Oriental Insurance made to pay claim amount

Settled in court item 1

Vasudev Dandanayak procured a mediclaim policy from Oriental Insurance Company for Rs. 2 lakh in August 2013. He had possessed a National Insurance Co. Ltd. policy during the previous two years. He was operated for cataract in both eyes and incurred expenses of Rs. 65,600. He submitted a claim to the third-party administrator (TPA).

Since Vasudev did not receive any response, he approached Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), Ahmedabad. Eventually, the TPA wrote back saying the claim was rejected. It had treated the policy as a fresh one. Hence, expenses on cataract treatment were not payable for two years. However, as per the rules on portability, he was entitled to the claim. A complaint was filed in the District Forum.


The Forum ruled in favour of the complainant and directed the insurance company to pay the claim amount to Vasudev with 9% interest and Rs. 5,000 towards compensation for mental harassment and litigation costs.

Point of law

As per the rules on portability, the new insurance company is bound to consider the number of years (if there is no break) of the previous policy as continuity. It cannot treat it as a new policy and apply conditions thereof.

Power firms liable for damages due to voltage fluctuations


Power supply undertakings are liable on grounds of deficiency in service to compensate consumers for their losses due to voltage fluctuations. In a landmark judgement, the National Commission had upheld the verdict of the state consumer court in 2003. The verdict directed the Haryana State Electricity Board to pay the consumer a compensation of Rs. 2,19,316 along with 12% interest. A steep surge in voltage had caused a short circuit and the fire had destroyed the medical supplies in the shop, a refrigerator and a television.

University bound to refund fees if student withdraws admission

Megha Gupta obtained admission in a B.Tech course at Mody University of Science and Technology in Rajasthan. After enrolling, she decided not to join the course, and requested for withdrawal of admission and refund of fees. However, the university did not refund the entire fee of Rs. 1.44 lakh and merely refunded the caution money. Distressed at this unfair trade practice, Megha filed a complaint.

When the dispute reached the National Commission, the university argued that the complaint was not maintainable before the consumer fora in view of the Supreme Court ruling that a student is not a consumer.

The National Commission rejected the university’s argument. It observed that the university had failed to produce any evidence to show that the seat given to Megha had remained vacant due to withdrawal of admission. In such cases, the guidelines of the University Grants Commission (UGC) provide for refund of fees.


Accordingly, the National Commission upheld Megha’s complaint and directed the university to refund Rs. 1.44 lakh within four weeks.

 Point of law

Colleges and universities render service and are covered under the Consumer Protection Act. They are bound to refund fees in accordance with UGC guidelines.


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