Skip to content


Smt. Raj and anr. Vs. Devi Ditta Mall and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revision No. 1724 of 1976
Judge
Reported in[1979]49CompCas361(P& H)
ActsInsurance Act, 1938 - Sections 39, 39(5) and 39(6)
AppellantSmt. Raj and anr.
RespondentDevi Ditta Mall and anr.
Appellant Advocate Harinder Singh and; R.K. Garg, Advs.
Respondent Advocate H.L. Sarin,; S.K. Gowari and; D.V. Sehgal, Advs.
Cases ReferredMalli Dei v. Kanchan Prava Dei
Excerpt:
.....disallowed' 3. the aforementioned observations do not lay down an absolute rule inasmuch as the learned judge has clearly indicated that an injunction should ordinarily be not granted by a civil court where it defeats any statutory provision. if the nominee is allowed to take away the money even on furnishing security that might still create difficulties for the petitioners for realizing the amount due under the policy in the event of their success in the suit......that they being the legal heirs of the deceased were entitled to receive the amount due under the policy of insurance. they also claimed a mandatory injunction that the amount due under the policy should not be paid to devi ditta mall, the nominee. the learned trial court when approached in that behalf declined to grant a temporary injunction against the nominee on the ground that if it were so done it would stultify the provisions of section 39 of the insurance act, 1938, and further ordered that the amount should be received by the nominee who, in turn, should furnish security for restitution in case the suit filed by the petitioners succeeded. the petitioners filed an appeal against that order which was dismissed. thereafter, they filed the instant revision which came up before r. s......
Judgment:

M.R. Sharma, J.

1. The petitioners are stated to be the widow and the son, respectively, of Sawan Mal, deceased. The deceased had taken a policy with the Life Insurance Corporation of India and he had nominated his real brother, Devi Ditta Mall, respondent, to receive the amount inrespect of the policy. Sawan Mal died as a result of an accident. The petitioners filed a suit for declaration that they being the legal heirs of the deceased were entitled to receive the amount due under the policy of insurance. They also claimed a mandatory injunction that the amount due under the policy should not be paid to Devi Ditta Mall, the nominee. The learned trial court when approached in that behalf declined to grant a temporary injunction against the nominee on the ground that if it were so done it would stultify the provisions of Section 39 of the Insurance Act, 1938, and further ordered that the amount should be received by the nominee who, in turn, should furnish security for restitution in case the suit filed by the petitioners succeeded. The petitioners filed an appeal against that order which was dismissed. Thereafter, they filed the instant revision which came up before R. S. Narula, Chief Justice, on 2nd December, 1976, who passed the following order :

' Notice. Respondent No. 2, the Life Insurance Corporation of India, may deposit the amount due under the insurance policy in question in the trial court. On such deposit being made, the Life Insurance Corporation of India shall stand discharged of its liability under the policy. The amount so deposited shall not, however, be paid to either of the parties or to anyone else till the decision of this revision petition.'

2. Mr. Sarin, appearing on behalf of respondent No. 1, Devi Ditta Mall, who was mentioned as a nominee in the policy of insurance, has reiterated the same ground pn which the learned courts below disallowed the prayer for injunction made by the petitioners. In support of his submission, Mr. Sarin has placed reliance on a single Bench decision reported as Malli Dei v. Kanchan Prava Dei, AIR 1973 Orissa 83, wherein it was held as under :

' The other question for consideration, is whether the prayer for interim injunction should be allowed. In my view the courts below were right in refusing the prayer for injunction, which was against the nominee of the insured, and was to stultify the provisions of Section 39 of the Act, inasmuch as under the nomination the amount was payable to the nominee. No injunction should ordinarily be granted by a court where it defeats any statutory provision. The prayer for injunction was, therefore, misconceived and was rightly disallowed'

3. The aforementioned observations do not lay down an absolute rule inasmuch as the learned judge has clearly indicated that an injunction should ordinarily be not granted by a civil court where it defeats any statutory provision. A combined reading of Sub-sections (5) and (6) of Section 39 of the Insurance Act shows that a nominee is in the nature of a trustee who receives the money due under a policy and keeps it for the benefit of the legal heirs of the deceased. In other words, the circumstance that he happens to be mentioned as a nominee by the person insured does not of itself clothe him.with a title to the insurance money. Cases may arise in which the real beneficiaries under the insurance policy might apprehend that if the money falls into the hands of the nominee, they might not be able to realise it from him. In such circumstances, a court of law which is primarily concerned with administering justice in accordance with the circumstances of a particular case shall be under an obligation to protect the rights of the real heirs of the deceased who alone are entitled to receive the insurance money. As I look at Section 39 of the Act, it merely provides for a procedure for the discharge of the insurance policy under certain contingencies so that if that procedure is strictly followed, the insurance company might not be burdened with additional liability. The existence of this provision does not really debar a civil court, which is seized of a dispute between the real heir of the deceased and the nominee, to pass an appropriate order in the nature of temporary injunction to do justice in the case. In the circumstances of the case, I am of the firm view that the ad interim order passed by the learned Chief Justice above referred to adequately safeguards the interests of both the parties. I am saying so because the petitioners herein are stated to be the wife and a minor child of the deceased. If the nominee is allowed to take away the money even on furnishing security that might still create difficulties for the petitioners for realizing the amount due under the policy in the event of their success in the suit. Apparently, the balance of convenience is in favour of the petitioners.

4.For the reasons mentioned above, I allow this petition and order that the ad interim order dated December 2, 1976, passed by the learned Chief Justice be made absolute. The learned trial court shall dispose of the suit as expeditiously as possible.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //