An aggrieved policyholder can approach a consumer court for any relief, he said, adding that the policy has been approved by the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA).
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed an NGO’s plea seeking recall of LIC’s Jeevan Saral policy on the grounds that it is allegedly faulty, misleading and designed in an arbitrary manner that is resulting in “mass cheating” of policyholders. Dismissing the matter on technical grounds, a bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that the matter cannot be filed in the form of a PIL by Moneylife Foundation, an NGO, which is an unaffected party under Article 32 of the Constitution that deals with a citizen’s legal options for getting his fundamental rights protected.
Solicitor-general Tushar Mehta, on behalf of LIC, argued that no unilateral decisions can be taken on the issue as six lakh policyholders would get affected. An aggrieved policyholder can approach a consumer court for any relief, he said, adding that the policy has been approved by the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA).
Senior advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for the NGO, had sought an immediate recall of the Jeevan Saral Policy on the grounds that the policyholders were misled and cheated. Datar said policyholders get less than half of what they pay as premium for 10 or more years. The petition said that the IRDA has remained a mute spectator to “mass cheating by LIC”.
The policy gives negative returns in the higher age group although the person would have purchased the policy for investment purposes, the NGO said, seeking a direction to LIC and IRDA to amend the policy and return of the premium of the policyholders with 8% interest. According to the petition, the policy’s proposal form did not have any provision to mention the lower maturity sum assured. It only talked of a higher death benefit. The maturity benefit was not printed in policy documents, it said.