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Mohan Lal Meena v/s United India Insurance Company Ltd.

    Revision Petition No. 1134 of 2020

    Decided On, 27 January 2021

    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC


    For the Petitioner: Aditya Jain, Advocate. For the Respondent: ------

Judgment Text


Heard learned counsel for the petitioner / complainant.

This revision petition challenges the order dated 07.8.2020 of the State Commission, Jaipur, Rajasthan vide which the appeal against the order of the District Forum, Jaipur dated 11.2.2020, had been dismissed. In turn, the District Forum had also, vide its order dated 11.2.2020, dismissed the consumer complaint.

2. Very briefly, the facts are that the petitioner / complainant had taken an insurance policy for his car RJ 14 CC 3823, from the respondent insurance company, for the period 09.10.2011 to 08.10.2012. On 01.10.2012, the car suffered an accident and was taken for repairs to Respondent No.2- M/s. P.L. Hyundai, Jaipur. The complainant paid the bill raised for repairs of Rs.1,51,905/- through cheque No.023532 dated 12.12.2012 on ICICI Bank and thereafter, filed an insurance claim before the Respondent No.1/OP-1-United India Insurance Company Limited. Opposite Party No.1, however, reimbursed an amount of Rs.84,400/- only to the complainant. As the complainant had spent Rs.1,51,905/-, he filed a consumer complaint before the District Forum, seeking the balance amount from OP-1/.

3. The District Forum reasoned that after a final payment based on the surveyor’s report has been made by the insurance company and the same has also been received, without any protest at that time, it could not be said that there was any deficiency in service on the part of the insurance company. The Forum had relied on the principle enunciated in two decisions: (i) the case of the National Insurance Company Limited Vs. Kuka Rice and General Mills, 1(2008) CPJ 338 (Haryana Commission) and (ii) Shiv Vilas Resorts Private Limited Vs. United Insurance Company Limited & Anr. 1(2012) CPJ 184 (NC) for arriving at its decision.

4. An appeal, FA/245/2020 was filed before the State Commission. Finding no error in the order of the District Forum, the State Commission dismissed the appeal at the stage of admission. Operative portion of the State Commission’s order is reproduced as under:

“The car of the appellant which was insured from 09.10.2011 to 08.10.2012 got accidented on 01.10.2012. P.L. Motors repaired the car, the expenses occurred was Rs.1,51,905/-, Surveyor was appointed, surveyor assessed the loss of Rs.84,400 and it was paid to appellant. Surveyor is an independent person, the Report of the surveyor cannot be set aside unless otherwise charged with. Learned District forum has dismissed the complaint, there is no error in it. Resultantly, the appeal is liable to be dismissed at Admission stage. And is accordingly, dismissed.”

5. Hence this revision petition. The learned counsel for the petitioner/ complainant has argued that it would be noted that the District Forum had relied on two judgments, one of the State Commission and the other of the National Commission, who had taken the view that since full and final settlement had been made by the insurance company and the same had been received without protest, there was no case for any further clam by the complainant. The learned counsel stressed that in both the judgments it was clearly indicated that full and final payment had been made. However, there was no such indication in the settlement offered and accepted by the petitioner/complainant. In the instant case, learned counsel argued that there is no such averment in the Disbursement Voucher of the insurance company. As such, the complainant was within its right to file a claim for the balance amount of the expenses incurred by the complainant for repair of his car. This claim, counsel argued, was based on bills and these bills had been submitted to the insurance company, as also to the surveyor engaged, for assessing the cost of repairs.

6. It would be seen that the ground taken by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that merely because “full and final settlement” had not been mentioned in the Disbursement Voucher, the complainant was therefore, free to file a complaint for the balance amount. This however, is no reason why such a complaint for the balance amount has to be also accepted. Report of the surveyor, who was entrusted the task of assessing the damage and arriving at an estimate of cost of repairs, is an important document and cannot be simply brushed aside, without cogent reasons. The fact that the surveyor had a copy of the claim and the bills along with the claim before it made its es

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timate of repairs clearly shows that these had been considered by the surveyor while preparing its report. It is after such consideration that the surveyor recommended an amount of Rs.84,400/-. This amount was then disbursed by the opposite party No.1, insurance company. 7. I can find no error apparent, of either law or fact, in the impugned order, warranting revisionary interference. Accordingly, this revision petition, being devoid of any merit, is dismissed at the stage of Admission.