Consumer Forum asks Delhi police to file cheating case against Kotak

The district forum also asked Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance to pay Rs1 lakh as compensation to its customer, a retired Army officer for selling a wrong insurance-linked saving policy by signing the proposal form

New Delhi: The Delhi Police has been ordered by a district consumer forum to lodge a cheating case against Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance Ltd (Kotak) and its agent for selling a customer a wrong insurance-linked saving policy by signing the proposal form in his name, reports PTI.

The New Delhi District Forum also directed Kotak Mahindra to pay Rs1 lakh as compensation to its customer, a retired Army officer for rendering deficient service to him and for allegedly "committing fraud and cheating" upon him. It also asked the insurance firm to return him "entire premium or other sum received" from him.

The forum gave the order on the plea of Col (Retd) Iqbal Inder Singh who had alleged that the policy he was sold by Kotak, was for 10 years instead of the one opted by him for a three year period after a discussion with the company's agent.

"We are fully satisfied that agent of Kotak and the firm have colluded in change of data, record and indulged in fabrication for promoting business, to have wrongful gain, out of innocent complainant (Col Singh).

"We condemn this act and misconduct of the agent and the firm. This is a fit case for handing over to police. We direct the Delhi Police to record an FIR, based on complaint in this case and other facts and examine the matter to prosecute the two for various offences of cheating, forgery etc," the forum said.

Holding Kotak Mahindra also guilty of rendering deficient service, leading "to harassment of a senior citizen" the forum directed it to "return entire premium received from Singh with interest of 12 per cent from the date of acceptance of his reply and to pay him Rs one lakh as compensation for deficiency (in service and allegedly for) committing fraud and cheating."

The forum presided by C K Chaturvedi observed that "it is obvious that Kotak have misused their position with this old man, and without his knowledge, signed proposal in his name giving consent for a revised plan on June 18, 2008 as the complainant had left India on June 15, 2008."

Rejecting Kotak's contention that the lock-in period of 15 days was over and the policy could not be cancelled, the forum held that Singh "never agreed for the revised plan, which cannot be thrust upon him."

A South Delhi resident, Col (Retd) Singh, had said in his plea that an agent of Kotak had approached him repeatedly to sell their short term (three years) saving plan and had explained to him on loose sheets the whole scheme and benefits.

He had alleged that though he opted for the three-year plan, the policy he was sent by Kotak was for 10 years instead, contrary to what was explained to him by the agent, adding that it was sent to him when he was in the USA.

On his return, he had immediately informed Kotak about the issue, but they had refused to cancel the policy on the ground that the lock-in period of 15 days, within which the policy could be cancelled, was over, he had further said.

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