Murder victim's kin can claim benefits: SC

 
While deciding the claim of a woman and her children the insurance benefits, a bench of NCDRC president Justice Ashok Bhan and B K Taimni, “…this question has already been settled by three-member bench of this Commission in the case of “Maya Devi Vs LIC in which it is held that even-though the ‘murder’ being a accident or otherwise, would be seen in the facts and circumstances of each case and went on to hold.

“Even in case where there is a criminal background of the assured, it would be difficult to hold that his murder was not accidental unless he has taken up the quarrel and that the immediate cause of injury was deliberate and willful act of the insured himself,” said the ruling that directed the LIC to release the money. The Commission said it is the responsibility of the insurance company to get the information about the antecedents of the insured.

For its lapse, the relatives of a victim should not be barred from getting the benefits, observed the Commission. “Fault, if any, is that of the Agent and constructively, of that of the Insurance Company, whose Agent he was.’’

The LIC had refused to release the claim money to Daya Rani and her three children, saying that the insurer Gulbir Singh had suppressed his criminal antecedents. Singh, a native of Aligarh district in UP, had purchased three insurance policies for 3 lakhs in February 1990 and had paid up the insurance premium regularly. He was murdered on October 5, 1990. The Commission justified the claim of the relatives of the victims saying that there was no such allegation that it was Singh who took-up the quarrel and got murdered.

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