Case No. FA-09/754
(Arising from the order dated 30-06-2009 passed in complaint case No. CC-290/07 by the District Consumer Redressal Forum – VI, K.G. Marg, New Delhi)
THE NATIONAL INSURANCE CO. LTD - APPELLANT
(A company incorporated under the Company’s Act with its Registered Office at Kolkota and Regional office No. 2 at
2/E9, Jhandewalan Extn,
New Delhi – 55
SHRI JOGINDER SINGH - RESPONDENT
S/ Shri Jagat Singh,
R/O Village & P.O. Tikri Kalan,
JUSTICE BARKAT ALI ZAIDI - President
SHRI M.L. SAHNI - Member
1. Whether reporters of local newspapers be allowed to see the judgment?
2. To be referred to the Reporter or not?
SHRI M.L. SAHNI (ORAL)
1. M/s National Insurance Co. Ltd. (OP- before the District Forum hereinafter referred to as the appellant) have filed this appeal against the order dated 30-06-2009 passed by the District Forum, New Delhi directing them to pay to the respondent (complainant before the District Forum) Rs. 2,64,000/- on furnishing Indemnity Bond with requisite forms duly filled in for the transfer of the insured vehicle in the name of the appellant/OP and undertaking of ‘NO Claim’ on the said vehicle as and when it is traced out. Compensation of Rs. 90,000/- for mental agony and harassment and Rs. 10,000/- as cost of litigation have also been awarded in favour of the respondent/ complainant.
2. Facts giving rise to this appeal precisely stated are that the appellant/OP had issued a Passengers’ Carrying Commercial Vehicle Policy ’B’ Package bearing No. 361800/31/05/6300009201 covering vehicle bearing registration no. HR-63-T-4530 (Tata Indica) for the period 22-12-2005 to 21-12-2006 against Insured Declared Value (IDV) of Rs. 2,64,000/- to the Respondent/ complainant.
3. Vide letter dated 16-10-2006 Respondent complainant intimated about the theft of insured vehicle bearing Registration No. HR-63-T-4530 on 10-09-2006 while it was parked outside the residence of Shri Surya Prakash, S/o Shri Mohar Singh located at House No. 132, Pocket-7, Sector -24 Rohini, Delhi. Shri Surya Parkash happens to be a friend of Respondent/complainant, the registered owner of the vehicle.
4. The appellant/OP repudiated the claim of the Respondent/complainant vide its letter dated 17-10-2006 which was returned “undelivered”. The same was then delivered to the respondent/complainant by hand on 13-12-2006. Ground stated by the Appellant/OP was that intimation about the theft of insured vehicle was given late by 39 days. As per terms and conditions of the insurance policy it was required to be given immediately.
5. Respondent/complainant vide complaint no. CC/290/07 claimed payment of Rs. 2,64,000/- being the insured amount of the car besides a sum of Rs. 50,000/- towards damages and litigation charges alongwith interest @ 18% p.a. from the date of theft of the car till realization.
6. Appellant/OP contested the complaint taking the plea that the respondent/complainant informed the appellant/OP about the theft of insured vehicle after a lapse of 26 days from the date of theft of the insured vehicle. Respondent/ complainant lodged FIR No. 1593 with the Police Station at Sultanpuri, North West Delhi on 05-10-2006, though the theft of insured vehicle had taken place on 10-09-2006.
7. We have heard the Ld. Counsel for the appellant/OP at the admission stage at length. We have thoughtfully examined the record annexed with the appeal petition. We have also carefully perused the impugned order.
8. The Ld. Counsel for the appellant has submitted that Ld. Forum below overlooked the fact that the respondent/complainant informed the appellant/OP about the theft of insured vehicle after a lapse of 37 days from the date of theft of insured vehicle which is a violation of terms and conditions of the policy which envisage “Immediate” notice of any such claim that has arisen under the insurance policy issued to the respondent/complainant by the appellant/OP that the friend of the respondent/complainant in whose possession the insured vehicle was at the material time deliberately and knowingly lodged the FIR No. 1593 relating to theft of insured vehicle on 05-10-2006,had categorically stated in the FIR that since the vehicle was financed, so they wanted no investigation in the matter.
9. Ld. Counsel for appellant/OP further contended that had the respondent/ complainant intimated the appellant/OP immediately, steps in appointing an investigator to enquire into the authenticity of the circumstances under which the theft had taken place and at the same time could have coordinated with the local police for its recovery to minimize the loss.
10. This contention is without any merit because the Investigator of Appellant cannot overtake the investigation in a criminal case like theft etc.
11. While allowing the complaint, the Ld. District Forum observed that it is admitted fact that FIR was registered on 05-10-06 by the Police though they were supposed to do so on the basis of DD no.9 dated 10-09-2006 immediately. It was not within the control of the complainant to register the formal FIR. We fully agree with this argument. We also find no reason to disbelieve the Respondent/Complainant that he visited office of OP for giving information of the theft on 10-09-06 as sworn by him in his affidavit filed in evidence before the Forum. The complainant was told to come with copy of FIR. He then again visited the Office of OP only after copy of FIR was delivered to him. Thus, there is no delay in giving information to the OP/appellant. As is evident from the DD entry dated 10-09-2006, the respondent/complainant had informed the police immediately but the Police registered the FIR only on 05-10-2006. Later on untraced report was also given by the police.
12. Having considered the facts and circumstances of the case, as discussed above, we find ourselves in full agreement with the Ld. District Forum that since there is no delay in informing the police of the theft of insured vehicle to justify the repudiation of the claim of the respondent/complainant, impugned order cannot be faulted. There appears to us no infirmity in the impugned order warranting interference by this Commission. Hence appeal being meritless is dismissed in limine at the admission stage itself.
13. Bank Guarantee/FDR, if any, be returned to the appellant after completion of due formalities.
14. A copy of this order as per the statutory requirements be forwarded to the parties free of charge and thereafter the file be consigned to Record Room.
15. Announced on 25th November 2009.
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