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Fire Accident – Insurance = Surveyor’s report has significant and evidentiary value = It is well settled law that a Surveyor’s report has significant and evidentiary value unless it is proved otherwise which the complainants have failed to do so in the instant case. This view finds support from the judgment of this Commission, in D.N.Badoni Vs. Oriental Insurance Co.Ltd, 1 (2012) CPJ 272 (NC). In United India Insurance Co. Ltd., & Ors. Vs. Roshan Lal Oil Mills Ltd. & Ors., (2000) 10 SCC 19, the Hon’ble Apex court was pleased to hold :- “The appellant had appointed joint surveyors in terms of Section 64-UM(2) of the Insurance Act, 1938. Their report has been placed on the record in which a detailed account of the factors on the basis of which the joint surveyors had come to the conclusion that there was no loss or damage caused on account of fire, was given and it was on this basis that the claim was not found entertainable. This is an important document which was placed before the Commission, but the Commission, curiously, has not considered the report. Since the claim of the respondent was repudiated by the appellant on the basis of the joint survey report, the Commission was not justified in awarding the insurance amount to the respondent without adverting itself to the contents of the joint survey report, specially the facts enumerated therein. In our opinion, non-consideration of this important document has resulted in serious miscarriage of justice and vitiates the judgment passed by the Commission. The case has, therefore, to be sent back to the Commission, for a fresh hearing”. He has placed reliance on ‘Panchanama’, prepared at the place of incident by the independent ‘Panchas’. He stated that ‘Panchas’ and Police, have stated that damage in the sum of Rs.76,39,090/- was accrued. It is noteworthy to see that no ‘Pancha’ was produced before this Commission. No affidavit of the ‘Pancha’ saw the light of the day. The said ‘Panchanama’ has an exiguous value. Moreover, in view of the Surveyor’s Report, the ‘Panchanamas’, prepared by self-appointed ‘Panchas’, pales into insignificance. It is, therefore, ordered that rest of the amount in the sum of Rs.2,10,000/-, with interest @ 9% p.a., be paid to the complainant, M/s. Keshav Trading Co., from the date of filing of the claim, till its realization. It may be mentioned here that there is inordinate delay in settling the claim of the complainant. Even if the complainant was not available, the claim should have been settled and the amount should have been sent at the given address. Keeping in view of these facts and circumstances, we also award compensation in the sum of Rs.50,000/-, which be paid within sixty days, by the insurance company, or else, it will carry interest @ 9% p.a. The Original Petition stands disposed of, in above terms.

published in NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION NEW DELHI            ORIGINAL PETITION NO. 64 OF 2005 Keshav Trading Company Bhilwada Circle, Talati Road Palitana, District Bhavnagar Gujarat Through Attorney, Sh.Nasruddin Bhai S/o Noor Muhammad Sneh Milan, ‘A’ Wing, Ground Floor Room No.1, Dewan Maan Vasai, Mumbai                                                                      … Complainant Versus Divisional Manager United India Insurance Co.Ltd Nava Para, … Continue reading

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