w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



Md. Shamsur Alam v/s Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd. & Another


Company & Directors' Information:- ALAM & CO LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U60210WB1946PLC014227

    Revision Petition No. 1796 of 2015 (Appeal No. 354 of 2014) Interim Application No. 4587 of 2015

    Decided On, 07 February 2016

    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE AJIT BHARIHOKE
    By, PRESIDING MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MRS. JUSTICE REKHA GUPTA
    By, MEMBER

    For the Petitioner: Sunil Roy, Advocate. For the Respondents: None.



Judgment Text

1. This revision is directed against the order of the State Commission West Bengal dated 27.03.2015 in First Appeal No. 354/2014 whereby the State Commission allowed the appeal preferred by the respondent opposite party and reversed the order of the District Forum and dismissed the complaint.

2. Briefly stated facts relevant for the disposal of the revision petition are that petitioner complainant filed a consumer complaint in the District Forum alleging that he got his heavy good vehicle number WB-41C-3528 insured with the respondent insurance company. During the subsistence of the insurance policy, the said vehicle was stolen while parked by the side of G.T. Road, Panagarh Bazar near Dharamsala, P.S. Kanska. FIR pertaining to the theft was lodged on the same day and the insurance company was also informed. It is the case of the complainant that insurance claim filed in respect of theft of the vehicle was not settled by the insurance company which amounts to deficiency in service. Complainant, thus, prayed for reimbursement of his loss.

3. The Opposite Party No. 1 in its written version admitted that the vehicle in question was insured with them. It was, however, pleaded that the insurance claim was rightly repudiated because of violation of condition in the insurance policy which required the insured to take reasonable steps to safeguard the vehicle from loss. It is alleged that admittedly the keys of the vehicle were left inside the vehicle and the driver and cleaner went to sleep and, therefore, this is a clear case in which the insured had failed to take proper steps to safeguard the vehicle.

4. The District Forum on consideration of the pleadings and evidence allowed the complaint and directed the opposite party as under:

"The application U/s 12 of the C.P. Act is allowed on contest. The O.P. No. 1 is directed to settle the claim if they already received RC Book, CF, Road Tax etc. along with FIR No. 44/2010 dated 12.3.2010 and duplicate key of the stolen vehicle within one month from the date of this judgment. The complainant is directed to submit documents and duplicate key to the O.P. No. 1 at once. The claim of O.P. No. 2 will be considered after settlement of the dues by the O.P. No. 1. Let the plan copy of the judgment be sent to the RTO, Burdwan and all other parties."

5. Being aggrieved of the order of the District Forum, the opposite party preferred an appeal. The State Commission taking note of the fact that vehicle was left unattended with the keys in the ignition came to the conclusion that insured had violated the stipulation which require the insured to take proper steps to safeguard the interest of the insurer and concluded that repudiation of insurance claim was justified. State Commission, therefore, in view of exclusion clause allowed the appeal and dismissed the complaint. This led to filing of revision petition.

6. We have heard learned counsel for the petitioner. Learned counsel for the petitioner contends that the impugned order of the State Commission is not sustainable for the reason that State Commission has not passed any order pertaining to grant of compensation to the insured despite of the fact that vehicle in question was stolen.

7. We do not find merit in the contention. The core issue for determination in this revision petition is whether or not the petitioner insured was negligent in not taking proper care to safeguard the interest of the insurer?

8. Case of the respondent is that vehicle was left unmanned with keys in the ignition which amounts to negligence on the part of the insured. In order to be sure whether or not the keys were left in the ignition, we had directed the petitioner to place on record the relevant documents including the FIR. The petitioner has filed incomplete copy of FIR inasmuch as copy of the original complaint made by the complainant which was annexed to the FIR has not been filed. We were inclined to give an opportunity to the complainant to file said annexed complaint but learned counsel for the petitioner had stated at the bar that the fact that the key was left in ignition is not in dispute. Thus, it is clear that keys of stolen vehicle was left in the ignition.

9. Condition no. 5 of the insurance contract read as under:

"The insured shall take all reasonable steps to safeguard the vehicle insured from loss or damages and to maintain it in efficient condition and the Company shall have at all times free and full access to examine the vehicle insured or any part thereof or any driver or employee of the insured. In the event of any accident or breakdown, the vehicle insured shall not be left unattended without proper precautions being taken to prevent further damage or loss and if the vehicle insured be driven before the necessary repairs are effected, any extension of the damage or any further damage to the vehicle shall be entirely at the insureds own risk."

10. On reading of the above, it is clear that as per the insurance contract it was obligation of the insured to take all reasonable steps to safeguard the vehicle from any loss or damage and it was also the obligation of the insured that the insured vehicle should not be left unattended without proper precaution being taken to prevent further damage or loss. Admittedl

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y in the instant case, the driver of the vehicle left the vehicle unmanned with keys in the ignition which facilitated the theft of the vehicle. This clearly amounts to breach of condition no. 5 of the insurance contract. Therefore, we do not find any fault with the order of the State Commission holding that repudiation of the insurance claim was justified. There is no material irregularity or jurisdictional error in the impugned order which may call for interference in exercise of revisional jurisdiction. Revision petition is, therefore, dismissed. Revision Petition dismissed.
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