Decided on September 29,2008

Karpagam Finance Appellant


N.KANNADASAN, J. - (1.) THE appellant is the complainant and the respondents are the opposite parties before the District Forum. The appeal is filed as against the order of the District Forum in dismissing the complaint. The brief facts of the case are stated as under: The appellant is a Licensed Pawn Broking Firm and has insured Gold and Silver Jewels pledged with it along with other valuables, by taking Insurance Policy from the respondents since 1993 regularly. On 23.11.1999 the appellants business premises was ransacked by unknown persons, burglary was committed and the appellant was deprived of Jewels, valuables and cash worth about 20 lakhs. A case was registered Under Cr. No. 173/99 for offences U/Sec. 457, 380. The appellant has also informed the first respondent about the said occurrence of burglary on the same day itself. The surveyor appointed by the respondents inspected the premises on 25.11.1999 and issued the claim form to the appellant. The appellants forwarded the claim on 13.12.1999. In the meanwhile one another surveyor appointed by the respondent company had undertaken an investigation and after nearly 18 months i.e in the year 2001 only he had chosen to submit a report.
(2.) IN the interregnum, the Police have filed final report and had issued non traceable certificate dated 15.12.2000. Based on this, the Judicial Magistrate, Kumbakonam on 16.01.2001 has passed orders dropping all further actions by the police in this matter.
(3.) THEREAFTER on 05.12.2001 the appellant has approached the Insurance Ombudsman against the respondents for settlement of claim. The respondent had repudiated the claim and hence the appellant filed the complaint in the District Forum seeking a sum of Rs.15,50,000/- together with interest @ 12% p.a. along with damages for a sum of Rs.50,000/- and costs. The District Forum though has accepted that the Consumer Forums Jurisdiction to deal with the matter has chosen to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the issues involved cannot be decided in a summary manner and hence directed the appellant to approach the Civil Court. Aggrieved against this the appellant filed the present appeal. The respondents herein have contended that their surveyor has given an elaborate surveyor report dated 26.05.2001 to the effect that it is not possible for such an occurrence of burglary to take place, since the Jewels were protected in safes and there were no signs to suggest the occurrence of burglary. That apart, the respondent also relied on the report of the Assistant Superintendent of Police, Kumbakkonam, dated 16.11.2001, wherein he had informed the respondents that the claim of burglary was not a genuine one.;

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