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The visa card carried a personal accident cover, with risk coverage of Rs.4 lakhs.= even though the visa card was issued, however till declaration of assignment was not filled in, the deceased cannot be regarded as their customer. Therefore the question of payment of any amount does not arise. ? = it is clearly stated that the card issued only with personal accident benefit and he is entitled to the amount for an accident on road or in air travel. Therefore on reading the instruction under “Insurance benefit on you card” it cannot be said that the benefit commences only after filling of declaration of assignment. The evidence put before us do not show that such a condition was put forth by the opponent that the benefit under the card will not be available unless declaration cum undertaking was filled in.”

NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION

Standard Chartered global presence 2007

Standard Chartered global presence 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW DELHI

 

 

REVISION PETITION NO. 1902 OF 2011

(Against the order dated 16.09.2010 in  Appeal No.1297/2006 of the State Commission, Gujarat)

 

Standard Chartered Bank

5th Floor, Sakar -3,

Income Tax, Ashram Road

Ahmedabad                                                                                                                                             ……….Petitioner

 

Versus

Mr. Naran Bhai ShamjiBhai Bhandari

R/o Tarwade, TA Distt. Amreli,

Ahmedabad, Gujarat                                                                                                                                  …..Respondent

 

 

BEFORE

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE  J. M. MALIK,

                              PRESIDING MEMBER

HON’BLE MR. VINAY KUMAR, MEMBER

 

 

 

For the Petitioner                        :  Mr. Ateev K Mathur, Advocate

                                                       Mr. Ajay Monga, Advocate

                                                       Mr. Devmani Bansal, Advocate

For the Respondent                   :   Mr. Gunjan Malhotra, Advocate

                                                       Mr. Sahil Alvia, Advocate

PRONOUNCED ON: 10.12.2012.

 

ORDER

 

PER MR.VINAY KUMAR, MEMBER

The present revision petition is filed by Standard Chartered Bank, Ahemdabad against the original complainant Naran Bhai Shamjibhai Bhandari.  It is filed against concurrent orders of the Additional Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ahemdabad in Complaint No.824/2001 and the order of the State Commission, Gujarat in Appeal No.1297/2006.

 

2.      In filing the revision petition, there is  delay of 156 days, which is sought to be explained in an application for condonation, filed on behalf of the petitioner. The knowledge of the impugned order of 16.9.2010, came came to the petitioner on 22.9.2010, when he was admittedly informed about it by his counsel. However, it is claimed that the certified copy was received from the Commission on 30.12.2010.  The relevant paragraph reads:-

“That it is submitted that the Petitioner was informed about the passing of the impugned order by its counsel on 22.09.2010.  However, the copy of the order was not forwarded and the same were stated to have been applied.  The Petitioner continued to follow up with the counsel and requested to provide the certified copy of the order for filing the appeal/revision before this Hon’ble Commission.  Various mails were sent by the Petitioner in this regard.  Soft copy of the order was provided to the petitioner on 10.12.2010.  It may be noted that since the order was in vernacular, the Petitioner requested for English translation of the order.  Eventually, on 30.12.2010 the Petitioner received the certified copy of the order along with related papers of State Commission.  Vide email dated 18.02.2011 the Petitioner sent the mail to the under signed counsel to share their views.”

 

3.      The revision petition was filed in this Commission on 26.5.2011, which is nearly eight months from the date of knowledge as seen from the para cited above.  The application states that this time was spent in getting the documents translated from Gujarati language to Hindi, consultation with their counsel in Delhi and in obtaining necessary approvals.  We have also perused the copies of correspondence through E-mail, submitted with the application for delaycondonation.  All pertain to the period between 18.2.2011 and 23.5.2011.  This would clearly mean that between 22.9.2010 and 18.2.2011 i.e. for a period of nearly five months, no action was taken to ensure that the revision petition is filed within the permissible period of 90 days.  We therefore, hold that the delay of 156 days has not been sufficiently explained.   The revision petition is therefore, liable to be dismissed on the ground of delay alone.

 

4.      Coming to the merit, the case of the Complainant is that his son Rameshbhai had obtained a credit card from the OP/Bank valid for the period 1.10.2000 to 31.10.2002.  The visa card carried a personal accident cover, with risk coverage of Rs.4 lakhs.  Rameshbai was killed in car accident and therefore, the father/Complainant, as his legal heir, sought the benefit under the insurance cover.  Despite correspondence, the claim form was not given to him and therefore a consumer complaint was filed before the District Forum, claiming relief of Rs.4,95,501,  with costs and interest.

