w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



United India Insurance Co. Ltd. & Another v/s M.M. Hamza


Company & Directors' Information:- UNITED INDIA INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED [Active] CIN = U93090TN1938GOI000108

Company & Directors' Information:- J B UNITED PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U93000MH2014PTC258844

Company & Directors' Information:- J B UNITED PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999MH2014PTC258844

Company & Directors' Information:- UNITED CORPORATION LIMITED [Liquidated] CIN = U99999TN1942PLC003159

    Revision Petition No. 12 of 2019

    Decided On, 06 December 2019

    At, Kerala State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Thiruvananthapuram

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE K. SURENDRA MOHAN
    By, PRESIDENT
    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. R. RANJIT
    By, MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MRS. A. BEENA KUMARI
    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellants: R. Jagadish Kumar, Advocate. For the Respondent: S. Reghu Kumar, Advocate.



Judgment Text


K. Surendra Mohan : President

This Revision Petition is filed against an interim order passed by the CDRF, Kasaragod (hereinafter referred to as District Forum for short) on 17.5.2019 in I.A.4/19 in CC.4/19. As per the interim order the District Forum has allowed the petition filed by the respondent herein and has directed the revision petitioners to take possession of the wreckage of a car and to keep it in safe custody at their own risk, with liberty to deal with the same, within a period of one month from the date of the order. According to the appellant, since the complaint itself is pending adjudication, it was not proper on the part of the District Forum to have passed the interim order.

2. The short facts necessary for our purpose are summarized as follows:-

The respondent is the owner of a Toyota ETIOS car bearing registration No.KL-14-Q-0847. The car was insured by the appellants as per a valid insurance policy. The vehicle met with an accident and was seriously damaged. The respondent put forward a claim of total loss. The appellants had the loss assessed through a surveyor and offered to give the salvage value of Rs.2,39,000/-. However, respondent wanted the total loss value of Rs.5,59,000/-. According to the revision petitioners they have already paid the salvage value of Rs.2,39,000/- and the balance amount of Rs.3,20,000/- is the value of the wreckage. According to the revision petitioners there was also a purchaser for the wreckage and therefore, the entire amount of loss could have been wiped out. It was without disclosing the above facts that the complaint was filed by the respondent, according to the revision petitioners.

3. As noticed above, CC.4/19 is pending. While so, the present interlocutory application was filed by the respondent alleging that the wreckage was the property of the revision petitioner and that they would have to pay for the safety of the wreckage until the matter was finally decided. Therefore they sought for the issue of an order directing the revision petitioners to take custody of the wreckage and to keep it safely. It is the said petition that has been allowed by the order against which this revision is filed.

4. According to the counsel for the revision petitioners the question as to whether the respondent was entitled to claim the total loss value of the vehicle is yet to be decided by the District Forum. The incidental question as to who is the owner of the wreckage could be decided only after trial of the case. The effect of the order passed by the District Forum is to virtually allow the complaint itself. Therefore, they have challenged the order of the District Forum in this revision.

5. This revision was admitted and an interim order of stay of the order under revision was granted on 27.6.2019. While so, I.A.808/2019 was filed by the respondent to advance the hearing of the revision petition and to have the same heard on an early date. As per order dated, 10.10.2019, we directed the counsel for the respondent to intimate the posting of the case to the counsel for the revision petitioners by speed post and to produce the receipt. Accordingly the receipt has been produced and the matter has been heard.

6. The only question that arises for consideration is to whether the interim order that is under challenge should be allowed to continue or not?

7. The facts of the case are not disputed. It is admitted by both parties that the respondent is the owner of the vehicle that has sustained serious damage in a motor accident. It was covered by a valid insurance policy issued by the revision petitioners. According to the respondent, he is entitled to claim the entire value of the vehicle amounting to Rs.5,59,000/-. According to the revision petitioners he is entitled only to the salvage value of Rs.2,39,000/- the balance amount is to be realized by selling the wreck. Since the wreck is the property of the insurance company, it cannot be sold by the owner of the vehicle, it is contended. According to the counsel for the respondent, the district Forum therefore directed the wreck to be kept in safe custody by the revision petitioners.

8. Per contra, according to the revision petitioners, the question as to who should sell the wreckage would depend on the final decision as to who is the owner of the wreck. Complaint filed before the District Forum is still pending. Therefore, directing the revision petitioners to keep the wreckage in safe custody is illegal and unsustainable.

9. Having considered the rival contentions anxiously, we are not satisfied that any interference with the order under revision is called for. This is for the reason that, the damage caused to the vehicle is admitted by the revision petitioners. They agree that the vehicle is a total loss. They have also paid an amount of Rs.2,39,000/- as its salvage value to the respondent. What remains to be determined by the Forum is how the wreckage is to be appropriated. According to the respondent, the wreckage is of little value and can only be sold as scrap. But according to the revision petitioners, the wreckage is valuable and a substantial amount could be recovered by selling the same. As rightly noticed by the District Forum

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, the Supreme Court has held that the wreckage is the property of the insurance company. It is the responsibility of the revision petitioners to sell the same for a good price. It is for the revision petitioners to decide as to how the wreckage is to be utilized. Therefore, it is only proper that the revision petitioners have control of the wreckage and they keep it in a safe place. The interim direction is only to the said effect. We find no infirmity in the said order warranting interference in revision. The revision fails and is accordingly dismissed. Revision dismissed.
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