General Assurance Society Ltd. … vs Avtar Singh And Ors. on 9 April, 1986

Punjab-Haryana High Court
General Assurance Society Ltd. … vs Avtar Singh And Ors. on 9 April, 1986
Equivalent citations: I (1987) ACC 50, 1987 62 CompCas 218 P H
Author: P C Jain
Bench: P C Jain, S S Kang


JUDGMENT

Prem Chand Jain, C.J.

1. This judgment of ours would dispose of this and the connected appeals, LPA Nos. 1222 to 1226 of 1983, as a common question of law arises in all these appeals.

2. It is not necessary to state the facts as the only point involved in these appeals is about the liability of the insurance company. It is submitted by learned counsel for the appellants that in case his contention

on the basis of which he wishes to distinguish the Division Bench judgment of this court in Ajit Singh v. Sham Lal [1984] PLR 314 ; [1986] 59 Comp Cas 946, is not accepted, then in view of the said judgment, the appeals are without any merit. What is sought to be argued by. Mr. Malhotra, learned counsel for the appellants, is that the decision in Ajit Singh’s case, [1984] PLR 314; [1986] 59 Comp Cas 946 (P & H), is not applicable to the facts of the case in hand as a specific plea was raised by the insured himself that the liability of the insurance company was to the extent of Rs. 50,000 only. In support of this contention, learned counsel made reference to an application made by the insured before the Tribunal, in which it is stated in para 7 that under the said policy of insurance, the liability of the insurance company is Rs. 50,000 per case. The learned counsel also drew our attention to the grounds in the appeal filed by the insured against the award of the Tribunal, wherein also it is specifically stated that the liability of the company was only to the extent of Rs. 50,000.

3. On giving our thoughtful consideration to the entire matter, we find that learned counsel for the appellants has not succeeded in distinguishing Ajit Singh’s case, [1984] PLR 314; [1986] 59 Comp Cas 946 (P & H). It may be observed that the insurance company did not take any plea nor did it lead any evidence before the Tribunal to show that its liability was to the extent of Rs. 50,000 only. The insurance company cannot take any benefit of the averment made by the insured in the grounds of appeal or in the application, especially when it has failed to take any plea or lead any evidence on this aspect of the matter. The relevant observations in Ajit Singh’s case [1984] PLR 314 ; [1986] 59 Comp Cas 946 (P & H), which clinch the whole issue against the appellants, read as under (at p. 956 of 59 Comp Cas) :

“Where the statutory provision in question merely indicates the requirement about the policy and does not prohibit covering of a greater risk by the insurer, it is the policy of insurance which could show the extent of the risk that the insurer had sought to cover. Where the insurance company for whatever reasons fails to bring on record the policy of insurance, it cannot be heard to say that it had agreed to indemnify the insured only to the extent indicated in the statutory provision in question. In this regard, reference may be made to Shyamlal v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd. [1979] ACJ 208 (MP), United India Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Pallamparty Indiramma [1982] ACJ 521 (AP) and Jugal Kishore v. Rai Singh [1982] ACJ 503 (Delhi).”

4. In this view of the matter, we find no merit in these appeals, and consequently dismiss the same, but without there being any order as to costs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *