NCDRC asks LIC to pay Rs 9.3 lakh to widow of policyholder

New Delhi, Nov 18 (PTI) The apex consumer commission has asked the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to pay Rs 9.3 lakh to the widow of a policyholder for repudiating their claims for concealing information about a previous treatment and hospitalisation.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) dismissed the review petition of LIC and upheld the Wardha district consumer forum's order directing to pay the claim amount to Ratna, wife of deceased Digambarrao Thakre.

LIC had repudiated two of Thakre's claims in 2003, saying he had suppressed information about treatment undergone for asthma prior to taking the policy.

However, the commission noted that there was no evidence that Thakre was suffering with any disease on the day the policies were issued to him and said that even if Thakre had such an illness earlier, he was healthy at the time when LIC had issued him the policies, therefore the contract cannot be vitiated on the grounds of suppression of facts.

'A contract of this nature cannot be termed bad and be terminated on ground of having obtained by fraud or can be declared as vitiated on facts which were not in existence on the day of contract,' NCDRC presiding member Deepa Sharma said.

NCDRC upheld the district forum's order which said that rejection of claim on the part of the insurance company amounted to deficiency in service.

Thakre had purchased three insurance policies from LIC in 2000. He died on March 13, 2003 after a short illness.

LIC rejected his claims on the ground that that he had concealed information about his previous treatment in 1999 when he was hospitalised after suffering from breathlessness.

His wife Ratna moved the district consumer forum which in the year 2005, allowed her complaint and asked LIC to pay the claim amount.

However, the insurance company challenged the order in the Maharashtra State Disputes Redressal Commission, which allowed its complaint and set aside the previous order.

The NCDRC has now set aside the state commission's order rejecting Thakre's claim and said it was untenable and perverse. PTI LLP IJT