insurance provider

LIC is a Social Welfare Institution

LIC penalized for dealing Insurance claim in a standard way

As per the law, Life Insurance Corporation of India is not a Private Company but a nationalized Corporation established as a social welfare institution. Apart from terms and conditions, the management of LIC should be prompt, efficient and in favor of the requirement of people.

Before rejecting any insurance claim, the management of LIC of India should bear in mind that it is easy to find out technical objections in any contract. However, endeavor of such social welfare institution should be to find out ways and means to do justice to the insured or his family members on the ground of social welfare.

In one of the cases, LIC of India vs Anuradha, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India decided:

The Life Insurance Corporation is a social welfare institution, more so when it has been nationalized and the service  is not available in the private sector,  should think of devising a policy available in insurgency-afflicted regions which would take care of the insured and his family members in such areas. The insurance policies with terms and conditions suited to the requirements of people inhabiting insurgency – or militancy-affected areas need to be devised and propagated.

Similarly in another case LIC of India Vs. Smt. Asha Goel the Court observed and decided:

In course of time the Corporation has grown in size and at present it is one of the largest public sector financial undertaking. The public in general and millions of policyholders particularly look forward to prompt and efficient service from the organization. Therefore, the authorities should keep the credibility and reputation in mind, which depends on its prompt and efficient services. Therefore, the approach of the Corporation in such matters should be handled with extreme care.

An exemplary example of Moga (Punjab) has been quoted here, in which LIC, India rejected an Insurance Claim.

Mr. Ishwar Chand purchased a policy for himself. He paid the premium and got the receipt from LIC. Unfortunately, Mr. Chand passed away on 1st March,1998 in an accident. His wife filed the Insurance Claim.

Her claim was rejected because the Insurance Policy was not made effective and Mr. Chand passed away before the acceptance of proposal date hence his wife who was the Beneficiary – Consumer approached the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Moga (Punjab), by filing a Consumer Case.

Her complain was honored and the LIC had to pay her due amount along with the interest @10% per annum from the date Mr. Ishwar Chand’s demise. LIC also had to pay her a compensation of Rs.10,000 for harassment and Rs.2,000 for additional costs.

Further to that, LIC made an appeal before the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Punjab for the following points:

(i) As the proposal submitted by the deceased was not concluded till 1st March, 1998, i.e. on the date of the death of the insured, it cannot be held that the contract between the parties was concluded; and

(ii) The deceased did not disclose that he was a patient of diabetes and that he died due to ailment and not by accident.

Both these contentions were rejected by the Punjab State Commission. The State Commission observed that the proposal was accepted and the insurance policy was issued much before the death of the insured. Therefore, the contract was concluded and LIC had to complete the formalities within a reasonable time. With regards to the second contention, it was observed that there was no evidence on record that Mr. Chand died due to diabetes or natural death and not because of any accident.

The Hon’ble State Commission, Punjab dismissed the Appeal of LIC of India and denied their interference in the order, passed by the District Forum, Moga (Punjab).

The LIC of India again filed a Revision Petition before Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi.

The Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi again dismissed the revised petition after going through the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

Also, LIC of India was considered inefficient in their services and NCDRC penalized the organization an additional cost of Rs.10,000 payable to the wife of insured.

Let us all be empowered with our Consumer Rights like Mrs. Chand who was aware of her consumer rights.

Have you been a victim or suffered due to inefficient services of Life Insurance Corporation of India? Let us know. Pose your complaint on our Power to Consumer website today and help us spread the word.

coaching class refund

Refund for Coaching Classes

It is noticed that students of Class X onwards are encouraged to compete IIT-JEE (Advanced), etc. and as such they become aspiring students to compete these Entrance Examinations they get inclined towards joining certain coaching institutes for preparation of their competitive exams. At this juncture, both the students and parents both get attracted to some premium coaching institutes. These institutes charge the coaching fees in advance for the entire course. For the admission purpose, the parents do not get a chance to negotiate on the prescribed fees and the mode of payment.

Since the students have to pay the full amount of fees during the admission, they feel trapped in case they don’t feel comfortable or happy with the teaching methods or teacher’s attitude/behavior after sometime. Some students quit in the middle of the course and their proportionate fees do not get refunded due to certain terms and conditions they would have signed during the admission process.

As per the law of Hon’ble National Commission, the claimants definitely are entitled for a refund of their fees. If the refund is denied by the institute, it would be termed as an ‘Unfair Trade Practice’ and this has to be certainly stopped by exercising a moral responsibility. There have been several cases noted recently. The Chandigarh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has also disposed off three such cases ordering the institutes to refund the fees to the claimants.

If you are facing any similar issue with your coaching institute, please feel free to contact us on Power to Consumer for seeking any help or guidance.

Photo by Igor Rodrigues on Unsplash

rights as a railway consumer

Rights as a Railway Service consumer.

The Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi has observed in and said – “In our view, after purchasing a railway ticket, a passenger would be a consumer as he avails the services of the Railways, including the use of platform, foot path, over bridges for ingress to and egress from train and, if there is any deficiency in services which causes injury, then such a person is entitled to file a complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.”

