M/S United India
Insurance Co., Ltd. V. M/S Wani Carpets & ANR.  INSC 1275 (1 August
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4772 OF 2008 [Arising
out of SLP(C) No.8151/2007] M/S. UNITED INDIA INSURANCE CO. LTD. ...
ORDER Leave granted.
Nobody appears on
behalf of the respondents despite service of notice. Heard the learned senior
counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant.
The parties hereto
have entered into a contract of insurance in terms whereof, inter alia, in the
event of loss of goods caused by fire and/or riots, the appellant was to
reimburse the claim of the respondents.
The respondents filed
a claim petition claiming a sum of Rs.34,90,000/- before the State Consumer
Protection Commission. The J & K State Consumers Protection Commission by
its judgment and order dated 8.10.2004 directed the appellant to pay to the
respondent a sum of Rs.34,90,000/- with interest at the rate of 9% per annum.
2 An appeal was preferred
there against by the appellant before the High Court. The said appeal was
dismissed for non-prosecution on 7.9.2006. The appellant filed an application
for restoration of the said appeal. The High Court by reason of the impugned
order, without passing any order on the said restoration application, directed:
is invited to the award amount not being deposited by the appellant-Company.
Four weeks' time is granted for depositing this amount.
List after four
weeks, as and when the Bench becomes available."
Mr. K.B. Sinha,
learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant would submit that
keeping in view the fact that the appeal was dismissed for default, in absence
of any order restoring the same to its original file, the impugned judgment
directing the appellant to deposit the entire amount awarded should not have
It is not in dispute
that the impugned order dated 13.02.2007 has been passed in Restoration
It is one thing to
say that the Court imposes conditions for restoring the appeal but it is
another thing to say that before exercising its discretionary jurisdiction,
some conditions could be imposed. The stage of exercising discretionary
jurisdiction of the High Court in restoring the said appeal preferred by the
appellant 3 had not yet reached. It was for the High Court to pass appropriate
orders on the said application for restoration of appeal, at the first
instance. Only in the event the High Court thought it fit to allow the said application,
it could have put the appellant to reasonable terms.
For the reasons
aforementioned, the impugned judgment cannot be sustained and it is set aside
accordingly. The High Court is requested to pass appropriate orders on the
merit of the restoration application at the first instance.
The appeal is
disposed of accordingly.
DELHI, AUGUST 1, 2008.