|Textile shop was looted after the 1998 Coimbatore blasts|
New Delhi : The Supreme Court has directed the New India Assurance Co. Ltd to pay Rs. 97.83 lakh with 9 per cent interest per annum to M/s Shobika Attire, whose textile shop was looted after the 1998 Coimbatore bomb blasts.
The shop had insured the stock and other valuables for Rs. 2 crore.
The insurance company made a payment of Rs. 1,02,16,173.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission rejected the claim for the balance amount. The present appeal was directed against that order.
Allowing the appeal, a Bench comprising Justices A.R. Lakshmanan and Altamas Kabir said it was evident that in the wake of a series of bomb blasts in Coimbatore on February 14, 1998, there was widespread unrest in the city coupled with mob frenzy, arson and looting.
The Bench said, "Although, an attempt has been made on behalf of the investigating agency to clinically examine the manner in which the incident involving the appellant's firm had occurred, it is doubtful whether the incident, which occurred at the showroom of the appellant on February 14, 1998, can be explained with such clinical precision as to when exactly the sales persons in the two basement levels escaped from the showroom through the elevated ground floor or when the police and fire fighting personnel arrived at the site and when exactly the riotous mob took over the showroom."
Mr. Justice Kabir, writing the judgment, said, "The statements of the sales persons clearly indicate that when they were fleeing the showroom they saw the mob trying to break through the plate-glass doors and windows leading to the first level of the two basements."
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