ORIENTAL INSURANCE CO. LTD. Vs. VIJAY KUMAR J. MEHTA
LAWS(NCD)-2021-1-3
NCDRC
Decided on January 04,2021

ORIENTAL INSURANCE CO. LTD. Appellant
VERSUS
Vijay Kumar J. Mehta Respondents

JUDGEMENT

ANUP K.THAKUR, J. - (1.) Under challenge in this Revision Petition No. 240 of 2012 is the impugned order of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Maharashtra, Circuit Bench Nagpur (State Commission, hereafter), in F.A. No.A/06/1401 dated 21.09.2011. Vide this order, the State Commission had partly allowed the appeal. The impugned order reads as below: "1. Appeal is partly allowed. 2. Impugned order is modified as under:- i. The claim of the complainant is partly allowed to the extent of Rs.5.00 lacs. ii. Since, admittedly the complainant has already received the amount of Rs.2,52,700/- from the appellant/O.P., appellant/o.p. is directed to pay the balance amount of Rs.2,47,300/- to the respondent with interest @ 9% p.a. w.e.f. 17.03.2001 till realization of entire amount. 3. No order as to cost. 4. Copy of this order be supplied to the parties."
(2.) This revision petition was heard on 23.12.2020. It was decided to proceed in the absence of any representation by a counsel or in person, on behalf of the respondent/complainant (complainant hereafter) as it was noted from the record that after 29.8.2019, no one had appeared for the complainant. On that date, a last and final opportunity had been given to the complainant to submit written synopsis of arguments. This also however was not submitted as per report of the Registry. In such circumstances, it was decided to go ahead with the disposal of this revision petition.
(3.) Very briefly, the facts are that the complainant has a business of processing of all kinds of dal(s), in the name and style of M/s Ashok Dal and Oil Mill, M.I.D.C. Amravati. Two insurance policies, one for stock of all kinds of pulses, channi, bhusa and processed dal and the other for machineries and accessories, both valid from 19.5.2000 to 18.5.2001, had been purchased by the complainant from the petitioner/Opposite Party- Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. (OP hereafter). On 17.12.2000, at about 8.40 p.m., a fire occurred in the factory premises. The fire brigade was immediately informed; they rushed and put out the fire; as this process involved throwing of water to extinguish the fire, the stocks suffered damage. The OP was also intimated on the same day. A report was also filed on 18.12.2000 with the local police station who prepared a spot panchnama on the same date. A report was issued by the fire brigade department on 1.6.2001 which, apart from noting loss of toor dal etc., also estimated the probable loss to be Rs. 4 lakh. The police spot panchnama dated 18.12.2000 mentioned that pulses and processing machine were completely damaged, and that in all 220 bags i.e. 220 quintal toor dal was completely burnt etc. and estimated the loss at Rs.5.5 Lakh. An insurance claim was lodged with the OP who, vide letter dated 29.12.2000, requested the complainant to submit all relevant documents. Delay in submission of these documents was acknowledged by the complainant and these were produced only by 22.3.2001. Thereafter, the surveyor, vide letter dated 22.3.2001, asked the complainant to submit remaining documents and these were submitted immediately with the request to settle the claim before 31.3.2001. On 20.7.2001, the complainant was informed that the surveyor had settled his claim for Rs.2,52,700/-. Copy of surveyor's report however was not given to the complainant. With this letter dated 20.7.2001, OP had also sent a discharge voucher of Rs.2,52,700/-. Per the complaint, this discharge voucher was initially not accepted; however, OP was subsequently intimated vide letter of 23.7.2001 that the complainant would accept the amount due to it's financial crisis. On 10.08.2001, the complainant received a registered letter from the OP with a cheque of Rs.2,52,700/-, and with a letter stating that the complainant had signed the discharge voucher on 20.7.2001 and the cheque was being released in full and final settlement in favour of the complainant. The complainant immediately issued a registered letter to the OP intimating that the amount was being accepted under protest. Per the complaint, the total loss sustained was Rs.7,70,000/-. The complainant had received only Rs.2,52,700/- on 10.8.2001. As such, per the complaint he was entitled to Rs.5,27,300/-, this being the balance. However, this claim was restricted to Rs.5,00,000/- (Rs. 5 Lakh) in order that it came within the jurisdiction of the District Forum.;


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