Inderjit Kaushik, Presiding Member
1. M/s JMP Manufacturing Co., appellant/complainant (In short 'the appellant') has filed this appeal against the order dated 10.07.2007 passed by the learned District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Jalandhar (in short 'the District Forum').
2. Facts in brief are that the appellant filed a complaint under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (in short, 'the Act') against the respondents/opposite parties (hereinafter called as 'the respondents'), asserting that the appellant is a registered partnership concern and Sh. Balraj Kapoor is one of its partners. The appellant is owner of OPEL Corsa bearing registration No.PB-08-AN-5777 and the same was insured with respondent no.2 at Jalandhar and a premium of Rs.9348/- was paid and it was comprehensively insured for Rs.3.00 lacs and a cover note bearing No.022448 was issued for the period 15.07.2005 to 14.07.2006.
3. On 22.09.2005, the said car was going to pick up children from APJ School at Mahavir Marg, Jalandhar and it was raining heavily and there was water on the road at new Jawahar Nagar, Jalandhar and the water entered the car and damaged the engine. The said car was being driven by Sh. Lal Bahadur S/o Sh. Raj Bali, driver of the appellant. The matter was reported to respondent no.2 immediately and the car was towed down to the workshop of M/s Dada Motors, G.T. Road, Jalandhar and later on to M/s Nova Motors, Jalandhar.
4. Respondent no.2 appointed surveyor to assess the loss and also the investigator for assessing the damage and cause of the damage. The appellant submitted the estimate for the repair of the damaged car and the engine to respondent no.2 and after survey of the car, got the said car repaired from M/s Nova Motors after purchasing the spare parts from M/s Ganesh Auto Store, Jalandhar and from M/s Sahni Motor, Jalandhar. The appellant submitted the bill of Rs.1,10,717/- along with entire salvage of the engine vide letter dated 06.03.2006. Respondent no.2 vide letter dated 04.04.2006 illegally settled the claim to the tune of Rs.25,668/- and sent the cheque to the appellant. On receipt of the said cheque, the appellant immediately wrote a registered letter dated 06.04.2006 and lodged the protest to the Regional Office at Chandigarh and also protested the decision of respondent no.2. Respondent no.2 vide its letter dated 21.04.2006 and the Regional Office of the respondents vide letter dated 23.05.2006, justified their position for the payment of Rs.25,668/- against the estimate of Rs.1,10,717/- which amounts to deficiency in service. The driver of the car namely Lal Bahadur on 22.09.2005 never tried to start the engine with the help of outside force/towing/pushing the said car in the water. The appellant suffered mental tension and harassment.
5. It was prayed that the respondents may be directed to pay Rs.1.70 lacs as compensation and the complaint may be accepted with costs.
6. In the written version filed on behalf of the respondents, the preliminary objections were taken that the amount of loss assessed was paid to the appellant. The Forum has no jurisdiction to decide the dispute.
7. On merits, the receipt of payment of premium as well as issuance of cover note was admitted. It was further submitted that the insured had the knowledge of the terms and conditions of the policy. It was submitted that the water entered into the car. The appellant has admitted that the car was not stopped while the same was in deep waters. The drivers are careless. Intimation and appointment of surveyor was admitted. The estimate received from the appellant and the items were legally discussed and considered in the report of the surveyor. The complaint is false and frivolous and the surveyor, being expert, has given the correct report. All other allegations were denied and it was prayed that the complaint may be dismissed with costs.
8. Parties led evidence in support of their respective contentions by way of affidavits and documents.
9. After going through the documents and material placed on file and after hearing the learned counsel for the parties, the learned District Forum observed that the appellant is only entitled to initial loss to the vehicle and not to the subsequent loss which occurred due to mishandling of the car as the driver tried to restart the car again and again while the water had entered into the engine and as a result, the connecting rod was broken according to report Ex.C-13 and the initial amount was paid and the respondents rightly refused to make the remaining payment. The report of surveyor has not been rebutted, and dismissed the complaint.
10. Aggrieved by the impugned order dated 10.07.2007, the appellant has come up in appeal.
11. We have gone through the pleadings of the parties, perused the record of the learned District Forum and have heard the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the appellant.
12. Neither the counsel for the respondent nor anybody else on their behalf appeared at the time of arguments.
13. The insurance of the vehicle and entering of water in the engine of the vehicle in question was admitted. The estimate Ex.C-5 was prepared by M/s Nova Motors which is of Rs.78,412/-. Ex.R-2 is the affidavit of Sh. M.L. Mehta, Surveyor. The surveyor in Para-4 has quoted the sentences mentioned in the claim form and the same are reproduced as follows:-
'That on the date of occurrence of the damage to the vehicle, it was heavily raining, there was heavy water on the road, all of a sudden the car of the complainant stopped. The driver restarted the car but did not restart and a metallic sound was noticed, the car was taken to garage, and the garage people told that the engine had been damaged'.
14. The said surveyor also gave his report Ex.R-4 and in the Summary of Assessment, out of the estimate of parts i.e. Rs.94,308-75, assessed only loss to the tune of Rs.16,188-75 and after adding labour charges and less clause, net assessment was made against the estimate of Rs.1,05,808-75. The assessed net assessment was Rs.25,688-75. The surveyor has not included the parts which were not covered under the insurance, whereas the total value of the parts as per the estimate Ex.C-6 was approximately Rs.78,412/-. The appel
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lant has not been able to rebut the same in any manner. The estimate of the parts was Rs.78,412/-, but all the parts are not covered under the insurance. The order passed by the District Forum is legal and valid and there is no ground to interfere with the same. 15. Sequel to the above discussion, the appeal filed by the appellant is dismissed and the impugned order under appeal dated 10.07.2007 is affirmed and upheld. No order as to costs. 16. The arguments in this appeal were heard on 20.02.2013 and the order was reserved. Now the order be communicated to the parties. 17. The appeal could not be decided within the stipulated timeframe due to heavy pendency of court cases.