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Is death by malaria an accident? No, says Supreme Court – The SC ruling – Economic Times

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The SC ruling

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The SC ruling

Reversing concurrent findings of national and state consumer forums, the Supreme Court in a landmark decision ruled that the death of a person from malaria cannot be regarded as death caused by accident to make it obligatory for insurance company to compensate the insurer.

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Element of chance

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Element of chance

The court said, “Getting a bout of flu or a viral illness may be a matter of chance. But a person who gets the flu cannot be described as having suffered an accident: the flu was transmitted in the natural course of things. To be bitten by a mosquito and be imbued with a malarial parasite does involve an element of chance. But the disease which is caused as a result of the insect bite in the natural course of events cannot be regarded as an accident. Particularly when the disease is caused in an area which is malaria prone.”

In pic: A NMC and Grampanchayat worker takes his vehicle fogging the insecticides in the Besa area at Nagpur city area to prevent vector born diseases like Dengue fever, Malaria etc.

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The landmark case

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The landmark case

The SC reversed concurrent findings of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCRDC) and Assam State CDRC, which had asked the insurance company to pay policy promised compensation for the death of Debashis Bhattacharjee as the insured had died in Mozambique after contracting encephalitis malaria while being employed at a tea factory there in 2012.

They had held that “sudden death due to mosquito bite in a foreign land” was an accident and ordered that the insurance company was bound to pay promised compensation.

In pic: Festering water collected in a pond like structure has become an ideal sight of mosquito breeding.

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Death by malaria an 'accident'

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Death by malaria an ‘accident’

The insurance firm had challenged the order before the state consumer commission which affirmed the district forum’s order holding that sudden death due to mosquito bite in a foreign land was an accident.

In pic: Activist from JDU protest against BBMP city corporation against rise in Dengue, Malaria, Chikungunya, in city demanding proper action fight against rise in Mosquitoes.

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All the way from Mozambique

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All the way from Mozambique

The top court referred to the World Health Organization’s World Malaria Report 2018, according to which Mozambique, with a population of 29.6 million people, accounts for 5 per cent cases of malaria globally.

The bench, while setting aside the NCDRC’s verdict, noted that claim under the insurance policy has been paid by the insurer.

In pic: A municipal worker fumigates an area.

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