July 18: SETTLED IN COURT
Postal department penalized for delay as students miss exam
Manoj Kumar and Vikas Mohali applied for the Delhi Judicial Service Examination. They sent their applications by speed post on 2 November 2015. The last date for receiving applications was 7 November. The applications were delivered to the Delhi High Court registrar late and the two law graduates could not take the competitive exam.
As per the postal department, the packets reached Delhi on November 6 but were opened only on November 7 and delivered on November 16 as November 9-13 were Diwali holidays. There was no explanation for why the packets were not opened and deliveredÂ the same day. The Forum had dismissed the complaint on the grounds that the packets could not be delivered in time on account of weekend holidays.
However, the State Commission took a different position. It observed that by speed post the packet should have reached Delhi on November 5 itself. Moreover, the delay in opening and delivering the packet showed laxity on the part of the postal department. It ordered the postal authorities to pay compensation of Rs. 25,000 each to the students for mental harassment and agony suffered due to their missing the opportunity to appear for the exam.The postal authorities appealed to the National Commission.
The National Commission observed that there was wilful default on the part of the postal department. It upheld the verdict of the State Commission.
Point of law
As per the citizenâ€™s charter, speed post should reach from state capital to state capital within 2 to 4 days.
[Source: The order of the National Consumer Disputes RedressalCommission, New Delhi dated 3 January 2018 on Revision petition no. 56 of 2017]
New India claims ‘heriditary disorder; ordered to pay up
Natwar Patel held a mediclaim policy with New India Assurance Co. Ltd. His son Chintan had to undergo laparoscopic surgery to treat a condition called haemolytic anaemia and spherocytosis. The expenses incurred came to Rs. 1,23,142. Natwar lodged a claim for Rs. 1 lakh. Imagine his shock when the TPA rejected the claim on the grounds that the condition was a hereditary disorder and not covered by the policy!
The treating doctor, Dr. Bhauman P. Maniyar, issued a certificate stating that the disease was not a congenital defect.The TPA did not reconsider the case. Distressed, Natwar approached Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS) and a case was filed before the Forum. CERS contended that only the spherocytosis component of the condition could be hereditary.
The Forum directed the company to pay Rs. 1,23,142 with 8% interest, Rs. 4,000 as compensation and Rs. 3,000 towards costs. The insurance company filed an appeal before the Gujarat State Commission.
The Commission observed that the company had not produced any evidence showing that at the time of taking the policy the complainant was aware that his son had the condition. So, the disease could not be said to be by birth and, hence, it could not be said to be a genetic disorder. The Commission dismissed the appeal and upheld the order of the Forum.
Point of law
An insurance company cannot reject a claim if at the time of taking the policy the patient is unaware of a hereditary disease.
[Source: The order of the Gujarat State Commission, Ahmedabad, dated 20 December 2017 on Appeal no. 14/2014]