Decided on January 03,2009

Kernel Singh Respondents


ARUN KUMAR GOEL - (1.) RESPONDENT as owner of vehicle bearing registration No. HP -34 -A -3777, Santro Xing XG Car, got it insured with the appellant. It was insured in the sum of Rs. 3,25,000 on Insured's Declared Value (IDV) basis. It met with accident on 19.1.2006 at Chamukha (Sundernagar) and suffered extensive damage. When it was taken to authorized dealer of Santro vehicles, M/s. Shivansh Motors, Gutkar, for examination, it transpired that the cost of repair worked out to 75% of the sum insured. Thus, he did not opt for repair.
(2.) AFTER accident, on receipt of intimation in that behalf, appellant deputed one Mohinder Kumar Sharma, Surveyor and Loss Assessor, to assess the loss. As per respondent, he was assured that the case was being processed on total loss basis, both by the Surveyor as well as by the appellant. Appellant had also got the vehicle examined from two other Surveyors S/Shri Rajender Sharma and Harmeet Singh Kalsi for evaluating the salvage. In any event, respondent wanted that the matter should be settled at the earliest and respondent indemnified therefor. Strangely enough, on 5.6.2006, the Surveyor asked him to get the vehicle repaired. Per him, it was not fit for repair, as such he insisted for processing the claim on total loss basis. Further according to him, on 23.6.2006 and 25.6.2006, the Surveyor had telephonically informed him of settlement of the claim on total loss basis for Rs. 2,92,500 against the IDV of Rs. 3,25,000. He asked for the break -up of Rs. 2,92,500 from the Surveyor as this amount offered was below the cost of Rs. 3,87,000 in February, 2005. According to the respondent, both the Surveyor as well as the appellant were out to cause him harassment, physical, mental and financial. Complaint file shows that there was sufficient correspondence exchanged between the parties. Finally he was told by the Kullu Branch office of the appellant that the matter regarding the payment of compensation can only be sorted out after the sale of wreckage of the vehicle and for this purpose date fixed is 17.9.2006 and he was asked to be present. At the time of disposal of wreckage workshop demanded parking charges and certain parts were missing of the value of Rs. 18,000. This amount was deducted out of the amount of wreckage value of Rs. 1,38,000 and Rs. 7,000 on account of parking charges were paid by the respondent to M/s. Shivansh Motors Workshop.
(3.) APPELLANT wanted the respondent to give unconditional discharge in the sum of Rs. 1,60,985 which he refused to accept. This resulted in filing of the complaint against the appellant. Complaint was contested on the ground by the appellant that he was asked to take the vehicle to authorized dealer/workshop for repairs. After preliminary survey, another Surveyor was appointed who asked the respondent to get the vehicle repaired as it was repairable. Finally Surveyor assessed the loss at Rs. 2,99,485 on net of salvage -basis against the IDV of Rs. 3,25,000. Salvage was sold for Rs. 1,38,000 but Rs. 1,20,000 was paid because parts of the value of Rs. 18,000 were missing. Thereafter Rs. 1,60,985 was lawfully payable and the respondent was asked to give unconditional discharge for this amount so that the same is released to him. Further case of the appellant is that the Surveyor Shri Mohinder Kumar Sharma has rightly asked the respondent to get the vehicle repaired. Before proceeding further in the matter it may be appropriate to observe that M/s. Shivansh Motors, Gutkar, the authorized dealer/workshop had found extensive damage. According to it the body shell of the vehicle stood damaged and floor thereof had developed folds and frills at three points and according to it floor of body shell could not be repaired. So much so that even after repair, alignment of the vehicle would not be in order. And in case body shell was replaced, the repair cost would exceed 70% of the I.D.V. It was in this background that respondent refused to get the vehicle repaired. He had appraised Shri Sharma, Surveyor of all these facts.;

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