At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE B K TAIMNI
By, K S GUPTA
By, RAJYALAKSHMI RAO
For the Petitioner: Atul Nanda, Advocate. For the Respondent: ------.
B. K. Taimni, Member
1. Petitioner was the opposite party before the District Forum where a complaint filed by respondent/complainant was allowed. An appeal filed by the petitioner was dismissed by the State Commission.
2. Brief facts of the case are that the respondent had insured his whole diagnostic equipment including X-ray machine for Rs. 11.50 lakhs which included insurance cover for the X-ray machine for Rs. 7.5 lakhs. When the machine stopped functioning, matter was reported to the petitioner as also to the supplier of the equipment - Siemens. The petitioner appointed Surveyors to assess the damages. Siemens gave the repair estimate at Rs. 4,33,620/-. Since no word was forthcoming from the petitioner, the complainant got the equipment repaired at the estimated costs and paid that amount. The Surveyors appointed by the petitioner assessed the depreciated price of the equipment at Rs. 3 lakhs and after providing for salvage, placed the petitioner's liability at Rs. 2 lakhs and after deducting 'excess' of Rs. 27,500/- (5% of the sum assured), net payable amount was worked out at Rs. 1,62,500/-. Even this was not paid. On the contrary petitioner repudiated the claim on the ground that since the damage to the equipment was on account of natural wear and tear, no amount is payable as per terms of the policy. It is in these circumstances complaint was filed by the respondent/complainant alleging deficiency on the part of the Insurance Co. petitioner, who after hearing the parties allowed the complaint and directed the petitioner to pay the actual cost of repairs incurred by the complainant, costs and some other reliefs. An appeal filed by the petitioner was dismissed except that a modification made on the date, from which interest was to be payable. Hence, this revision petition.
3. It is argued by the learned Counsel for the petitioner that State Commission erred in affirming the order of the District Forum. X-ray machine had stopped functioning on account of wear and tear and is not covered by the terms of the policy. At most, what the complainant was entitled to was Rs. 1,62,500/- assessed by the Surveyor. Order passed by both the lower Forums are contrary to the facts and law on the subject, hence need to be set aside.
4. We have seen the material on record. Both the points raised by the petitioner have been gone into by the State Commission. It is admitted position that the Surveyor took the help of another technical expert. The factum of wear and tear, made the basis of repudiation by the petitioner, is not brought on record, hence this argument rightly was rejected by the State Commission. State Commission also looked into the point of coverage and examined it in terms of policy. Repairs are very much part of the policy. It could not have been expected from the complainant to let the machine rusted just because the insurers are not responding. They got the estimate from
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none other than Siemens, got it repaired from them. In our view as per the terms of the policy, as analysed by the State Commission, petitioners have no option but to pay repair charges actually incurred and paid by the complainant. This revision petition is devoid of merits and is dismissed. No order as to costs.