Decided on September 20,2010

Bal Krishan Son Of Hari Ram Respondents


- (1.) WHILE challenging the order passed by District Forum, Shimla, Camp at Solan in Complaint No.68/2006, dated 14.12.2007, Mr. Chandel, learned Counsel for the appellant submitted that mule with tag No.0451 was still alive and claim to the contrary about her death was false/fraudulent according to his client. With a view to support this submission, he placed reliance on the affidavit of the Surveyor Er. Kuljeet Singh Baweja, Annexure RB, as well as his report, Annexure R.8. While advancing the plea that the mule was alive, Mr. Chandel also placed reliance on Annexure R.9, the statement of the respondent. By ignoring all these documents while passing the impugned order, District Forum below committed grave error. He thus prayed for allowing this appeal by setting aside the impugned order, and consequently dismissing the complaint.
(2.) ALL these pleas were resisted and contested by Mr. Sukh Ram, learned Counsel for the respondent. Per him, important thing to be seen in this case is not solely the colour of the deceased mule, but vital point to determine the controversy is the tag No. admittedly appended by the appellant while undertaking insurance of the mule in question. In this behalf, learned Counsel for the respondent further pointed out that the mule bearing Tag No.0451 had died, as such slight variation here and there in its colour does not make any difference. In this behalf, he drew our attention to the post mortem report, Annexure R.7 and the claim form lodged by his client as well as the banker who had financed the deceased mule, Annexure R.5. In addition to this, vide Annexure R.4, financier -bank on 13.12.2004 had intimated the appellant at its Solan branch regarding death of one of the ponies bearing tag No.0451. Therefore, according to him this appeal was without any substance and deserves to be dismissed.
(3.) WE are of the view that tag No. is the hallmark of identifying the insured animal, the deceased mule in this case. It is only on production of tag No. that the appellant would examine the claim for being indemnified. No doubt, in the ordinary course of things, colour of the deceased animal must have also matched with its description as given in the Insurance policy. However, in case there was slight variation in colour as is the situation in this case, it would not negative the plea about death which is fortified and supported by the tag No. It is not the case of the appellant that the tag No. of the deceased animal was not handed over to it by the respondent alongwith claim. Though Mr. Chandel emphatically urged that the alleged deceased animal is still alive. In this behalf so far reliance placed on Annexure R.8 is concerned, it is wholly mis -conceived. Annexure R.8 is the so -called investigation. It nowhere mentions about the tag No.0451 which was admittedly attached on the mule (at the time of insurance), which according to the respondent had died. Once this conclusion is arrived at, then the decision of this appeal need not detain us. Reason being that there is overwhelming evidence regarding the death of the animal having tag No.0451. In Annexure R.7 and letter of the financier -bank to the appellant, Annexure R.4 as well as in the claim form, Tag No. of the deceased animal has been mentioned as 0451. At the risk of repetition we may mention, that we have no hesitation in observing that the slight variation in the colour would not make any difference because it is not exclusively on the basis of the colour that the deceased animal was insured by the appellant. Permanent and fixed mark of identification is Tag No. No other point was urged.;

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