Ori HC | Acceptance of contract must be signified by some act agreed on by the parties or from which the law raises a presumption of acceptance

Orissa High Court: The Bench of Dr A.K. Rath, J. dismissed the suit for realization of the insurance money on the ground that no communication of renewal of the policy was made at the time of the alleged occurrence and no risk could be assumed in the absence of any valid policy.

The facts of the case were that the plaintiff was the owner of a shop, he availed a cash credit loan of Rs 20,000 from the State Bank of India. He had stock of Rs 30,000 in the shop. The Bank insured the shop with the New India Assurance Co. Ltd. After the expiration of the policy, he sent a letter along with a cheque of Rs 300 to defendant 1 for renewal of policy for another year. In the meanwhile, a theft was committed in the shop in which goods worth Rs 45,383 was stolen. The plaintiff claimed insurance money. The defendant, denying the liability pleaded that the plaintiff had not sent a letter along with a cheque of Rs 300 to defendant 1 for renewal of policy on time and it was received after the expiration of the policy, thus there was no risk covered on the day the theft happened as there was no policy on the date of the occurrence. Thus there was no liability to pay compensation.

The Court held that the cheque was sent after the expiry of the policy. No communication was made by the defendant to the plaintiff about the acceptance of the proposal. No policy was issued by the defendant. There was no concluded contract. Thus the defendant was not held to be liable to pay any amount towards the alleged loss sustained by the plaintiff. The appeal was thus dismissed. [Prasanna Kumar Acharya v. Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., 2019 SCC OnLine Ori 157, decided on 10-04-2019]

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