The major that came out from the previously mentioned Revision Petition in front of the Hon’ble NCDRC was – If a passenger after de-boarding the train, while passing over the railway foot-over-bridge (FOB) is injured because of the collapse of the bridge, is he entitled to file a complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986?

Facts of the Case :-

In one of the case, a couple met with an accident in the year 1992 when they were returning home from Ghatkopar to Jogeshwari via Dadar by train. After getting down from the train at Jogeshwari Station, at about 8.30 PM, when they were passing over the Railway foot over bridge to reach Jogeshwari (East), suddenly one slab of the bridge collapsed. As a result, the couple, along with several other passengers, fell on the railway track resulting in severe injuries. At the point of time, it was raining heavily which made the matter worse and some passengers even died due to this collapse.

The couple were admitted in the Cooper Hospital in an unconscious condition and unfortunately the lady also got robbed before getting admitted into the hospital. She was under treatment for a couple of months and thereafter, was shifted to Nanavati Hospital.

She was an MTNL employee and was not able to make it to work due to hospitalization and was required to take medical leave for the period. Due to this incidence, unfortunately she became handicapped and disabled and it was also certified by the Medical Officer, Cooper Hospital, Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay that she suffered with multiple injuries.

Due to this incidence the injured lady approached the District Forum, Mumbai Suburban District, by filing a complaint and the complaint got dismissed on the basis of opinion of the  majority. However, one Member passed a specific order that the complainant was entitled to receive a compensation of Rs.2,50,000/- with interest at the rate of 9% p.a. from the date of the accident till realization, along with Rs.3000/- as additional cost. There was also an appeal made in the State Commission, Maharashtra which also got dismissed solely on the ground of jurisdiction bar by referring to Section 124A of the Railways Act, 1989 and Sections 13(1)(a) and 15 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987.

After elaborate discussion, the Hon’ble NCDRC passed a notice to review the case. Undisputedly, that FOB is a part of the railway premise and is needs to be maintained well to avoid inconvenience to the passengers. It was also found later, the Railway property was not well maintained and negligence was the only cause for the collapse of the foot over bridge.

As per the Hon’ble Supreme court the NCDRC in this case, it is the responsibility of Railway to maintain platforms, footpaths, over bridges for ingress and egress of the passengers and all other passenger facilities and amenities and passengers are contributing towards it via purchasing journey tickets or platform tickets.

Further, NCDRC said – In our view, a railway passenger, who purchases a Railway ticket for traveling, would undoubtedly be a consumer as he pays for availing the services. For boarding and deboarding the train, the passengers are required to pass through the railway premises, i.e., the railway platform, over bridge, etc. In such circumstances, the facilities needs to be well maintained for giving a comfortable experience to the passengers.

The State Commission must not dismiss these cases and review its decisions. In this case, a compensation of Rs.2,50,000/- with interest of 9% p.a. from the date of the accident, i.e., 28.9.1992 till the date of realization, along with costs quantified at Rs.3,000/- was paid to the injured couple.

Photo by Atharva Tulsi on Unsplash

cheated by insurance provider

Your Bank’s Deposit is Insured to the tune of Rs.1,00,000/- by DICC

As per the law, all the banks in our country are registered with the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), a subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India. It was established in 1961 under Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961 for the purpose of providing insurance of deposits and guaranteeing of credit facilities. DICGC insures all bank deposits, such as savings, fixed, current, recurring deposits for up to a limit of INR 1,00,000/- of deposit in each bank.

The functions of the DICGC are governed by the provisions of ‘The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961’ (DICGC Act) and ‘The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation General Regulations, 1961’ framed by the Reserve Bank of India to exercise the power conferred by sub-section (3) of Section 50 of the Act. All commercial banks including branches of foreign banks functioning in India, local area banks and regional rural banks are insured by the DICGC.

Besides commercial banks, all the cooperative Banks of States, Central and Primary cooperative banks, are also called urban cooperative banks. They function in States/Union Territories which have amended the local Cooperative Societies Act. This empowers the Reserve Bank of India to order the Registrar of Cooperative Societies of the State/Union Territory to shut the operations of a cooperative bank. It can also supersede the management  committee asking the Registrar not to take any action regarding closure, amalgamation or reconstruction of a co-operative bank without prior approval in writing from RBI. At present all co-operative banks other than those from the State of Meghalaya and the Union Territories of Chandigarh, Lakshadweep and Dadra and Nagar Haveli are covered by the DICGC. Primary cooperative societies are not insured by the DICGC.

Insurance coverage: Earlier as per the provisions of Section 16(1) of the DICGC Act, the insurance cover was limited to INR 1500 for each person in the same capacity for all the branches a particular bank. However, the Act also empowers the Corporation to raise this limit with the prior approval of the Central Government. Accordingly, the insurance limit was enhanced from time to time. With effect from 1 May 1993, the limit has been extended of INR100000.

