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New India Assurance to pay Rs. 45,000 for theft of laptop from store

The Forum directed the company to pay Adlakha Rs. 35,000, the value of the laptop, along with Rs. 10,000 as compensation for harassment and cost of litigation

July 17, 2012 4:28 IST | India Infoline News Service
State-run insurer, New India Assurance has been directed by Central District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in New Delhi to pay Rs. 45,000 to a computer store owner for rejecting his claim for the theft of a laptop from his shop, according to media reports.

The Forum, while giving the relief to S Adlakha, owner of Repotech Systems (India) Pvt Ltd, said the insurer’s decision to reject his claim, on the ground that it was theft and not house-breaking, was "not well-founded" as the facts showed that "theft was committed with house-breaking".

According to the Forum, the theft was committed with house-breaking. There were adequate facts to show that it was a case of house breaking/theft... The entry in the shop was with the intention to commit theft. The exit was violent. In his complaint, Adlakha had said the thief had come into his store enquiring about laptops and while he was showing him various laptops, the thief had run off with one of them. The thief had shoved Adlakha to the ground and tore his shirt when he tried to catch him.

Adlakha added that after lodging the FIR, when he filed the claim, the insurer had rejected it saying it was a case of theft and not covered under the Shopkeepers Insurance Policy bought by him.

New India Assurance in its defence contended that according to the policy issued to Adlakha, cover was provided against burglary and house-breaking, fire and allied perils and not for theft. The insurer had rejected Adlakha's claim, on the basis of the FIR lodged by the police officers under section 380 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code, as theft is not covered under the policy issued to him.
The Forum rejected the contention saying "the claim cannot be rejected merely because the FIR was recorded under section 380 IPC. It is to be found out if the facts of the case can bring the case of the complainant for reimbursement in regard to the policy under the heading 'burglary, house breaking'."

The bench directed the company to pay Adlakha Rs. 35,000, the value of the laptop, along with Rs. 10,000 as compensation for harassment and cost of litigation.

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