Decided on September 18,2008

Bhogi Rajeswari Respondents


M.SHREESHA, J. - (1.) AGGRIEVED by the order in C.D. No. 91/2001 on the file of District Forum, Srikakulam, opposite party preferred F.A. No. 293/2005 and the complainant preferred F.A. No. 975/2007. Since both the appeals arise out of a similar order, they are being disposed of by a common order.
(2.) THE brief facts as set out in the complaint are that the complainant purchased a new car bearing No. AP30/A1600 in the year 1997 and insured it with opposite party for a period of one year from 12.4.2000 to 11.4.2001 vide policy bearing No. 3162010303590 which covers all risks including fire. On12.4.2000 at about 9.00 p.m. while the complainant along with her family was proceeding from Arinam Akkivalasa Via Srikakulam to Amadalavalasa in her car being driven by driver, Mr. K. Ramu, they stopped the vehicle at Amin Petrol Station in Kotta Raod Junction and got filled two litres of Petrol in the said car and when the driver started the engine to proceed to Amadalavalasa, suddenly smoke with fire came from the engine of the car and immediately the complainant, her husband and the driver got out of the car and the car was burnt totally in fire. On 13.4.2000 at 10.00 a.m. the son of the complainant gave a report to Rural Police, Srikakulam about the complete damage of the car and submitted the claim application to opposite party. Opposite party deputed their Surveyor to inspect the said vehicle. The Surveyor asked the husband of the complainant by way of letter to submit the driving licence of the driver, who drove the vehicle on the date of accident, proper certificate from the policy based on their station dairy, if FIR has not been registered and proper certificates from the Fire Brigade certifying the date and time of their operation relating to the car. The complainant submitted documents and the opposite party sent a letter dated 12.1.2001 repudiating the claim made by the complainant alleging falsely that at the time of accident, the car was with LPG gas as fuel with alteration in the vehicle for the use of the said fuel. The complainant submitted that she never used LPG as fuel in her vehicle at any time and moreover since the date of purchase of the said vehicle, she has been running it with petrol only. Hence the complaint for a direction to the opposite party to pay Rs. 2,10,000 towards the cost of the car, together with compensation of Rs. 20,000 Rs. 10,000 towards travelling expenses and Rs. 3,000 towards litigation expenses.
(3.) OPPOSITE party filed counter admitting the issuance of the policy and its validity as on the date of accident. They submitted that on receipt of the claim intimation regarding the fire accident, they appointed investigators to investigate the fire accident. The investigators investigated the alleged accident and found that the alleged accident occurred due to use of gas instead of petrol and the investigation reports along with xerox copies of the photographs clearly shows the breach of conditions of the policy and violation under the provisions of M.V. Act, 1988 and submitted that the complaint is not maintainable. Opposite party submitted that as per C -Book, the registration of the car in question would show that the car has been certified for use with petrol as fuel. This is based on the design specification of the manufacturers. The registration in law amounts to the Government authority grating permission to ply the vehicle and hence using of gas instead of petrol is misuse and the complainant has violated the registration itself and hence the complaint is not maintainable and prayed for dismissal of the complaint. Based on the evidence adduced i.e. Exs. A1 to A8 and the pleadings put forward, the District Forum allowed the complaint in part directing opposite party to pay Rs. 20,000 towards compensation, Rs. 1,000 towards litigation and dismissed the rest of the claim of the complainant.;

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