Decided on March 19,2014

Kanta Devi And Ors Respondents


- (1.)THIS appeal is directed against the order dated 30.01.2014, rendered by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum -II, UT, Chandigarh (hereinafter to be called as the District Forum only), vide which it allowed the complaint filed by the complainant qua Opposite Party No.2 (now appellant) and directed it as under: -
"15. In the light of above observations, we are of the concerted view that the Opposite Party No.2 is found deficient in rendering proper service to the complainant. Hence, the present complaint of the Complainant deserves to succeed against the Opposite Party No.2 and is dismissed qua Opposite Party No.1. The Opposite Party No.2 is directed to: -

[a] To pay the insured amount of Rs.1.25 lacs to the Complainants;

[b] To pay compensation of Rs.20,000/ - on account of deficiency in service;

[c] To pay Rs.10,000/ - as cost of litigation;

16. The above said order shall be complied within 45 days of its receipt by the Opposite Party No.2; thereafter, it shall be liable for an interest @18% per annum on the amount mentioned in sub -para [a] and [b] of para 15 above, apart from cost of litigation of Rs.10,000/ -, from the date of institution of this complaint, till it is paid."

(2.)IN brief, the facts of the case are that Sh.Vijay Kumar purchased a Policy No.164318444, having a sum assured of Rs.1.25 lacs, with the date of commencement as 03.06.2009 and date of maturity as 03.06.2026. Unfortunately, the life assured expired on 28.12.2009. Since the inception of the Policy, the premium amount of Rs.510/ - per month was continuously deducted from account no.10506612574, through ECS, being maintained by the complainant with Opposite Party No.2. The life assured had been maintaining sufficient balance in his aforesaid account, so that the amount on the stipulated date could be debited in favour of Opposite Party No.1 i.e. the beneficiary institution. After the death of the life assured, complainant No.1, being his nominee, approached Opposite Party No.1, for payment of claim. However, Opposite Party No.1 refused to release the claim, on the ground, that the premiums for the months of November and December, 2009, were not paid. It was stated that the Opposite Parties, when approached, instead of doing the needful, tried to shift the burden on one another. It was further stated that the Opposite Parties were deficient, in rendering service, as also, indulged into unfair trade practice. When the grievance of the complainant was not redressed, left with no alternative, a complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act,1986(hereinafter to be called as the "Act" only), was filed.
(3.)IN its written reply, Opposite Party No.1 while admitting the factual matrix of the case, stated that as per the terms and conditions of policy, no benefit was payable, as the Policy had already lapsed on the date of death of the life assured, due to non -payment of premium. It was admitted that the premium under the Policy was paid through bank account on monthly basis by ECS mode as per the option exercised by the life assured at the time of taking the Insurance Policy. The last premium due on 03.10.2009 was received by the answering Opposite Party on 12.10.2009. It was further stated that the complainants had not approached it any time, before filing the present complaint and it was only after receiving summons from this Forum that the, answering Opposite Party, came to know about the death of the life assured. It was further stated that, the answering Opposite Party, was neither deficient, in rendering service nor indulged into unfair trade practice. The remaining allegations were denied, being false.
In its separate written reply, Opposite Party No.2 stated that the Policy, in question, was purchased from Opposite Party No.1, and the complaint was not maintainable qua it. The ECS debit to account No.10506612574 was subject to requisition by Opposite Party No.1, claiming the policy premium from Opposite Party No.2. The ECS payments were remitted by Opposite Party No.2, to Opposite Party No.1, against independent requisitions, raised by Opposite Party No.1. It was further stated that since for the months of November and December, 2009, Opposite Party No.1, failed to raise requisition, to Opposite Party No.2, it could not have suo - motto debited the amount to the account of the complainant. It was further stated that the system of ECS payment works exclusively on the basis of requisition, raised by the beneficiary institution electronically and there was no manual intervention. The lapse was squarely on the part of Opposite Party No.1 and complainant No.1, as she failed to contact Opposite Party No.1, in time, to raise requisition for the policy premium. The said fact was also intimated to complainant No.1, but instead of approaching Opposite Party No.1 to raise requisition, she slept over the matter. It was further stated that, the answering Opposite Party, was neither deficient, in rendering service, nor indulged into unfair trade practice. The remaining allegations were denied, being false.

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