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TDCRF reverses earlier order, asks insurance firm to pay claim

Thane: A consumer forum here has set aside its earlier order rejecting a transporter’s claim for his stolen truck and has now ordered an insurance firm to pay Rs 8.21 lakh to him.

The Thane District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (TDCRF) had in February rejected the Rs 14 lakh claim of Bhiwandi-based transporter Jaykant Bhagawati Prasad Pandey for his stolen truck, while observing that just because the branch office of any organisation is located within the forum’s jurisdiction, the claim cannot be lodged with it.

Pandey had filed the claim with the Thane office of the New India Assurance company, while he had taken the insurance policy from the firm’s Santa Cruz office.

He had informed the forum that in 2009, when his truck was going from Mumbai to Patna, some persons got into the vehicle and after giving tranquiliser to the driver, they threw him out and escaped with the truck.

Pandey had then sought a claim from the insurance firm which rejected it on the ground that the truck driver had given lift to three persons with an intention to earn money. This is clear violation of the contract of insurance and hence, the claim cannot be honoured, the insurance firm said.

Subsequently, Pandey approached the TDCRF and claimed Rs 14 lakhs, including Rs 10,95,000 as cost of the truck, Rs 1 lakh for mental sufferings, Rs 1.85 lakh interest and Rs 25,000 as legal expenses.

In his claim, Pandey had made the insurance firm’s Thane office as respondent and had neither included the head office nor the Santa Cruz branch from where he took the policy.

Just because the branch office (of respondent company) is situated in jurisdiction of the consumer forum, the claim cannot be lodged with it, the TDCRF then said in its order.

Later, Pandey challenged the forum’s order.


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