Decided on December 08,2009

Shiva Traders Appellant
New India Assurance Co Ltd And Anr Respondents


- (1.) CONSUMER Complaint No.81/2007 filed by the appellant was dismissed by the District Forum, Una, vide its order dated 22.5.2009.
(2.) FACTS as they emerge from the complaint are that, appellant No.2 as Proprietor of appellant No.1 is running hardware etc. shop at Bangana. He had obtained current limit to the extent of Rs. 10,00,000 from respondent No.2. Insurance had been obtained by the appellants for the stocks of hardware, paints, cement, tiles, Saria etc. from respondent No.1. All contents in the shop premises as stated in the address of the appellants was insured in the sum of Rs.20,00,000, under a shopkeepers insurance policy. Its period of validity was from 26.5.2006 to midnight of 25.5.2007.
(3.) CASE as set out before the District Forum below while maintaining the complaint by the appellants was that he has constructed his shop for carrying on business and along with it adjoining compound had been built by them for the purpose of storing heavy steel items. On 22.9.2006, when son of appellant No.2, Shri Ravinder Kumar opened the shop at 10.00 a.m., he found that 7.5 tonnes of steel of 12 mm, 10 mm and 8 mm had been stolen by breaking lock of outer gate as well as the locks fixed by chaining the bundles. Value of the stolen stock was Rs. 1,90,000. This matter was reported to the police by his son and bank was kept posted about this theft. Respondent No.1 deputed a surveyor who assessed the loss. Report of the Surveyor is Annexure R8 and as per this report, against the loss claimed at Rs. 1,85,237.50, he assessed the loss to the extent of Rs.l,77,208.56P. However, instead of indemnifying the appellants, their claim was rejected on 29.3.2007, on the ground that the appellants had not complied with the required papers/documents and secondly also on the ground that the stock was lying in the open. Regarding documents, stand of the appellants was that needful was done as all necessary documents were provided to the surveyor. Further case of the appellants is that stock was lying in the compound which was duly bounded with the barbed wire, having a small gate, which was locked. Not only this, but further according to them for the purposes of safety, the bundles were tied with iron chain and these were also locked. Thus according to the appellants, all precautions were taken. Rejection of the claim was arbitrary and in this background complaint was filed. While contesting the claim of the appellants as set out in the complaint, pith and substance of the defence of respondent No.1 is, that it had insured all contents in the shop stated at the above address. Further according to it because the stolen steel was lying at a distance of 20 -25 metres from the shop in an open area on the other side of the road and it was not mentioned in the policy, therefore the loss sustained by the appellants was not covered in terms of the Insurance policy. As such the repudiation was perfectly legal according to them.;

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