Case nº First Appeal Nos. 389 and 520 of 2007 of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, April 08, 2013 (case 1. Chairman & Managing Director M/s. Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., New Delhi, Regional Manager Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., Hyderabad and Senior Branch Manager Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., Guntur, 2. M/s. Balaji Cotton Traders, Guntur Vs 1. M/s. Balaji Cotton Traders, Guntur, 2. Chairman & Managing Director M/s. Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., New Delhi, Regional Manager Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., Hyderabad and Senior Branch Manager Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., Guntur)
|Judge:||For Appellant: Mr. Mohan Babu Aggarwal, Advocate in FA/389/2007 and Mr. Suyodhan Byrapaneni, Advocate with Mr. Siddharth Pattnaik, Advocate in FA/520/2007 and For Respondents: Mr. Suyodhan Byrapaneni, Advocate with Mr. Siddharth Pattnaik, Advocate in FA/389/2007 and Mr. Mohan Babu Aggarwal, Advocate in FA/520/2007|
|President:||Ashok Bhan, J. (President) and Vineeta Rai, Member (J)|
|Resolution Date:||April 08, 2013|
Vineeta Rai, Member (J)
Two cross-appeals, namely, First Appeals No. 389 of 2007 and 520 of 2007, have been filed by Oriental Insurance Company Limited and M/s. Balaji Cotton Traders, Opposite Party and Complainant respectively before the A.P. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Hyderabad (hereinafter referred to as the State Commission) challenging the order dated 23.03.2007 of that Commission. Since the facts and the parties in both first appeals are common/similar arising out of the same consumer dispute, it is proposed to dispose of these appeals by one common order by taking the facts from First Appeal No. 389 of 2007. The parties will be referred to in the manner in which they were referred to in the complaint i.e. M/s. Balaji Cotton Traders will be referred to as "Complainant" and the Oriental Insurance Company Limited as "Opposite Party".
The facts as stated in the complaint before the State Commission are that the Complainant had been carrying on the business of Pressed Cotton Trading in the name and style of M/s. Sri Balaji Cotton Traders after changing its earlier name of Balaji Cotton Traders and after informing the various authorities as statutorily required, including Opposite Party. It had insured its stocks of cotton and cotton products by obtaining two insurance policies from the Opposite Party for Rs. 50,50,000/- vide Policy Nos. 432303/2002/148 and 432303/2002/431 dated 27.06.2001 to cover building and stocks of cotton in all forms located at various specified premises i.e. at M/s. Balaji Cotton Traders, Pulladigunta; M/s. Sri Srinivasa Pressing Company Pvt. Ltd., Kuruntala; and M/s. Sri Lakshmi Pressing & Ginning Mill, Karuntala, Guntur District against the risks of fire lightening, riot, strike and malicious damage, explosion, flood, cyclone etc. for a period of one year i.e. upto 26.06.2002. On 08.05.2002 due to a fire accident in one of the insured premises the cotton stocks under pressing stored in gunny bags and finished cotton stocks packed in fully pressed bales belonging to the Complainant were totally gutted besides the stocks of several other cotton dealers, which were also lying there. Reports were lodged with the Police and the Electricity Department and a certificate from the Fire Services Department confirmed the fire. Complainant also informed the Opposite Party about the incident and submitted a claim. Opposite Party appointed an Investigator-M/s. Sisir & Ravi Associates, Vishakhapatnam, who visited the site on 09.05.2002 i.e. one day after the fire for assessing the loss and subsequently a joint inspection was also carried out alongwith another Surveyor M/s. Srivatsan Surveyors Pvt. Ltd. appointed by the Opposite Party. After a span of 9 months, the Surveyor sought some clarifications which were answered by the Complainant vide letter dated 06.03.2003. After several reminders to the Opposite Party for early settlement of the claim, Opposite Party vide their letter dated 25.07.2003 repudiated Complainant's claim inter alia on the ground that though the policy was issued in the name of Balaji Cotton Traders, its name was changed to Sri Balaji Cotton Traders without informing the Opposite Party. Therefore, since the affected stocks belonged to M/s. Sri Balaji Cotton Traders and not to the policy holder i.e. Balaji Cotton Traders, no insurable interest vested with the Complainant. Being aggrieved by this action and since Complainant had duly informed the Opposite Party as also other authorities about the change in the name of the firm, Complainant approached the State Commission on grounds of deficiency in service and unfair trade...
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