At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE AJIT BHARIHOKE
By, PRESIDING MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE DR. S.M. KANTIKAR
For the Petitioner: Himanshu Jawa, Advocate. For the Respondents: -----
Ajit Bharihoke, Presiding Member (Oral)
1. This revision petition is directed against the order of the State Commission, Haryana dated 24-11-2015 whereby the State Commission allowed the appeal preferred by opposite party-insurance company, set aside the order of the District Forum and dismissed the complaint.
2. Briefly put the facts relevant for the disposal of the revision petition are that Shri Pawan Kumar (since deceased) son of the complainant/petitioner on 13-11-2013 submitted a proposal form for purchasing a life insurance policy for Rs.9,00,000/- from the respondent-insurance company. Along with the proposal form he paid premium installment of Rs.20,365/-. Shri Pawan Kumar died on 16-11-2013. The petitioner-complainant filed the insurance claim which was repudiated on the ground that no insurance contract came into being because the proposer Shri Pawan Kumar died before the acceptance of the insurance proposal. Being aggrieved of the repudiation of the insurance claim the petitioner raised a consumer dispute by approaching the District Forum, Panipat.
3. The District Forum on consideration of the pleadings of the parties and the evidence allowed the insurance claim and directed the respondent-opposite party as under:
'In view of above discussion, the present complaint succeeds. We hereby allow the present complaint with a direction to opposite parties to pay Rs.9,00,000/- to the complainant with interest @9% per annum from the date of filing the complaint till its realization. Cost of litigation quantified at Rs.2,200/- is also allowed to be paid by opposite parties to the complainant. This order shall be complied within 30 days from the announcement of this order. File be consigned to record after due compliance.'
4. Being aggrieved of the order of the District Forum the opposite party-insurance company approached the State Commission, Haryana in appeal. The State Commission on consideration of record and the submissions made by the parties came to the conclusion that the proposer died within three days of the submission of proposal form on 16-11-2013 before the acceptance of insurance proposal by the competent authority of the opposite party. Thus, no concluded insurance contract came into being. The State Commission, therefore, relying upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in the matter of Life Insurance Corporation of India Vs. Raja Vasireddy Komalavalli Kamba & Ors, (1984) 2 SCC 719 as also the judgment of the National Commission in the matter of Kona Mohan Rao Vs. New India Assurance Ltd., 2015 (2) CPR 393 (NC), allowed the appeal, set aside the order of the District Forum and dismissed the complaint. Being aggrieved of the order of the State Commission the petitioner has filed the instant revision petition.
5. Learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the order of the State Commission is not sustainable as it is based on incorrect appreciation of the facts. It is argued that the State Commission has failed to appreciate that the petitioner-opposite party had issued the payment acknowledgment in favour of the proposer, Shri Pawan Kumar mentioning the date and time as 30-11-2013, 3:47 P.M. as also the policy No.895867745. It is contended that from the aforesaid acknowledgement it transpires that on 13-11-2013 itself the insurance proposal was accepted and the policy was issued and the number was communicated to the proposer. Learned counsel has also drawn our attention to a communication dated 26-11-2013 issued by the opposite party to the complainant wherein the opposite party had apologized for inconvenience caused to the proposer on account of their failure to update the status of his proposal form/policy.
6. We have carefully considered the record and the submission made on behalf of the complainant. We do not find merit in the above contention. Admittedly, the proposal form along with insurance premium was submitted by late Shri Pawan Kumar on 13-11-2013. It is highly improbable that on the same day it might have been put up before the concerned authority for consideration and acceptance. It is not clear from the payment acknowledgment as to on which date it was issued, in particular whether the payment acknowledgment was issued before or after the death of Shri Pawan Kumar. However, the letter dated 26-11-2013 referred to by the counsel for the petitioner clarify the situation which reads as under:
'Mr. Pawan Kumar
Dear Mr. Pawan Kumar
Subject: Delay in processing of proposal No.895867745
Greetings from Max Life Insurance Company!
We feel delighted to have you as our valuable customer and wish you good health and prosperity.
We are keen to process your proposal at the earliest. However, due to some technical problem, there has been a slight deferral in processing.
We will be resolving the same as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience caused and would keep you updated on the status of your policy.
We value you patronage and would like to assure you that your decision to take Life Insurance Policies with us is a prudent one. We look forward to a long lasting and mutually rewarding relationship with you.
We once again take this opportunity to share with you our vision of being the 'Most Admired Life Insurance Company in India.'
We look forward to serving you……….for life.'
On reading of the above, it is clear that vide this letter the insurance company had informed the proposer Shri Pawan Kumar regarding the delay in processing of the insurance proposal due to some technical problem and apologize for the same. This implies that till 26-11-2013 the insurance proposal submitted by late Shri Pawan Kumar was not accepted. That being the case on the date of death o
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f Pawan Kumar i.e. 16-11-2013 there was no concluded insurance contract in existence, therefore, in our considered opinion the State Commission has not committed any irregularity in accepting the appeal on the basis of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in the matter of Life Insurance Corporation of India Vs. Raja Vasireddy Komalavalli Kamba & Ors. (supra). 7. In view of the discussion above, the petitioner has failed to show any jurisdictional error or material irregularity in the impugned order of the State Commission which may call for interference and exercise of the revisional jurisdiction. The revision petition is, therefore, dismissed.