Case nº Revision Petition Nos. 2481-2482 of 2013 of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, May 21, 2014 (case United India Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs Sheela)

JudgeFor Appellant: V.S. Chopra, Advocate and For Respondents: Raji Joseph and B.S. Sharma, Advocates
PresidentJ.M. Malik, J. (Presiding Member) and Dr. S.M. Kantikar, Member
Resolution DateMay 21, 2014
Issuing OrganizationNational Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission


Dr. S.M. Kantikar, Member

  1. The Petitioner has filed the present Revision Petition under Section 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 being aggrieved by the order dated 6.2.2013, passed by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (in short, 'State Commission'), whereby the State Commission allowed the First Appeal Nos. 24/12 and 25/12 which was filed against the order of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (in short, 'District Forum'). The complainant, Smt. Sheela, the wife of deceased Kalleppilly Sasidharan along with her two sons and a daughter, filed a complaint before the District Forum alleging deficiency in service by the United India Insurance Company, Thrissur, the OP/Petitioner, who had repudiated the death claim under the Personal Accident Policy. The claim was repudiated contending that the deceased committed suicide, it was not accidental and that he was under influence of alcohol i.e. intoxicated, at the time of his death, on 17.1.2014.

  2. The District Forum dismissed the complaint, but the State Commission allowed the appeal and directed the OPs to pay Rs. 5,00,000 being the policy claim, Rs. 2,500 under Clause 1(g) of the policy, Rs. 10,000 under Clause (h)(b) of policy by 3rd and 4th opposite parties and Rs. 25,000 as compensation and all the benefits under the policy.

  3. Aggrieved by the order of State Commission, the petitioner preferred this Revision Petition.

  4. We have heard Counsel for both the parties. The Counsel for the complainants vehemently argued that, it was an accidental death, the deceased has not consumed alcohol. The Counsel for the OP centered his argument on the Chemical analysis repot from Chemical Examiners' Laboratory, Ernakulum (Annexure P-11). He further submitted that, as per MV Act, Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) more than 30mg/100ml of blood is intoxication. The BAC of deceased was very high, at 220mg/100 ml of blood; hence, he was severely intoxicated. The Counsel for OP prayed for opinion from AIIMS, if necessary. Hence, the repudiation was correct and prayed to set aside the order of State Commission.

  5. We have perused the evidence on record, the Chemical Analysis report, Post-Mortem report, Personal Accident Policy conditions and the investigation report issued by Mr. George Thattil (Insurance Investigator). The main crux in this case is, "whether, the cause of death is due to Drowning or by Alcohol Intoxication?." The post-mortem report (Annexure 8) clearly...

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