SC asks Centre to relook LIC policy debarring payment to differently abled dependent till parent alive

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to take a relook into a condition in LIC’s Jeevan Aadhar Policy, which debars payment of annuity to the differently-abled persons until their on of their parents or guardian is alive.

A Bench of Justice AK Sikri, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer, however, refused to interfere with the current provisions in the Policy saying that it “cannot give a direction to the Parliament to amend or make a statutory provision in a specified manner”.

The top court was hearing a plea by one Ravi Agrawal, who is a differently abled person suffering from Cerebral Dysphagia.

He contended that under the existing condition a specially abled dependant could recieve annuity only in the event of death of the parent or individual in whose name subscription to the scheme has been made.

The apex court noted that Agrawal 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 or guardians.

“It could happen in cases where guardian has become very old but is still alive, though he is not able to earn any longer or he may be a person who was in service and has retired from the said service and is not having any source of income,” the bench added.

The bench also referred to the view of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities that 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.

The bench asked the Centre to explore the possibility of making suitable Amendments in the Policy to benefit handicapped persons.