COMPLAINT FILED: 26.12.2008 BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM AT BANGALORE (URBAN) 28th MARCH 2009 PRESENT :- SRI. A.M. BENNUR PRESIDENT SMT. M. YASHODHAMMA MEMBER SRI. A. MUNIYAPPA MEMBER COMPLAINT NO. 2806/2008
COMPLAINANT Sri. P. Manirajan, S/o. Palaniswamy, Residing at No. 71/10, Annipura Road, Sudhama Nagar, Bangalore – 560 027. Advocate (M.V. Nanjunda Gowda)
1. The Manager, Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., No. 14-158/1, Palace Extension, Kuppam – 517 425 Chittor District. Andhra Pradesh.
2. The Manager, Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., Reptd. by its Regional Office, No. 44/45, Leo Shopping Complex, Residency Road, Bangalore – 25. 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 a sum of Rs.2,50,000/- towards the insurance claim along with litigation cost and for such other relief on an allegations of deficiency in service. The brief averments, as could be seen from the contents of the complaint, are as under: Complainant is the R.C. Owner of the lorry bearing No. KA-05-A-2166. OP covered the insurance of the said vehicle which was valid from 13.05.2005 to 12.05.2006. Complainant entrusted the said lorry to one driver Dharnesh, who had a valid and effective driving licence to drive the said vehicle. In the month of December 2005 the Dharnesh after informing the complainant went to Channarayapatna, thereafter complainant did not hear about him. On enquiry complainant came to know that the said Dharnesh met with the motor cycle accident and died. In the meantime the lorry entrusted to Dharnesh was found missing. Then complainant lodged complaint to Wilson Garden Police Station, Bangalore on 21.04.2006. Police registered the C. Misc. Case, but unable to trace out the vehicle. Then he made a claim to the OP, OP failed to settle the insurance claim. Thus complainant felt the deficiency in service on the part of the OP. He felt the carelessness and negligence on the part of the Police concerned, hence he lodged a private complaint against them, which is pending for trial before the Magistrate Court. Complainant even got issued the legal notice to OP on 18.10.2008. Again there was no response. 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 complainant is bound by the terms and conditions of the policy. Complainant is expected to inform the OP about the loss or theft of the vehicle immediately, but he took his own sweat time of more than 2 years. So for so good complainant has not made any claim as contemplated by producing the necessary documents to settle it. Actually OP has not repudiated the claim. It is all because of the carelessness and negligence of the complainant himself, who kept mum for more than 3 years after the alleged loss of the said lorry he is facing the problem and inconvenience. Complaint is barred by time. Complainant says that he has filed a private complaint against the Police and one Dharnesh, which is pending before the Magistrate Court. Complainant has failed to establish the deficiency in service on the part of the OP. When the complainant has not fulfilled the terms and conditions of the policy, he is not entitled for the settlement of the claim. The complaint is devoid of merits. 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 Negative Point No.2:- Negative 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-05-A-2166 and OP covered the insurance of the said lorry which was valid from 13.05.2005 to 12.05.2006. Now it is the contention of the complainant that he entrusted the said lorry to one Dharnesh the driver who possessed the valid and effective driving licence in the year 2005. For this contention basically there is no proof. Further complainant says in the month of December 2005 the said driver Dharnesh informed him that he is going to his native place Dodderi Kaval Village, Channarayapatna for Sankranthi Festival and he will be back soon. For this submission also there is no proof. Complainant waited for some time, but his driver did not return. On enquiry he came to know that he met with a road traffic accident and succumbed to the injuries. When the said accident took place, at what place, at what time is not known. No document is produced to that effect.
7. Further complainant says that in the month of April when he did not trace the driver and the lorry, he filed a missing complaint to the Police. What made him to keep mum for more than 4 months without initiating criminal action and without intimating the OP about the loss or the theft of the said lorry immediately is not known. A complaint was lodged to the Police Commissioner, copy is produced. Why Police registered only C. Misc. complaint and failed to register the regular case of theft and issue FIR is not known. So OP is kept in dark about the loss of the said lorry or of the theft. So for so good the concerned Police are unable to apprehend the accused, trace out and recover the property. For that OP cannot be blamed. Further complainant himself says that he lodged a criminal complaint against the said Dharnesh who is no more and the Wilson Garden Police Station S.H.O. and that complaint is pending for trial. So all these acts and deeds of the complainant is nothing to do with the OP.
8. As per the terms and conditions of the policy it is incumbent upon the complainant to inform the OP about the theft or loss or damages caused to the said vehicle immediately. Though complainant says that the said theft was occurred in and around December 2005, for the first time he informed the OP by causing the legal notice on 18.10.2008 that is nearly after lapse of about 3 years and this complaint is filed in the year 2008. Under such circumstances we find there is a substance in the defence set out by the OP that the complaint is barred by time. So for so good, complainant has not made the claim to the OP in a prescribed performa by furnishing all the necessary documents. There is no proof that OP has repudiated the said claim at any point of time. That means to say complainant did not accrue any cause of action to initiate this complaint. Even today the rights of the complainant are still open to submit the claim petition to OP along with the required documents for processing, for considering and settling the said claim under the purview of law and terms and condition of the policy. When such an equally efficacious relief is readily available to the complainant to redress his grievance, in our view the present complaint appears to be devoid of merits.
9. As already observed by us in the above said paras, there is no proof of deficiency in service. As the complainant has not made claim as contemplated. No fault lies with the OP in considering the same. There is no repudiation of the said claim. Under such circumstances complaint appears to be premature. Hence for these reasons we find the complainant is not entitled for the relief claimed. In view of our observations made in the body of the order complainant has got the equally efficacious relief to redress his grievance he can do so, if so advised. 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 dismissed. In view of the nature of dispute no order as to costs. (Dictated to the Stenographer and typed in the computer and transcribed by him, verified and corrected, and then pronounced in the Open Court by us on this the 28th day of March 2009.)