Friday, 12 May 2017

Whether transferee of vehicle is entitled to get benefit of insurance policy if there is theft of vehicle?

The relevant observations made by the
Hon'ble Supreme Court in para 10 of its judgment in Mallamma's case
(supra), which can be gainfully followed in the present case, read as under:-
“Before us, learned counsel for the appellants
relying upon Section 157 of the M.V. Act, contended that
there is an admitted transfer of ownership of the vehicle as
proved before the Commissioner. Once the ownership of
the vehicle is admittedly proved to have been transferred to
Jeeva Rathna Setty, the existing insurance policy in respect
of the same vehicle will also be deemed to have been
transferred to the new owner and the policy will not lapse
even if the intimation as required under Section 103 of the
M.V. Act is not given to the insurer, hence the impugned
order passed by the High Court is contrary to law. In
support of this contention, learned counsel for the
appellant has relied upon a judgment of this Court in G.
Govindan Vs. New India Assurance Co. Ltd . (1999) 3
SCC 754.”
When the abovesaid ratio of the law laid down in Mallamma's
case (supra), is considered in the factual context of the present case, same
squarely applies in favour of respondent No.1 and against the petitioner-

Insurance Company. In this view of the matter, it can be safely concluded
that learned Permanent Lok Adalat was well justified, while placing reliance
on the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Mallamma's case (supra)
and the impugned order deserves to the upheld for this reason also.
 IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
 AT CHANDIGARH
Civil Writ Petition No. 14086 of 2016
Date of Decision: 11.8.2016
The Oriental Insurance Company Limited and others

Vs.
Abhishek Kumar and another

CORAM :  MR. JUSTICE RAMESHWAR SINGH MALIK
Citation: 2017(2) ALLMR(JOURNAL)23

Instant writ petition is directed against the order dated 7.4.2016
passed by learned Permanent Lok Adalat for Public Utility Services,
Ambala Camp Court at Kaithal, whereby application of the insured moved
under Section 22 (C ) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, was
allowed, directing the petitioner-Insurance Company to pay the amount to
the insured on account of theft of his motorcycle, which was admittedly
insured with the petitioner-Insurance Company.
Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that learned
Permanent Lok Adalat has misdirected itself, while placing reliance on the
judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Mallamma (Dead) By LRs VS.
National Insurance Co. Ltd. and others, 2014 (2) CCC 694, which was

not applicable to the facts of the present case. He also places reliance on a
judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in M/s Complete Insulations (P)
Ltd. VS. New India Assurance Co. Ltd, 1996 AIR (SC) 586, to contend
that respondent No.1 was not entitled for the claim put by him, because
there was no privity of contract between the parties. He prays for allowing
the present writ petition, by setting aside the impugned order.
Having heard the learned counsel for petitioner at considerable
length, after careful perusal of record of the case and giving thoughtful
consideration to the contentions raised, this Court is of the considered
opinion that since the impugned order passed by the learned Permanent Lok
Adalat has not been found suffering from any patent illegality or perversity,
the same deserves to be upheld. The writ petition is without any merit
which is liable to be dismissed for the following more than one reasons.
Facts are hardly in dispute. Original owner of the vehicle was
Ravi, who was insurance policy holder. Petitioner-Insurance Company was
insurer and Ravi was insured. It is also not in dispute that original policy
holder namely Ravi sold the vehicle in favour of Abhishek Kumarrespondent
No.1. It is neither pleaded nor argued case on behalf of the
petitioner that theft of the vehicle did not take place, during currency of the
insurance policy.
Once the petitioner-Insurance Company itself has admitted that
motorcycle in question was sold by original policy holder to respondent
No.1 and vehicle also stood transferred in favour of respondent No.1, he
would certainly be entitled for the benefits of insurance policy because
theft of motorcycle took place during currency of the insurance policy.
Having said that, this Court feels no hesitation to conclude that learned

Permanent Lok Adalat committed no error of law, while passing the
impugned order and the same deserves to be upheld.
The relevant observations made by the learned Permanent Lok
Adalat, in operative part of the impugned order, deserves to be noticed and
the same read as under-
“ After giving due consideration to the pleas of both the
parties we are of the confirmed view that the petitioner is
entitled to receive the claim i.e. the insured value of
motorcycle amounting to Rs. 34,000/- for the theft of
motorcycle bearing No. HR-40D-7410 from respondents.
Now the perusal of letter dated 31.1.2014 Ex.P11 written by
respondent insurance company to Ravi shows that insurance
company has written to Ravi that the aforesaid vehicle has
been sold by you to Sh. Abishek Walia S/o Narinder Kumar
R/o 922/25, Gurudwara Colony, Rohtak Road, Jind on
6.9.2013 and NOC was also issued by Registring Authority
(MV) Assandh, District Karnal in the name of Sh. Abhishek
Walia vide letter dated 10.9.2013, so, there is no insurable
interest of insured Ravi S/o Brizpal on the date of alleged
loss/theft i.e. 20.09.2013. Further, perusal of reply to notice
dated 3.6.2014 by respondent insurance company through
Sh. M.R. Miglani, Advocate served by petitioner Abhishek
Kumar upon respondent insurance company also reveal that
it has been mentioned in this notice that Abhishek had
purchased the motorcycle from Ravi and it has been further
written that Abhishek did not get transfer the insurance

