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Report No. 82

2.5. Calcutta view.-

In a Calcutta case1 of 1956, it was held that the nominee acquires no title. The title to receive the money does not necessarily create a title in rein to that money which can be said to be good as against the whole world. In a later Calcutta case2 of 1970, the moneys to be due under the policy were payable not on the death of the assured, but on a fixed date. The assured nominated his younger son as the nominee. Soon thereafter, the assured died intestate, before the date so fixed, leaving his widow and two sons as his heirs and legal representatives. Under the policy, the sum was payable on the date mentioned above, but there was a clause under which, after one year from the date of the policy, the policy would acquire a cash surrender value.

The question to be considered was whether the nominee could validly assign the claim in respect of the policy, in view of the death of the holder of the policy before the maturity of the policy. There also arose a larger question, namely, whether the nominee could surrender the policy. Both the questions were answered in the negative. The case actually did not fall within section 39, Insurance Act, since it was not technically a contract of "Life Insurance".3 The discussion in the judgment about the position of a nominee is, therefore, obiter.

1. Ramballa v. Gangadhar, AIR 1956 Cal 275 (276), paras. 8 to 11.

2. Life Insurance Corporation of India v. United Bank of India Ltd.,. AIR 1970 Cal 513 (515, 517, 518), paras. 12 and 15.

3. Page 518 in AIR 1970 Cal 513.

Effect of Nomination under Section 39 of the Insurance Act, 1938 Back

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