CHUNI LAL DWARKA NATH Vs. HARTFORD FIRE INSURANCE CO LTD
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
CHUNI LAL DWARKA NATH
HARTFORD FIRE INSURANCE CO. LTD.
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(1.) THIS is a first appeal from the order of the Senior Subordinate Judge, Gurdaspur, acting as Tribunal under the Displaced Persons (Debts Adjustment) Act, 1951, dismissing the appellant's application under Section 18 of the Act. The appellant is a firm which was carrying on business as commission agents at Sialkot before the partition of the country. It transacted its business through the Punjab and Sind bank, Limited, and in 1947 the appellant had deposited goods like sugar, gur, shakkar, etc. , with the Bank; exceeding rupees three lacs in value as against which the Bank was to supply credit to the extent of 75 per cent of their value. According to the terms of agreement between the appellant-firm and the Bank all securities, which bad been and were to be delivered to the Bank, had to be insured by the appellant as the borrower and in case oi failure to do so the Bank was at liberty to effect such insurances at the er-pense of the borrower. This agreement referred to insurance against fire risk. It was also agreed that all sums received under any such insurances would be applied towards liquidation o the balance due to the Bank for the time being. In accordance with the terms of the above agreement, Exhibit K-2/1, dated 14th of December, 1944, these goods were got insured against fire by the Bank with the respondent Company under two policies. Policy No. C 15012 was for Rs. 23,000/- covering risk against fire from 25th of May, 1947, to 25th of May, 1948 and it also covered "all RIOT RISKS" for 30 days as from llth of July, 1947, to 10th of August, 1947 (vide Exhibit R-1 ). The other Policy No. C 15025 was for Rs. 75. 000/- against fire from 13th of July, 1947 to 13th of October, 1947, and it also covered "all RIOT RISKS" from 13th of July, 1947 to 12th of August, 1947, (vide exhibit R-2 ). It is stated that the goods insured under those two policies were lost during communal riots in August, 1947, and the respondent Company having refused to admit the claim on the ground of limitation, this application was made praying that a decree for Rs. 98,000/- be passed in favour of the claimant against the respondent Insurance Company and the Bank. It was also prayed that the Bank should have insured the goods to the extent of their full value, i. e. , for Rs. 3,00,000/-, and the Bank having insured the goods to the extent of Rs. 98,000/only, was not entitled to get any share out of the amount payable by the insurance Company under these policies.
(2.) THE Insurance Company denied its liability on several grounds covered by the issues framed in this case. The Bank supported the applicant's claim against the insurance Company but contended that the insurance sum was payable to the bank and not to the applicant.
(3.) A similar application claiming the sum of Rs. 98,000/- was brought by the Bank against the Insurance Company and both these applications were consolidated by the Tribunal and were tried 'together and were disposed of by the same order. The following issues were framed by the Tribunal:
1. Whether any claim was made on respondent No. 1 by respondent No. 2 within one year of the alleged loss? And if not, whether the pre-cent application is competent? 2. Whether the insured goods were looted on llth of August, 1947, in disturbances preceding the partition of the country as alleged? 3. If issue No. 2 be proved, then what damages have resulted as a result of such looting? 4. Which of the applicant or respondent is entitled to such damages? 5. Whether Chuni Lal applicant has locus standi to make this application? 6. Whether it was necessary for the applicant or the respondent Bank to have complied with the terms of conditions Nos. 11 and 13 of the policies? 7. If issue No. 6 be proved, then whether the conditions above mentioned have been satis-fied and if not, what is its effect? 8. Whether policy No. 15012 was in force the date of the loss? 9. Relief?;
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