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Ambica Steels Ltd., New Delhi v/s Oriental Insurance Company Ltd., New Delhi & Another


Company & Directors' Information:- THE ORIENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED [Active] CIN = U66010DL1947GOI007158

Company & Directors' Information:- V S L STEELS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109KA2003PLC058185

Company & Directors' Information:- H M STEELS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106PB1999PLC022707

Company & Directors' Information:- D S R M STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27310TZ2005PTC012353

Company & Directors' Information:- P D P STEELS LTD [Active] CIN = U65921WB1996PLC077555

Company & Directors' Information:- AMBICA STEELS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109DL1970PLC005345

Company & Directors' Information:- R V M STEELS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51420HR2004PTC035426

Company & Directors' Information:- S D S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51420TN2006PTC060563

Company & Directors' Information:- O P STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109DL1987PTC027085

Company & Directors' Information:- AMBICA CORPORATION LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999MH1999PLC119790

Company & Directors' Information:- H R STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC070914

Company & Directors' Information:- B G STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1991PTC042560

Company & Directors' Information:- N G A STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109TZ1995PTC005908

Company & Directors' Information:- C V S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29253DL2009PTC189824

Company & Directors' Information:- J P STEELS LTD [Active] CIN = U27107AS1992PLC003736

Company & Directors' Information:- K P STEELS LIMITED [Liquidated] CIN = U27109TG1986PLC006878

Company & Directors' Information:- P L STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109UR2004PTC000445

Company & Directors' Information:- Z V STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909MH1997PTC109791

Company & Directors' Information:- M Q STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1997PTC089231

Company & Directors' Information:- N. STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106GJ2009PTC056732

Company & Directors' Information:- C I C STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27109WB1988PTC045251

Company & Directors' Information:- M J R STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U74999WB1996PTC076803

Company & Directors' Information:- H S M STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100TG2010PTC067913

Company & Directors' Information:- D C STEELS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106PB1990PLC010517

Company & Directors' Information:- G M K STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL2000PTC108623

Company & Directors' Information:- S I F STEELS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27310GJ1972PLC002137

Company & Directors' Information:- M U STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100DL2011PTC228818

Company & Directors' Information:- M P K STEELS I PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109AS2005PTC007674

Company & Directors' Information:- L M STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U13209UP1980PTC005064

Company & Directors' Information:- S I STEELS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U52390PY2009PTC002285

Company & Directors' Information:- P M P STEELS LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U93090TN1994PLC026915

Company & Directors' Information:- M A STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109KL2002PTC015691

Company & Directors' Information:- M D STEELS PRIVATE LTD. [Active] CIN = U74899DL1987PTC029358

Company & Directors' Information:- D. I. STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100MH2005PTC153442

Company & Directors' Information:- A B M STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27101GJ1986PTC008391

Company & Directors' Information:- T & S STEELS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27109KA2007PTC043617

Company & Directors' Information:- T G V STEELS LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27100TG1996PLC023224

Company & Directors' Information:- A TO Z STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1988PTC030735

Company & Directors' Information:- THE NEW INSURANCE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U66010UP1933PLC000509

Company & Directors' Information:- S K STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27109WB1971PTC027999

Company & Directors' Information:- B. K. STEELS PVT. LTD. [Active] CIN = U27109WB1995PTC068343

Company & Directors' Information:- S M STEELS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1974PTC007190

Company & Directors' Information:- I R C STEELS LTD [Active] CIN = U45208WB1966PLC024114

Company & Directors' Information:- G K M STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27105DL2012PTC246243

Company & Directors' Information:- R B STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106AS1994PTC004200

Company & Directors' Information:- S. A. STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27106PB1985PTC006227

Company & Directors' Information:- A H STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC073017

Company & Directors' Information:- J K L STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27104DL1997PTC088424

Company & Directors' Information:- E D STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27310MH1975PTC018180

Company & Directors' Information:- P AND B STEELS INDIA LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106KL1995PLC008742

Company & Directors' Information:- V K STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27310HP1987PTC007712

Company & Directors' Information:- N E STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27104WB2002PTC116973

Company & Directors' Information:- U R STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27100TG2008PTC060899

