Decided on May 24,1999

Bashir Ahmad Rangrez And Brothers Respondents


BHAWANI SINGH, J. - (1.) THIS group of 13 Appeals CIMA No. 246/1996; Regional Manager. National Insurance Co. Ltd. and Another V. Bashir Ahmad Rangrez and Brothers; CIMA NO. 317/1997 National Insurance Co. Ltd. and Another Vs. Mohammad Shafi and Mohammad Abbas; CIMA No. 22/1997, -Nalional Insurance Company Vs. Mohammad Shafi Shah; CIMA No. 23/1997, National Insurance Company Ltd. Vs. Mohammad Aslam; CIMA No. 250/1996; National Insurance Co. Ltd. and Another Vs. Mehraj ud din Mir; CIMA No. 75/1997, Regional Manager. National Insurance Co. Ltd and Another Vs. Abdul Rashid Ahanger; CIMA No. 329/1997, National Insurance Company Ltd. and Another Vs. Mohammad Ashraf: CIMA No. 328/1997. National Insurance Company Ltd. and Another Vs. Mohammad Ashraf; CIMA No. 330/1997, National Insurance Company and Another Vs. Showkat Ahmad Laway; CIA No. 85/1995. The Regional Manager, National Insurance Company Ltd. and Another Vs. Mushtaq Ahmad Siraj and Another CIA NO.83/1995, Regional Manager National Insurance Company Ltd. and Another Vs. Bashir Ahmad Qureshi; CIMA NO.230 -31/1996, National Insurance Company Ltd. and Another Vs. Mohammad Tariq Raja and CIA NO. 175/1996, Regional Manager, National Insurance Company Ltd. and Another Vs. Bashir Ahmad) is proposed to be decided by this Judgment, since common question is raised for consideration and decision by the parties.
(2.) CLAIMANTS approached the Appellants for payment of loss suffered by them to their property/stocks, which were insured with the Appellants. In all these cases, surveyors have been appointed by the Appellants for assessment of loss and surveyors filed their reports in all the cases except CIMA NO.317/ 1997, CIMA NO. 250/1996, CIMA NO. 75/1997 AND CIMA NO 330/1997. Thereafter, the Appellants made payments to the claimants and discharge vouchers were executed in full satisfaction and discharge of all claims upon them under policy for loss and/or damage arising from a fire which occurred with respect to the property. These discharge vouchers reflect the amount paid to the claimants. They are signed by the claimants as well as the competent officers of the Appellants.
(3.) AFTER receiving the amount reflected in the discharge vouchers, the claimants preferred claims before the commission demanding interest on the amount so paid and compensation. The commission has allowed the claims by ordering payment of interest at the rate of 18% per annum on the accepted liability from the date of loss till the date of final payment. In some cases, compensation for various amounts has also been allowed. Shri Javed Kawoosa, learned counsel appearing for Appellants, contended that after execution of discharge vouchers towards full and final settlement of all claims against the Appellants, no further claim can be raised before the Commission nor the latter has competence to award the same. With a view to buttress the submission, reference was made to 1994 Supp (3) Supreme Court Cases 126, (M/s P.K. Ramaiah and Company Versus Chairman & Managing Director, National Thermal Power Corpn.); 1995 Supp (3) Supreme Court Cases 324, (Nathani Steels Ltd. Versus Associated Constructions) and 1998 SLJ 357, (Mst. Salima Jabeen Versus National Insurance Company Ltd.). This contention is opposed by Shri N.D. Kapra, learned counsel for respondents in these cases. It is contended that irrespective of executing discharge vouchers, the claimants can raise dispute for interest and compensation before the Commission and this view is supported by Apex court decision in Lucknow Development Authority Versus M.K. Gupta, (AIR 1994 Supreme Court 787).;

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