NEW INDIA ASSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED Vs. SATISH KUMAR NIRALA
HIMACHAL PRADESH STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
NEW INDIA ASSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED
Satish Kumar Nirala
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ARUN KUMAR GEL (RETD.), J. -
(1.) THIS appeal is directed against the order passed by District Forum, Shimla in Consumer Complaint No.263/2008, decided on 16.11.2009. By means of this order, complaint
filed by the respondent has been allowed thereby directing the appellant
to indemnify the respondent in the sum of Rs.84,000/ - alongwith interest
at the rate of 9% per annum from date of filing of the complaint, i.e.
29.07.2008 till actual payment was made. Respondent has been directed to return salvage of vehicle in question as well as RC and the key to the
appellant within a period of one month after receipt of copy of order. In
case salvage is not returned, then appellant has been authorized to
deduct Rs.18,000/ - cost of salvage, out of Rs.84,000/ -. In addition to
this, appellant has been burdened with Rs.2,500/ - as litigation cost, and
it has been directed to comply with the order within 45 days of receipt
of copy of said order .
(2.) VEHICLE bearing registration No.HP06 -2360 having been insured with the appellant in the sum of Rs.85,000/ - for a period 16.11.2007 to
15.11.2008. It is admitted between the parties that on 27.01.2008 it met with accident at Kufri. Annexure OP -1 filed by appellant shows that this
vehicle was insured on IDV basis. First Information Report was
registered vide annexure OP -3 at Police Station Theog, District Shimla.
Spot survey was done by Shri Umesh Kumar Sood, Surveyor and his report is
annexure OP -5. Whatever he observed on the spot has been given in detail
in this report. Thereafter final surfey was done by Shri Dinesh Kumar
vide annexure OP -8 and according to him he assessed the liability of
appellant on net of Salvage loss basis at Rs.66,500/ -. According to him
this was the amount payable on net of salvage basis. Value of salvage was
assessed by this Surveyor at Rs.18,000/ - and after deducting another
Rs.500/ - on account of less excess clause, appellant was held liable for
payment of Rs.66,500/ -. District Forum below has accepted this report and
assessed the compensation. Hence this appeal by the Insurance Company.
(3.) MR . Ratish Sharma, learned counsel for the appellant had argued in support of this appeal, that the District Forum below fell into error
while directing his client to pay Rs.85,000/ - i.e. the sum for which the
vehicle was insured. According to him Surveyor being an expert in the
line of loss assessment, the claim has to be settled on the basis of his
report. Further according to him, terms and conditions of policy having
been violated in as much as, against the seating capacity of 4 persons
including driver, these were 5 persons trave;ling at the time of
accident. Thus according to him in the light of Section 88 (11) of Motor
Vehicles Act, 1988, this claim should have been settled on non -standard
basis. With a view to advance this submission, he placed reliance on a
decision of this Commission in the case of National Insurance Company
Limited versus Pritu Devi.
All these pleas were seriously contested and resisted by Mr. Kaprate on behalf of respondent. He argued that plea of appellant to
accept the report of Surveyor des not hold good in the light of
direction given in the impugned order. Reason being that to the total sum
of Rs.85,000/ -, his client would only be entitled to, after he had
returned the salvage of the value of Rs.18,000/ -, otherwise this sum has
to be deducted from the sum insured i.e. from Rs.85,000;
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