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M/s. Viking Garments, (A Partnership Firm) v/s United India Insurance Company Ltd.

    Revision Petition No. 2171 of 2012
    Decided On, 26 April 2013
    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
    By, MEMBER
    For the Petitioner: Satish Kumar, Advocate. For the Respondent: M.N. Singh, Advocate.

Judgment Text
Dr. B.C. Gupta, Member

This revision petition has been filed under Section 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 against the order dated 06.02.2012 passed by the Haryana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Panchkula (hereinafter referred to as 'State Commission') in First Appeal No. 15 of 2006, vide which the appeal filed by the respondent-United India Insurance Co. Ltd., against the order dated 18.11.2005 passed by the District Forum was accepted and the order of the District Forum in consumer complaint No. 308/03 was set aside.

2. The brief facts giving rise to the revision petition are that the petitioner/complainant deals in manufacturing and exporting of furnished leather, leather garments and leather goods at Ambala and he had obtained an insurance policy from the respondent concerning the transportation of goods in question. The complainant sent goods to M/s. Krishma Enterprises in USA in the month of July, 2001. The value of the leather garments has been stated to be Rs. 400320, i.e. 8340 US $. The said consignment was moved through a company called Swiss Cargo Limited, but the goods did not reach M/s. Krishma Enterprises in USA. The complainant lodged a complaint before the respondent/opposite party on 08.01.2002, but the opposite party vide letter dated 27.11.2002 repudiated the claim on the ground that it was the duty of the Swiss Cargo Limited to deliver the goods to the right person and since the goods had reached USA, there was no deficiency of service on the part of the respondent. A complaint was filed by the petitioner before the District Forum and vide order dated 18.11.2005, the District Forum accepted the complaint and directed the opposite party to pay Rs. 4,00,320/- with interest @ 10% per annum from the date of booking i.e. July, 2001 till its realization. An appeal was filed against this order and the learned State Commission, vide impugned order accepted the same, set aside the order of the District Forum and dismissed the complaint. The learned State Commission held that the goods had reached the port of destination at Chicago, USA and hence the opposite party had already discharged its liability.

3. During the course of arguments before us, the learned counsel for the petitioner has drawn our attention to a copy of the insurance policy in question, saying that as per the terms and conditions of the policy, the risks are covered from the ‘door to door’. In the present case, M/s. Krishma Enterprises, USA had not received the goods in question and this fact was very clear from the material available on record. There is a letter dated 10.06.2003 addressed by Shri Balkrishan Singh Tulley to the petitioner, saying that the shipment was never delivered to them.

4. Learned counsel for the respondent however, stated that under the Marine Transit Insurance Policy issued in favour of the petitioner, the clause ‘Door to Door' means that the goods were to be sent from Ambala to Chicago. The destination of goods is the port and not the party in question. The learned counsel invited our attention to a letter sent by the respondent / opposite party to the petitioner on 27.11.2002, in which it has been stated that the petitioner had not produced any evidence of correspondence with the buyer regarding non-delivery of the consignment, nor furnished any claim of the buyer for not receiving the consignment and for placing of a fresh order for sending the same material. It has also been stated in the said letter that M/s. Swiss Cargo had owned their fault and hence the insurance company was not liable under the terms and conditions of the policy.

5. We have examined the entire material on record and given our thoughtful consideration to the arguments advanced before us. It is very clear from the facts of the case that the goods in question never reached the consignee i.e. M/s. Krishma Enterprises, USA. The handling agent-M/s. Swiss Cargo Limited have also admitted that the goods never reached the ultimate consignee. It has been stated in the revision petition that M/s. Swiss Cargo Ltd., admitted the claim of the petitioner and agreed to pay a sum of 3600 US Dollars for the loss of goods in question. It is very clear therefore, that the insurer needs to be compensated for the loss of goods under the terms and conditions of the policy. Now coming to the phrase 'door to door', there is no doubt in our mind that this phrase means ultimate destination. We fail to agree with the co

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ntention of the respondent / opposite party that ‘door to door’ means the port of destination only. The goods have to be carried to the ultimate recipient and if they do not reach him, it amounts to loss of goods in question. We therefore, do not agree with the conclusion arrived at by the State Commission and hence the order of the State Commission is set aside. 6. This revision petition is accepted and the order passed by the District Forum is upheld with no order as to costs.