The Branch Manager, National Insurance Company ltd Branch Office at Moti Baazar,HP
This is a discussion on The Branch Manager, National Insurance Company ltd Branch Office at Moti Baazar,HP within the Judgments forums, part of the General Discussions category; Before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Mandi, H.P. Complaint Case No.181/2008 Date of Institution.16-7-2008 Date of Decision 25-3-2009 Sohan ...
- 09-02-2009, 11:04 PM #1
The Branch Manager, National Insurance Company ltd Branch Office at Moti Baazar,HP
Before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Mandi, H.P.
Complaint Case No.181/2008
Date of Institution.16-7-2008
Date of Decision 25-3-2009
Sohan Lal son of Sh.Chet Ram resident of village and Post Office Dhalwan, Tehsil Sarkaghat, District Mandi, H.P. Prop of M/S Sohan Lal and Sons Karyana and General Merchants Dhalwan, Tehsil Sarkaghat ,District Mandi, H.P.
The Branch Manager, National Insurance Company ltd Branch Office at Moti Baazar, Mandi, District Mandi, H.P.
For the complainant Sh. P.R. Sharma , advocate
For the opposite party Sh. R.K.Tiwari, Advocate
Complaint under Section 12 of the
Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
This order shall dispose of a complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986( hereinafter referred to as the “Act”) instituted by the complainant against the opposite party. The case of the complainant is that he is proprietor of firm M/S Sohan Lal and Sons . The complainant availed CC limit facility from Himachal Gramin Bank, Dhalwan and the said Bank had insured the stock of the shop in the sum of Rs.2,00,000/- with the opposite party. The insurance was valid with effect from 1-6-2007 to 31-5-2008. Unfortunately on 12-8-2007, the stock lying in the shop of the complainant got damaged due to sudden heavy flood water entered in the shop premises . The incident was reported to the Bank as well as the opposite party but the opposite party had deputed their surveyor to inspect the damage after four days from the receipt of intimation . After the inspection the Surveyor told that the goods of the value of Rs.94,412/- had been totally damaged due to flood and assured that he would recommend the said loss for payment of insurance claim to the opposite party and the claim would be settled and paid at an earliest but did not supply the survey report by saying that it was a confidential document. The complainant had averred that he had submitted the documents Annexure C-1 to 5 to the opposite party. The opposite party lingered on the matter qua the settlement of the claim by demanding various documents unnecessarily which had already been supplied to them and compelling him to sign on blank revenue stamped discharge voucher towards the full and final settlement of the claim without disclosing the amount for which the complainant refused as the amount settled was never disclosed . In the month of May 2008, the complainant served the opposite party with legal notice dated 12-5-2008 requesting therein to disclose the amount being settled and vide reply dated 27-5-2008 it was conveyed that the claim shall be taken and conveyed shortly and further asked to give information sought in letter dated 18-1-2008. The complainant again received a letter from the opposite party demanding therein various documents and then he visited the office and told that all the papers have duly been received by them, then the opposite party again issued a letter demanding proper documents and disclosed settled amount and asked to sign the discharge voucher towards full and final settlement of the claim but the said letter had been misplaced and in the meantime the opposite party vide letter dated 20-6-2007 again demanded detail of relief received from Revenue Department and the complainant supplied the certificate issued by the Naib Tehsildar Baldwara wherein a sum of Rs.90,000/- has been mentioned to be loss and Rs.10,000/- as relief given and rapat No.11 of Police station Sarkaghat dated 12-8-2008 wherein approximate loss of Rs.1,00,000/- has been shown . The opposite party vide letter dated 29-5-2008 disclosed that a sum of Rs.22,858/- has been assessed on the basis of physical verification of the loss on spot . Copies of notice, reply, letters , reply, certificate of Naib Tehsildar and Police report have been annexed as C-6 to C-14. It has been alleged that the settlement of the claim to the tune of Rs.22,858/- against the actual loss of Rs..94,412/- by the opposite party is wrong , illegal and unwarranted . It has further been alleged that less settlement of the claim in place of actual claim is not only deficiency in service but unfair trade practice . It has also been pleaded that Rs.10,000/- paid as relief by the Govt. has been illegally deducted by the opposite party in the said settlement claim. The complainant had further alleged that he has not been associated in the investigation done by the opposite party . The complainant has suffered mental tension , torture and harassment due to the act of the opposite party and has also claimed a sum of Rs..50,000/- on this score. With these allegations, the complainant had sought a direction to the opposite party to pay Rs.94.412/- to the complainant alongwith interest at the rate of 12% PA from 12-8-2007 till its payment and had also claimed Rs.50,000/- as compensation apart from costs of litigation.
