8 August 2022


Judgments

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

Pyaridevi Chabiraj Steels Pvt. Ltd. Vs. National Insurance Company Ltd. & Ors.

MANU/CF/0451/2020

28.08.2020

Consumer

For determining pecuniary jurisdiction, value of the goods or services paid as consideration alone has to be taken

In facts of present case, on 2 June, 2016, Complainant had taken Insurance Coverage from National Insurance Company Limited, under its Standard Fire and Special Perils Policy. The Complainant further took an additional security coverage by paying premium.

According to the Complainant, Howrah Region where the Factory Premises of the Complainant is situated was severely hit by heavy rainfall, storm and river water flooding causing extensive coverage of water logging of Howrah Region for several days. Flood water caused considerable damage to Buildings, Plants and Machinery and Stocks of the Complainant. The Complainant informed the National Insurance Company Limited, about the loss suffered and for making the payment of the loss suffered by estimating it. After exchange of correspondence and personal interaction the National Insurance Company Limited, Opposite Party No.1 vide letter repudiated the claim of the Complainant.

It is no doubt true that under the Act of 1986, pecuniary jurisdiction was to be determined by taking the value of the goods or services and compensation, if any, claimed. Meaning thereby that the value of the goods or services as also the compensation is to be added to arrive at a conclusion as to whether the National Commission has the jurisdiction or not. This law was laid down by a three Member Bench of this Commission in Ambrish Kumar Shukla & Ors. Vs. Ferrous Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. Thus, in the Act of 1986, it was “the value of the goods or services and the compensation claimed” taken into consideration while determining the pecuniary jurisdiction.

It appears that the Parliament, while enacting the Act of 2019 was conscious of this fact and to ensure that, Consumer should approach the appropriate Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission whether it is District, State or National only the value of the consideration paid should be taken into consideration while determining the pecuniary jurisdiction and not value of the goods or services and compensation. A specific provision has been made in Sections 34 (1), 47 (1) (a) (i) and 58 (1) (a) (i) providing for the pecuniary jurisdiction of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and the National Commission respectively.

For determining the pecuniary jurisdiction of the District Commission, State Commission or National Commission, the value of the goods or services paid as consideration alone has to be taken and not the value of the goods or services purchased/ taken. As the value of consideration paid by the Complainant is only Rs.4,43,562, which is not above Rs.10,00,00,000, the National Commission has no jurisdiction to entertain the present Consumer Complaint and it is accordingly dismissed as not maintainable.

Tags : Complaint Maintainability Jurisdiction

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