Insurer ordered to pay up full claim amount in accident case


Ahmedabad-based Kirti Kumar Shah had taken a Personal Accident insurance policy from New India Assurance Co. Ltd. During the validity period, on 4 November 2011, he met with an accident while riding a motorcycle to Veraval. He suffered a fracture of the right foot and underwent initial treatment in Veraval. The treatment continued in an Ahmedabad hospital. Shah was totally bed-ridden for over two months. His employer granted him 72 days of leave. After recovery the complainant submitted a claim of Rs. 40,879. The claim included Temporary Total Disablement (TTD) compensation for ten weeks as Shah had been immobilised for that duration. The medical expenses amounted to Rs. 10,879.

Without giving any reason, and not even informing the complainant, the insurer transferred Rs. 12,600 to his bank account on 8 February 2012. The claim for the remaining amount of Rs. 28,279 was rejected. The company had given TTD for only three weeks. Aggrieved by the arbitrary deduction, Shah wrote to the insurance company twice but to no avail. Shah contacted CERS and a complaint was filed in the Consumer Forum.

In its order dated 29 November 2014, the Forum ruled in favour of the complainant. It directed the insurance company to give the amount of Rs. 28,279 with interest of 9% from 8 February 2012. The company also had to pay Rs. 5,000 as compensation for mental agony caused and towards costs.

College brochure terms can’t violate UGC notice on fee refund


Devendra Prasad, a resident of Bihar, got his son admitted to Shanmuga Arts, Science Technology and Research Academy (SASTRA) in Tamil Nadu in 2010 paying Rs. 62,000. Subsequently, his son received a call for admission counselling in Bihar. Prasad withdrew his son from SASTRA and requested the university to return the original certificates and refund the fees. It refused to oblige. Prasad filed a complaint before the Consumer Forum. The Forum ruled in his favour and directed the university to return the documents and refund 50% of the fees.

The university appealed to the Tamil Nadu State Commission which upheld the Forum’s decision. SASTRA filed a revision petition before the National Commission. Its contention was that as per the admission brochure of the university, cut-off date for refund of fees was 31 July 2010 and Prasad had made the request for refund after this date.

The court observed that according to a public notice dated 23 April 2007 issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC), educational institutions cannot retain the original documents of a student forcibly. Also, they should maintain a waiting list and if a student withdrew before the start of a course, the entire fee, after deduction of processing fee of not more than Rs. 1,000, should be refunded. If the student left after the course had begun, and the vacant seat had been filled, proportionate deductions of monthly fees and hostel rent could be made by the institution.

In its order dated 13 November 2014, the National Commission observed that there was no evidence that the seat vacated had remained unfilled during the academic year. It dismissed the revision petition and upheld the verdicts of the Forum and Commission.

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