The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain an organisation's plea which alleged that the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) misled and cheated lakhs of its consumers through its 'Jeevan Saral' insurance policy.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta took note of the submission of Soliciotor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the LIC, that a PIL under Article 32 of the Constitution should not be entertained as the aggrieved insurance purchaser can approach the consumer courts for redressal of grievances.
Mehta said LIC takes approval of IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) before coming out with a policy and there was mechanism to deal with the grievances.
"We are not inclined to hear the PIL," the bench said.
Senior advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for organisation 'Money Life Foundation', said that the policy in question has cheated many consumers especially retired persons of their hard-earned money.
As per the plea, the proposal form of the scheme did not have any provision to mention the lower maturity sum assured and rather it it had a provision only for the higher death benefit.
The maturity benefit was not printed on even the policy documents and the customers may get lesser money than the total premium paid, the plea alleged.
The organisation said that the policyholders were not in a position to raise dispute individually and hence, they came together to form an NGO to pursue the case.
The plea had sought the return of the premium of the policy-holders with 8 per cent interest.