September-19: Settled in court

IFFCO pays compensation to farmers for selling seeds with poor yield      


Haryana farmers Vinod Kumar and Vijay Kumar had purchased 180 kg of guar seeds from IFFCO subsidiary Indian Farm Forestry Development Cooperative (IFFDC) in 2012. They had been assured a yield of 8 to10 quintals per acre. However, ‘the crop was not up to the mark’ and inspection by the Agriculture Department found about 60-70% of the plants without any fruits.

The farmers approached their district consumer forum. IFFDC argued that there was no defect in their seeds and the complaint was dismissed. They appealed to the State Commission which awarded compensation of Rs. 1.2 lakh for loss of crop to Vinodkumar along with Rs. 21,000 and Rs. 11,000 for mental harassment and legal cost. Vijaykumar was given Rs. 30,000 for crop loss, Rs. 11000 for mental agony and Rs. 5500 for costs. The company made full payment of this to the farmers.

Dissatisfied that the State Commission did not award even the minimum price of the crop to them while assessing the compensation for the loss, the farmers appealed to the National Commission.


Agreeing with their complaint, the National Commission modified the order and hiked the compensation amount for crop loss. Vinodkumar was awarded Rs. 3.4 lakh for the loss of his crop and Vijaykumar with Rs. 1.02 lakh, the balance of which was payable within eight weeks or would carry 9% p.a. interest.

Point of Law

Farmers can claim compensation for lost crop in case seeds do not give the promised yield

[Source: The order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi, dated 17 May 2019 on Revision petitions Nos. 2815 and 2817 of 2018] 

United India Insurance company asked to pay mediclaim

Gopal Devpura had taken family mediclaim policy of Rs. 2 lakhs in 2010. His seven year old daughter took treatment for problems in both her eyes at the Baroda Children Eye Care and Squint Clinic in July and October 2016 costing Rs. 32653 and  Rs. 29583 respectively. United India Insurance Company and TPA MD India Health Insurance rejected his claim saying that treatment of ailments caused due to use of intoxicating material like drug or alcohol, obesity or intentional self-injury were not covered in the policy.

Devpura approached the Vadodara Consumer Forum seeking reimbursement of the medical cost. It was observed that the patient was a 7 year old girl who had taken eye treatment which was not proven to be caused by alcohol, drugs, obesity or other causes in the cited policy condition. 


The Forum observed that the insurance company had misinterpreted the conditions of the policy to not pay the money. It asked the companies to reimburse Rs 62,236 within two months along with 8% interest from date of claim and compensation of Rs 1,500 for mental harassment and Rs. 2,000 towards legal cost.

Point of Law

Insurance companies should refrain from citing absurd reasons to deny claims. They should be sensitive and not cite conditions like use of drugs and alcohol, obesity or intentional self-injury without evidence 

[Source: The order of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Vadodara dated 2 July 2019 on Consumer Case No.958/2017]

Did You Know                                                                                                                                                                                      

An insurance policy stands cancelled right from inception if policy premium payment cheque gets bounced/ dishonoured and payment is not realised by the insurance company. It was ordered by the National commission in a car accident case that any insurance claim under such policy is not payable. If premium was paid later, the policy would start afresh from the date of payment. 

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