COMPLAINT FILED: 28.01.2009 BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM AT BANGALORE (URBAN) 08th APRIL 2009 PRESENT :- SRI. A.M. BENNUR PRESIDENT SMT. M. YASHODHAMMA MEMBER SRI. A. MUNIYAPPA MEMBER COMPLAINT NO. 235/2009
COMPLAINANT Sri. H.C. Abhishek, S/o. Sri. Chandrashekar, Aged about 29 years, R/o. No. 80, “Sai Kuteer” 4th Cross, Manjunatha Layout, Kodichikkanahalli, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore – 560 076. Advocate (S. Santhosh Shetty)
1. The Senior Divisional Manager, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Divisional Office -1, J.C. Road, Bangalore – 560 002.
2. The Branch Manager, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Sarakki Branch, Jeevana Soudha, 1st Floor, 1st Phase, J.P. Nagar, Bangalore – 560 078. Advocate (Saleela Bhat)
O R D E R
This is a complaint filed U/s. 12 of the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 by the complainant seeking direction to the Opposite Party (herein after called as O.P) to pay a sum of Rs.50,000/- towards the survival benefit and compensation along with litigation cost on an allegations of deficiency in service. The brief averments, as could be seen from the contents of the complaint, are as under: Complainant had taken two LIC policies bearing No. 720388424 dated 28.03.1994 for Rs.1,00,000/- maturity date being 28.03.2014 and another policy bearing No. 720388209 for a sum of Rs.50,000/- with a maturity date 28.03.2014. As per the terms and conditions of the said two policies OP’s are required to pay benefits of Rs.20,000/- and Rs.10,000/- with respect to the said two policies, but they failed to keep up their promise. Complainant made several correspondences intimating OP that he has not received the survival benefits as contemplated, but all his efforts went in vain. On repeated enquiry complainant was told that OP has already sent the said amount through cheques to his address, but those cheques are not received by him for the last 3 ½ years. The hostile attitude of the OP has caused him both mental agony and financial loss. Hence he felt the deficiency in service on the part of the OP. Under the circumstances he is advised to file this complaint and sought for the relief accordingly.
2. On appearance, OP filed the version denying all the allegations made by the complainant in toto. According to OP the complainant is in a habit of changing his residential address every now and then, hence there is a communication gap between the complainant and the OP. When OP came to know of the benefits accrued in favour of the complainant they had sent the two cheques for Rs.20,000/- and Rs.10,000/- dated 18.03.2004 to the given admitted address of the complainant, neither those cheques are returned nor they were encashed. So no fault lies with the OP. It is the complainant who kept mum for more than 3 years and then made correspondence for the first time on 20.09.2007, sought for issuance of fresh cheque. Thereafter also OP obliged to issue fresh cheques as prayed, that would have been the end of the matter. But complainant has come up with this false and frivolous complaint alleging that OP retained the said survival benefit for more than 3 years. The complaint is devoid of merits. There is no deficiency in service on the part of the OP. Hence they are not liable to pay the said compensation. Among these grounds, OP prayed for the dismissal of the complaint.
3. In order to substantiate the complaint averments, the complainant filed the affidavit evidence and produced the documents. OP has also filed the affidavit evidence. Then the arguments were heard.
4. In view of the above said facts, the points now that arise for our consideration in this complaint are as under: Point No. 1 :- Whether the complainant has proved the deficiency in service on the part of the OP? Point No. 2 :- If so, whether the complainant is entitled for the reliefs now claimed? Point No. 3 :- To what Order?
5. We have gone through the pleadings of the parties, both oral and documentary evidence and the arguments advanced. In view of the reasons given by us in the following paragraphs our findings on: Point No.1:- In Negative Point No.2:- Negative Point No.3:- As per final Order.
R E A S O N S
6. At the outset it is not at dispute that the complainant took two LIC policies the date of maturity being 28.03.2014. In the meantime he is entitled for the survival benefit as per the terms and conditions of the policy. The fact that complainant is entitled for the said benefit by 28.03.2004 to the tune of Rs.20,000/- plus Rs.10,000/- is also not at dispute. Now the grievance of the complainant is that though he is entitled for the said benefits by the end of 28.03.2004, OP failed to send the said cheques with respect to the said benefits right up to 20.09.2007 and retained the said huge amount for more than 3 ½ years without any substantial reason or cause. Hence he felt the deficiency in service.
7. The fact that subsequent to 20.09.2007 OP paid the said amount to the tune of Rs.30,000/- to the complainant is not at dispute. The defence set out by the OP is that complainant used to change his residential address every now and then, hence there is some communication gap. After they came to know that complainant is entitled for the survival benefit by 28.03.2004, they did sent the two cheques to the given admitted address of the complainant. Neither those cheques were returned nor they are encashed. Hence no fault lies with the OP. We find substance in the defence set out by the OP. To corroborate their say OP has produced the copies of the letter addressed to the complainant, wherein there letter dated 27.02.2004 shows they have sent the post dated cheque on 28.03.2004 towards the survival benefit. The address mentioned in the said letters sent to the complainant is the admitted address.
8. Complainant has not disputed the contents of the said letters including of address noted in the said letters. If complainant feels that those letters are concocted or forged he would have initiated the criminal action against the OP. But no such steps are taken. When the said letters written to the complainant with regard to sending of the cheques pertaining to survival benefit in the year 2004 itself, then we do not find any substance in the allegations of the complainant. It is purely a case of communication gap.
9. OP’s have contended that complainant allowed his father to deal with the said LIC polices and receipt of survival benefits, etc. This fact is not disputed by the complainant. Complainant has not filed the affidavit of his father to rebut the said contention of the OP. The fact that the complainant has changed his residential address frequently is also not at dispute. So having taken note of all these facts and circumstances, we do not find there is any intentional delay committed by the OP and there is no malafide intention. If the complainant is prompt in claiming his survival benefits by the end of 28.03.2004, why he kept mum for more than 3 years without making correspondence with the OP is not known. After the expiry on 28.03.2004 for the first time he wrote letter to OP on 20.09.2007, OP considered the claim of the complainant and issued the cheque for Rs.30,000/-, that would have been the end of the matter. Under such circumstances we find the complaint appears to be devoid of merits. There is no proof of deficiency in service.
The complainant is not entitled for the relief claimed. Accordingly we answer point nos.1 and 2 in negative and proceed to pass the following:
O R D E R The complaint is dismissed. In view of the nature of dispute no order as to costs.