Santhamma Thomas : Member
This appeal is directed against the order dated 30/10/2012, rendered by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Pathanamthitta (hereinafter to be referred as the District Forum only), vide which it accepted the complaint filed on 03/02/2012 of complainant 1, œShri. Tiju Mathew? (now respondent No.1) and directed the opposite parties (now appellants) to pay Rs.2,12,950/- (Rupees Two Lakhs Twelve thousand nine hundred and fifty only) along with compensation of Rs.10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand only) and cost of Rs.5,000/- (Rupees Five Thousand only) within 30 days from the date of receipt of this order, failing which the complainant is allowed to realize the whole amount with interest @ 8% per annum from the date of judgment till the realization of the whole amounts till its actual payment.
2. Brief facts are that 1st respondent purchased a Toyota Innova Car bearing Reg.No.KL.03M-3006 from the 2nd respondent œShri. Harish.P.G.? (Complainant 2 in the Lower Forum) vide vehicle sale agreement dated 10/08/2010. While the transfer procedure was taking place a branch from a roadside tree fell on top of the vehicle creating heavy damage on 09/01/2011. The 1st respondent who was driving the vehicle had informed Kazhakuttam Police Station, Thiruvanananthapuram as the incident occured around the said police station limits and matter was entered in GD. The vehicle was given for repairing and on intimating the matter to the Appellants by the 2nd respondent a surveyor was appointed. However based on surveyor report, the appellants had rejected the claim as in accordance to them 2nd respondent did not have insurable claim as he had already sold the vehicle to 1st respondent. The respondents approached the lower Forum for relief and examining the exhibits and hearing the parties, the Lower Forum passed the judgment in favour of the respondents as specified above. Feeling aggrieved, the instant appeal, was filed by the Appellants (The opposite parties in the Lower Forum).
3. We have heard the Counsel for the parties and have gone through the records of the case.
4. The appellants, submitted that, since the vehicle had been purchased by 1st respondent, he was required to apply within 14 days from the date of transfer, in writing to the Insurer who had insured the vehicle, with the details of the registration of the vehicle, the date of transfer of the vehicle, the previous owner of the vehicle and the number and date of the Insurance Policy, so that the Insurer may make necessary changes, in the record, and issue fresh Certificate of insurance. Appellants urged that they rightly repudiated the claim of the 2nd respondent as he had no privity of contract as he sold the vehicle in claim to the 1st respondent.
5. After giving our thoughtful consideration, to the contentions, advanced by the appellants, we are of the considered opinion, that the appeal is liable to be dismissed, for the reasons, to be recorded hereinafter. There is no dispute, about the factum, that the Registration Certificate of vehicle in question had not been transferred, in favour of 1st respondent, at the time when the vehicle met with the incident causing damage to it and from the exhibits as well pointed by the Lower forum it is evident that the procedure of transfer was in process and the actual certificate of registration was issued only much after the incident took place. On receiving the original registration certificate in favour of 1st respondent only then any intimation could be given to the Insurance Company, for making endorsement, in his name. Although as pointed out by Appellants that sale deed was executed earlier and on RTO website the actual owner was shown as 1st respondent as on 15/12/2010 could not be considered as final conclusion of the transfer of vehicle, because the registration certificate was issued in original documented certificate only on19/01/2011. Had 2nd respondent not filed the claim and only 1st respondent filed the claim, the matter would have been different. Here the claim was denied only on the basis that there was no privity of contract between them and 2nd respondent. Since the Policy was in the name of 2nd respondent, it could be said that the insurance premium was also paid by him. The repudiation of claim by the Insurance Company was, therefore, completely unjustified and arbitrary as the claim was initiated by the 2nd respondent and not by the 1st respondent, who did not have insurable interest, nor had privity of contract with the Insurance Company.
6. In Jai Pal Singh and Another Vs. National Insurance Co. Limited and Another, I (2007), CPJ 423, the principle of law, laid down, was that where registration certificate and insurance policy had not been transferred, in the name of the transferee, he could not claim compensation, from the Insurer. It was further held that since the purchaser of the vehicle had no privity of contract with the Insurance Company, the claim could be made by the original owner and policy holder alone. In Banowarilal Agrawalla Vs. National Insurance Company Ltd. and Another, reported in S.C. and National Commission Consumer Law Cases (2005-2008) page 241, in similar circumstances, œvehicle owned by A was sold to B, but B had not made effort to get the insurance policy transferred, in his favour, it was held that, if the accident occurred within the policy period, A will have a locus standi, to file the claim, and not the purchaser.? In view of the principle of law, laid down, in the aforesaid cases, the District Forum was right in holding that since 2nd respondent had insuranble interest, and privity of contract with the Insurance Company, he had every right to claim compensatiion, on account of damage to the vehicle in the accident. The findings of the District Forum, being correct, are affirmed.
7. In order to appreciate the contention of the parties, it would be useful to have a look on Section 157 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 which reads as under:- œTransfer of Certificate of Insurance: (2) The transferee shall apply within fourteen days from the date of transfer in the prescribed form to the insurer for making necessary changes in regard to the fact of transfer in the certificate of insurance and the policy described in the certificate in his favour and the insurer shall make the necessary changes in the certificate and the policy of insurance in rgard to the transfer of insurance.?
8. Usually transfer of Package Policy in the name of the transferee can be done only on getting acceptable evidence of sale and a fresh proposal form duly filled and signed. By all means without the submission of original registration certificate no insurance policy related to vehicles shall be transferred on just a sale agreement and it is quite obvious that just because the same is effected in RTO website the insurance company shall abide for the transfer of policy in the new purchaser name until and unless the same is effected on an original registration certificate issued by the RTO.
9. The Lower Forum had detialed well on the consideration of dates and circumstances led to the delay for the transfer of insurance policy. If at all a delay is seen, we could not make liable of the respondents as it could be seen as the RTO authority procedural delay and hence could not be considered as a fault of the respondents in this case.
10. The order of the District Forum, therefore, does not suffer from any illegality or perversity, warranting the interference of this Commission. Consequently, the appeal deserves to be dismissed and the same is hereby dismissed.
There will be no order as to costs.