 

5.      As seen from the written statement filed by the OP/revision petitioner, the claim of the Complainant would lie against Insurance Co. and not against the OP/Bank.  It was admitted that a person holding visa card as on the date of his death in a road accident would be entitled to receive Rs.4 lakhs under the Free Personal Accident Insurance Cover.  However, it was contended that:-

“That before the commencement of the services the person has expired and the expenses of the card are also not paid.  Even otherwise the card holder is bound to send the declaration of assignment duly filled to the insurance company which has not been complied with.  That when the card is received in the post/courier there is a starter’s pack in which certain documents are required to be filled and sent to the company and only then would the facility of the card start.  That in the present case the deceased was yet to become a member of the Bank and had still not complied with all the requirements for starting the facilities.” 

 

6.      District Forum rejected the contention of the OP holding that:-

“Considering the objections in writing submitted by the opponent it is the say of the opponent that even though the visa card was issued, however till declaration of assignment was not filled in, the deceased cannot be regarded as their customer.  Therefore the question of payment of any amount does not arise.  There is no dispute in respect of other facts.  Opponent have submitted copy of card member rules and regulations.  Behind Annexure-C under the title “Insurance benefit on you card” there is a request to visa card holder that he must urgently send declaration of assignment to be helpful in settlement of claim.  But if we read the whole paragraph then on the page behind Annexure-C it is clearly stated that the card issued only with personal accident benefit and he is entitled to the amount for an accident on road or in air travel.  Therefore on reading the instruction under “Insurance benefit on you card” it cannot be said that the benefit commences only after filling of declaration of assignment.  The evidence put before us do not show that such a condition was put forth by the opponent that the benefit under the card will not be available unless declaration cum undertaking was filled in.”

 

7.      While dismissing the appeal of OP/Standard Chattered Bank, the State Commission has observed that the credit card with validity from 1.10.2000 to 30.1.2002 was received by Rameshbai Bhandai.  Even in case he has not received the card the bank would still be liable to pay the insurance amount, as it had already issued the credit card in his favour.

 

8.      We have perused the records as submitted by the revision petitioner.  This includes the following additional document filed on 2.4.2012, 27.8.2012 and 28.8.2012 by the petitioner—

“Additional document filed on 02.4.2012

1.   Certified Copy of receipt of the District Forum in compliance of the order for Rs.3,61,270/- (Rs. Three Lacs Sixty One Thousand TwoHundered Seventy Only) with typed copy.

2. Copy of order dated passed by Addl. Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum at Ahmedabad in Complaint No.824/2001.

3. Copy of order dated 01.12.2001 passed by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi in Revision Petition No.1902/2011.

 

Additional document filed on 27.8.2012

1. Order dated 23.07.2012 passed by the Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

2.  Copy of Order dated 08.09.2006 passed by the Hon’ble Additional Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ahmedabad (in Gujarati)

3.  Translated Copy of Order dated 08.09.2006 passed by the Hon’ble Additional Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ahmedabad (in English) duly notorised.

4. Proof of service.

 

Additional document filed on 28.8.2012

1. Order dated 23.07.2012 passed by the Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

2. Pay order No.00616 dated 27.08.2012 drawn on Standard Chartered Bank, New Delhi towards cost.”

 

9.      It was specifically argued by the learned counsel for the revision petitioner that on the question of claim under the personal accident insurance cover, the Complainant is a consumer of the insurance company not of the Bank.  This contention was raised in the written response of the OP before the District Forum as also before the State Commission.  The State Commission has observed that the Complainant was unable to join the insurance company as a party to the complaint for want of information regarding insurance details of the deceased.  It needs to be noted here that there is nothing in the written submissions of the OP before the District Forum to show that any part of the arrangement was directly required to be entered into between the deceased and the Insurance Company. Secondly, in the revision petition the issue is raised once again.  It is claimed that the State Commission should have examined the record placed in this behalf before it.  But, there is no mention of the exact record which was submitted by the Standard Chatered Bank and ignored by the State Commission. We therefore, deem it proper to reject this contention at the threshold itself.

 

10.    In the same manner the revision petition seeks to re-agitate the grounds, which have been considered and rejected by the fora below without specifically pointing out the evidence led by the petitioner/Bank and not considered but ignored by the fora.  We therefore, hold that the revision petitioner has completely failed to make out any case against the impugned order.

 

11.    Accordingly, the revision petition is dismissed for want of merit as well as on the ground of limitation.  Further, considering the conduct of the revision petitioner, we also deem it proper to award additional cost of Rs.25,000 (Rupees Twenty Five Thousand),  which shall be paid to the respondent/Complaint within a period of three months.  Failing this, the amount shall carry interest at 9% for the period of delay.  The amount, if any, deposited by the revision petitioner with the District Forum, in compliance with the order of this Commission made on 22.7.2011, shall be released in favour of the respondent/Complainant, in part fulfilment of the award made in his favour by the fora below.  No order as to costs.

.………………Sd/-…………

(J. M. MALIK, J.)

PRESIDING MEMBER

 

……………Sd/-…………….

(VINAY KUMAR)

                                                                                            MEMBER

s./-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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