Insurance Co., Ltd. Vs. Saheb Singh  INSC 1245 (20 July 2009)
APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.4539 OF 2009 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C)
No.19006 of 2007) National Insurance Co. Ltd. ...Appellant(s) Versus Saheb
Singh ...Respondent(s) O R D E R Leave granted.
learned counsel for the appellant.
of service of notice, nobody has entered appearance on behalf of the respondent
to contest the prayer made in this appeal.
respondent filed a complaint before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal
Forum, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh [for short, "the District Forum"] for
award of compensation of Rs.2,27,730/- with interest @ 18% per annum in lieu of
damage caused to the truck which was insured with the appellant. The District
Forum dismissed the complaint on the ground that licence of the driver of the
truck viz., Khel Singh was fake. On appeal, the Madhya Pradesh State Consumer
Disputes Redressal Commission [for short, "the State Commission"]
concurred with the District Forum that the licence of the driver was fake but,
it granted relief to the complainant by relying upon the judgement of this
Court in National Insurance Company Limited vs. Swaran Singh [2004 (3)
S.C.C.297]. The order of the State Commission has been confirmed by the
National Consumer ...2/- -2- Disputes Redressal Commission [for short "the
National Commission]. Hence, this appeal by special leave.
counsel for the appellant submitted that the judgment in Swaran Singh's case
(supra) has been clarified in National Insurance Company Limited vs. Laxmi
Narain Dhut [2007 (3) S.C.C.700] and in view of the latter decision, insured
cannot claim compensation for damage to his vehicle or goods where the licence
of the driver is fake. He pointed out that the insured-respondent had claimed
compensation for the damage caused to his own vehicle and not for third party
and as such the ratio of Laxmi Narain Dhut's case is squarely applicable to the
carefully gone through the record and are satisfied that the issue raised in
this appeal is covered by the judgment in Laxmi Narain Dhut's case and on that
ground the orders passed by the State Commission and National Commission are
liable to be set aside.
the appeal is allowed, impugned orders passed by the State Commission as well
as by the National Commission are set aside and the order rendered by the
District Forum dismissing the complaint is restored.
......................J. [B.N. AGRAWAL]
......................J. [G.S. SINGHVI]
July 20, 2009.