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Forum directs LIC to pay assured sum to nominee

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District Consumers’ Forum-1 in a verdict has directed the manager of local branch of LIC of India to pay the Jana Sri Bheema

Visakhapatnam: District Consumers’ Forum-1 in a verdict has directed the manager of local branch of LIC of India to pay the Jana Sri Bheema Yojana scheme amount with 9 per cent interest per annum from the date of lawyer’s notice till the date of realisation to the nominee B Lakshmi, wife of late Demudu of Sabbavaram in the district. It also asked the LIC manager to pay compensation of Rs 5,000 for causing mental agony and Rs 2,500 as legal expenses within two months. It dismissed the complaint against the first opposite party- Milk Producers and Employees Educational Health and Medical Welfare Trust, Sheelanagar.

As per the facts of the case, the Milk Producers and Employees Educational Health and Medical Welfare Trust is a nodal agency for Jana Sri Bheema Yojana and the complainant’s husband late B Demudu was the member of the Sabbavaram Primary Milk Producers’ Society. Demudu who used to supply milk to the society took the policy for the year 2007-2008 and paid his contribution through the trust for a policy of Rs 50,000. Demudu had mentioned the name of his wife Lakshmi as nominee and he died on December 2, 2007 in an accident and a case has been registered by the police.

Being the nominee, Lakshmi has submitted the claim along with necessary documents to the trust, which in turn forwarded it to the LIC branch on February 19, 2008 requesting to settle the claim. Vexed with the apathy of the LIC, the nominee has finally issued a registered notice on January 2, 2010 but the LIC neither gave a reply nor take any positive action. She filed a complaint with the Forum-1. In a counter filed, the LIC officials denied the allegations and mentioned that they were not aware of the identity of the deceased except the nodal agency Milk Producers’ Trust. Further, it said that Demudu, being an employee of Dock Labour Board (DLB) was not eligible to be covered under the scheme and it was meant for only for Below Poverty Line people. The information was already passed on to the Trust, it added. As such, the claim was rejected, it added. Both parties filed evidence affidavits.

Forum-1 President H Ananda Rao and Member K V R Maheswari after perusing the entire case record observed that Lakshmi, being the nominee when submitted the claim form, local branch of the LIC has neither settled the claim nor repudiated it which clearly shows deficiency in service. Referring to the claim of the LIC that Demudu, being the employee of the DLB, he was not eligible for the scheme, the Forum said that no document was filed in support of its claim. “Similarly, it further failed to exhibit necessary proof to support its claim that it has sent a message to the Trust that Demudu was not eligible for the scheme and hence the judgment,” it added.

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