10 June 2024


Judgments

Supreme Court

Jaina Construction Company Vs. Oriental Insurance Company Limited & Anr.

MANU/SC/0178/2022

11.02.2022

Consumer

When the complainant had lodged the FIR immediately after the theft of the vehicle, the Insurance Company cannot repudiate the claim on ground of delay

The present appeal is directed against the impugned order passed by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi (“the NCDRC”) in Revision Petition whereby the NCDRC while allowing the said Revision Petition filed by Respondent No. 1-Insurance Company, has set aside the order passed by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal, Commission.

The precise question that falls for consideration before present Court is - whether the Insurance Company could repudiate the claim in toto, made by the owner of the vehicle, which was duly insured with the insurance company, in case of loss of the vehicle due to theft, merely on the ground that there was a delay in informing the company regarding the theft of vehicle?

The FIR was lodged immediately on the next day of the occurrence of theft of the vehicle by the complainant. The accused were also arrested and charge-sheeted, however, the vehicle could not be traced out. It is true that there was a delay of about five months on the part of the complainant in informing and lodging its claim before the Insurance Company, nonetheless, it is pertinent to note that the Insurance Company has not repudiated the claim on the ground that, it was not genuine. It has repudiated only on the ground of delay.

When the complainant had lodged the FIR immediately after the theft of the vehicle, and when the police after the investigation had arrested the accused and also filed challan before the concerned Court, and when the claim of the insured was not found to be not genuine, the Insurance Company could not have repudiated the claim merely on the ground that there was a delay in intimating the Insurance Company about the occurrence of the theft.

In that view of the matter, the Court is of the opinion that the NCDRC should not have set aside the orders of the District Forum and the State Commission by holding that the repudiation of the insurance claim by the insurance company was justified. The impugned order being erroneous and against the settled position of law, deserves to be set aside, and is set aside, accordingly. Appeal allowed.

Tags : Claim Repudiation Legality

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