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M/s. Valecha Agri-Venture v/s The New India Assurance Company Ltd.


Company & Directors' Information:- A. S. INDIA LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70100MP2009PLC022300

Company & Directors' Information:- THE INDIA COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999TN1919PTC000911

Company & Directors' Information:- B B VENTURE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52209CT2008PTC020645

Company & Directors' Information:- S A R VENTURE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70102DL2015PTC275704

Company & Directors' Information:- S. D AGRI (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01403WB2010PTC149038

Company & Directors' Information:- INDIA CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65990MH1941PTC003461

Company & Directors' Information:- AGRI (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U24120JH1978PTC001320

Company & Directors' Information:- J & L AGRI PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U05000PN2020PTC191494

Company & Directors' Information:- N J VENTURE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70101MH2008PTC186387

    First Appeal No. 06 of 2015

    Decided On, 09 January 2015

    At, Union Territory Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission UT Chandigarh

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE SHAM SUNDER (RETD.)
    By, PRESIDENT
    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. DEV RAJ
    By, MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MRS. PADMA PANDEY
    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellant: Devinder Kumar, Advocate. For the Respondent: ----------



Judgment Text

Sham Sunder (Retd.), President:

1. This appeal is directed against the order dated 01.12.2014, rendered by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I, U.T., Chandigarh (hereinafter to be called as the District Forum only), vide which, it partly accepted the complaint, filed by the complainant (now appellant) and directed the Opposite Party (now respondent), as under:-

'For the reasons recorded above, we find merit in the complaint and the same is partly allowed. The OP is directed as under :-

i) To pay to the complainant the balance amount of Rs.2,500/- with interest @ 9% per annum from the date of filing of the complaint till realization.

ii) To pay a composite amount of Rs.7,500/- to the complainant for harassment and mental agony and litigation expenses.

This order shall be complied with by the OP within one month from the date of receipt of its certified copy, failing which the OP shall pay the aforesaid amounts with interest @ 12% per annum from the date of this order, till realization.'

2. The facts, in brief, are thatthe complainant purchased 10 cows, through State Bank of India, Panchkula, to earn livelihood and got the same insured, from the Opposite Party, vide Insurance Policy (Annexure C-1), for the period from 29.04.2013 to 28.04.2016, for different Insured Declared Values, on payment of premium. It was stated that, neither the terms and conditions of the Insurance Policy were supplied to the complainant, nor the same were agreed to by it, orally or in writing. It was further stated that one cow bearing tag No.131, which was insured for the Insured Declared Value to the tune of Rs.55,000/-, died on 30.03.2014. It was further stated that the complainant gave information about the death of the said cow, to the Opposite Party, and completed all other claim formalities.

3. Subsequently, the complainant came to know that, as against the insured sum of Rs.55,000/-, the Opposite Party, directly transferred a sum of Rs.25,000/-, to its (complainant) loan account, in the State Bank of India, without intimating it. On coming to know about this, the complainant sent letter dated 15.04.2014 (Annexure C-4), as well as served legal notice dated 20.06.2014 (Annexure C-5), on the Opposite Party, for releasing the balance claim amount, in respect of the cow, in question, but to no avail. It was further stated that, failure on the part of the Opposite Party, to pay the complete claim amount, constituted deficiency, in rendering service, as also indulgence into unfair trade practice. When the grievance of the complainant, was not redressed, left with no alternative, a complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (hereinafter to be called as the Act only), was filed, directing the Opposite Party, to pay the balance amount of Rs.30,000/-, alongwith interest @18% P.A., from 30.03.2014; compensation, to the tune of Rs.25,000/-, for mental agony, physical harassment and adoption of unfair trade practice; and cost of litigation, to the tune of Rs.10,000/-.

4. The Opposite Party, in its written version, admitted that the complainant got its 10 cows, insured, from it, vide Insurance Policy (Annexure C-1), for the period from 29.04.2013 to 28.04.2016, for different Insured Declared Values, on payment of premium. It was also admitted that one of the cows bearing tag No.131, got insured for the Insured Declared Value to the tune of Rs.55,000/-, died on 30.03.2014.It was stated that the terms and conditions of the Policy were attached with the Cattle Insurance Policy, Annexure C-1. It was further stated that the complainant never complained regarding non-receipt of the terms and conditions of the Insurance Policy. It was further stated that when the cow bearing tag no.131 of the complainant died, the claim was settled as per the terms and conditions of the Policy, wherein, it was clearly mentioned that if the animal was pregnant for less than four months, the claim amount would be restricted to 50% of the sum insured or the market value, whichever was less.It was further stated that neither there was any deficiency, in rendering service, on the part of the Opposite Party, nor it indulged into unfair trade practice. The remaining averments, were denied, being wrong.

5. In the rejoinder, filed by the complainant, it reiterated all the averments, contained in the complaint, and repudiated those, contained in the written version of the Opposite party. It was stated that Dr. D.M. Singh had conducted postmortem and it was confirmed that the cow was pregnant for two months and yielding 14 litres of milk per day. It was further reiterated that the terms and conditions of the Policy were not supplied to the complainant, including the Clause, laying down that if the animal died and was found to be pregnant, for less than 4 months, only 50% of the sum insured or market value, whichever was less, shall be paid. It was further stated that neither such condition was disclosed to the complainant, nor it was agreed to by it, in writing or orally.

6. The Parties led evidence, in support of their case.

7. After hearing the Counsel for the parties, and, on going through the evidence, and record of the case, the District Forum, partly accepted the complaint, in the manner, referred to, in the opening para of the instant order.

