Decided on September 04,2013



K.S.Chaudhari, J. (Presiding Member) - (1.)THIS revision petition has been filed by the petitioner/OP against the order dated 17.04.2008 passed by State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, UT Chandigarh (in short, 'the State Commission') in Appeal Case No. 64 of 2008 - ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Dr. Sudhir Kumar Garg by which, while dismissing appeal, order of District Forum allowing complaint was upheld. Brief facts of the case are that complainant/respondent obtained ICICI Prudential Forever Life Policy for a sum of Rs. 2,19,000/ - on 31.1.2002 for a term of 20 years by paying annual premium of Rs. 10,037/ -. After making payment of 5 annual premiums, complainant surrendered the policy on guaranteed surrender value as per policy documents and requested the OP/petitioner to confirm the cash value of the surrendered policy which was Rs. 56,360/ -. According to the complainant, OP vide letter dated 23.5.2007 intimated to the complainant that surrender value was Rs. 23,681.26, which was arrived at by assigning some low fraction value to guaranteed additions. Alleging deficiency on the part of OP, complainant filed complaint. OP resisted complaint and submitted that complainant initially approached Ombudsman which was quasi -judicial authority and his complaint was dismissed vide order dated 12.7.2007 and in such circumstances, complaint filed before District Forum is not maintainable. It was further submitted that full value of guaranteed additions was payable only when the policy resulted in a claim by death or by maturity and guaranteed additions on surrendering policy would be restricted to cash value of the said additions arrived at application of discounting factor and surrender value payable to the respondent as on 1.6.2007 was Rs. 23,762/ - and prayed for dismissal of complaint. Learned District Forum after hearing both the parties allowed complaint and directed OP to pay Rs. 55,155/ - along with compensation of Rs. 5,000/ - for harassment and Rs. 1,500/ - as costs. Appeal filed by the petitioner was dismissed by learned State Commission vide impugned order against which this revision petition has been filed.
(2.)AUTHORIZED Representative of respondent appeared on 23.4.2013 and submitted that he would be filing written arguments and he would not be appearing on next date. Authorized Representative sent written submissions by post, but did not appear on 27.8.2013. Heard learned Counsel for the petitioner and perused record as well as written submissions submitted by respondent.
Learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that as respondent surrendered policy after paying 5 annual premium, he was not entitled to full value of guaranteed additions and was entitled to only Rs. 24,000/ - on 25.9.2007; even then, learned District Forum has committed error in awarding Rs. 55,155/ - and learned State Commission further committed error in dismissing appeal; hence, revision petition be allowed and impugned order be modified.

(3.)PERUSAL of record clearly reveals that respondent obtained policy for a period of 20 years and surrendered after making payment of 5 annual premiums. Copy of policy at page 40 -A of the paper book clearly reveals that policy was subject to and governed by the terms of the policy document and all the terms and schedule contained therein (enclosed) shall together form a single agreement. As per terms of policy documents, bonus was payable as under:

Guaranteed additions and bonuses (if applicable, under with profit policies) will be payable in terms of the prospectus and Company's internal guidelines and policies and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) rules and regulations.

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