Citizens' Issues
Insurer asked to pay Rs45,000 for theft of laptop from store

The Consumer Forum rejected New India Assurance Co's contention saying that the claim cannot be rejected merely because the FIR was recorded under different section

New Delhi: The New India Assurance Co Ltd has been directed by a consumer forum in Delhi to pay Rs45,000 to a computer store owner for rejecting his claim for the theft of a laptop from his shop, reports PTI.

The Central District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, while giving the relief to computer store owner S Adlakha, said the insurance company'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".

"The facts bring the case under the definition of 'house breaking'. The theft was committed with house-breaking.

Consequently, the authority relied upon by the insurance firm is not applicable. It is so because in the present case there are 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. The insurance company has not disputed the theft of the laptop and its value. The rejection of the claim is not well-founded and it amounts to deficiency in service," said the bench, presided by BB Chaudhary.

In his complaint, Adlakha, owner of Repotech Systems (India) Pvt Ltd, had said the thief had come into his store enquiring about laptops and while he was showing him various machines, the thief had run off with one of them.

He also said that the thief had shoved him to the ground and tore his shirt when he tried to catch him.

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

The company in its defence contended that as per the policy issued to Adlakha, cover was provided against burglary and house-breaking, fire and allied perils and not for theft.

It said it 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 Rs35,000, the value of the laptop, along with Rs10,000 as compensation for harassment and cost of litigation.


Jaswant Singh is NDA's Vice Presidential candidate

After coining many names, the NDA chose BJP leader Jaswant Singh as its vice-presidential candidate against UPA nominee Hamid Ansari

New Delhi: Putting behind differences on the issue of Presidential poll candidate, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Monday unanimously chose Jaswant Singh as its vice-presidential candidate, reports PTI

Singh will contest against United Progressive Alliance (UPA) nominee Hamid Ansari, who had earned the opposition's ire during the Lokpal Bill debate in Rajya Sabha.

After a meeting of NDA partners in New Delhi, its working chairman LK Advani announced that Jaswant Singh has been chosen as the coalition's vice-presidential candidate.

Advani said the NDA was opposing Ansari for his 'conduct' in the Rajya Sabha during the Lokpal Bill debate when he had 'abruptly' adjourned the House.

NDA will solicit support of parties like AIADMK, BJD and others for Singh, Advani said. He did not rule out talking to UPA ally TMC on the matter. TMC had proposed the names of Gopal Krishna Gandhi and Krishna Bose as possible candidates and is yet to clarify if it will vote for Ansari.

BJP tried to use the Vice-Presidential election as an opportunity to mend its ties with ally JD(U)- which has openly differed with the party on several issues including support to UPA Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee. It had reached out to JD(U) President Sharad Yadav to become NDA's Vice-presidential candidate.

"Sharad Yadav's name had come up in the public domain as a possible candidate for vice-president. Sushma Swaraj had talked to him day before yesterday and requested him to consider. But he said his nature does not permit as today he is engaged in active politics freely and this post will hamper it," Advani said.

74-year-old Singh's name then came up as an "unanimous" choice and all NDA partners, including Shiv Sena, agreed.

Shiv Sena is supporting Pranab Mukherjee in the presidential election but had agreed to support the NDA even before Singh's name was announced. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut was present in today's NDA meeting.

Sources said though Singh was initially reluctant to contest as the UPA has the numbers and Ansari is set to get another term as Vice-President, he was convinced by the BJP leaders to enter the fray.

Asked about the issue, Advani said, "Had he (Jaswant Singh) not agreed we would not have announced his name." Pointing towards Sharad Yadav, Advani said he had not agreed and so Singh was chosen.

Welcoming the announcement, Singh said it is a matter of great respect that NDA has unanimously chosen him as its candidate. "This is a big responsibility and also a challenge... We (NDA) are here as one force... I thank the NDA for giving me this responsibility."

Singh, who is an MP from Darjeeling, was expelled from the BJP in August 2010 when he had praised Pakistan-founder M A Jinnah in his book- "Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence". He was re-inducted into the party by BJP Chief Nitin Gadkari in 2011.

Advani told reporters that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called him and other top BJP leaders to solicit support for Ansari. "The PM called me about five minutes before announcing the UPA Vice-Presidential candidate. It was only like following a custom."

Advani said he had conveyed to the Prime Minister that NDA has objection to Ansari's name as he had abruptly adjourned the Rajya Sabha during the Lokpal debate. "I told him that we have our reservations and disinclination (towards Ansari's candidature)," Advani said.

NDA also said that its reservations on Ansari's candidature are due to the manner in which the Women's Reservation Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha.

"Sharad Yadav pointed out in our meeting that when the Women's Reservation Bill was to be passed, a large number of marshals were brought in to take out members opposed to the Bill. This is not acceptable to anybody. So we decided to oppose Ansari," Advani said, adding the NDA had unanimously decided not to give a "walkover" to the UPA.

Sources said today's NDA meeting began with a discussion on Yadav's candidature. However, when he did not agree the name of Najma Heptullah was also proposed. She had met Sharad Yadav sometime back to garner support for her candidature.

But BJP leaders said she is not keen on contesting now as she had fought and lost against Ansari in 2007.

It was then that Jaswant Singh's name was proposed by the BJP and accepted by all allies.

"Had he (Yadav) agreed to contest, the situation would have been different," Advani told reporters after the meeting.


Inflation declines to 7.25% in June; food prices harden

Easing of inflation has raised some hopes of cut in interest rate by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) at its monetary policy review later this month

New Delhi: Inflation declined to 7.25% in June as prices of manufactured items eased a little, although vegetables, wheat and pulses became costlier, reports PTI.


Inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), was 7.55% in May. In June last year, it was 9.51%.


Overall food inflation rose to 10.81% in June, from 10.74% in May. In June last year, inflation rate in this category was 7.6%. Food articles have 14.3% share in the WPI basket.


In the manufactured items category, prices of cotton textile, rubber and plastic products, iron and machinery eased a little year-on-year basis.


The rate of price rise in the manufactured products was 5% in June, as against 7.9% in the same month last year. In May this year, it was 5.02%.


In food articles category, rice turned expensive by 6.70% in June, wheat 7.46%, pulses 6.82% and vegetables by 20.48% on annual basis.


On month-on-month basis, poultry chicken prices were up by 7%, gram 6%, masur 4%, and fruits & vegetables, egg, arhar, rice by 2% each. Tea, milk, wheat and mutton were up 1% each.


Easing of inflation has raised some hopes of cut in interest rate by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) at its monetary policy review later this month.


Meanwhile, inflation for April has been revised upwards to 7.50%, from the provisional estimate of 7.23%.


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