Company & Directors' Information:- ORIENTAL COMPANY LIMITED [Not available for efiling] CIN = U70101RJ1935ULL000047

Company & Directors' Information:- H S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109PB1995PTC016111

Company & Directors' Information:- G S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1988PTC030339

Company & Directors' Information:- K G K STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27310TZ1997PTC008228

Company & Directors' Information:- K M S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27310TZ1997PTC008161

Company & Directors' Information:- K L STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1984PTC038783

Company & Directors' Information:- S S A P STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106DL1999PTC101645

Company & Directors' Information:- ORIENTAL INDIA LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51226WB1983PLC036505

Company & Directors' Information:- M F STEELS PVT. LTD [Active] CIN = U74899DL1971PTC005517

Company & Directors' Information:- R G STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27109WB1987PTC042824

Company & Directors' Information:- K L STEELS P LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27109PB1984PTC005895

Company & Directors' Information:- J G STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1997PTC086865

Company & Directors' Information:- S B STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1984PTC017414

Company & Directors' Information:- V I A STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27109UP1993PTC015933

Company & Directors' Information:- K K STEELS INDIA PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27109PB1990PTC010714

Company & Directors' Information:- D R J STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27310PB2007PTC031003

Company & Directors' Information:- S R R STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27105KL1998PTC012156

Company & Directors' Information:- M. G. STEELS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999DL1986PLC025140

Company & Directors' Information:- A B N STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27106OR1996PTC004473

Company & Directors' Information:- A Y STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74120UP2014PTC066079

Company & Directors' Information:- V R STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1981PTC011447

Company & Directors' Information:- R D STEELS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106PB1999PLC022934

Company & Directors' Information:- N D STEELS LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U28111WB1989PLC047025

Company & Directors' Information:- K J STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27310GJ1981PTC004392

Company & Directors' Information:- AMBICA STEELS INDIA LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27200DL2021PLC384367

Company & Directors' Information:- V L STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27107WB2004PTC100815

Company & Directors' Information:- R K STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1985PTC020523

Company & Directors' Information:- S F STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U51900WB2006PTC107234

Company & Directors' Information:- E R S STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27104KL1994PTC008341

Company & Directors' Information:- K. N. STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27107WB2007PTC117868

Company & Directors' Information:- A AND A STEELS PVT LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27104CH1993PTC012992

Company & Directors' Information:- N. J. STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U27108DL1996PTC077190

Company & Directors' Information:- B M STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51102TN1976PTC007165

Company & Directors' Information:- R T STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27109TG1982PTC003556

Company & Directors' Information:- L. R. STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27106UP2002PTC026946

Company & Directors' Information:- R. S. A. STEELS (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51392DL2011PTC213878

Company & Directors' Information:- S R STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27104PB1983PTC005586

Company & Directors' Information:- M B STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U99999MH1975PTC018595

Company & Directors' Information:- M R STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27108MH1980PTC022743

Company & Directors' Information:- N I STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27209UP1978PTC004654

Company & Directors' Information:- J M M D STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1989PTC035398

Company & Directors' Information:- ORIENTAL CORPN PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U51909GJ1937PTC000133

Company & Directors' Information:- J M D STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27300PB2012PTC036293

Company & Directors' Information:- H A S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109DL2004PTC125908

Company & Directors' Information:- D N S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U28991DL2013PTC259964

Company & Directors' Information:- L & T STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27320PB2021PTC052861

Company & Directors' Information:- A Z STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U72100NL1993PTC003884

Company & Directors' Information:- A N STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U72100AS1993PTC003848

Company & Directors' Information:- ORIENTAL CORPORATION LIMITED [Not available for efiling] CIN = U99999MH1937PTC002741

Company & Directors' Information:- P S G STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U99999DL1984PTC018249

    First Appeal No. 605 of 2020

    Decided On, 01 March 2021

    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. C. VISWANATH
    By, PRESIDING MEMBER

    For the Appellant: Sameer Nandwani, Advocate. For the Respondents: Abhishek Kumar, Advocate.



