A legal case regarding a claim for an insurance amount after the death of a police official while on election duty. The wife of the deceased is the primary claimant but there was an inordinate delay in her representation. It was clarified that the death was caused by a heat stroke and was not covered under the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) and that the delay in raising the claim was not exclusively driven by the Chief Electoral Officer.

The role of the Chief Electoral Officer was limited to forwarding the recommendation. The insurance company is under an obligation to honor the promise of paying the insured amount in case of death of an employee while on election duty during the sustenance of the insurance policy.

The consequences of the delay in claiming the amount and whether the insurance policy covered the scenario of the death are the two aspects that are considered in the case. The conduct of Respondent No. 1 would not entitle them to fasten the liability on the Appellant and would have to be borne by them if they are of the view that such an amount ought to have been made.

The question of the liability of Respondent No. 1 has raised the question about the incident being covered by the insurance policy and the terms of the insurance policy are to be strictly construed. The words used in a contract of insurance must be given paramount importance and the courts ought not to interfere with the terms of an insurance agreement.

National Insurance company vs Chief Electoral Officer decided by the Supreme Court of India on Feb.8, 2023

By aor.sanjivnarang@gmail.com

Sanjiv Narang Adv. is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. His qualifications include an LLB from University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Panjab University,Chandigarh.In his more than 3 decades of experience, he has practiced law at the District, High Court and Supreme Court levels.He also has more than a decade of experience in the field of Management. He is the author of two books namely Laws for Women in India and Innovation, Why What and How.