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M/s. Chethana Pharma, Pharmaceutical Distributors v/s The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd., Rep. by its Regional Manager & Another

    First Appeal No. 438 of 2021
    Decided On, 17 June 2021
    At, Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Bangalore
    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. RAVISHANKAR
    By, JUDICIAL MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MRS. SUNITA CHANNABASAPPA BAGEWADI
    By, MEMBER
    For the Appellant: Dr. Jagadish.S. Halashetti, Advocate. For the Respondents: ----


Judgment Text
Ravishankar, Judicial Member

1. The appellant/complainant has preferred this appeal being aggrieved by the Order dt.28.04.2021 passed in CC.No.34/2021 on the file of District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Davanagere.

2. Heard the arguments of the counsel for appellant on admission.

3. The learned counsel for appellant vehemently argued that the District Commission has dismissed the complaint at the threshold on pecuniary jurisdiction. The facts remain that the complainant had insured his medical drugs which were stored in his premises to the tune of Rs.5,10,00,000/- and paid a premium of Rs.86,509/-. After the fire incident, the insurance company after assessing the loss has paid Rs.3,44,77,898/- as full and final settlement, but, the complainant not agreed the settlement and received the same under protest. Subsequently, the complainant filed a complaint before the District Commission for claiming the balance amount payable by the Opposite Parties. But, the District Commission without considering the facts of the complaint has dismissed the case. The learned counsel for appellant submits that he had produced the decision delivered by Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in CC.No.833/2020 dt.28.08.2020 in the matter between M/s Pyaridevi Chabiraj Steels Pvt. Ltd., v/s National Insurance Co., Pvt. Ltd., & others with respect to the pecuniary jurisdiction wherein it clearly states that in order to have pecuniary jurisdiction, the Commission has to consider the amount paid towards the purchase of the goods or services. Here it is very clear that the complainant had paid Rs.86,509/- as premium for the policy for coverage of the fire accident. Irrespective of claim made by the complainant, the District Commission has to consider the actual amount paid towards the purchase of the claim. But, inspite of producing the same before the District Commission has not appreciated the citation reported supra.

4. On going through the order passed by the District Commission, we noticed that the District Commission has wrongly mentioned the citation produced by the complainant is of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, but the complainant has not at all produced any citation of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. It is only a citation delivered by Hon'ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi in CC.No.833/2020 which categorically discussed and given an opinion that in order to consider the pecuniary jurisdiction, the only amount paid towards purchase of the goods/services has to be considered irrespective of claim made by the complainant, it reads as follows;

“9. For ready reference the provisions of Sections 34 (1), 47 (1) (a) (i) and 58 (1) (a) (i) of the Act of 2019 are reproduced below:

34. (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the District Commission shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services paid as consideration does not exceed one crore rupees.

47. (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the State Commission shall have jurisdiction –

(a) to entertain –

(i) Complaints where the value of the goods or services paid as consideration, exceeds rupees one crore, but does not exceed rupees ten crore.

58. (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the National Commission shall have jurisdiction –

(a) to entertain –

(i) Complaints where the value of the goods or services paid as consideration exceeds rupees ten crore.

10. From a reading of the aforesaid provisions it is amply clear that for determining the pecuniary jurisdiction of the District Commission, State Commission or National Commission the value of the goods or services paid as consideration alone has to be taken and not the value of the goods or services purchased/taken. Therefore, we are of the view that the provision of Section 58 (1) (a) (i) of the Act of 2019 are very clear and does not call for any two interpretations.

11. In view of the foregoing discussion, we are of the considered opinion that as the value of consideration paid by the complainant is only Rs.4,43,562/- (Rupees four lakhs forty-three thousand five hundred and sixty-two only), which is not above Rs.10,00,00,000/- (Rupees ten crore), the National Commission has no jurisdiction to entertain the present Consumer Complaint and it is accordingly dismissed as not maintainable.”
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br />Accordingly, the District Commission made an error in dismissing the complaint at the threshold. Hence, the following; ORDER The appeal is allowed. The Order dt.28.04.2021 passed in CC.No.34/2021 on the file of District Commission, Davanagere is set aside and hereby remanded the case to the District Commission and directed the District Commission to take up the complaint on board by issuing notice to the Opposite Parties and decide the same on merits expediously.
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