Decided on November 13,2009

Manager, Life Insurance Corporation Of India, Branch Bilaspur, District Bilaspur Appellant
Shubh Dei Respondents


- (1.) FACTS as set out in the complaint out of which this appeal has arisen briefly noted are, that late Shri Karam Singh Chandel got himself insured on 28.7.2004 with the appellant. He died on 23.3.2006. Policy bond is Annexure C -5. Date of its commencement as well as date of commencing risk in terms of this document is from 28.7.2004. Sum assured was Rs. 1 lac and its table term and premium paying term was 14 -20 (20). Rs. 3480 was the half yearly premium payable on 1st January and 1st of July each year. Respondent No.1 is his widow and respondents 2 to 4 are his sons. Further case set out by the respondents 1 to 4 in their complaint was, that deceased had got himself insured through respondent No.5 and had also been paying the installments through him which were accepted by the appellant.
(2.) AFTER the death of life assured, i.e. late Shri Karam Singh Chandel, respondents 1 to 4 lodged their claim as his legal representatives, but the payment was not made by the appellant. Legal notice was also got served by these respondents creating demand, but without any consequence. This resulted in filing of the complaint. Respondents 1 to 4 claimed Rs. 1 lac alongwith expense of the litigation, and for other hardships, mental and physical claimed a further sum of Rs. 50,000/ - from appellant, as well as respondent No.5 who both were arrayed as opposite parties in the complaint No. 13/2007 that was allowed only against the appellant on 24.3.2009 by the District Forum Bilaspur, Camp at Ghumarwin.
(3.) WHEN put to notice stand of the appellant in its reply was, that the complaint was not maintainable, and as far as possible it has to act on business principles. Besides this dismissal of complaint was prayed because of acts, conduct, deeds, omission and commission on the part of the deceased -Karam Singh Chandel. According to it the policy was lying in a lapsed condition since January 2006, therefore respondents 1 to 4 were not entitled to any indemnification. They had not approached the District Forum below with clean hands and the complaint was totally devoid of merit. Further case of the appellant was that the respondents 1 to 4 are not consumers , under Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and at the same time there was no deficiency on its part. Jurisdiction of the District Forum below was also disputed. While admitting insurance having been done, pith and substance of the reply filed by the appellant was, that the policy was lying in a lapsed condition since January, 2006. At the same time it was pleaded that agents were not authorised to receive premiums from the life assured like the deceased -Karam Singh Chandel in the present case. In addition to this it was also denied that premium was paid through respondent No.5. As per Annexure R1 -2 status report, only three premiums were paid. In these circumstances appellant was not liable to indemnify the respondents 1 to 4. On the other hand stand of respondent No.5, who was the agent in reply to the complaint was, that the complaint was not maintainable because of the acts, conducts, deeds commission and omission on the part of the deceased. He further stated that the policy was lying in a lapsed condition since January, 2006. Per him the respondents 1 to 4 were not consumers and there was no deficiency on his part. He was not authorised to receive premiums from the life assured, nor did he ever agreed to pay the same. He admitted that the deceased Shri Karam Singh Chandel has purchased one life insurance policy through him, subject to terms and conditions mentioned therein. He further denied that the entire premiums were paid through him. Rather he pleaded that deceased or his family members themselves used to pay the premium installments, and he had no authority to receive the same. His stand is by and large identical to what has been stated by the appellants.;

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