Gurdev Singh, J. (President) -
(1.) THE Appellant/Opposite Party No. 3 -Insurance Company has preferred this appeal against the order dated 8.3.2011 passed by District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Fatehgarh Sahib (in short, "District Forum"), vide which it allowed the complaint filed by Ranjit Kaur, respondent No. 1/complainant, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, and directed opposite party Nos. 1 and 2 to reimburse her for their deficiency to the amount of Rs. 10,000 for harassment and mental agony and Rs. 5,000 as litigation charges and directed the present opposite party and opposite party No. 4 to reimburse her of all the damaged parts with the amount of Rs. 33,805 according to the insurance policy, within one month of the passing of the order. As per the allegations, made in the complaint, the complainant was owner of car make Toyota bearing registration No. PB.11.AK -0216, which was got insured by her with opposite party No. 3 for the period 16.7.2009 to 15.7.2010. The car met with an accident on 18.1.2010, in which the same was damaged and was parked in the workshop of opposite party No. 1 for repairs, opposite party No. 3 appointed opposite party No. 4 as the Surveyor for assessing the loss. The estimate for the repairs was given by opposite party No. 1 but at the time of giving the estimate it omitted to mention therein four major parts; namely, April Front Fender RH worth Rs. 10,854.03P, Condenser Assembly worth Rs. 11,257.84 P, Radiator Assembly worth Rs. 7,295.73P and Knckle Steering worth Rs. 4,397.58P, which were visible and were damaged in the accident. First Appeal No. 658 of 2011. 3 That opposite party while preparing the bill charged the above said amount for these parts from her. If those had not been damaged, why he was charged for the same and that act of opposite party No. 1 amounts to unfair trade practice and deficiency in service. Even opposite party No. 4/surveyor mentioned that other major parts were damaged in the accident but had not been assessed while assessing the loss as those were not mentioned in the estimate prepared by opposite party No. 1. She brought that fact to the notice of opposite parties Nos. 1, 3 and 4 but they did not care to look into the matter and did not assess the loss to the car correctly. The Surveyor also did not allow the claim of certain parts, of which the estimate was submitted by opposite party No. 1 and thus, she was cheated by not assessing the actual damage to the car. Estimate of Rs. 2,80,814 was submitted by opposite party No. 1 but the Surveyor assessed and allowed the loss on behalf of opposite party No. 3 only to the extent of Rs. 1,07,623. All these acts of the opposite parties are against the principles of natural justice and amount to unfair trade practice; as a result of which she remained under stress and her health also deteriorated. For having suffered at the hands of the opposite parties, she is entitled to Rs. 20,000 as damages and Rs. 10,000 litigation expenses and interest at the rate of 18% per annum.
(2.) OPPOSITE party Nos. 1 and 2 filed joint written reply, in which they admitted that the complainant was the owner of the car, which was got insured with opposite party No. 3 and after the accident the same was brought to the workshop of opposite party No. 1 for First Appeal No. 658 of 2011, 4 repairs. They also admitted that the estimate was so prepared regarding the damage to the car. While denying the other allegations made in the complaint, they pleaded that the job regarding the repairs of the car was carried out as per the consent and knowledge of the occupant of the car. As the accidental jobs were carried out at the instance of the Insurance Company, so there was no deficiency in service or unfair trade practice on the part of opposite party No. 1. The accidental job was properly attended to and thereafter the car was delivered to the complainant to her entire satisfaction after taking payment of the parts and labour charges etc. at the instance of the Insurance Company. In fact, the estimate was prepared at the instance of the occupant of the car and not at the instance of the complainant. opposite party No. 1 has no Branch Office within the jurisdiction of the District Forum at Fatehgarh Sahib and it is working for gain only at Patiala and the Head Office is located at Chandigarh, opposite party No. 2 is based at Bangalore and, as such, the District Forum at Fatehgarh Sahib had no territorial jurisdiction to entertain and decide the complaint. The complainant has not come to the District Forum with clean hands and the complaint filed by her is not maintainable. They prayed for the dismissal of the complaint with costs; being totally false and frivolous. Opposite party Nos. 3 and 4 also filed joint written reply. They admitted therein that the car in question was got insured by the complainant with opposite party No. 3 and that intimation regarding the accident was received by that opposite party upon which First Appeal No. 658 of 2011. 5 opposite party No. 4 was deputed as the Surveyor for assessing the loss to the car. They also admitted that the estimate of loss was submitted by opposite party No. 1 and that the sum of Rs. 1,06,323 was paid as the insurance amount to the complainant, though the estimate so submitted to the Surveyor was to the tune of Rs. 2,80,814. While denying the other allegations made in the complaint, they pleaded that the complainant herself had intimated that the car was parked in the workshop of opposite party No. 1 for repairs. If some parts had not been included in the estimate, so submitted by opposite party No. 1, the complainant was required to obtain the revised estimate, if those parts had been changed, but he failed to do so. The claim in respect of those parts is not admissible. Therefore, the Surveyor did not include any other part in his report. No such point was taken by the complainant at the time of receiving the cheque of Rs. 1,06,323 as the final payment. The replacement of these parts was never brought to their notice. Moreover, as per the terms and conditions" of the policy, 50% depreciation was to be calculated on the plastic/rubber parts and 10% on the metal parts. There was no deficiency in service or unfair trade practice on their part and, as such, they are not liable to pay any such compensation or other amount.
(3.) THE parties produced evidence in support of their respective averments before the District Forum, which after going through the same and hearing learned Counsel on their behalf allowed the complaint, vide aforesaid order.;