Jaika Automobiles which is nearing to the 75% of the revised estimation. With all that complainant has not shown the interest.
10. Having considered the facts and circumstances of the case, when OP is ready to settle the claim, it would have been more fair on the part of the complainant to get repair the said vehicle as early as possible submit the final repair bills, subject the said vehicle for inspection of a surveyor, then get the report for the needful. We do not find force in the allegations of the complainant that because of the non-cooperation and hostile attitude of the OP the said vehicle is lying idle at the said workshop.
11. Hence for these reasons we find as the dispute is with regard to the payment of 75% of the so called estimated repair costs, if complainant minds they can sort out that dispute amicably with OP. As already observed by us, OP has turned down the demand of the complainant to release 75% of revised estimation and it is prepared to pay 75% of the interim report given by the surveyor. Under such circumstances we find the justice will be met by directing the complainant to collect the interim payment and see their vehicle is repaired as early as possible, then make the final claim. With these observations we answer point nos.1 and 2 accordingly and proceed to pass the following: O R D E R The complaint is allowed in part. OP is directed to release Rs.5,55,000/- to the M/s. Jaika Automobiles as interim settlement of the claim and settle the whole claim after the impugned vehicle is completely repaired and made road worthy. It is further ordered that vehicle be subjected to the inspection/examination of the technically qualified surveyor. On the receipt of his report and final repair bills settle the claim as per policy terms and conditions. In view of the nature of dispute no order as to costs. This order is to be complied within 2 months from the date of its communication.