Smt. Sulakshna Versus Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. & Anr.

Smt. Sulakshna Versus Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. & Anr.

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


NON­REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  6731 OF 2022
Smt. Sulakshna             ...Appellant(s)
Versus
Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. & Anr.    …Respondent(s)
J U D G M E N T
M.R. SHAH, J.
1. Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   impugned
judgment   and   order   dated   04.02.2016   passed   by   the
National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New
Delhi (hereinafter referred to as the National Commission)
in   Revision   Petition   No.   2675   of   2015,   the   original
complainant has preferred the present appeal.    
2. There was an agreement between respondent No. 1 and
respondent No. 2 herein regarding issuance of insurance
cover. It was a group insurance. That a sum of Rs. 4,000/­
was deposited with respondent No. 2 towards premium on
31.12.2006. Respondent No. 2 issued a cover note on the
very   day   i.e.,   31.12.2006.   The   husband   of   original
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complainant   died   on   17.02.2007   in   a   road   accident.
However, it appears that respondent No. 1 – insurance
company issued policies for the period from 09.03.2007 to
08.02.2008 on the ground that respondent No. 2 credited
the   amount   of   premium   on   09.03.2007.     Therefore,
respondent No. 1 – insurance company refused to pay the
amount   and  refused   to  settle   the  claim.  Therefore,  the
complainant filed Complaint Case No. 132/10 before the
District   Consumer   Disputes   Redressal   Forum,   Rohtak
(hereinafter referred to as the District Forum). In the said
complaint, a statement was made on behalf of the counsel
appearing for respondent No. 1 – insurance company that
they will settle the claim of complainant within time period
of   one   month   if   the   complainant   submits   required
document to the company. Accordingly, the District Forum
disposed   of   the   said   complaint   vide   order   dated
14.10.2010. However, thereafter, the claim was not settled
and therefore, the appellant herein – original complainant
again approached the District Forum being Complaint No.
278.   By   order   dated   13.01.2015,   the   District   Forum
allowed the said complaint and directed respondent No. 1
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to   pay   the   sum   insured   in   the   respective   policies
amounting to  Rs. 2,50,000/­ and  Rs. 2,00,000/­ along
with interest @ 9% per annum. 
2.1 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the order passed by
the District Forum allowing the complaint, respondent No.
1 – insurance company preferred the appeal before the
State   Consumer   Disputes   Redressal   Commission
(hereinafter referred to as the State  Commission) being
First   Appeal   No.   169   of   2015.   The   State   Commission
dismissed the said appeal. Thereafter, respondent No. 1
preferred revision petition before the National Consumer
Disputes   Redressal   Commission.   By   the   impugned
judgment and order, the National Commission has allowed
the said revision petition preferred by respondent No. 1
herein and set aside the order(s) passed by the District
Forum and State Commission, which has given rise to the
present appeal at the instance of the original complainant.
3. Having heard learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
respective parties at length and having gone through the
judgment and order(s) passed by the District Forum, State
Commission and National Commission and the relevant
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material on record and the certificate dated 01.12.2005
issued   by   the   Divisional   Manager,   it   can   be   seen   that
respondent   No.   2   herein   was   authorised   to   accept   the
premium   for   and   on   behalf   of   respondent   No.   1   –
insurance company. Thereafter, it was for respondent No.
2 to recover the amount of premium for and on behalf of
respondent No. 1 – insurance company and was required
to   remit   the   same   to   respondent   No.   1   –   insurance
company and the policy was required to be issued by the
insurance   company.   It   is   the   case   on   behalf   of   the
complainant that the deceased husband paid the amount
of   premium   of   Rs.   4,000/­   with   respondent   No.   2   on
31.12.2006   and   therefore   the   insurance   cover   would
commence from the completion of the fifteen (15) days of
payment of premium. It may be true that respondent No. 2
might   have   remitted   the   premium   with   the   insurance
company belatedly. However, for the same insured cannot
be made to suffer. Under the circumstances, the insured
shall be entitled to the amount insured under the policies
for which the amount of premium was already paid prior to
the death of the insured. Under the circumstances, the
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National Commission has committed a very serious error
in   allowing   the   revision   petition   and   setting   aside   the
orders passed by the District Forum as well as the State
Commission. The impugned judgment and order passed by
the National Commission is unsustainable. 
4. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, the
present   appeal   succeeds.   The   impugned   judgment   and
order   passed   by   the   National   Consumer   Disputes
Redressal Commission in  Revision  Petition  No. 2675  of
2015 is hereby quashed and set aside. The order passed
by the District Forum confirmed by the State Commission
is hereby restored. The appellant shall be entitled to the
claim amount under the policies along with the interest as
ordered by the District Forum to be deposited within a
period of eight weeks from today. The present appeal is
accordingly allowed. No costs.     
………………………………….J.
[M.R. SHAH]
NEW DELHI; ………………………………….J.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 [KRISHNA MURARI]
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