The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Panipat, Haryana bench comprising Dr R.K. Dogra (President) and Dr Suman Singh (Member) held HDFC Bank Limited and Universal Sompo General Insurance Co. Ltd. liable for deficiency in service for their failure to provide compensation to a farmer who had suffered losses in his insured crops. Along with disbursing the insurance amount, HDFC Bank and the insurance company were ordered to pay a compensation of Rs. 10,000/- to the farmer.
जिला उपभोक्ता विवाद निवारण आयोग, पानीपत, हरियाणा की पीठ में डॉ. आर.के. डोगरा (अध्यक्ष) और डॉ. सुमन सिंह (सदस्य) ने एचडीएफसी बैंक लिमिटेड और यूनिवर्सल सोम्पो जनरल इंश्योरेंस कंपनी लिमिटेड को एक किसान को मुआवजा देने में विफलता के लिए सेवा में कमी के लिए उत्तरदायी ठहराया, जिसे उसकी बीमित फसल का नुकसान हुआ था। एचडीएफसी बैंक और बीमा कंपनी को किसान को 10,000/- रु. बीमा राशि देने के साथ ही रुपये का मुआवजा देने का आदेश दिया गया।
Detailed Order of District Forum
DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION,PANIPAT
CONSUMER COMPLAINT NO: 22 of 2020
DATE OF INSTITUTION: 27.01.2020
DATE OF ORDER:19.10.2023
Ramesh Kumar S/o Ajaib Singh, Resident of Village Nara, Tehsil Madlauda, Panipat.
- HDFC Bank Ltd. Madlauda Branch, District Panipat through its Branch Manager.
- Universal Sompo General Insurance Co. Ltd. through its Manager/Authorized Person, SCF-55, 3rd Floor, Sector-6, Main Market, Karnal, Haryana-132001.
COMPLAINT U/S 35 OF CONSUMER PROETCTION ACT, 2019
BEFORE: – Dr. R.K. Dogra, President.
Dr. Suman Singh, Member
Present: – Ms. Ritu Rani, Advocate for the complainant.
Shri Mukesh Shandilya, Advocate for the opposite party No.1.
Shri Deepak Malik, Advocate for opposite party No.2.
ORDER (DR.R.K.DOGRA, PRESIDENT)
The instant complaint has been filed by complainant Ramesh Kumar u/s 35 of the Consumer Protection Act against the opposite parties alleging deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of the opposite parties.
2 The brief facts, as alleged in the complaint by the complainant are that the complainant is having a joint bank account in HDFC Bank Limited, Branch Madlauda, District Panipat bearing A/c No. 50200001194352. The complainant has also took loan in the shape of KCC/ Agriculture loan and OP
No.1 has been deducting the amount of premium for the insurance of crop of the complainant regularly of six monthly basis. Complainant never claimed any amount of compensation regarding his crops. In the above-said process on 14.08.2018, the OP No.1 bank deducted an amount of Rs.9878.40P as premium for the insurance of paddy crops of the Complainant. Complainant has planted the paddy crops in the land measuring 6.72 hectares but due to flood in the year
2018 the paddy crop was damaged. The information was given to the Ops regarding damage of paddy crop on 14.08.2018 to the Agriculture Department Panipat. Agriculture Officer alongwith staff visited the field of the complainant and prepared his report and assessed 50% loss in the paddy crops of the complainant in the agriculture land measuring 4.8 hectares and on the basis of said report of ADO Madlauda, the assessing authority had assessed the loss of Rs.1,12,680/-.On 18.12.2019, complainant moved an application for disbursing compensation through registered post duly supported with report of ADO, copy of statement of the account, copy of jamabandi and Khasra Girdawari but the Ops did not deposit the said amount of premium with the concerned insurance company and bank manager refused to pay the compensation of Rs.1,12,680/-. The bank OP No.1
had also deducted an amount of Rs.9878.40P as premium for the insurance of the crop from the account of the complainant but again did not deposit the same OP No.2 insurance company. Despite so many requests, OPs No.1 and 2 failed to render their services properly and did not make payment of compensation. Again complaint was sent to CM window, Illaqua SHO and other higher authorities but all the request of the complainant became futile. So, it therefore, requested the OPs be directed to make the payment of the compensation amount to the tune of Rs.1,12,680/- alongwith interest @18% per annum from the date of assessment and Rs.50,000/- on account of deficiency in service and Rs.22,000/- as litigation expenses.
