At, Jharkhand State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Ranchi
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R.K. MERATHIA
By, PRESIDENT & THE HONOURABLE MRS. SUMEDHA TRIPATHI
For the Appellant: Basav Chatterjee, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1, S.P. Singh, R2, A.R. Choudhary, Advocates.
1. Heard the parties.
2. Mr. Basav Chaterjee, learned counsel appearing for the O.P.1-appellant- New India Assurance Company Ltd. (Insurance Company for short) submitted that admittedly all the proof of purchase/ sale/ stock register etc. were burnt but it is not understood how the complainant- R-1 (insured for short) made a very meticulous and specific claim of the items with their quantity and rate/ unit, in details. He submitted that the stock statement form submitted by the insured with O.P.2 – R.2- Central Bank of India (Bank for short) for the stock held on 31st May 2007 is simply a paper transaction and there is nothing to show that the Bank officials had actually verified the stock. He further submitted that only the ‘Kirana Shop’ was insured but the claim was also for the articles kept in the adjoining Godown which was not insured. He also submitted that in a small shop of 7ft. x 7ft. such huge quantity of stock could not be kept. Therefore, he submitted that the insurance claim was rightly repudiated and there was no deficiency in service on the part of the Insurance Company.
3. On the other hand, learned counsel for the insured and the Bank supported the impugned judgment and submitted that the insured specifically pleaded that he was submitting the monthly returns of every month’s stock to the Bank. When the fire broke out at about 3 a.m. on 9.6.2007 in the shop causing huge loss, the Insurance Company was informed on 11.6.2007 as it was closed on 9.6.2007 and 10.6.2007. The Bank was also informed on 11.6.2007. The insured also said in his evidence on oath that the inventory of the shop was made by the Bank on 30.4.2007 and 31.5.2007 and the same were duly verified and signed by the Bank Manager and in the inventory report, as on 31.5.2007, stock worth Rs. 9,72,980/- was found. It was submitted that the Insurance Company did not cross examine the insured and did not bring on record anything to controvert the case of the insured that to secure the loan granted to the insured by the Bank against stock, an inventory of the stock was prepared at the end of every month and the same was signed by the Bank officials. Further according to the complainant he obtained the details of the burnt articles, from the documents furnished before the Bank which contained all the details. He also procured other papers from other persons regarding the purchases/ sales done by the insured and accordingly he made the insurance claim.
4. Learned counsel for the Bank also confirmed this position.
5. From the claim it appears that from the last stock statement dated 31.5.2007 verified by the Bank, the amount of articles which were saved and the amount of articles which were sold from 1.6.2007 to 8.6.2007 were excluded.
6. The Surveyor did not consider the value of the stock as per the Bank inventory which was verified and signed by the Bank Manager.
7. It further appears that there is no boundary of the Kirana Shop mentioned in the policy. But surveyor opined that only the shop was insured and therefore he excluded the materials kept in the second part of the shop which according to him was 'Godown of the shop.' He himself found that the shop was of 7ft. x 7ft. which was part of residence and the Godown was on the back of the shop which was 10ft. x 7ft. and the Godown was having link with house. Thus, it appears that there was no separate Godown. But, the surveyor assessed the loss at Rs. 1,25,743/- and recommended to settle the claim on non standard or mutual basis by deducting 25% of the assessed value.
8. Thus it appears that the insured has been able to prove the basis of the amount of the loss, whereas the Insurance Company has not been able to disprove such amount.
9. The learned District Forum took into conside
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ration all the relevant facts and circumstances of the case and has rightly allowed the claim of the complainant. 10. After hearing the parties at length and going through the materials produced before us, in our opinion, no grounds are made out for interference with the impugned judgment. Accordingly this appeal is dismissed. Issue free copy of this order to all concerned for information and needful.