PEACOCK PLYWOOD PVT LTD Vs. ORIENTAL INSURANCE CO LTD
LAWS(SC)-2006-12-21
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: CALCUTTA)
Decided on December 05,2006

PEACOCK PLYWOOD PVT. LTD. Appellant
VERSUS
ORIENTAL INSURANCE CO. LTD. Respondents





Cited Judgements :-

UNITED INDIA INSURANCE CO LTD VS. GREAT EASTERN SHIPPING CO LTD [LAWS(SC)-2007-7-56] [REFERRED TO]
UNITED INDIA INSURANCE COMPANY VS. H.P. LATHA [LAWS(NCD)-2024-2-35] [REFERRED TO]
PUNJAB STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD REPRESENTED VS. UNITED INDIA INSURANCE CO LTD [LAWS(NCD)-2011-9-52] [REFERRED TO]
ANUJ KUDESIA VS. LIFE INSURANCE CORP [LAWS(ALL)-2023-12-25] [REFERRED TO]
DELHI BARODA ROAD CARRIER PVT LTD & ANR VS. MAHINDRA AND MAHINDRA FINANCE SERVICES PVT LTD [LAWS(BOM)-2018-12-35] [REFERRED TO]
GDCL KRISHNA TCPL JV VS. STATE OF ODISHA AND OTHERS [LAWS(ORI)-2017-9-111] [REFERRED TO]
SANDHYA LAL VS. KOTAK MAHINDRA GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED [LAWS(KER)-2021-9-13] [REFERRED TO]
UNITED INDIA INSURANCE CO. LTD VS. LEVIS STRAUSS (INDIA) PVT. LTD [LAWS(SC)-2022-5-3] [REFERRED TO]
COIMBATORE PIONEER FERTILIZERS LTD. VS. UNITED INDIA INSURANCE CO. LTD. [LAWS(NCD)-2017-3-56] [REFERRED TO]
AMITABHA SEN VS. SPORTSWORLD INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [LAWS(DLH)-2022-9-175] [REFERRED TO]
NEW INDIA ASSURANCE CO LTD VS. HIRA LAL RAMESH CHAND [LAWS(SC)-2008-6-4] [REFERRED TO]
NARSINGH ISPAT LTD VS. ORIENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY LTD [LAWS(SC)-2022-5-2] [REFERRED TO]
AJAY CONSTRUCTIONS VS. THE NEW INDIA ASSURANCE COMPANY LTD. AND ORS. [LAWS(KAR)-2020-1-326] [REFERRED TO]
METRO EXPORTERS PRIVATE LIMITED VS. UNITED INDIA INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED [LAWS(DLH)-2018-2-564] [REFERRED TO]
RAYMOND LIMITED VS. NEW SARNATH CO-OP. HSG. SOCIETY LIMITED [LAWS(BOM)-2022-5-150] [REFERRED TO]
NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY LTD VS. ISHAR DAS MADAN LAL [LAWS(SC)-2007-2-91] [REFERRED TO]
RAMA ASSOCIATES LIMITED VS. ORIENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED [LAWS(NCD)-2009-3-46] [REFERRED TO]
HARIS MARINE PRODUCTS VS. EXPORT CREDIT GUARANTEE CORPORATION [LAWS(SC)-2022-4-76] [REFERRED TO]
METRO EXPORTERS PRIVATE LIMITED VS. UNITED INDIA INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED [LAWS(DLH)-2018-2-592] [REFERRED TO]
SAWHNEY BROS VS. HONGKONG SHANGHAI BANKING CORPORATION & ORS [LAWS(DLH)-2018-3-412] [REFERRED TO]
DEV DASSI VS. UNITED INDIA INSURANCE COMPANY [LAWS(HPH)-2008-7-13] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

