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13 March 2018
In National Insurance Co Ltd v Hindustan Safety Glass Works Limited,(1) while considering Section 24-A of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, the Supreme Court held that courts should take a pragmatic view of consumers' rights considering their relative disadvantage with regard to suppliers of goods or services. It was further held that the provision of limitation in the 1986 act could not be strictly construed to the disadvantage of a consumer where the supplier of goods or services was itself instrumental in causing a delay in the settlement of the consumer's claim.
In Om Prakash v Reliance General Insurance(2) the Supreme Court held that, in the context of a vehicle insurance policy, the mere failure of the vehicle owner to intimate the insurer immediately after the theft of the vehicle should not bar settlement of genuine claims, particularly when the delay in intimation or submission of documents was due to unavoidable circumstances. The Supreme Court further held that an insurer's decision to reject a claim should be made on valid – not technical – grounds.
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