In the event of winding up or liquidation of an insured bank, every depositor of the bank is entitled to receive amount equal to his deposits in all the branches of that bank put together, standing as on the date of cancellation of registration (i.e. the date of cancellation of license or order of winding up or for liquidation) subject to the settlement off of his dues to the bank, if any (Section 16(1) and (3) of the DICGC Act). However, the payment to each depositor is subject to the limit of the insurance coverage fixed from time to time.

Under the provisions of Section 17(1) of the DICGC Act, the liquidating bank has to submit a list of people with the amount of their deposit to DICGC within three months. If the bank is merging with another bank, a similar list has to be submitted by the Chief Executive Officer of the Acquiring Bank within three months as per Section 18(1) of the DICGC Act.

The DICGC is required to pay back the deposits to each depositor within two months from when it receives the list of depositors. The time limit is however subject to all the information/documents being in order as required by the Corporation. For further details with regard to DICGC, readers may refer here.

The Vasantdada Shetkari Sahkari Bank, Maharashtra was ordered to shut down  because its banking license was cancelled by the Reserve Bank of India. There were several credit society’s depositors with over Rs.20 crore deposits filed their petitions before Hon’ble Bombay High Court for realization of their deposits.

A division bench of the Court, comprising Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Mahesh Sonak, while dismissing all petitions filed by credit societies exercised the rule of Rs.1 lakh which states – If a bank goes bust, its depositors will get up to maximum of Rs.1 lakh from the banking insurance system. The court further said that when a bank is ordered for closure, the Insurance indemnity scheme kicks in all depositors who have deposits of less than Rs.1 lakh and they are given the exact amount of their deposits, while all depositors who have more than Rs.1 lakh deposit will not get anything more than the limit.

If you are a depositor and need any help to get your deposit back within the limit of 1 lakh from the Banking Insurance Company, you may connect with our Award Winning Consumer Rights Adviser for free at www.powertoconsumer.in

doctors - service - providers

Allegation of Medical Negligence and your Rights.

The Hon’ble Apex Court and National Commission has laid out several guidelines with regard to the duty & obligation of medical practitioner towards the patients. The law requires fair and logical reasons to hold a medical practitioner responsible for mishandling a case.

To prove medical negligence, law requires expert’s opinion or any written guidelines on medical science to validate the processes. Since any allegation based on assumption can affect a medical practitioner’s career, the responsibility lies upon the complainant to prove the facts of any kind of negligence or incorrect treatment.

Consumer cases with allegations of medical negligence in absence of the evidence from the expert (s) can be dismissed by the Consumer Court.

If you or anyone you know is a victim of medical negligence, please reach out to us. We are here to support you in your cause. Connect with our Award Winning consumer rights adviser for free at www.powertoconsumer.in

adulteratedGoods

Spurious and Adulterated Goods – Your Rights as a Consumer

Sometimes we come across adulterated food items causing serious health issues and ailments and even death in some cases. We hardly want to take up the matter against the manufacturers/trader in the Court.

But do you know that as a consumer you are entitled to sue the manufacturer/trader in a Consumer Court seeking compensation for the incurred losses as well take the matter even to the Criminal Court.

In my experience so far, I have been approached by a couple of consumers. The first one had  purchased one of the most popular soft drink which had clearly visible dust particles. Upon further analysis done by the Public Analyst the item was declared as adulterated. The second case, in which the consumer had purchased a bottle of refined oil containing a dead lizard in it and hence was considered unfit for consumption.

This analysis was done on the advise of the Criminal Court and the Consumer Court and I had the opportunity to represent both the cases in these two Courts.

We must be aware about the laws and the next steps to take shelter against such manufacturers/traders besides seeking any Compensation in lieu of incurred losses. As per the law, the faulty manufacturers/traders can be subjected to penalizing/punishment/sentence to imprisonment, life imprisonment or even sentence to death.

We at Power to Consumer  feel it is our responsibility to spread awareness that the Consumers are empowered with the provisions of the Consumer Protection act, 1986 (also known as  COPRA). Under this act, the Consumers can be compensated adequately against their losses/injuries caused due to use of such spurious and adulterated food items. Not only this, the manufacturers/traders can be subjected to heavy punishment by the Criminal Court on the basis Consumer Court’s findings.

It also opens the door to look into the matter whether the Manufacturers/Traders have committed offence under the provision of Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 for causing any loss  due to consumption of adulterated food.

The food item is analysed by the Public Analyst to find if its adulterated or not under the jurisdiction u/s 13 (1) (c) of COPRA to send such goods for its Analysis by the Public Analyst. They are vested for the purpose under Section 12 of the Prevention of Food adulteration act, 1954.

Although the Consumer Court of India is responsible for hearing all matters within the scope of Consumer Law, but the analysis and judicial review of the adulteration of ingredients is very well within the jurisdiction of the Consumer Courts.

The consumer can file a complaint under Sec. 12 of COPRA seeking adequate compensation in lieu of incurred loss. The allegations against the manufacturer/trader has to be framed under COPRA. As per the Report of the Public Analyst, one can sue the manufacturer/trader in a competent criminal court demanding punishment for them under provisions of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash