At, Maharshtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Nagpur
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. B.A. SHAIKH
By, PRESIDING MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MR. S.B. SAWARKAR
For the Appellant: A.U. Kullarwar, Advocate. For the Respondent: B. Lahiri, Advocate.
B.A. Shaikh, Presiding Member.
1. This appeal is filed by original complainant; feeling aggrieved by an order dtd.14.08.2015, passed by District Consumer Forum, Chandrapur, by which the consumer complaint bearing No.118/2014 filed by the complainant against the respondent herein has been partly allowed.
2. The facts in brief giving rise to the present appeal are as under.
A truck owned by the appellant was insured with the respondent for the period from 01.01.2011 to 31.12.2011. The said truck was stolen away on 03.02.2011. Therefore, the claim was made by the appellant to the respondent on the basis of policy. His claim was repudiated vide letter dtd.16.06.2014 on the ground that there was delay in giving intimation about theft, to the respondent. Therefore, the appellant filed the consumer complaint bearing No.118/2014 before District Consumer Forum Chandrapur against the respondent.
3. The said complaint was resisted by the respondent by filing reply. The Forum below after hearing both parties and considering evidence brought on record, passed the impugned order on 14.08.2015. The Forum below accepted the case of the appellant that the insured truck was stolen away during the period of policy, which was owned by the appellant. Therefore, the Forum below directed the respondent to pay to the complainant sum assured of Rs.7.00 Lakhs within 45 days of the receipt of copy of that order and also to pay him compensation of Rs.10,000/- for physical & mental harassment and litigation cost of Rs.5,000/-.
4. The respondent has filed this appeal on the sole ground that the Forum below has not granted interest over Rs.7.00 Lakhs though the complaint is entitled to the interest @ 18% p.a. from the date of loss i.e. from 03.02.2011. We, therefore, heard learned advocate Mr A U Kullarwar appearing for the appellant and advocate Mr B Lahiri appearing for the respondent. We have also perused the record & proceedings of the appeal.
5. The learned advocate of the appellant submitted that the appeal No.A/16/16 filed by the respondent against thee impugned order has been dismissed by this Commission vide order dtd.23.09.2016. He produced copy of that order, which is not disputed by the learned advocate of the respondent. Perusal of the said order shows that the application made for condonation of delay that occurred in filing of that appeal was rejected and hence that appeal was dismissed as time barred. The finding of the Forum below under impugned order that the complainant is entitled to Rs.7.00 Lakhs from the respondent towards loss sustained by the complainant / appellant herein has thus attained finality.
6. Now the only question that remains to be decided is as to whether the complainant is entitled to interest over Rs.7.00 Lakhs as claimed by him.
7. The learned advocate of the appellant submitted that as per policy condition the complainant is entitled to entire amount of Rs.7.00 Lakhs without any deduction, but the Forum erred in not granting the interest over that amount and no reason is given by the Forum as why the interest was not awarded over that amount. He, therefore, requested that the interest as claimed may be awarded over the amount.
8. On the other hand, the learned advocate of the respondent submitted that as per policy condition, the complainant is not entitled to entire amount of Rs.7.00 Lakhs as Insured Declared Value (for short IDV). But he is entitled to the amount after deduction of depreciation value from IDV as specified in the policy. He also submitted that no interest can be awarded over Rs.7.00 Lakhs as entire IDV has been granted by the Forum below without any deduction as per policy. Hence, he requested that the appeal may be dismissed.
9. We find that when impugned order, passed against the respondent about entitlement of the complainant to IDV of Rs.7.00 Lakhs, has attained finality as above and hence now the respondent cannot raise a plea that the appellant is not entitled to IDV of Rs.7.00 Lakhs. The policy produced on record also shows the condition that the IDV will be treated as market value throughout the policy period without any further depreciation for the purpose of total loss / constructive total loss claims. In the instant case, as there is a total loss of the vehicle due to its theft, the Forum below has rightly granted entire IDV of Rs.7.00 Lakhs. However, the Forum erred in not awarding the interest over that amount. We find that the appellant / original complainant is entitled to interest over Rs.7.00 Lakhs @ 9% p.a. from the date of repudiation of the
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claim i.e. from 16.06.2014 till its realisation by him. Hence, to that effect, the appeal deserves to be partly allowed. ORDER i. The appeal is partly allowed. ii. The original opposite party / respondent shall pay Rs.7.00 Lakhs with interest @ 9% p.a. from 16.06.2014 till realisation of the said amount by the original complainant / appellant herein. iii. No order as to costs in this appeal. iv. Copy of the order be furnished to both parties free of cost.