S.B.Sinha, J. - (1.)LEAVE granted.
(2.)INTERPRETATION of a policy of marine insurance entered into by and between the parties herein covering goods in transit is in question in this appeal which arises out of a judgment and order dated 16th December, 2004 passed by the High Court of Calcutta in APO No. 363 of 2000 whereby and where under the appeal preferred by Respondent - Insurance Company herein from a judgment and order dated 3rd December, 1999 passed in C.S. No. 480 of 1992 passed by a learned Single Judge of the said Court was allowed.
Appellant herein agreed to purchase 4000 cu. mt. of 'Sabha Log' (logs) at a total price of US $6,00,000/- from a Malaysian firm. 474 pieces of logs were loaded on a vessel known as 'Indera Pertama' (vessel) at the port of Western Sabah, Malaysia for their delivery at Calcutta. The ship left the Malaysian Port with cargo on 16th February, 1988. The logs were insured by Appellant with Respondent - Insurance Company for a sum of Rs. 39,90,122/- against the peril and/ or risk of non-delivery of said goods. The policy contained Institute Cargo Clause (C). It also expressly included the risk of non-delivery of even single piece of log.

The relevant clauses of the said contract are as under:

"Institute Cargo Clause (C) Risks covered: 1. This insurance covers, except as provided in Clauses 4, 5, 6 and 7 below, 2 vessel or craft being stranded grounded, sunk or capsized-" The insurance contract contained exclusion clauses, some of which are as under: "4. In no case shall this insurance cover 4.6 loss, damage or expense arising from insolvency or financial default of the owners, managers, chaterers or operators of the vessel.

(3.)IN no case shall this insurance cover loss damage or expense arising from unseaworthiness of vessel or craft; Unfitness of vessel craft conveyance container or lift-van for the sale carriage of the subject-matter insured. Where the assured or their servants are privy to such unseaworthiness or unfitness, at the time the subject-matter insured is loaded therein. IN no case shall this insurance cover loss, damage or expenses caused by
1. capture, seizure, arrest, restraint or detainment and the consequences thereof or any attempt thereat;" 8. This insurance shall remain in force (subject to termination as provided for above and to the provisions for clause 9 below) during delay beyond the control of the Assured, any deviation, forced discharge, re-shipment or trans-shipment and during any variation of the adventure arising from the exercise of a liberty granted to ship owners or charterers under the contract of affreightment.

9. If owing to circumstances beyond the control of the Assured either the contract of carriage is terminated at a port or place other than the destination named therein or the transit is otherwise terminated before delivery of the goods as provided for in clause 8 above, then this insurance shall also terminate unless prompt notice is given to the Underwriters and continuation of cover is requested when the insurance shall remain in force, subject to an additional premium if required by the Underwriters, either if the goods are forwarded within the said period of 60 days (or any agreed extension therein) to the destination named herein or to any other destination, until terminated in accordance with the provisions of clause 8 above.

13. No claim for Constructive Total Loss shall be recoverable hereunder unless the subject-matter insured is reasonably abandoned either on account of its actual total loss appearing to be unavoidable or because the cost of recovering, reconditioning and forwarding the subject-matter to the destination to which it is insured would exceed its value on arrival."

5. An extended warranty clause was endorsed in the policy wherefor additional premium was paid in the following terms: "Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, it is hereby declared and agreed that the coverage granted under the within mentioned policy be extended to include the risks of "Theft, Pilferage and Non-Delivery" as well as "War and S.R.C.C." as per attached clause 6 and 11. IN consequence above extension of risks, an additional premium of Rs. 1,496/- is hereby charged to the insured."

The ship developed engine troubles and was held up at Singapore Port till 13th March, 1988. It sailed for Port of Calcutta thereafter. It was, however, immobilised on reaching high sea at Anadamans. It underwent repairs but eventually returned back to Malaysia. Indisputably, Appellant kept Respondent - Insurance Company informed all through. While at Malaysian Port, the ship was arrested at the instance of one Gobsobs, one of the owners of the cargo in May, 1988. Appellant filed a caveat in the said proceedings with a view to take appropriate steps to have the logs belonging to it released.



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