BASPA ORGANICS LIMITED Vs. UNITED INDIA INSURANCE COMPANY LTD.
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Baspa Organics Limited
UNITED INDIA INSURANCE COMPANY LTD.
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MOHAN M.SHANTANAGOUDAR,J. -
(1.)The present appeal arises out of the judgment dated 21.07.2015 passed by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi ("National Commission")
dismissing the consumer complaint (Original Petition No. 48 of
2004) filed by the Appellant herein.
(2.)The facts giving rise to this appeal are as follows:
2.1 One M/s Shrirang Agro Chemical Pvt. Ltd., having its factory premises in Tarapur, Thane District, was engaged in the business of manufacturing a chemical called Cyper Methnic Acid Chloride ("CMAC"), an intermediate product used in growing cash crops. The said factory premises had become a sick unit, and was auctioned off by the Maharashtra State Financial Corporation ("MSFC"). The bidding took place on 14.03.2001, and on 15.03.2001, the Appellant was declared the highest bidder, having quoted a price of Rs. 4 crores.
2.2 The Appellant commenced production of CMAC in November 2001. The previous company (Shrirang Agro Chemical Pvt. Ltd.) had taken an insurance coverage from the Respondent, and the Appellant continued this coverage. To this end, after inspecting the plant and machinery, a Fire and Special Perils Policy was issued by the Respondent from 12.11.2001 to 11.12.2001 insuring the subject premises for a total Insured Declared Value of Rs.12.5 crores. The said policy was continued for the period between 12.12.2001 and 11.01.2002 as well.
2.3 On 03.01.2002, a fire broke out at the factory premises, based on which the Appellant filed a claim with the Respondent. On 30.01.2004, based on reports from the three surveyors, the Respondent repudiated the claim of the Appellant on two grounds. It was held, firstly, that the Appellant had purchased the factory premises for only Rs. 4 crores, but had overvalued it and taken a policy for an excessive value of Rs. 12.5 crores, and secondly, that the Appellant suppressed the material fact of not being duly licensed for the storage and use of Hexane at the factory. Aggrieved by such repudiation, the Appellant filed a consumer complaint before the National Commission.
(3.)The National Commission dismissed the Appellant's complaint, holding that the repudiation was justified on both
the above counts, i.e., that the Appellant had overstated the
value of the factory while taking insurance, and that the
Appellant was operating without obtaining the requisite licence
for the storage of Hexane. It is against this dismissal that the
Appellant has approached this Court by way of an appeal under
Section 23 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
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