Bhumikaben N. Modi vs Life Insurance Corporation 2024 INSC 395 – NCDRC – Revision -Ex Gratia

Consumer Protection Act, 1986; Section 21 – NCDRC’s revisional powers are very limited. The Section provides power to call for the records from the State Commission and to set aside its order issued sans jurisdiction vested in it by law or if the State Commission failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested or if the State Commission has acted in exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity – Referred to Kongaraananthram v. Telecom Distt. Engineer 1990 SCC OnLine NCDRC 24. (Para 10)

Words and Phrases – Ex gratia- An act of gratis and it got no connection with the liability of the State under law and the very nature of the relief and its dispensation by the State could not be governed by directions in the nature of mandamus unless, of course, there is an apparent discrimination in the manner of grant of such relief -Sudesh Dogra v. Union of India (2014) 6 SCC 486. (Para 11-12)

Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956- Before the year 1956, life insurance business was in the hands of private companies which were operating mostly in urban areas. The avowed objects and reasons of the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956 would reveal that the main object and reason is to ensure absolute security to the policy-holder in the matter of his life insurance protection. (Para 28)

Summary: A man submitted a proposal form for LIC policy.- After his death, a claim was raised before LIC which was repudiated on the ground that proposal submitted by the deceased was not accepted. 1997-2010: Consumer complaint filed before District Forum- District Forum allows complaint-SCDRC dismisses LIC’s appeal- NCDRC allows LIC’s Revision Petition setting aside the SCDRC/District Forum orders (however directs ex-gratia payment of 1L) 2011-2024: SLP filed before #SupremeCourt – SC sets aside NCDRC order .

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