8. Feeling aggrieved, against the inadequate relief granted by the District Forum, the instant appeal, has been filed by the appellant/complainant.

9. We have heard the Counsel for the appellant, at the preliminary stage, and, have gone through the evidence, and record of the case, carefully.

10. The Counsel for the appellant, submitted that, no doubt, the cow, in question, was got insured by the complainant, for the Insured Declared Value, to the tune of Rs.55,000/-. He further submitted that the terms and conditions of the Insurance Policy were not supplied. He further submitted that the Clause, that if the animal died during the subsistence of the Policy, and was found to be pregnant, for less than 4 months, only 50% of the sum insured or the market value, whichever was less, shall be paid, was neither supplied nor disclosed. He further submitted that even such a condition was not agreed to, by the complainant, in writing or orally. He further submitted that, in the absence of supply of the terms and conditions of the Policy, including the Clause aforesaid, or disclosure of the same, to the complainant by the Opposite Party, at the time of the insurance of the cow, it (Opposite Party) could not invoke the same to deny it (complainant) the complete claim. He further submitted that even the detailed terms and conditions of the Cattle Insurance Policy were not placed on record, by the Opposite Party, but, on the other hand, only a part of the same as Annexure D, was produced. He further submitted that the District Forum was wrong, in relying upon Annexure D, in coming to the conclusion, that the complainant was only entitled to 50% of the amount of claim, as it was found that the cow, which died, during the subsistence of the Policy, was pregnant for less than four months. He further submitted that the complainant was entitled to the complete claim amount. He further submitted that the order of the District Forum, deserves to be modified, to this extent.

11. After giving our thoughtful consideration, to the contentions, advanced by the Counsel for the appellant, and the evidence, on record, we are of the considered opinion, that the appeal is liable to be dismissed, at the preliminary stage, for the reasons, to be recorded hereinafter. The first question, that falls for consideration, is, as to whether, the terms and conditions of the Insurance Policy were supplied to the complainant, or not, at the time, the cow, in question, was got insured from the Opposite Party, or not. Annexure C-1 is a copy of the cover note of the Cattle Insurance Policy, which runs into two pages. At page 10 of the District Forum file, forming part of Annexure C-1, it was in clear-cut terms, mentioned that 'Subject to cattle insurance Clause attached hereto'. This clearly proved that the terms and conditions of the Policy were attached with Annexure C-1, when the same was sent to the complainant. In case, the complainant had not received the same, it was its duty to immediately inform the Opposite Party, about the same, but it did not do so. Under these circumstances, the claim of the complainant that, it was not supplied the terms and conditions of the Insurance Policy, including the Clause, contained in Annexure D, produced by the Opposite Party, is devoid of merit. The District Forum was right, in holding that the terms and conditions of the Insurance Policy, including the Clause, in question, contained in Annexure D, were supplied to the complainant, at the time of issuance of the Policy documents. There was, therefore, no deficiency, in rendering service, on the part of the Opposite Party, on this score. The District Forum was also right, in holding so.

12. The next question, that falls for consideration, is, as to whether, the complainant was entitled to the complete amount of insurance, or 50% of the same, as per Annexure D. At the time of insurance, the approximate cost of the cow, in question, was Rs.55,000/-. The Veterinary Certificate (Annexure B) shows the value of the cow bearing ear tag No.131 to be Rs.55,000/-, prior to illness. The Veterinary Certificate for valuation of the animal (Annexure C) shows that the cow, in question, was having pregnancy of two months and yielding milk of 14 kgs. per day. The indemnity contained in Annexure D, reads as under:-

'INDEMNITY: If death occurs during any period and if the animal is pregnant for less than four months, the indemnity will be restricted to 50% of Sum assured or Market Value whichever is less'.

13. According to the indemnity afore-extracted, if the death of the animal occurred, during the subsistence of the Policy and if it (animal) was pregnant for less than four months, the same (indemnity) would be restricted to 50% of the sum insured or market value, whichever was less. The parties were bound by the terms and conditions, contained in the contract of Insurance. Since it was proved that the cow, in question, which died was having pregnancy of two months, the indemnity Clause, stood attracted. The complainant, therefore, could not claim any amount, beyond the one, mentioned in the indemnity extracted above. The District Forum, was, thus, right in holding that the complainant was entitled to Rs.27,500/- i.e. 50% of the sum assured, as the Opposite Party failed to produce any evidence that the market value of the dead cow was less than the insured amount. The Opposite Party, no doubt, paid a sum of Rs.25,000/-, but no document was produced by it, as to how it assessed the same. The District Forum wa

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s also right, in holding that the Opposite Party, by paying an amount of Rs.25,000/-, instead of Rs.27,500/-, was not only deficient, in rendering service but also indulged into unfair trade practice. The complainant was, thus, adequately compensated, by the District Forum, by awarding the balance amount of Rs.2,500/- alongwith interest @9% P.A. and lump-sum compensation, to the tune of Rs.7,500/-. The findings of the District Forum, in this regard, being correct, are affirmed. 14. No other point, was urged, by the Counsel for the appellant. 15. In view of the above discussion, it is held that the order passed by the District Forum, being based on the correct appreciation of evidence, and law, on the point, does not suffer from any illegality or perversity, warranting the interference of this Commission. 16. For the reasons recorded above, the appeal, being devoid of merit, must fail, and the same is dismissed, at the preliminary stage, with no order as to costs. The order of the District Forum is upheld. 17. Certified copies of this order, be sent to the parties, free of charge. 18. The file be consigned to Record Room, after completion.
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