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Sec. 80DD needs amendment to allow relief if maturity sum given before death of insured person: SC

January 4, 2019[2019] 101 70 (SC)

IT : The grievance of the petitioner, who has filed a PIL, is that benefit of Jeevan Aadhar policy, floated by LIC for benefit of persons with disability in terms of section 80DD, should not be deferred till the death of the life assured and it should be allowed to be utilised for the benefit of the disabled person even during the lifetime of the life assured. The Apex Court observed that the purpose of provision of section 80DD is to secure the future of the persons suffering from disability, namely, after the death of the parent/guardian and condition incorporated in insurance policy to the effect that the amount shall not be given to the handicapped persons during the lifetime of the parent/guardian/life assured is in conformity with Section 80DD(2)(b)

• The Apex Court observed that the Legislature has provided the condition that amount/annuity under the policy is to be released only after the death of the person assured. This is the legislative mandate. This Court cannot give a direction to the Parliament to amend or make a statutory provision in a specified manner. The Court can only determine, in exercise of its power of judicial review, as to whether such a provision passes the muster of the Constitutional Scheme.

• Further the petitioner may be justified in pointing out that there could be harsh cases where handicapped persons may need the payment on annuity or lumpsum basis even during the lifetime of their parents/guardians. However, it is for the Legislature to take care of these aspects and to provide suitable provision by making necessary amendments in section 80DD. In fact, the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities has also felt that like other policy holders, Jeevan Aadhar policy should also be allowed to mature after 55 years of age of the proposer and the annuity amount should be disbursed through the LLCs or National Trust. In the aforesaid circumstances, this writ petition is disposed of by urging upon Government to have a relook into this provision by taking into consideration all the aspects, including those highlighted in this judgment, and explore the possibility of making suitable amendments.

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