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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Accident claim = when the drivers licence was not valid and was not renewed at the time of accident, petitioner is not entitled to 75% of the claim on non-standard basis and respondent has not committed any error in repudiating claim.

published in http://164.100.72.12/ncdrcrep/judgement/0013092511482503RP75-7613.htm
NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
                                                NEW DELHI       

REVISION PETITION NO. 75-76 OF 2013

(From the order dated 08.11.2012 in Appeal No. FA/12/95 & FA/12/98 of the Chhattisgarh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Pandri, Raipur)

Alok Waghe
S/o Shri S.D. Waghe
R/o LIG, Tatibandh,
Raipur, Ditrict Raipur
(C.G.)                                                                   …Petitioner/Complainant       
          Versus
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Through: Branch Manager,
Shimangal BhawanPandri
Raipur, District Raipur
(C.G.)                                                               …Respondent/Opp. Party (OP)

BEFORE
     HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE K.S. CHAUDHARI, PRESIDING MEMBER
     HON’BLE DR. B.C. GUPTA, MEMBER
For the Petitioner      :      Mr. R.K. Bhawnani, Advocate

 PRONOUNCED ON  25th September,  2013

 


O R D E R



 PER JUSTICE K.S. CHAUDHARI, PRESIDING MEMBER

Both these revisions arise out of judgement dated 8.11.2012 in appeals filed against judgement of the District Forum.  Accordingly, the revisions were heard together and are being disposed of by common order.
These revision petitions have been filed by the petitioners/Complainants against the order dated 08.11.2012 passed by the Chhattisgarh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Raipur (in short, ‘the State Commission’) in Appeal No. FA/12/95  – Alok Waghe Vs. Bajaj Allianz Gen. Ins. Co. Ltd. and in Appeal No. FA/12/98 – Bajaj Allianz General Ins. Co. Ltd. Vs. Alok Waghe by which, while dismissing appeal of the complainant, appeal of OP was allowed and order of District Forum allowing complaint was set aside and complaint dismissed.
2.      Brief facts of the case are that complainant/petitioner owner of vehicle C.G.04/G-4139 got his vehicle insured from OP/respondent for a period of one year commencing from 5.9.2008 to 4.9.2009.  Vehicle met with an accident on 16.12.2008 and report was lodged with the Police and intimation was given to OP-Insurance Co.  Claim was lodged with the OP, but claim was repudiated.  Alleging deficiency on the part of OP, complainant filed complaint before District Forum. OP resisted complaint and submitted that driver of the vehicle was not holding valid driving licence at the time of accident which amounted to violation of terms of insurance policy; hence, claim was repudiated rightly and prayed for dismissal of complaint.  Learned District forum after hearing both the parties allowed complaint and directed OP to pay 75% of the IDV value i.e. Rs.2,85,000/- on non-standard basis.  Both the parties filed appeal before State Commission and appeal filed by the complainant was dismissed but appeal filed by OP was allowed and complaint was dismissed by impugned order against which, these revision petitions have been filed.
3.      Heard learned Counsel for the parties and perused record.
4.      Learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that driver of the vehicle was not disqualified from driving the vehicle at the time of accident and merely because licence was not renewed on the date of accident, petitioner was not disentitled to get claim on non-standard basis and learned District Forum rightly allowed the claim but learned State Commission has committed error in allowing appeal and dismissing complaint; hence, revision petition be allowed and impugned order be set aside.  On the other hand, learned Counsel for the respondent submitted that order passed by learned State Commission is in accordance with law; hence, revision petition be dismissed.
5.      It is admitted case of the parties that on the date of accident, vehicle was insured with the respondent. It is also not disputed that driver of the vehicle at the time of accident was not possessing valid driving licence, as his licence had validity upto 16.8.2007 and later on it was renewed on 8.5.2009.  Licence of the driver was not got renewed for the period from 17.8.2007 to 7.5.2009, whereas accident occurred on 16.12.2008. Thus, it becomes clear that on the date of accident, driver was not possessing valid driving licence.
6.      Learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that though licence was not renewed on the date of accident but as driver of the vehicle was not disqualified from driving petitioner was entitled to get compensation on non-standard basis.  
He placed his reliance on (2010) 4 SCC 536 – Amalendu Sahoo Vs. Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. Perusal of aforesaid citation clearly reveals that in that case one of the employees of the tenant of the complainant approached the complainant to handover the aforesaid vehicle for few hours for urgent use and no rent was charged by the complainant from the tenant for the use of vehicle. The vehicle met with an accident and in such circumstances, 75% claim was allowed on non-standard basis. 
This citation does not help to the cause of the petitioner because driver was not holding valid driving licence at the time of accident.  
In III (2008) CPJ 191 (NC) United India Ins. Co. Ltd. Vs. Arvind Kumar and III (2010) CPJ 256 (NC), National Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Sansar Chand, this Commission held that if driver of the vehicle was not possessing valid driving licence to drive that particular type of vehicle at the time of accident, Insurance Company is not liable to reimburse damages to the vehicle.
7.      In the light of aforesaid judgements it becomes clear that 
when the drivers licence was not valid and was not renewed at the time of accident, petitioner is not entitled to 75% of the claim on non-standard basis and respondent has not committed any error in repudiating claim.
8.      We do not find any illegality, irregularity or jurisdictional error in the impugned order and revision petitions are liable to be dismissed.
9.      Consequently, revision petitions filed by the petitioners are dismissed with no order as to costs.    
………………Sd/-……………
( K.S. CHAUDHARI, J)
 PRESIDING MEMBER

..……………Sd/-………………
( DR. B.C. GUPTA )
 MEMBER
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