Date of Filing: 8.01.2008
Date of Order: 13-03-2009
Sri N. Venkatesham, Bsc., L.L.B., … President
BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM –II, HYDERABAD
Dr. G. Kumaraswamy Naidu M.A., MPhil., P.hd.,L.L.B., … Member
Friday, the 13th day of March ,2009
Having its Office at 5-6-818/2, DarusalamRoad,
Hyderabad. Being Rep.by its Proprietor
Mr. Abdul Gaffar. S/o. Late Abdul Quader,
R/o. 8-1-351/22, Tolichowki, Hyderabad. ……Complainant
ICICI Lombord General Insurance Co. Ltd.,
Having its Office at Flat No.301, 5th Floor,
Bhavana Towers,S.D. Road, Secunderabad-500 025.
Rep by its Branch Manager. …..Opposite party
This case coming on 18-02-09 for final hearing before this forum in the presence of P. Raja Sripathi Rao advocate for the complainant and Sri Jyothi Rao, advocate for the opposite party No.1 and having stood over till this date for consideration, this Forum pronounced the following:-
. This complaint under Section 12 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was filed by the complainant for a direction to the opposite party to pay a sum of Rs. 67,277/- that is the amount paid by the complainant to M/s. Harsha Toyota together 24% interest per anum and to pay an amount of Rs.25,000/- for causing mental agony and cost of the complaint at Rs.10,000/-.
(By Sri N. Venkatesham, President on behalf of the bench)
1. Case of the complainant runs thus:- The complainant is proprietary concern, purchased the vehicle (Toyoto Innova) bearing Registration No. AP 10 AF2408/ under finance from Darusalam Co-operative Bank and paying equal monthly instalments at Rs. 18,700 regularly after purchase of the vehicle, it was insured with the opposite party vide policy No.3001/51937960/00/000 and policy was issued on 14-06-2007, covering the period of insurance from 8-6-2007 to 07-06-2008.
It is stated that the above said vehicle was involved in an accident (Date and place of accident is not mentioned) and immediately after the accident, the vehicle was shifted to M/s. Harsha Toyota for affecting repairs. Later on, intimation was given to the opposite party and inturn, the opposite party deputed the Surveyor who inspected the vehicle and gave the approval for effecting the repairs. After repairs and on intimation was given to the complainant he had taken delivery by paying the bill towards repairs. The bill given by M/s. Harsha Toyota (Authorised Dealer) was submitted to the opposite party for settling the claim and intimation was also given in writing on 25-10-2007 but the opposite party has not settled the bill. Thereafter, a reminder was given to the opposite party on 2-11-07 and on that the opposite party replied vide its letter dated 6-11-07 under Ref. No.HYD/FDRCLM/3561/2007 where under the claim made by the complainant was repudiated on the ground. that “Drivers name, manipulated”. The repudiation of the claim is malafide and non-settling the claim by the opposite party amounts to deficiency in service. Hence complaint is filed to direct the opposite party to pay a sum of Rs.67,277/- towards repair charges paid by the complainant to M/s. Harsha Toyota and to award interest at 24% p.a. The complainant also claimed a sum of Rs.25,000/- towards mental agony and Rs.10,000/- towards cost of the complaint.
2. The opposite party filed a Counter/Written version denying the contents of the complaint by stating that there is no mention as to the date of accident, as also the manner of the accident in the complaint. The FIR copy filed by the complainant reveals that FIR was lodged on 5-8-07, in which it was stated that accident occurred on 4-8-07 by an unknown vehicle and one Scooterist died in the said accident. The police filed the charge sheet on 30-08-2007 in which it was stated that driver of Toyota Innova bearing No.AP 10 AF 2408 drove the vehicle rashly and negligently while coming from Moinabad to Hyderabad, dashed to one scooterist near deer park due to which the scooterist died. Where as the complainant on 12-10-2007 in a written letter to the opposite party stated that when his vehicle was parked near his house at Toil chowki at 6.00 PM, a lorry passing by, hit the vehicle and there by the vehicle was damaged. Even in the said letter, there is no mention about the date of occurrence and damage caused to the vehicle. It is a fact that the opposite party was intimated about the alleged damage on 29-08-07. Though the surveyor of the opposite party informed the complainant to carry out the works as per assessment the claim of the complainant is subject to investigation report and for which the complainant has accepted. The complainant did not inform to the opposite party immediately after the damage was caused to the vehicle in the accident and no police report was given. Therefore, there is discrepancy in the version of the complainant regarding the manner of the accident and statement in FIR lodged on 4-8-07 and that the name of the driver of the accident vehicle was manipulated by the complainant. Thus repudiation of the claim by the opposite party is justified and as such complainant is not entitled to any reliefs prayed in the complaint. Hence prayed to dismiss the complaint of the complainant with costs.
