ORIENTAL INSURANCE CO.LTD. Vs. ANURADHA SAXENA
DELHI STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
ORIENTAL INSURANCE CO.LTD.
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(1.) ON the face of it the impugned order is not only harsh but not in accordance with the spirit and object of Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Merely on account of having
not despatched or issued the insurance policy to the respondent well in
time and having produced the duplicate receipt the veracity of which was
doubted by the District Forum, the District Forum vide impugned order
dated 28.10.2005 has awarded Rs. 20,000 as cost and compensation and Rs.
30,000 as punitive damages.
(2.) FEELING aggrieved the appellant has directed this appeal.
(3.) ADMITTEDLY the respondent has been obtaining for the past few years the mediclaim policy from the appellant for self, husband and two
children and applied for renewal by the appellant for the year 2004 -2005
and paid the premium of Rs. 5,966. Though the cheque was encashed but
neither the cover note nor the policy was issued to the respondent.
However, the policy was issued on 25.6.2004 and was despatched on
28.6.2004 and when the respondent informed the appellant that she has not received the policy it was again despatched on 29.7.2004.
The object of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is to compensate the consumer as to the actual loss or injury suffered by him due to
negligence on the part of the O.P. and not to compensate for an amount
which may prove to be a wind fall or enrich the consumer unjustly and
undeservedly. For the delay in despatch the amount of compensation
without there being any evidence as to the actual loss or injury suffered
by the respondent and worst the amount of punitive damages, which was not
called for in this case shows the utter non -application of mind by the
District Forum. The impugned order smacks of whimsicality and
capriciousness and is not sustainable on any ground whatsoever. It
appears that the District Forum was completely ignorant of the concept of
punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded where the consumer suffers
immensely and the nature of the offence committed by the O.P. is such
which affects large number of potential consumers and arises out of
unfair trade practice of such magnitude that it shows the unscrupulous
designs of the traders or the providers of service.;
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