Decided on March 12,1999



Mr. Tejinder Singh Doabia, J. - (1.) AN insurance cover to the extent of Rs. 5 lakhs was provided vis -a -vis belongings belonging to the complainant -respondents. The Insurance Policy was valid from 29th December, 1994 to 28th December, 1995. The house of the complainant respondent was damaged by fire on 13th May," 1995. The information regarding this was given to the appellant. A Surveyor was also appointed to assess the loss. The Surveyor sought some information from the complainants. This was also made available. As the claim was not settled, the complainants approached the State Commission constituted under the Jammu and Kashmir Consumer Protection Act of 1987. The State Commission has come to the conclusion that the loss sustained by the complainants was to the extent of Rs. 2,32,629/ -. Interest @ 18% has also been allowed. For arriving at the figure of quantum of loss, the report submitted by the Surveyor was also taken note of.
(2.) THE plea put across by the Insurance Company that the complainant was not able to indicate the ownership regarding the property was negatived. This was done on the ground that the Surveyor had submitted in its report that the complainant alongwith wife and other family members was staying in the house. He submitted that the documents of title were left in the house and these were also destroyed. This plea of the complainant was believed and compensation as indicated above was allowed. THE Insurance Company is challenging the order passed by the State Commission. This is being challenged on the ground that there was no proof regarding the ownership of the building as to how old the building was. As information was sought from the complainant in this matter and as there was failure on the part of the complainant to give these informations, therefore, it was urged that it could not be said that there was deficiency on the party of appellant Company. It be seen that the Insurance cover was issued for a sum of Rs. 5 lacs. It is at this stage, i.e. the stage at which Insurance cover is issued, the Insurance Company should have gone into the question regarding the ownership and the value of the building. Having insured the property for a sum of Rs. 5 lacs, it had to be presumed that the Insurance Company at that point of time had satisfied itself regarding the value of the property in question. Having issued the insurance cover it would not be apt for the appellant Company to raise a dispute which has now been raised.
(3.) IN this view of the matter, we do not find any justification to interfere with the quantum of compensation assessed by the State Commission in favour of complainants.;

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