Baldev Singh Sekhon, J. -
(1.) THIS appeal has been filed by the appellants/opposite parties against the order dated 21.10.2011, passed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (in short "District Forum"), vide which the complaint filed by the respondent/complainant was allowed and they were directed to pay Rs. 71,900 to him. Compensation of Rs. 5,000 and litigation expenses of Rs. 3,000 were also awarded to him. Briefly stated, the facts of the case are that the complainant got his brand new Bullet, Enfield, STD motorcycle insured with the opposite parties after paying necessary premium, which was valid from 22.10.2009 to 21.10.2010. It was averred that on 19.11.2009, the said motorcycle was taken by his relative, Sh. Sarabjit Singh, along with his friend Baljit Kumar, to pay obeisance to Changer Makred, Police Station Bangana, District Una (HP) and was parked at about 7.00 p.m. in the parking. After visiting the temple when they came out at about 11.00 p.m., the said motorcycle was found missing from that place. They searched for the motorcycle but it could not be traced. Thereafter, the matter was reported to the local police and DDR was recorded. The police authorities, after investigation, issued untraced report dated 9.4.2010. The complainant gave intimation to the opposite parties and also visited their office many times for settling his insurance claim, but they failed to settle the claim despite legal notice dated 21.8.2010. He filed complaint before the District Forum on 29.9.2010 which was disposed of on 28.12.2010 with the following observations:
For the aforesaid reasons, we dispose of the complaint, with directions to the complainant to submit formal claim, and supply requisite documents/information to the O.Ps. within a period of one month, and O.Ps. to settle the claim and convey the decision to the complainant, within a period of two months, thereafter. In case, the complainant is not satisfied, either with the decision or with the quantum of money, awarded by the O.Ps. on account of claim, then he would be at liberty to approach this Forum, again by filing the complaint.
Thereafter, he submitted his claim, along with documents, as directed by the District Forum, and approached them for settling the claim. However, the opposite parties repudiated same, vide letter dated 23.5.2011, without any reasonable cause. Alleging deficiency in service, he filed the complaint before the District Forum seeking directions to the opposite parties to pay Rs. 71,900 i.e. the insured amount along with compensation of Rs. 20,000 and litigation expenses of Rs. 7,500.
(2.) UPON notice, the opposite parties filed their written reply and strongly contested the complaint taking preliminary objection that it was not maintainable. It was pleaded that the motorcycle was not parked in the proper parking place and that the DDR recorded about the theft was found suspicious. It was admitted that the complainant earlier filed a complaint which was decided by the District Forum and they were directed to decide the claim. It was further pleaded that they deputed Sh. Ramji Lal, Investigator, who submitted his report mentioning therein that only DDR had been recorded and no FIR had been registered. The local police had expressed suspicion about the incidence of theft itself. As per DDR, Sh Sarabjit Singh could not produce his driving licence and no parking receipt was produced. Investigation was also done by police but FIR was not recorded. Therefore, untraced report could not have been given by the police. The claim of the complainant was, thus, rightly repudiated. Dismissal of the complaint was prayed. The parties led their evidence by way of affidavits and documents.
(3.) THE learned District Forum, after going through the pleadings of the parties and evidence on record, allowed the complaint, vide aforesaid order.;