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.