Car insurance denied because of lack of a driving license

Even though insurance covers a lot of issues and is meant to be the ultimate help (consider the case of health insurance which can help to pay for the expenses of some medical treatment, or life insurance that helps to make a family survive through the trauma of death of a loved earning member of the family, or other such cases). But it is not so simple. There are regular disputes between insurance companies and the insured (or their dependents) about payment of the insurance amount. In fact, there are many conditions in which the insurance company can deny the insurance amount even if the premium has been made and one would normally be paying out insurance. For example, if you were to take health insurance, hiding a prior illness that leads to further complications later could lead to the insurance company denying the claim; similarly during the Mumbai flood of 2005, a lot of people found to their horror that their car insurance did not cover damage due to flooding.
Another major case comes in the case of car insurance; there are a number of exemptions to the rule. For example, driving of the car by a person not holding a license, or driving when drunk, these are some of the conditions that will lead to the insurance company denying the claim, and these are supported by consumer forums as well (link to article):

The Pune district consumer disputes redressal forum has held that there can be no insurance claim for fundamental breach of policy, including driving a transport vehicle without a valid licence required for driving such a vehicle, in case of an accident.
A three-member bench of the forum, headed by its president V P Utpat, dismissed the complaint by a tractor owner Bajirao Daulat Gadade of Tandali in Shirur taluka seeking Rs 63,797 claim for damages suffered by his tractor in an accident and Rs 10,000 compensation from the Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company at Shankar Sheth Road here for “wrongfully repudiating his insurance claim, thereby causing deficiency in service”. Mohan Patankar and Krishitija Kulkarni were other members of the forum that passed the order on Friday.

Doctor penalized for leaving mop inside patient’s body

It’s the stuff of horrors. You go for a an operation, at the mercy of the doctor who is doing an operation on you under anesthesia and hope that everything will turn out alright. In most cases, things will go fine, but once in a while, a horror story will come which will force you to shudder when you think of a similar operation being done on you. One of the most controversial stories that come out from time to time with regard to operations is when something is extracted from the body that was left behind during the operation. In the current case, the patient was suffering and went to the doctor, who did an operation to remove the uterus from the lady in order to correct the bleeding problems that she was suffering.
However, there were complications after the operation, and when the patient got an operation done, it was clear from the scan that piece of gauze had been left behind in the body, this gauze being used to mop up blood at the operation site. More than a year after the operation, the lady had to get another operation done to get this piece of gauze removed, which was an unnecessary trauma to the lady, and totally not required at all. Troubled by all this, the lady went to a consumer court which finally ruled in her favor, granting her compensation. Not satisfied, the doctor and the hospital went again to a higher consumer forum, where the judgment was against them again, and the forum also imposed a charge of Rs. 10,000 for not accepting the verdict of the lower forum (link to article):

A city-based gynecologist and an insurance company will have to shell out Rs 8 lakh with 9% interest for 12 years for forgetting a mop inside a patient’s body after a surgical procedure.
Gynecologist Dr Vandana Amin ran a nursing home in Patan in 2002. One Mitaben Patel consulted her after the bleeding in her uterus did not stop even after a laser therapy. The gynecologist advised her to remove the uterus and a surgery was performed on the patient in October 2002.
After the surgery, patient encountered another problem. A sonography report revealed a piece of gauze was present in the body. It was found attached with the intestine and was creating multiple problems for her. Mitaben had to undergo another surgery and the mop was removed more than a year after her first operation.

Of course, the only problem being the time required to get a judgment in the forums. If one considers, the original incident happened in 2003, and it takes so long to get a conclusion to this case. This is one area where a lot more focus needs to be paid, in terms of how to accelerate these cases.

Call drops by telecom companies – Minister threatens action

In the initial years of the ‘telecom revolution’, telecom companies promised many quality measures. There were measures that promised to provide free calls to customers if there were call drops, promises by companies about how they would stick to a high level of quality standards. Over the years, these promises all fell by the wayside and companies stopped trying to promise anything about quality. When companies made statements or any notification about business plans, these all related to how they were trying to acquire more customers and how they were trying to get more revenue from every customer; which is not bad by itself, but the quality standards they were providing were steadily falling. In all this time, the company and the regulator were apparently sleeping on their desks, since they took no action.
It seems very similar to another problem that only got significance when it started affecting the high and mighty. A couple of years back, when telecom consumers were upset because of a large proliferation of calls and SMS that were in the nature of unsolicited correspondence, it only got importance when ministers started complaining of these, and then a somewhat effective Do Not Disturb registry was setup. Now, one has to wait and see what the Government will be able to do about the problem of call drops. It has got so bad that many people are thinking of getting land line phones installed; in my case, at home I get to know that somebody has called me on the phone when I got a missed call notification (link to article):

In the backdrop of frequent call drops faced by consumers, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said the government is exploring the possibility of bringing in disincentives for telecom operators to counter the issue.
Stating that telecom operators need to ensure that call drops are ‘minimized,’ the minister said telcos need to strengthen their system.
“Call drops need to be minimized. They (private operators) need to reinforce their mechanism. I have directed officials in the department to work on a disincentive architecture (for the operators),” Prasad said during a press conference on completion of one year of NDA government.

CIC slams Delhi land agencies for harassing person

From time to time, one comes across cases where land owning agencies act in a totally arrogant manner, without caring about the rights and needs of citizens. We have already seen many cases where consumer forums and courts have acted against municipal agencies and others for working in a way that the needs and rights of citizens have been thwarted. However, this case takes a look at the land owners who have been giving up their land for compensation, many times unwillingly. Vast regions of Delhi and the outskirts (Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad, etc) have been settled by taking over land belonging to farmers and then providing them compensation for the same. However, incompetent authorities in many cases take a lot of time to provide this compensation, or corrupt babudom would want some money for authorizing the same. Recent years have seen some fightback in these situations, with the courts giving some support to the land owners, as well as with the increasing voice of these land owners who protest and push back when Government agencies try to exploit them.
This is a bad case. This regards land taken over by the land owning authorities in Delhi 37 years back, and yet the land owner is fighting for compensation. Imagine the arrogance of these agencies, supposedly meant to provide help to the people, when the land owner is unable to get either the compensation or information regarding the compensation. Finally, an appeal to the CIC (Central Information Commission) to get the status of the compensation due to the land owner caused the CIC to get into a shock about how the land owner had not get any compensation and ordered a preparation for replying to the query by the land owner (link to article):

Pulling up three land-owning agencies of Delhi for “harassment” of land owners, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the land and building department and land acquisition collectors to provide information on compensation.
Information commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu was responding to an application made by 77-year-old Lajinder Singh who sought to know the status of compensation for his land acquired 37 years ago in 1977-78.
“The whole country is suffering from problems of land acquisition, and Lajinder Singh is an example of victim of lethargic attitude of government. The commission also finds these three departments highly non-responsive. They should have human concern for these victims,” Acharyulu said.