3. Upon notice, opposite parties appeared and filed their separate written statement refuting the stand taken by the complainant. OP No.1 had asserted that the premium amount of Rs.9878.40P were deducted from the account of complainant on 14.8.2018 and the same was remitted in the account of insurance company on 14.08.2018 vide UTR No.N226180609950449. The answering opposite party as per the guidelines has requested the customer so many times to submit the copy of Aadhar Card because as per revised operational guidelines of Government the Aadhar Card has been made mandatory for availing crop insurance from Kharif 2017 season onwards, but after so many requests the complainant has not submit his Aadhar Card with the insurance company and
answering opposite party. The bank has also send SMS on 13.07.2018 regarding submission of Aadhar Card and also sent one reminder on 01.09.2018 through post, but the complainant failed to update any information in this regard. It is further submitted that the opposite party is not liable to compensate the complainant in lieu of damages in the crops, rather the farmers are entitled to get
compensation from the insurance company as per the guideline of PMFBY. So, there is no negligence on the part of answering opposite party and prayed for dismissal of complaint.
4. OP No.2 also appeared and denied the contents of complaint. It has been specifically asserted regarding procedure for assessment and approval of claims. The Op No.2 has also mentioned above procedure for settlement of claim, without prejudice of above contention and without admitting the liability and denied for any deficiency in service on his part. It has been specifically asserted that the premium amount was not deposited by the bank with OP No.2, that is why the amount could not be claimed by the complainant and same was not paid by OP No.2. All other contents of complaint are wrong and denied. Thus, there was no deficiency in service or unfair trade practice on the part of the opposite party and lastly, it has been prayed that the complaint may kindly be dismissed.
EVIDENCE LED BY COMPLAINANT
5 In support of his case, the complainant has tendered in evidence his affidavit as Exhibit CW1/A and closed the evidence after tendering the following documents:
Application to HDFC Bank Manager Ex. C-1
Postal Receipt Ex. C-2
Application before CM Window Ex. C-3
Copy of original online registration Ex. C-4
Application to SHO Ex. C-5
Postal Receipts Ex. C-6 & Ex. C-7
A.D.O. Report Ex. C-8
Claim Assessment Ex. C-9
Bank Account Statement Ex .C-10
Copy of Jamabandi Ex. C-11
Copy of Khasra Girdawri Ex.C-12
EVIDENCE LED BY OPPOSITE PARTY No.1
6 On the other hand, counsel for opposite party No.1 has tendered in evidence the affidavit of Shri Sanjeev Kumar, GPA Holder as Exhibit RW1/A and closed the evidence after tendering the following documents :-
Letter to complainant from Bank Ex. R-1
Letter dated 06.02.2020 to complainant from Bank Ex. R-2
EVIDENCE LED BY OPPOSITE PARTY No.2
7. Learned counsel for opposite party No.2 has tendered in evidence the affidavit of Shri Mohit Bagla, Senior Executive as Exhibit RW2/A and closed the evidence after tendering the document i.e. Operation Guidelines of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana as Ex.R3.
8 After considering the arguments and perusing the whole documents placed on file by both the parties, the following points have been found to be made out:-
1 Whether the complainant is entitled to receive the insurance claim from the opposite parties as alleged etc? OPC
2 Whether the complaint of the complainant is not maintainable in the present form OPR?
STAND TAKEN BY THE COMPLAINANT
9 Learned counsel for the complainant has contended that he had taken the insurance policy under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and he had opened joint account in the HDFC bank Madlauda and OP No.1 deducted the premium amount of Rs.9878.40P from the account of complainant and despite the report of ADO, no claim for damages of the crop was paid to the
complainant. Both Ops have wrongly and illegally not paid the insured amount of his paddy crops which was amounting to Rs.1,12,680/-. The act of both the Ops are falling under the deficiency in service and even misappropriation of the amount of the complainant and even violation of the PMFBY for which they both are liable to be punished. So, it is, therefore, prayed that the complaint of the complainant may kindly be accepted with costs.
