Three-year Limitation for filing a Claim petition Applies to All Insurance Policies: Allahabad HC

Giving a great relief to marginalised sections and farmers, the High Court of Allahabad on Wednesday held that limitation of seventy-five days for filing a claim under various Government schemes, particularly Mukhyamantri Kisan Avam Sarvahit Bima Scheme is arbitrary and unreasonable.

The Bench noted that such a short period of limitation militates against the ‘socio-beneficial’ object of the Scheme and therefore, should be set aside.

It was held that for filing a claim petition, from the date when the claim is wholly or partly denied or a period of 3 years from the date of death of the deceased, as provided under the Limitation Act and Insurance Act shall be available to beneficiaries.

Background:

A writ petition was filed by the petitioner Gautam Yadav seeking the insurance amount under the Scheme after the death of his father.

The father of the petitioner died in an accident on 3/7/2018, and as he was a farmer with land holdings, he was entitled to grant of compensation as per the impugned Scheme.

As per the petition, the petitioner had applied for the grant on 20/10/2018 after acquiring the death certificate from the authorities; however, the claim was denied as time-barred.

Reasoning of the Court

Hon’ble Court observed that the death had occurred on 03/07/2018, the insurance policy expired on 12.09.2018, and the claim could be made till 11.10.2018 with the condonable period up to 11.11.2018. So, even under the Scheme, the petitioner was within the period of limitation.

On the issue of the reasonableness of the limitation period, the Court opined that it could not oversee the ground reality that it takes a lot of time to get the death certificate of a person in U.P  and the limitation period of 75 days was insufficient.

The Court also explained the applicability of the Insurance Act:-

Section 46 of Insurance Act makes it clear that the statutory right contained in the Section is to sue for relief in respect of the policy in Court and any related questions of law should be determined as per the procedure of law. Thus, the ‘law in force’ has been explicitly made applicable to all policies irrespective of terms of Agreement or Policy.

Case Details:-

Title: Gautam Yadav vs State of UP & Ors

Case No.: WRIT – C No. – 15983 of 2020

Date of Order:11.11.2020

Coram: Hon’ble Justice Shashi Kant Gupta and Hon’ble Justice Pankaj Bhatia

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