STERLING GENERAL INSURANCE CO LTD Vs. LALA BAHALI RAMPURI
HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
STERLING GENERAL INSURANCE CO LTD
LALA BAHALI RAMPURI
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(1.)This is a first appeal filed by the Sterling General Insurance Co. Ltd., Scindia House, New Delhi (hereinafter referred to as the Insurance Company), against the judgment and decree dated 27th November, 1954, passed by the Tribunal constituted under the Displaced Persons (Debts Adjustment) Act, 1951 (hereinafter referred to as the Act).
(2.)LALA Bahali Rampuri, respondent No. 1 (hereinafter referred to as the applicant), filed an applicant under section 13 of the Act against the insurance company and the Hindustan Commercial Bank Ltd., respondent No. 2 (hereinafter referred to as the bank). The applicant carried on business in sugar in the year 1947 and had opened a cash-credit account with the Kasur branch of the bank against the security of the sugar bags placed in the godown and hypothecated by him with the bank. The hypothecated goods used to be stored in the godowns situate at Mianwala, Bhikkiwind and Usmanwala. All these three godowns were situate in Kasur Tahsil. However, as a result of the partition of India in the year 1947, Usmanwala passed on to Pakistan while Bhikkiwind and Mianwala remained part of India. The allegations made in the application filed by the applicant were that he was a displaced person from Kasur (district Lahore) which was in Pakistan, and had taken up his residence at Muzaffarnagar. He further alleged that in the month of August, 1947, sugar of the value of Rs. 54,175 belonging to the applicant was in the possession of the Kasur branch of the bank. The stock of sugar at all the three places was insured with the insurance company for Rs. 55,300 only for a period of thirty days commencing from 14th August, 1947. The applicant sent a telegram to the insurance company colluded with each other with the result that respondent No. 1 (the applicant) sustained a loss. The applicant, therefore, claimed that a decree for Rs. 13,000 only or more found due on accounting be passed against both the insurance company and the bank jointly or severally against each for whatever amount they were found liable to pay to the applicant.
The application was subsequently amended and the relief claimed against the insurance company was specifically mentioned to be under section 18 of the Act also. During the pendency of the application, a compromise took place between the applicant on the one hand and the bank on the other as a result of which it was agreed between them that out of the amount realised from the insurance company, the bank will receive two-thirds and the applicant one-third only.
(3.)THE insurance company did not admit that the insured goods had been looted as alleged by the applicant. It was further pleaded that the applicant had no right to make a claim, as under the agreement between the parties it was agreed that the insurance money will be payable only to the bank and the discharge granted by the bank shall be considered to be a full discharge of the liability of the insurance company to both the insured. The other pleas taken were that the claim was not maintainable and was barred by time and it had not been made within the period stipulated in the policy and also within the period allowed by the law.
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