policy in his name within a period of 14 days of the sale.
Now what comes out the documents Ex.P11, P12
of respondents is that respondents themselves admitted that
motorcycle in question has been sold by Ravi to Abhisehk
Kumar and thus once when the vehicle is transferred from
one person to other, the benefits of insurance policy shall
also be transferred to the new owner. Reliance can be placed
upon the judgment of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India titled
as Mallama (Dead) by LRs Vs. National Insurance Co. Ltd.
And others cited as 2014 (2) CCC 694 (SC). It was further
held in this judgment that policy will not lapse even if the
intimation required U/s 103 of the Act is not given to the
insurer. The ratio of this judgment is fully applicable on
circumstances in the present case and thus the judgments
relied upon on behalf of the respondent (referred above) are
no help to the respondents.
In view of above discussion and findings, we
accept this application and award is hereby passed U/s 22 C
(8) with direction to the respondent to pay the amount of
Rs. 34,000/- to the petitioner Abhishek Kumar within a
period of two months failing which interest @ 9% per
annum shall be payable to the application Abhishek Kumar
from the date of filing of the claim petition by the applicant
with the respondent insurance company till realization."
A bare reading of the impugned order would show that learned
Permanent Lok Adalat has examined, considered and appreciated all the

relevant aspects of the matter, before passing the impugned order which has
been found based on cogent findings duly supported by sound reasons.
So far as alleged non applicability of the judgment of the Hon'ble
Supreme Court in Mallamma's case (supra), is concerned, contention
raised by learned counsel for the petitioner has been duly considered but the
same has been found misplaced. The relevant observations made by the
Hon'ble Supreme Court in para 10 of its judgment in Mallamma's case
(supra), which can be gainfully followed in the present case, read as under:-
“Before us, learned counsel for the appellants
relying upon Section 157 of the M.V. Act, contended that
there is an admitted transfer of ownership of the vehicle as
proved before the Commissioner. Once the ownership of
the vehicle is admittedly proved to have been transferred to
Jeeva Rathna Setty, the existing insurance policy in respect
of the same vehicle will also be deemed to have been
transferred to the new owner and the policy will not lapse
even if the intimation as required under Section 103 of the
M.V. Act is not given to the insurer, hence the impugned
order passed by the High Court is contrary to law. In
support of this contention, learned counsel for the
appellant has relied upon a judgment of this Court in G.
Govindan Vs. New India Assurance Co. Ltd . (1999) 3
SCC 754.”
When the abovesaid ratio of the law laid down in Mallamma's
case (supra), is considered in the factual context of the present case, same
squarely applies in favour of respondent No.1 and against the petitioner-

Insurance Company. In this view of the matter, it can be safely concluded
that learned Permanent Lok Adalat was well justified, while placing reliance
on the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Mallamma's case (supra)
and the impugned order deserves to the upheld for this reason also.
Coming to the judgment in M/s Complete Insulations (P) Ltd's
case (supra), relied upon by the learned counsel for the petitioner, there
cannot be any dispute about the law laid down and observations made
therein. However, on a careful perusal of the cited judgment, the same has
not been found of any help to the petitioner, being distinguishable on facts.
It is the settled principle of law that peculiar facts of each case are to be
examined, considered and appreciated first, before applying any codified or
judgemade law thereto. Sometimes, difference of even one circumstance or
additional fact can make the world of difference, as held by the Hon'ble
Supreme Court in Padmausundara Rao and another Vs. State of Tamil
Nadu and others, 2002 (3) SCC 533.
In fact, petitioner-Insurance Company has no case either on facts or
in law, except raising technical and super-technical pleas. It has been
experienced in the recent past that as and when any insured puts up his
genuine claim, the insurance company would make every possible efforts to
defeat even the genuine claim, proceeding on a wholly misconceived
approach raising one or the other technical plea. This cannot be and must
not be the object of any insurance policy that as and when any genuine
claim is put, same is rejected only on technicalities. Similar stand has been
found taken by the petitioner-Insurance Company to defeat the genuine
claim of respondent No.1.
Reverting to the facts and circumstances of the case in hand, it has

gone undisputed before this Court the original insured namely Ravi has sold
vehicle in question to respondent No.1. It goes without saying that
transferee will step into the shoes of transferrer including regarding benefit
of insurance policy.
No other argument was raised.
Considering the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case noted
above, coupled with the reasons aforementioned, this Court is of the
considered view that since the impugned order passed by learned Permanent
Lok Adalat has not been found suffering from any patent illegality or
perversity, same deserves to be upheld, ignoring the technical pleas raised
on behalf of the petitioner. The writ petition having been found wholly
misconceived, bereft of merit and without any substance, it must fail. No
case for interference has been made out.
Resultantly, with the abovesaid observations made, instant writ
petition stands dismissed, however, with no orders as to costs.
(RAMESHWAR SINGH MALIK)
 JUDGE
11.8.2016

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