(Prayer:Petition is filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to issue a Writ of Mandamus directing the respondents to calculate the bonus for a sum of Rs.2,31,300/- and settle the same along with interest and cost within time frame as may be fixed by this Court.)
1. This writ petition has been filed seeking for a direction to the respondents to calculate the bonus for a sum of Rs.2,31,300/- and settle the same along with interest and cost.
2. The petitioner took a policy from the respondent Insurance Corporation for a sum of Rs.2,00,000/- vide Policy No.752962949. The policy commenced on 26.04.2002 and maturity date is 28.04.2012. The sum assured was Rs.2,00,000/- and on maturity including the bonus come around Rs.2,71,200/-. The half yearly premium payable was Rs.11,565/-.
3. The writ petitioner has availed loan from the sum assured to the tune of Rs.1,75,000/-. When the amount was matured on 28.04.2012, the Insurance Company has offered to pay a sum of Rs.76,994/-, as money due and payable to the insured after deducting the loan and interest towards the same. The calculation shows that a sum of Rs.1,94,206/- deducted and the balance amount payable by the insurance company came around Rs.76,994/-.
4. According to the petitioner, the respondent Insurance Company had collected a sum of Rs.11,565/- towards yearly charges and total payment till the end of the policy comes around Rs.2,31,300/-. That is more than sum assured by the policy holder. That it is the claim of the petitioner that the respondent Corporation had collected Rs.31,300/- extra and therefore, the corresponding bonus should also be calculated and paid to the petitioner/policy holder. Therefore, the petitioner came up with the writ petition for a direction directing the respondents to calculate the bonus for a sum of Rs.2,31,300/- and settle the same along with interest.
5. The respondents have filed a counter affidavit stating that the calculation for collecting a sum of Rs.11,565/- towards half yearly premium. According to the respondents, nothing extra has been collected and whatever been collected was explained to the respondents with breakup details.
6. It is the contention of the respondents that the policy holder is bound by the policy conditions, therefore, he cannot turnaround and ask for higher amount than that of the sum assured.
7. Heard both sides.
8. The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner vehemently contends that the Insurance Company has collected more than the sum assured and therefore, the interest vested bonus as well as interim bonus shall be calculated on the sum collected and not on the sum assured as per the policy. Therefore, the respondent Corporation is liable to pay bonus as claimed on the sum collected.
9. Per contra, learned counsel for the respondents would submit that if the petitioner at the time of taking policy, the petitioner had voluntarily agreed for all the terms and conditions of the policy and now he cannot turnaround and challenge what is done is not correct and he is bound by the policy conditions.
10. The learned counsel for the respondents would also submit that considering age factor of the policy holder premium amount will vary. Since the petitioner was aged about 50 years, the premium will also be on the higher side. In the event of death of the petitioner, the insurance company will pay the full amount without collecting premium for rest of the period. The petitioner had undertaken the risk of payment voluntarily and therefore, he cannot complaint of the policy conditions at the present.
11. After considering the arguments and documents available before this Court, this Court is of the view that the petitioner cannot claim more than sum assured to which, he has entered into contract with the respondent Corporation. However, a sum of Rs.76,994/- is due and payable by the insurance company, which was not accepted by the petitioner. The sum not accepted by the petitioner is lying with the insurance company till date. Therefore, the only amount, which is payable to the petitioner is Rs.76,994/- and not as claimed by him. In view of the money lying in the insurance company, the demand of interest on the unpaid amount needs to be considered.
12. The argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner on this issue is reasonable and this Court is inclined to accept the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner and to award interest on unpaid amount.
13. The learned counsel for the respondents would vehemently object to the demand as they were always ready and willing to pay the amount, but it was not accepted by the petitioner and for no fault of the respondents, they shall not be penalised the interest.
14. The objection raised by the learned counsel is noted. The rate of interest will not be at commercial rate but will be nominal in order to give quietus to the issue.
15. Considering the reasonable claim of the petitioner that the money lying with the respondents has been put to useful purposes, this Court directs the respondents to pay the amount a sum of Rs.76,994/- along with interest at the rate of 7% per annum till the date of payment.
16. This writ petition is disposed of with the above directions.
17. Instead of fixing any time limit, the matter is posted on 01.12.2016for compliance. Before which date, the learned counsel for the respondents is directed to handover the Demand Draft either to the petitioner or to the learned counsel for the petitioner and report the same to this Court.