Judgment Text

1. The present Appeal, under Section 19 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has been filed by the Appellant against the order dated 3.2.2020 of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Delhi (hereinafter referred to as “the State Commission) in CC/119/2012.2. The case of the Complainant is that it is a manufacturer, Importer and Exporter of stainless goods and raw materials. The Complainant took a Marine Cargo (Open Policy) vide, Cover Note No.270000255401 dated 30.3.2010 from 1.4.2010 to 31.3.2011 for a sum assured of Rs.100 crores at a premium of Rs.2,31,630/-. Standard stainless steel goods were dispatched to the consignee M/s ACEROS LEVINSON, S.A. DE C.V. Ruiz Cortines pte, 1824, Garza Nieto, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, as per commercial Invoice No.689 dated 21.2.2011, containing 9 bundles of Stainless Steel Bright Bars, weighing 7.224 MT., valuing 32,436.32/- US Dollars (Rs.14,51,525/- (INR) and second commercial invoice being 688m containing Stainless Steel Round Bright Bar, weighing 13.581 MT, valuing 34,835.27 US Dollars (Rs.15,58,878/-).3. An email dated 21.5.2011 was received by the Complainant from the consignee that there were only five boxes in the container when it was opened just before release from customs. The same was informed to the Opposite Parties, vide letter dated 21.5.2011, followed by other correspondence giving detailed information and clarifications. The claim of the Complainant was repudiated on flimsy, fabricated and illegal grounds. The Repudiation letter stated that the consignment was delivered with original seal intact condition, without any evidence of tempering and the carrier denied any liability. The Complainant alleged that the Opposite Party was guilty of deficiency in service, amounting to unfair trade practice. A Complaint was, therefore, filed before the State Commission with the following prayer:-“1. To pay a sum of Rs.25,33.929.10 (Twenty Five Lacs Thirty Three Thousand Nine Hundred and Twenty Nine Rupees and Ten Paisa / (57,134.70 USD for short delivery of 16.853 MT of Steel) with interest @ 18% p.a. for having detained the amount illegally for such a long period and hence Equitable Grounds exist for the same. Exbt. Annexure C-23 (colly).2. To refund a sum of Rs.2,21,663/- paid to the Clearing House/Handling Agents in respect of the said stainless steel goods carried by them. Exbt. Annexure C-24 (colly).3. To grant a compensation of Rs.15,00,000/- (Fifteen lakh Rupees) for causing harassment and mental agony and financial hardships to the Complainant.4. To grant Rs.50,000/- compensation for litigation expenses.5. Any other additional or alternative relief which may be deemed fit, proper and adequate in the given facts and circumstances of the case.”4. The case was contested by the Opposite Parties, inter-alia stating that large commercial units not to be consumers under the Act. The Policy excluded any shortage from sound and sealed containers. Any adjudication in the matter requires recording of voluminous evidence, examining of witnesses and perusal of large number of documents and hence cannot be decided summarily. The State Commission after hearing both the Parties and perusing the record, dismissed the Complaint stating that there was no negligence or any deficiency in service on the part of the Opposite Party. The Opposite Party was justified in repudiating the claim because the container was delivered with seal intact.5. Aggrieved by the order of the State Commission, the present Appeal was filed. Heard the Learned Counsel for the Appellant as well as the Respondents. Learned Counsel for the Appellant submitted that the State Commission rejected the Complaint on the premise that the clause has a misprint and error and there should have been a full stop after import and the exclusion would apply to exports only and not import and that “this policy exclude rust oxidation discoloration damage unless caused by insured perils and for scrap imports this policy exclude shortage from sound and sealed container, for transit of scrap ammunition and explosive are excluded”. The Respondents had rejected the claim based on the Surveyor Report that at the arrival port, it was noticed that container had been delivered safely with original seal intact, with no evidence of tempering. It was argued that since the clause did not have any full stop after the word ‘import’, it has to be read as one sentence and the word ‘export’ added by the State Commission was not permissible in a contract which was already entered between the Parties. This would otherwise change the meaning of the contract. Several judgements of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and this Commission make it clear that the terms and conditions of the Policy cannot be altered. Reliance was placed on the judgement of the Apex Court in Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd. & Anr. Vs. State of M.P. [IV (2020) SLT 175] and also on Canara Bank Vs. United India Insurance Co. & Ors. [II (2020) SLT 200].6. The Learned Counsel for the Respondents submitted that the claim of the Appellant was not payable in view of the fact that the seal of the container was intact when the container reached at the destination. The Policy very clearly mentioned that “this policy exclude shortage from sound and sealed container”. The claim was repudiated duly relying on the letter dated 1.6.2011 of the said carrier and the report of the Investigator. The Custom Broker together with Custom Authority removed the seal from the said container. The carriers had also denied their liability on the ground that the container was delivered by them safely with original seal intact. The Appellant is not entitled to claim any compensation for mental agony, as it is a public company and not a natural person who can be subjected to mental agony as held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Sikka Paper Ltd. Vs. National Insurance Co. Ltd. & Ors. (MANU/SC/0907/2009).7. Brief facts of the case are that the Complainant took a Marine Cargo (Open Policy) bearing No. 271400/21/2011/16 dated 5.4.2010 for a sum of Rs.100 crores from 1.4.2010 to 31.3.2011. The Policy covered the risk of “Voyage : FROM (Domestic) Anywhere in India (Import) Anywhere in world, (Export) from factory TO (Domestic) Anywhere in India, (Import) to factory/Wh.(Anywhere in India), (Export) Anywhere in world.” The policy also excluded “RUST OXIDATION DISCOLORATION DAMAGE: UNLESS CAUSED BY INSURED PERILS AND FOR SCRAP IMPORTS THIS POLICY EXCLUDE SHORTAGE FROM SOUND AND SEALED CONTAINER, FOR TRANSIT OF SCRAP AMMUNITION AND EXPLOSIVE ARE EXCLUDED.” During the Policy period, on 21.2.2011, the Complainant dispatched steel goods to consignee M/s ACEROS LEVINSON, Mexico.8. The Complainant received an email dated 21.5.2011 from the consignee which reads as follows:-“Have just been advised by customer that the Container corresponding to referenced invoices was about to be released today from Customs and when they opened the Container, they noticed there were only 5 boxes in the Container…………”.9. The Complainant sent a claim intimation letter dated 21.5.2011 to the Opposite Party and pursued the matter with them. The Opposite Party sought a report from the Investigator W.K. Webster and on the basis of his report and documents available on record, repudiated the claim on the ground that the consignment was delivered at the destination with original seal intact condition without any evidence of tempering. The Carriers had also denied liability as the container was delivered by them safely with original seal intact, vide letter dated 4.1.2012. Aggrieved by the repudiation of the claim, the present Appeal has been filed by the Complainant.10. The main issue arising in the matter is regarding the Exclusion clause provided in the Policy, which reads as follows:-“THIS POLICY EXCLUDE RUST OXIDATION DISCOLORATION DAMAGE: UNLESS CAUSED BY INSURED PERILS AND FOR SCRAP IMPORTS THIS POLICY EXCLUDE SHORTAGE FROM SOUND AND SEALED CONTAINER, FOR TRANSIT OF SCRAP AMMUNITION AND EXPLOSIVE ARE EXCLUDED1% OF THE CONSIGNMENT VALUE FOR LIQUID CARGO.”11. Carrier Hapag-Lloyd vide letter dt. 1.6.2011 had clearly mentioned that they had transported the shipment as per the BL conditions and handed over the container safely with seal intact at destination. The report of the Investigator noted:-“During the previo (inspection by the CHB in order to clear cargo through Customs) the custom broker together with customs authorities, on 20 May, 2011 removed the seals from the container No.CPSU6041890 and opened the doors just to discovered that there were only 5 boxes”12. It is evident from both the do

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cuments that the container reached the destination safely with seal intact. At the time of clearing the cargo, the customs broker alongwith custom authorities removed the seals from the container and opened the doors to find five boxes only. The Policy clearly excludes any shortage from sound and sealed containers and the Insurance Co. rightly repudiated the claim of the Complainant, duly considering the letter of the Carrier as well as the report of the Investigator and does not suffer from any arbitrariness or non-application of mind. The State Commission has also gone through the Complaint in detail and after hearing the Parties rightly dismissed the Complaint.13. In view of the above, I am of the view that the order passed by the State Commission is fully justified. Appellant failed to show any illegality or irregularity in the impugned order warranting interference in the appellate jurisdiction. Appeal is dismissed with no order as to costs.
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