2 The opposite party filed reply and resisted the complaint by raising preliminary objections that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party and the complaint does not fall within the ambit and scope of the Act and that the matter involved in the complaint cannot be adjudicated in the summary proceedings. On merits it has been denied that the policy of insurance had not been supplied to the complainant. The opposite party had admitted the damage to the stock on 12-8-2007 in the shop of the complainant due to heavy rains . It has also been admitted that the Surveyor was deputed but denied that the surveyor assessed the loss at Rs.94,412/- nor any assurance was given by the surveyor for settlement of amount as claimed .. The opposite party had denied that the complainant had supplied all the information and documents demanded by the Surveyor . The opposite party had denied the correctness of Annexure C-1 to C-5. The opposite party has pleaded that the surveyor vide his report dated 11-1-2008 Annexure O-1 has assessed the loss at Rs.22,858 and the same was offered to the complainant but he did not respond. The opposite party is prepared to pay the same to the complainant even now . The opposite party had admitted the receipt of legal notice but pleaded that the same has been replied vide Annexure O-2 and Annexure 0-3. The opposite party had denied the correctness of assessment made by the Naib Tehsildar or other Revenue Authority and pleaded that the assessment made by the Surveyor is correct . The contents of Para No.5 and 6 have been denied being wrong The opposite party had prayed for dismissal of the complaint qua it.
3. The complainant had filed rejoinder reiterating the contents of the complaint and denying those contrary to the complaint.
4. We have heard the ld. counsel for the parties and have carefully gone through the record. From the perusal of the complaint and accompanying documents, the case of the complainant is that he availed CC limit facility from Himachal Gramin Bank branch Dhalwan and got the stock of the shop insured with the opposite party in the sum of Rs.2,00,000/- and the insurance was valid with effect from 1-6-2007 to 31-5-2008 and during the currency of the policy flood water entered in the shop of the complainant on 12-8-2007 . The stock in the shop was damaged. The complainant had intimated the opposite party who deputed its surveyor and assessed the loss at Rs.94,412/- but later on he was conveyed that the claim has been assessed at Rs.22,858/- on the basis of physical verification. On the other hand , the opposite party in its reply has not denied the insurance of the stock of shop of the complainant and incident of flood. The opposite party had averred that the surveyor has not assessed the loss at Rs.94,412/- and as per the surveyor’s report , the loss sustained by the complainant is at Rs.22,858/- which amount was offered to the complainant but he did not respond.
