(1.) Heard Mr. D. Saikia, learned counsel, appearing for the petitioner. Also heard Ms. M. Bhattacharjee, learned State counsel, appearing for respondent Nos. 1 to 4 as well as Mr. S. K. Goswami, learned counsel, appearing for respondent No. 5.
(2.) The case of the petitioner, in brief, is that she is the registered owner of a vehicle, namely, Bolero SLX, having registered No. AS-01/CC-4834. It is stated that from the very next date of its purchase, the said vehicle was hired under requisition by the Motor Transport Officer, City Police Reserve, City Guwahati, for maintaining law and order situation, and the vehicle was attached with the Inspector General of Police (Logistics), Assam. After a few days, a constable, namely, Ram Bahadur Chetry, 4th APRF, Howly, Barpeta, was deputed as driver of the vehicle. The vehicle was stolen on 04.09.2011 and, accordingly, the petitioner filed an ejahar before the Officer-in-Charge, Dispur Police Station, naming the said Ram Bahadur Chetry as a suspect. Accordingly, Dispur Police Station Case No. 1806/2011 under Section 379 IPC was registered. The vehicle was under comprehensive insurance of respondent No. 5 herein, i.e., National Insurance Company (for short, "Insurance Company"), valid from 1.3.2011 to 9.3.2012. The Insurance Company was duly informed about the loss of the vehicle. However, simultaneously, the petitioner also submitted a representation to respondent Nos. 3 and 4, i.e., Senior Superin tendent of Police, City Guwahati, and Motor Transport Officer, City Police Reserve, City Guwahati, respectively, to take steps for recovery of the vehicle. On 26.10.2011, respondent No. 4 issued a letter to respondent No. 5 requesting him to pay compensation to the petitioner stating therein that the said vehicle was hired by the City Police Reserve and was attached with the Inspector General of Police (Logistics), Assam, and that the said vehicle was being driven by Ram Bahadur Chetry, a Government Driver, from 1.7.2011. It was also stated in the said letter that the vehicle had been stolen on 04.09.2011 at about 4:00 A.M. within the hiring period. It was further mentioned therein that the order of hiring from 01.07.2011 to 04.09.2011 would be served after receipt of the same from the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup (Metro).
(3.) Once again, on the request of the petitioner, the Additional Superintendent of Police, Headquarters, City Guwahati, issued a letter dated 24.11.2011 requesting the respondent No. 5 to pay adequate compensation to the petitioner.;