Feb.19: SETTLED IN COURT
- Posted by CERC India
- Posted in FEBRUARY
Death due to mosquito bite is an accident: NCDRC
When Debasish Bhattacharjee took a home loan from Bank of Baroda, he also got an insurance policy issued by National Insurance Company Ltd. In case of an accidental death, the sum assured was Rs. 13.15 lakh. Debasish contracted malaria in Mozambique in 2012 and passed away. The insurer turned down his wife Mousumiâ€™s claim on the grounds that malaria was a disease and not an accident.
She filed a complaint with the District Forum which ruled in her favour. The insurer appealed to the State Commission. The appealed was rejected so the insurer approached the National Commission.
In a path-breaking judgement, the National Commission upheld both the judgements of the lower fora and observed that the policy does not define the term â€œaccidentâ€. It referred to the definitions of accident given in various dictionaries and came to the conclusion that, â€œAn accident is something that happens unexpectedly and is not planned in advance and causes injuryâ€.
The Commission observed: â€œNo one can predict about a mosquito bite and it can happen anywhere and anytime, like an accident. It relied upon an earlier judgement where it was held that snake bite, dog bite and frost bite were accidents. The insurance company was told to honour the claim.
Point of law
A mosquito bite can happen anywhere anytime like an accident. Hence accidental death insurance is applicable.
[Source: The order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi dated 12 May 2016 on Revision Petition No. 1270/2016]
Builder cannot sellÂ basement to third party
Kapil Vastu Enterprises, run by Kapil Sharma and his family, constructed a building in Thane. The builder did not obtain the completion or occupancy certificate, did not register the society and did not provide parking. Moreover, he tried to sell the basement illegally to a third party. The housing society, formed by the 19 members, had many other complaints against the builder. The society filed a complaint in the District Forum. It ruled in favour of the society.
The builder appealed to the State Commission. His contention was that a class action suit required permission. Also, the complaint was time barred. The State Commission overruled both the objections.Â It said that a joint complaint by aggrieved members did not require permission.
The Commission said that the basement comes under â€˜common area and facilitiesâ€™, as per the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act (MOFA), and it belongs to the society. The builder had no right to sell it. It upheld the Forumâ€™s order and directed the builder to hand overÂ the basement in 30 days and to pay Rs. 200 compensation for each dayâ€™s delay.
Point of law
A basement belongs to the housing society concerned and cannot be sold by the builder toÂ a third party.
[Source: The order of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Maharashtra, Mumbai dated 11 July 2018 on Appeal No. A/15/890]