August-19: Settled in Court

  • Posted by CERC India
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Postal dept told to pay up for delayed speed post   


Dr. Ravi Agarwal sent an application through speed post on September 21, 2012 for the position of assistant professor. It was delayed in transit and delivered on September 28. Since the last date for receipt was September 27, Agarwal’s application was rejected.

Agarwal filed a complaint before the Jaipur District Forum, which held the postal department negligent and ordered it to pay compensation of Rs. 10 lakh – Rs. 5 lakh to the complainant and Rs. 5 lakh to be deposited in the Rajasthan State Consumer Welfare Fund. The postal department challenged the order before the Rajasthan State Commission, which reduced the compensation to Rs. 50,000. Both Agarwal and the postal department approached the National Commission.

The postal authorities argued that no liability could be imposed on it as per section 6 of the Indian Post Office Act.

The National Commission observed that immunity given under section 6 is not applicable to speed post articles as the government has undertaken express liability to ensure delivery within a specific time frame.


The National Commission considered the compensation of Rs. 50,000 and costs of Rs. 10,000 as reasonable. It upheld the state commission’s order and dismissed the revision petitions. 

Point of Law

The postal department is liable to pay compensation if there is any deficiency in service related to speed post

[Source: The order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi, dated 13 February 2019 on Revision Petition No. 2979 of 2017]

Woman gets Rs. 1.9L mediclaim for ‘alternative therapy’

Sushila Arya underwent ‘sequential programmed magnetic field’ (SPMF), a noninvasive osteoarthritis treatment on both knees. The treatment, which was taken on OPD basis at SBF Healthcare Centre, cost Rs. 1,31,030. She had a mediclaim policy with ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd. and submitted a claim.

However, the insurance company rejected the claim on the grounds that the treatment was not done under hospitalization. It contended that as per policy terms only claims related to hospitalization for a minimum period of 24 hours are admissible.

However, the complainant’s advocate argued that in the case of kidney dialysis, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and eye surgery, though the patients are discharged the same day, claims are admissible.  Also, SPMF was a unique, painless, cheap and scientifically proven treatment which was an alternative to knee replacement surgery.


The forum observed that insured persons should not be made to suffer when advanced technology and specialized infrastructural facilities help improve the patient’s quality of life, save time and eliminate unnecessary hospitalization. Insurance companies should think of the interests of consumers while drafting policy terms and conditions.

It directed the insurance company to settle the full claim of Rs. 1,31,030 with 9% interest. In addition it would have to pay Rs. 10,000 to the complainant as compensation for mental agony and Rs. 5,000 towards litigation expenses.

Point of Law

Consumers should not suffer due to rigid, unreasonable and absurd clauses in insurance policies

[Source: The order of the South Mumbai District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Mumbai dated 14 January 2019 on Complaint No. CC/298/2014] 

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