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Jaspreet Singh Bakshi v/s SBI General Insurance Company Ltd., Chandigarh & Others

Company & Directors' Information:- SBI GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED [Active] CIN = U66000MH2009PLC190546

Company & Directors' Information:- GENERAL INSURANCE CORPORATION OF INDIA [Active] CIN = L67200MH1972GOI016133

Company & Directors' Information:- GENERAL INSURANCE CORPORATION OF INDIA [Active] CIN = U67200MH1972GOI016133

Company & Directors' Information:- BAKSHI & BAKSHI PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27209WB1988PTC044237

    Revision Petition No. 605 of 2016

    Decided On, 18 June 2020

    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC


    For the Petitioner: Col T.S. Bakshi, AR. For the Respondents: R1, D. Varadarajan, R2, Nemo (Served), R3, Amaresh Singh, Advocate.

Judgment Text

The present revision petition has been filed by the petitioner challenging the order dated 23.11.2015 passed by the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh (‘the State Commission) in First Appeal no. 314 of 2015.

2. The brief facts of the case are that the car of the petitioner was insured with the respondent insurance company. During the currency of the insurance policy, the said vehicle was stolen, however, the vehicle was recovered and the petitioner / complainant was given the vehicle through a court order. The petitioner submitted the vehicle for repairs to respondent no.3. with the consent of the Insurance Company. The vehicle was repaired after a long time, i.e., after about 18 months. As the complainant was not satisfied, the complainant filed a consumer complaint bearing number CC/171/2015 before the District Consumer Disputes Redresal Forum I, U T Chandigarh. The complaint was contested by the insurance company/ respondent no.1 as well as by the dealer/ repairer, i.e., respondent no.3. However, the District Forum vide its order dated 12.10.2015 while allowing the complaint observed as under:

“In the light of above observations, we are of the concerted view that opposite parties nos.1 and 2 are deficient in rendering proper services to the complainant. Hence, the present complaint of the complainant deserves to succeed against the opposite parties no.1 and 2 and the same is allowed, qua them, the opposite parties no.1 and 2 are directed:

1. To pay 12% interest on locked up value of IDV of Rs.4,25,000/- beyond a period of six months for which the vehicle was retained by the workshop.

1. To pay Rs.25,000/- on account of deficiency in service and causing mental and physical harassment to the complainant;

2. To pay Rs.10,000/- as cost of litigation;

The liability of opposite parties no.1 and 2 shall be joint and several.

The complaint fails qua opposite parties no.3 and 4.

The above said order shall be complied within 30 days of its receipt by the opposite parties no.1 and 2; thereafter, they shall be liable for an interest @ 12% per annum on the amount mentioned in sub-para (b) above, apart from cost of litigation as in sub-para (c), from the date of institution of this complaint, till it is paid”.

3. Not satisfied with the order of the District Forum, the petitioner/ complainant preferred an appeal bearing no. 314 of 2015 before the State Commission. The State Commission dismissed the appeal vide its order dated 23.11.2015.

4. Hence, the present revision petition.

5. Heard the authorised representative of the petitioner and the learned counsel for respondent nos.1 and 3. AR of the petitioner has stated that the vehicle was unnecessarily detained in the workshop by respondent no.3 and prepared the estimate only after four months after receiving the car and finally respondent no.3 took extraordinary long time to complete the repairs and ultimately the complainant got the car only after 18 months. The complainant could not use the car due to the deficiency on the part of the OPs.

6. It was further stated by the AR that though it was a cashless policy, the petitioner had to pay Rs.1,04,835/- as depreciation for which there was no justification. It was also stated by the AR that he had not been compensated adequately by the order of the District Forum. He has spent money from his own pocket as he had to come to Delhi from Chandigarh eight times in connection with the case. AR of the complainant has also stated that this revision petition has been filed mainly for enhancement of compensation and for taking action against the surveyor who has not performed his duty in accordance with law.

7. On the other hand, the learned counsel for respondent no.1 insurance company has stated that the power of attorney given to the AR by the complainant is only in respect of filing of the case against the insurance company whereas, the complaint case has been filed against all the OPs including the dealer for which there is no authority. In respect of depreciation, the learned counsel for the insurance company explained that as per the terms and conditions of the policy, depreciation is to be applied on various parts as per the rates given in the policy. The vehicle was five years old at that time and depreciation rates have been applied as per the chart given in the policy. Thus, there is no illegality in applying depreciation. The District Forum has adequately compensated the complainant and the complainant does not deserve any further compensation.

8. Learned counsel for the respondent no. 3 stated that there was no delay on the part of the dealer and the vehicle was repaired when the permission was granted by the insurance company to go ahead with the repairs. The State Commission has already considered the defence raised by respondent no. 3 and therefore, has quashed the complaint against respondent no .3.

9. I have carefully considered the arguments advanced by the parties and examined the record. First of all, coming to the question of depreciation, it is seen that in Section I (1), the rates of depreciation on new parts as per the age of the vehicle have been given and the learned counsel for the insurance company has clarified that depreciation has been applied only on the basis of the chart given under this section of the policy. AR of the complainant has not stated anything contrary to this argument of the learned counsel for the insurance company.

10. In my view, when there is a clear provision in respect of depreciation to be charged, the complainant cannot raise any grievances in this regard until it is proved by the complainant that depreciation has not been correctly applied. No such argument has been advanced by the AR of the petitioner/ complainant.

11. In respect of other facts, like delay in getting the approval for repairs and for the delay in actual repairs of the car, it is seen that both the fora below have given concurrent findings in respect of these facts and have accordingly compensated the complainant adequately for deficiency on the part of the OP nos.1 and 2. The scope under the revision petition is quite limited and no new facts can be considered at this stage and only the jurisdictional aspects are to be seen. As against the concurrent findings of facts, this Commission cannot reassess the facts at the stage of the revision petition as held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Mrs Rubi (Chandra) Dutta vs M/s United India Insurance Co. Ltd., 2011 (3) Scale 654 as follows:

“23. Also, it is to be noted that the revisional powers of the National Commission are derived from Section 21 (b) of the Act, under which the said power can be exercised only if there is some prima facie jurisdictional error appearing in the impugned order, and only then, may the same be set aside. In our considered opinion there was no jurisdictional error or miscarriage of justice, which could have warranted the National Commission to have taken a different view than what was taken by the two Forums. The decision of the National Commission rests not on the basis of some legal principle that was ignored by the Courts below, but on a different (and in our opinion, an erroneous) interpretation of the same set of facts. This is not the manner in which revisional powers should b

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e invoked. In this view of the matter, we are of the considered opinion that the jurisdiction conferred on the National Commission under Section 21 (b) of the Act has been transgressed. It was not a case where such a view could have been taken by setting aside the concurrent findings of two fora.” 12. Based on the above discussion, I do not see any opportunity to interfere with the reasoned orders passed by the District Forum and the State Commission. The complainant has been adequately compensated and no case is made out for enhancing the compensation. Accordingly, I do not find any illegality, material irregularity or jurisdictional error in the order dated 23.11.2015 passed by the State Commission which calls for any interference from this Commission. Accordingly, revision petition no.605 of 2016 is dismissed.