3. After filing Counter/written version, complainant has filed a rejoinder by stating that date of accident was clearly mentioned in the letters dated 29-8-07 and 12-10-07. The repudiation of the claim by the opposite party is based the self drawn conclusion. The accident occurred on 5-8-07 and subsequently the Police Moinabad registered a false crime vide crime No.172/2007. The charge sheet filed by the Police is not within the knowledge of the complainant. The reason for late intimation of the accident to the opposite party is due to registering a false crime by the Police and harassment to the family members of the complainant. The police picked up the brother of the complainant by name Abdul Hameed on 10-08-07 at 12.00 Noon and that police accompanied with civilians visited the office of Mr. Abdul Hameed and started demanding him the presence of the complainant, even though the said Hameed informed the police about the non-availability of the complainant. The police took him in a Police Jeep bearing No.A.P9P 5661 initially to Ciberabad Police Commissioner’s Office and from there he was taken to Harsha Toyota Workshop and from there to Narsing Police Station, At Narsingi Police Station, another brother of the complainant by name Abdul Lateef along with Krishna Vijaya Rao and P.Raja Sripathi Rao, Advocates met the complaiannt’s brother who was under illegal detention and enquired about his wellbeing. Later on, a complaint was given to the Office of the Human Rights Commission and the same is pending.
The driver’s name was not manipulated.. The repudiation letter dated 6-11-07 is not based on the evidence and on what basis the opposite party came they came to the above said conclusion. Hence prayed to allow the complaint.
In course of enquiry, the complainant filed his affidavit, reiterating the contents of the complaint, and got marked exhibits A1 to A12.
Ex A1 is a Copy of First Information Report, dated 5-8-07
Ex.A2 is a Certificate of Registration issued by A.P. Transport Department
Ex.A3is a Copy of Invoice , dated 4-10-2007.
Ex.A4 is a Letter to the opposite party from complainant,
Ex.A5is a Letter to the Opposite party from complainant,
Ex.A6 is a Xerox copy of Certificate Cum Policy schedule
Ex.A7is a Xerox copy of Bank Statement
Ex.A8 is a Xerox copy of letter to the complainant, dated 06-11-2007.
Ex.A9is a Copy of Registered post Acknowledgement Due Legal Notice Dated 28-06-08.
Ex.A10 is a Copy of Reminder issued by A.P State Human Rights Commission H.R .Case No.1516/2007
Ex.A11 is a Police Report, dated 11-08-2007
Ex.A12 is a Letter from the complainant, dated 11-08-2007.
As against the evidence of the complainant, the opposite party got marked exhibits B1 to B5
Ex.B1is a Copy of First Information Report, dated 5-8-07
Ex.B2 is a Copy of complaint given by S. Vinayakarao, dated 5-8-07.
Ex.B3 is a Copy of Final result U/S 173 CR.P.C
Ex.B4 is a Copy of letter to the OP, dated 12-10-2007.
Ex.B5 is a Copy of letter to the OP, dated 25-10-2007.
After closure of the oral and documentary evidence adduced by both parties, written arguments were filed and this forum also heard oral submissions.
Points for Consideration :-
1.Whether the repudiation of claim made by the opposite party is sustainable?
2.Whether the complainant is entitled to the directions sought for?
3. To what relief?
Points No.1 and 2:- So far as the insurance policy of the complainant’s vehicle bearing No. AP 10 AF 2408 with the opposite party for the period from 8-6-2007 to 7-6-2008, is not in dispute. There is also no dispute with regard to intimation given by the complainant to the opposite party. It is also not in dispute that the opposite party’s surveyor had inspected the vehicle at their work shop (M/s. Harsha Toyota) and also the bills paid by the complainant towards the repair charges.
The opposite party repudiated the claim on the ground of manipulation of the driver’s name and that the date and time of accident are not mentioned. The contention of the opposite party is not based on any material and the FIR in which a sccorterist died and regarding which Moinabad Police registered a case, it is however, disputed by the complainant and the claim relates to only the damages of the vehicle, which is fully covered by the policy. It is not a claim arising on amount of the said accident of Moinabad Police Station but an altogether different one. Hence the opposite party is bound to indemnify the complainant’s vehicle and that the complainant is entitled for repair charges with interest at 9% p.a. from the date of the complaint till realisation. Regarding damages, complainant is not entitled as he is being compensated the bill amount with interest points are answered accordingly.
Point No.3:- In the result, complaint of the complainant is partly allowed and we direct the opposite party to pay a sum of Rs.67,277/- (Rupees Sixty seven thousand two hundred and seventy seven only) together with interest at 9% p.a. from the date of complaint till its realisation. Costs of the litigation is fixed at Rs.1,000/- (Rupees one thousand only). The order shall be complied within two months from the receipt of this order.