5 The close scrutiny of the record revealed that the sole dispute left to be decided by this Forum is as to whether the assessment of the insurance claim in the sum of Rs.22,858/- against the claim of Rs.94412/- is genuine or not. . In order to decide the above controversy, we have to go through the evidence adduced by both the parties in this respect. In order to strengthen his case, the complainant has adduced in evidence stock statements of the shop Annexure C-1 to C-3 . In addition to this the complainant has also adduced in evidence report of Sh. Naresh Kumar Vashisht and company , Chartered Accountants Annexure C-4 wherein the damage to the stock has been assessed at Rs.94,412/-. Apart from this details of the items damaged in the flood Annexure C-5 has also been filed . Not only this , the complainant has also placed on record Certificate Annexure C-10 issued by Naib Tehsildar wherein he certified that the complainant had sustained the loss approximately in the sum of Rs.90,000/- and a sum of Rs.10,000/- has been given to the complainant by the Govt. as interim relief . The complainant had also tendered in evidence Rapat rojnamcha No.11 entered in police post Hatli under Police Station Sarkaghat Annexure C-11 according to which the loss sustained by the complainant is approximately one lac. The opposite party had placed reliance upon the surveyor’s report Annexure O-1 of Sh. Mohinder K.Sharma . Mechanical and Automobiles Engineer who in his report had assessed that the complainant had sustained the loss of Rs.22,858/-. Except the report of Sh. Mohinder Kumar Sharma the opposite party has not placed on record any document on the basis of which the Surveyor has come to the conclusion that the complainant had sustained the loss of Rs. 22,858/- . The surveyor in his report in column Assessment of loss had admitted that the complainant had submitted the list for loss to the tune of Rs.94,412/- and had recommended the loss in the sum ofRs.22,858/- after making various deductions. It is worthwhile to mention here that the opposite party has deputed a Mechanical and Automobiles Engineer to assess the loss . In fact the opposite party should have deputed a chartered accountant or the Surveyor who is expert or well conversant in the field of assessing the stock of Karyana items . Conversely, the complainant had placed on record assessment of loss prepared by chartered accountant Annexure C-4 and certificate issued by the Naib Tehsildar Annexure C-10 and Rapat rojnamcha Annexure C11. As discussed earlier ,the opposite party had deputed Mechanical and Automobiles Engineer for assessing the loss of the complainant instead of some expert who is well conversant in the field of assessing the loss of food grain . The opposite party has failed to give any explanation as to why Mechanical Engineer has been deputed to assess the loss . No preliminary surveyor report has been filed by the opposite party and there is nothing on record to show as to whether preliminary survey was got conducted by the opposite party It is also an admitted fact that the Surveyor had reached the spot belatedly i.e. four days after the date of the incident. No reason has been assigned by the surveyor as to on what basis he had deducted 5% for dead stock and 15 % for non maintenance of account The ld. counsel for the opposite party could not explain as to on what basis the surveyor had assessed the loss at Rs. 22,858/- In our opinion no justifiable reason has been given by the Surveyor with respect to the assessment of the loss on such a lower side . Therefore , no credence can be attached to his report and the same cannot be accepted on its face value . However, Sh. Mohinder K Sharma in his report had admitted that he had noticed the traces of 8 inches of water in the shop of the complainant during his survey which corroborates the version of the complainant because as per the list annexure C-5 enclosed by the complainant with the complaint , most of the items are perishable items and the same are likely to be destroyed if touched with water and there is nothing to suggest that quantity retrieved could fetch any value . At the cost of repetition , it is stated that the Naib Tehsildar had made a mention in his report that the loss sustained by the complainant is approximately Rs.90,000/-. The report of Naib Tehsildar C-10 is an important document which cannot be brushed aside as the same has been prepared by him in the discharge of his official duty and he had no reason to certify something wrong. As per the report of chartered account Annexure C-4 adduced in evidence by the complainant, the value of the stock lost/ damaged is at Rs.94412/- . In our opinion, aforesaid report can safely be taken into consideration in order to assess the loss suffered by the complainant. Therefore by deducting 15% as profit in retail out of aforesaid amount of Rs.94412/- Annexure C-4 it comes to Rs.80,250/- (Rs.94,412-14162=80,250/-) .Out of this amount , a sum of Rs.10,000/- needs to be deducted on account of excess policy clause .Therefore we deem it proper to award a sum of Rs.70,250/- to the complainant due to the loss sustained by him on account of damage caused in the flood .Consequently, the complaint is partly allowed and the opposite party is directed to pay
Rs.70,250 /- to the complainant with interest at the rate of 9% per annum from the date of filing of the complaint till payment and also to pay Rs.2000/- as costs of litigation.
6 Copy of this order be supplied to the parties free of cost as per Rules.
7 File, after due completion be consigned to the Record Room.
Announced (Sushil Kukreja) President
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