Decided on May 24,2010

H P State Cooperative Bank Respondents


- (1.) APPELLANT has filed this appeal against order of District Forum, Shimla in Consumer Complaint No. 45/2003, dated 17.02.2009. While allowing this complaint, District Forum below has directed the appellant to pay Rs. 7,55,233/ - alongwith interest @ 9 % per annum from 10.01.2003, i. e. the date of filing of the complaint, till full payment was made, alongwith Rs. 2,000/ - as cost of litigation. Appellant has been directed to comply with this order within 45 days of receipt of copy of same.
(2.) APPELLANT having been issued blanket insurance policy (Bankers Indemnity Policy) in favour of respondent bank in the sum of Rs. 50 lacs per year on payment of requisite premium covering various risks like shortage in transit, on premises, forgery or alteration, dishonestly, hypothecated goods, registered postal sending, appraisers and Janta agents etc. is admitted between the parties.
(3.) RECORD of complaint file reveals that one Shri M. L. Negi, the then Branch Manager of branches of respondent at Moorang and Nichar embezzled Rs. 6,57,533/ - and Rs. 1,91,700/ -, respectively at these branches is also established. When these facts came to light, appellant was apprised of those and was called upon by the respondent to indemnify it. After examination of matter, appellant paid a sum of Rs. 94,000/ - only against total embezzled sum of Rs. 8,49,233/ -. Therefore, feeling aggrieved from this act of admission, complaint was filed by respondent against the appellant alleging deficiency in service. Stand of appellant while contesting the complaint was that Managing Director of respondent was not authorized and competent to file and maintain the complaint, policies having been purchased for commercial purposes, respondent could not invoke the provisions of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 for maintaining the complaint. Complaint involved fraud and other disputed questions of fact which required leading of evidence, and those cannot adjudicated upon in summary proceedings by the Fora under Consumer Protection Act, 1986. It is also case of appellant, that there was no deficiency on its part as amount for the payment whereof it was liable, stands paid by it to the respondent. After its receipt, respondent was precluded from filing this complaint. While admitting issuance of insurance cover by the respondent further defence set out by it was that the respondent was to bear 25% on each loss under items -'A' to 'E' or 2% of the basic sum insured whichever is higher, but not exceeding Rs. 50,000 per loss. Each loss in respect of each dishonest or criminal act has to be treated as a separate loss. This clause will however not apply for loss or damage arising out of fire, riot, strike, burglary and house breaking risks. In respect of items -F, G and H of policy (i. e. registered postal sendings, appraisers and Janta agent etc. ) the deductible applicable was to be 25% of the claim amount.;

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