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The Manager, Federal Bank Ltd. v/s D. Karthikeyan

    Appeal No. 156 of 1999

    Decided On, 13 July 2000

    At, Kerala State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Thiruvananthapuram

    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellant: C.J. Simon, Advocate. For the Respondent: S. Reghukumar, Advocate.

Judgment Text

L. Manoharan, President:

1. The opposite party in O.P. 255/1998 on the file of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Alappuzha is the appellant. The complainant alleged before the District Forum that he availed a loan from the opposite party utilising the same he purchased two cows both of them were insured with United India Insurance Company as per Exbt. R3 policy. Of the two cows the first cow died on 25.5.1998. He approached the Bank when he was informed that the policy

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is in a lapsed condition and the same was not revived, consequently he is not eligible for the insurance amount. He alleged it was the duty of the Bank to have renewed the policy and default being by the opposite party he is entitled to the insured amount. In the version filed by the opposite party the identity of the cow was questioned stating that the cow that expired did not have any insurance policy and there can be no default in not renewing the policy. Alternatively it was contended that the Bank was not obliged to renew the policy and the complainant has taken steps to renew the policy. Before the District Forum the complainant gave evidence as P.W. 1, on behalf of the opposite party R.W. 1 was examined and Exbts. R1 to R5 were produced. On a consideration of the said material the District Forum made a direction to the opposite party to pay an amount of Rs. 7,000/- with interest and also costs. The said direction is under challenge in this appeal.2. Learned Counsel for the appellant urged that the direction is infirm because whereas in the policy the Tag number of the cow is noted as 29054/29058 Exbt. R2 communication by the doctor who examined the cow mentioned the Tax No. 2226. Since Exbt. R2 does not support the case of the complainant that the cow died had insurance coverage. Alternatively it was also contended that there was no obligation for the Bank to renew the policy and the finding of the District Forum that the Bank was obliged to renew the policy cannot be accepted. Learned Counsel for the respondent sought to support the direction by the District Forum maintaining that having regard to the conditions and also the fact that admittedly the complainant purchased cow availing a loan from the opposite party, since even as per the instruction of the Bank the complainant was bound to take policy, it was necessary for the Bank in the circumstances to have renewed the policy. It was also submitted that in view of the case of the complainant that the cow in question had the insurance policy and mere mention of the number in Exbt. R2 cannot destroy his claim, as according to the learned Counsel that number mentioned in Exbt. R2 could only be a mistake.3. Having regard to the fact that the loan availed by the complainant was for the purpose of purchasing the cow and it was in interest of the Bank also to have the cow insured, the policy since is with the Bank itself, so long as the Bank had no case that they intimated the complainant as to the expiry of the period, we will consider that the Bank cannot plead that they need not renew the policy if he was intimated as to need for remitting the premia or renewing the policy and he failed, then he cannot have grievance. The Bank has no case that they gave intimation to the complainant. Then the finding that the Bank was bound to renew Exbt. R3 policy in the facts and circumstances of the case would not call for interference.4. But coming to the next question, whether the cow that expired was the one that was insured, there is inconsistency. The numbers mentioned in Exbt. R3 and numbers mentioned in Exbt. R2 are not the same. It is the case of the complainant the number mentioned in Exbt. R2 is a mistake. There is no acceptable material on record as to the same; a best person to speak of the same was the doctor who issued Exbt. R2. Confronted with the said situation, the respondent’s Counsel submitted in the interest of justice the complainant has to be given an opportunity to lead further evidence as to the said aspect. Since the ultimate decision of the District Forum was in favour of the complainant, one cannot reject the said argument on behalf of the respondent/complainant. Having regard to the aforesaid circumstance we consider that the complainant/respondent has to be given opportunity to prove his case in that regard.5. In the result the impugned order is set aside and the matter is remitted to the District Forum, it shall restore the complaint to file and give opportunity to the complainant to lead evidence as to the aforesaid aspect and on such evidence being adduced by the complainant, the opposite party also will be given opportunity to adduce evidence. Thereafter the District Forum shall dispose of the matter in accordance with law in the light of the observations and findings in this order. The parties shall appear before the District Forum on 28.8.2000.

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