Legal heirs of a LIC policyholder have no right to receive the policy details if they are not declared as nominees in the plan, according to a recent order of the Central Information Commission (CIC).
Seeking details of the nominees and policies held by his late father, the appellant filed an appeal under the Right to Information Act, 2005 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Life Information Corporation of India (LIC), Chattisgarh. The appellant had asked who the nominees of two policies held by his father were and how much sum insured was provided to them.
The CPIO, however, denied the information. Not satisfied with the order, the appellant filed a first appeal (FAA) dated 18-11-2020, requesting the information should be provided to him. Through an order dated 15-12-2020, the FAA held the CPIO’s reply. Following this, the appellant filed a second appeal before the Commission on the ground that the information was not provided to him.
What the CIC said
During the hearing, LIC’s CPIO said they had denied the requested information to the appellant “as disclosure of which would affect the commercial interest of third party and the same is exempted under section 8 (1) (d) of RTI Act, 2005.”
In the order dated 21st September 2022 (Wednesday), the CIC observed that the appellant “is neither the policy holder nor the beneficiary of the said policies. Therefore, the benefits of the policies can only be provided either to the policyholder or the beneficiary (nominee) as indicated in the policy.”
According to the order, being a legal heir doesn’t give the appellant the right to receive the requested information.
“The Commission observes that just because the appellant is the legal heir of his deceased father does not give him the right to receive the requested information. Hence, the legal heirs do not have any right to receive the policy-related details. In view of this, the Commission is of the opinion that the desired information has rightly been denied by the respondent under relevant provisions of the RTI Act, 2005 vide their letter dated 28.10.2020 and the same is being upheld by the Commission,” the CIC said in its order while disposing of the matter.