New Delhi: The apex consumer commission has asked an insurance company to pay over Rs one crore to the kin of a man who died in 2007, rejecting its contention that the death was a suicide and did not attract the claim. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), presided over by Justice J M Malik, asked the Oriental Insurance Company to pay Rs one crore and a compensation of Rs 50,000 to the wife and two minor daughters of Anil Kumar Malik, whose dead body was found lying near a railway track in West Delhi in 2007.
The commission passed the order while rejecting the firm’s contention that the death was unnatural and did not call for insurance, noting that “due to lack of evidence, the factum of suicide hardly stands proved.” “We have perused the viscera report and the two inquest reports. There is no inkling that suicide was committed. The opposite party (firm) has failed to prove its case. The case of the complainant (Anil’s family) stands proved. “We hereby direct the opposite party – insurance company to pay to the complainant no 1 (Anil’s wife), on behalf of all the complainants (Anil’s wife and two minor daughters), a sum of Rs 1 crore… We also award compensation and litigation costs, in the sum of Rs 50,000,” the NCDRC said.
According to the complaint, the dead body of Anil, who was working as a Development Officer with the Life Insurance Corporation of India Limited, was found lying on the railway track near Brar Square in West Delhi in February 2007. He had obtained a policy of Rs one crore from the Oriental Insurance Company Ltd, the complaint said. The firm asked the complainant to submit the viscera report which was the prerogative of police and was lying within their domain. In September 2009, the company closed the case for ‘Non-submission of Viscera Report’, it said.
The complainant later obtained a copy of the viscera report from police and handed it over to the firm which even then did not take any action, following which a complaint was filed by his family members seeking a claim of Rs one crore, the complaint said. The firm contended before the commission that Anil’s death clearly suggested that it was a case of suicide. It also claimed that the complainants did not cooperate with it in furnishing the requisite documents to enable it investigate their claim. PTI
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