First Appeal Nos. 190 and 337 of 2011. Case: New India Assurance Co. Ltd. Vs Global Poultry Products. Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

Case NumberFirst Appeal Nos. 190 and 337 of 2011
CounselFor Appellant: Parminder Singh, Advocate and For Respondents: Harish Sharma, Advocate
JudgesGurcharan Singh Saran, (Presiding Member (J)) and Jasbir Singh Gill, Member
IssueConsumer Protection Act, 1986 - Section 26
CitationII (2015) CPJ 26 (Punj.)
Judgement DateJanuary 16, 2015
CourtPunjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

Order:

Gurcharan Singh Saran, (Presiding Member (J))

  1. This order will dispose of both the above mentioned two appeals as both the appeals are cross-appeals and against the impugned order dated 15.12.2010 passed in Consumer Complaint No. 154 dated 2.3.2010 by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ludhiana (in short the 'District Forum') vide which the complaint filed by complainant was allowed with a direction to the opposite party to pay a sum of Rs. 7,70,752. The complaint was filed by the complainant under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (in short 'the Act') against the opposite party on the allegations that the complainant is a partnership firm and Mr. Gurpreet Singh is one of its partner, who is well conversant with the contents of the complaint and competent to file the complaint. In the year 2006, the complainant firm started Poultry Farm and approached the OP for insurance cover for their Poultry Farm. Dr. K.S. Dhillon was deputed for pre-risk inspection of Poultry Farm situated at Talwandi Khurd, Near Mullanpur, Ferozepur Road, Ludhiana, who submitted his report on 9.7.2006 who termed the existing management/infrastructure as superb. The OP vide letter dated 26.6.2006 intimated the complainant claim procedure in the event of death of the birds. However, no terms and conditions were disclosed to the complainant. The complainant had obtained Policy No. 360300/47/07/38/000000 w.e.f. 21.5.2007 to 20.5.2008; 360300/47/06/38/00000070 w.e.f. 28.2.2007 to 27.2.2008; 360300/47/06/38/00000019 w.e.f. 19.2.2007 to 18.2.2008; 360300/47/06/38/00000018 w.e.f. 13.2.2007 to 12.2.2008 and 360300/47/06/38/00000017 w.e.f. 31.1.2007 to 30.1.2008 for indemnification of loss and not to generate any type of profit. In the month of June, 2007, the complainant lodged the claim with the OP due to outbreak of complicated chronic respiratory disease (in short 'CCRD') in the Poultry Farm of the complainant and approximately 25,000 birds of 24 days, 27 days, 37 days had died during the period 14.6.2007 to 15.6.2007, 35,000 birds had died due to heat stroke complicated CCRD from 8.6.2007 onwards. Post-mortem was conducted by Dr. S.K. Khanna, Veterniary Surgeon at Govt. Poultry Disease Investigation Lab, Ambala City, Haryana. Complainant followed the procedure laid down in the letter dated 26.6.2006 for settlement of the claim and supplied the document, which included claim form, Veterinary Post-mortem reports, complete Daily records of mortality, feeding, purchase invoice of birds, photographs, medical bills, etc. and the OP deputed Dr. A.P. Singh for investigation. However, the OP had repudiated the claim vide letter dated 28.3.2008 on flimsy grounds that existing infrastructure was not up to the mark. The complainant was entitled to the claim on the ground that policy terms and conditions were not supplied to the complainant. The OP had already admitted the good infrastructure of the complainant's Poultry Farm. All the requisite documents were supplied to the OP and the policies remained in force even after lodging of the claim. Therefore, it was pleaded that there was deficiency in services on the part of the OP. The complainant was entitled to claim of Rs. 10,99,760 along with interest, compensation of Rs. 1 lac and litigation expenses of Rs. 22,000.

  2. The complaint was contested by the OP by taking preliminary objections that the complaint was false and frivolous, liable to be dismissed under Section 26 of the Act; the Hon'ble District Forum had got no jurisdiction to try and decide the complaint as there was no deficiency in services on the part of the OP. After receipt of the report of Dr. A.P. Singh dated 7.1.2008 and after scrutinizing the claim file, the claim of the complainant was repudiated vide letter dated 28.3.2008 on the grounds that the death of birds occurred due to mismanagement in keeping the birds, non-submission of health certificate from Veterinarian; that the parent stock was free from disease. The complainant intimated the start of mortality of birds w.e.f. 8.6.2007 whereas as per claim bill, he had claimed the mortality from 10.5.2007. The complainant had sent reply to the repudiation letter by taking false and frivolous pleas after considering his letter dated 20.8.2008. The opposite party had sent a detailed reply on 2.11.2008 clearly stating that the Investigator of the Company had revealed that the proper care has not been taken to control the disease from 10.5.2007 till October, 2007 as per the report of University GADVASU, Ludhiana, despite the fact that facility of Thermo regulation to control the temperature and humidity and even then if the temperature goes up causes mortality, which shows that there was either failure of equipment of overcrowding of birds inside the shed, which caused mortality or the mismanagement on the part of the complainant. The sterilization of the farm was compulsory...

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