STAND TAKEN BY THE OPPOSITE PARTY No.1
10. On the other hand, it is argued on behalf of the OP No.1 that there is no fault of OP No. 1 because the bank deducted the premium amount from the account of the complainant on 14.08.2018 and same was deposited with Insurance Company vide UTR No.N226180609950449 on the same day i.e. 14.08.2018. If no compensation amount is released by the insurance company
with the complainant, then there is fault of insurance company. OP No.1 has no role to play and is not liable for making any compensation to the complainant.
STAND TAKEN BY THE OPPOSITE PARTY No.2
11. It is argued on behalf of OP No.2 that it is wrong to say that the OP No.1 had deposited the premium amount Rs.9878.40P with the OP No.2 and once the premium amount is not deposited with the OP No.2, then no amount of compensation could have been released in favor of the complainant at all. Although other documents are there on the file proving that there was loss of paddy crops and as per the report of ADO the loss of Rs.1,12,680/- was assessed and was to be paid to the complainant but there is no fault of the insurance company as no premium was deposited by OP No.1 for complainant. All other contents have been denied by OP No.1 and prayed for dismissal of present complaint.
12 We have heard the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the parties and perused the whole record available on file. Our point-wise findings with reasons thereof are as under:-
13 In order to establish this point, the complainant has placed on record the documents Ex.C1 to Ex.C12 in which it has been established that the complainant was the customer of OP No.1 and had his bank account. It is also proved on the file that the amount of premium being Rs9878.40P were deducted by the bank from his account on 14.08.2018 and bank account also shows that the same were deposited with the insurance company on the same day. The visit of ADO and assessment of the loss of paddy crops which was damaged in the land measuring 4.8 hectares and ADO has assessed the loss as Rs.1,12,680/-.Fard Jamabandi Ex.C11 and Khasra Girdawari Ex.C12 are proving that the complainant had sown the paddy crops in 6.72 hectares and ADO had assessed the loss in 4.8 hectares. It is also established on the file that the bank had deducted the premium of Rs.9878.40P and same was deposited with the insurance company on the same day, then from all corners it is proved that under PMFBY, the complainant is entitled for getting compensation for Rs.1,12,680/-
alongwith interest and cost because there is certainly deficiency in service on the part of the Ops. Hence, the case of the complainant is duly proved and by that way, this Point No.1 is hereby returned in favour of the complainant and against the opposite parties.
14 Having a glance over the detailed findings on Point No.1, this point No.2 is hereby returned in favour of complainant because the document placed on the file by the complainant are proving that the Ops are found within the orbit of deficiency in service on their part jointly. No evidence could be led by the Ops to prove this point. Hence, this point is hereby returned in favour of the complainant and against the opposite parties.
15 Having heard the rival contentions raised by the counsel for the parties and after perusing the whole record, this Commission is of the firm opinion that the Ops had insured the complainant under PMFBY but Ops did not deposit the compensation amount well within time for which they are liable to be penalized. Accordingly, the Ops are hereby directed to make payment of compensation of Rs.1,12,680/-along with interest @ 9 % p.a. from the date of filing of the present complaint till its actual realization. The opposite parties are further directed to pay Rs.5,000/- as compensation for harassment and mental agony and Rs.5,500/- as litigation expenses and both the parties are held liable jointly and severally for making payment to the complainant. The above said order be complied with within a period of 45 days from the date of order failing which the complainant shall be entitled to recover the above-said amount @12% from the date of order till its actual realization.
16 In case, opposite parties failed to do so, then the complainant can file the execution petition under section 71 of Consumer Protection Act,2019 and in that eventuality, the opposite parties may also be liable for prosecution under Section 72 of the said Act. Copies of this order be sent to the
party free of costs, as per rules, and this order be promptly uploaded on the website of this Commission. File be consigned to the record room after due compliance.
Announced in Open Court
(Dr. R.K. Dogra)
District Consumer Disputes
Redressal Commission, Panipat
(Dr. Suman Singh)
District Consumer Disputes
Redressal Commission, Panipat