Vs. National Insurance Co. Ltd.  INSC 1449 (17 August 2009)
APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.5547 OF 2009 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C)
No.887 of 2009) Noor Ali ...Appellant(s) Versus National Insurance Co. Ltd.
O R D E R
learned counsel for the parties.
appellant is engaged in the business of motor parts. He took fire insurance
policy for the period from 18th July, 2003, to 17th July, 2004 for a sum of
Rupees ten lakhs.
night intervening 3rd/4th August, 2003, at about 11.00 p.m., a fire incident
took place in which the appellant's goods and shops were damaged. On receipt of
intimation from the appellant, the respondent deputed a Surveyor and Loss
Agent, Shri K.B. Mahajan, who after assessment, submitted report dated 15th
December, 2003. Shri Mahajan assessed the loss to the appellant at
Rs.1,79,111/-. Thereafter, the Insurance Company released Rs.1,21,117/- in
favour of the appellant as full and final settlement of his claim. The
appellant accepted the amount under protest. This was clearly recorded in the
form of endorsement made on letter dated 17th March, 2004 written by the Branch
Manager of the respondent to the Senior Manager, Bank of Baroda.
aggrieved by the respondent's refusal to reimburse the loss of Rupees eight
lakhs which, according to the appellant, was suffered by him in the fire
accident, he filed a complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act,
1986. The respondent disputed the claim of the appellant and averred that in
view of the report of the surveyor, he was not entitled to anything over and
above what was already paid. The respondent also took up the plea that after
having accepted the amount of Rs.1,29,117/- in full and final settlement of his
claim, the appellant was not entitled to claim higher compensation. The
appellant produced as many as twenty documents which included report of the
Fire Officer, Sultanpur, the bank statement for the last three years, stock
statement for the last three years along with covering letter and a list of 168
duplicate cash memos and three balance sheets for the years 2001-2003. After
considering the entire record, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum,
Sultanpur, [for short, "the District Forum"] awarded compensation of
Rs.6,70,883/- with interest at the rate of twelve per cent per annum from the
date of complaint, i.e., 5th May, 2004. Damages of Rs.10,000/- and litigation
expenses of Rs.200/- were also awarded to the appellant with a stipulation that
if the amount is not paid, then the rate of interest shall be fifteen per cent
instead of twelve per cent per annum.
appeal preferred by the respondent, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal
Commission [for short, "State Commission"], set aside the order of
the District Forum.
matter was taken up by the appellant in revision, National Consumer Disputes
Redressal Commission [for short, "National Commission"], directed the
respondent to pay ...3/- - 3 - Rs.50,000/- by observing that the said amount
had been deducted from the assessment made by the Surveyor's report without any
bare perusal of the impugned orders of the State Commission and the National
Commission, it is clear that neither of them considered the documents produced
by the appellant which had been considered by the District Forum while awarding
compensation of Rs.6,70,883/- and on that account cause of the appellant has been
the appeal is allowed, impugned orders passed by the State Commission as well
as the National Commission are set aside and the matter is remitted to the
State Commission to consider the appeal in accordance with law after giving
opportunity of hearing to the parties.
......................J. [B.N. AGRAWAL]
......................J. [G.S. SINGHVI]
August 17, 2009.