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Report No. 82

2.21. Material in the debates.-

As regards material in the debates, it appears that the thrust of Legislative Assembly debates was directed towards regulation of the foreign insurance companies which then held the field.1 Points discussed concerning rights of policy holders and persons deriving title from them were very few. In any case, the effect of nomination was not discussed. A European Member from Madras (F.E. James)-who was primarily concerned with safeguarding interests of the foreign companies-insisted upon the addition of the words "named in the notice" after the word "assignee" in what is now section 38(5) (assignment and transfer of insurance policies). The object was to make it clear that the insurer's liability is to the person from whom he had received notice, whether he was the person named in the endorsement or instrument or not.2

The Bill as introduced contained no definition of the expression "policy holder" and Mr. M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar proposed a definition on the lines of section 2(7) of the Indian Life Assurance Companies not, 1912. Mr. Ayyanger thought that there should be no confusion as to whether an assignee would be deemed to be a policy holder. The Law Member, Sir Nripendra Nath Sircar, first opposed the amendment on the ground that persons who had become assignees after advancing to the insured small loans of, say, Rs. 50 Rs. 100 might start claiming to be the policy holder's representatives. However, Mr. Bhulathai J. Desai pleaded3 with the Law Member that he might at least consider the inclusion of an absolute assignee in the definition of "policy holder". The Law Member ultimately agreed. That is how section 3(2), defining a policy holder came to have a provision including an absolute assignee.

1. Legislative Assembly Debates, Vol. 6, 31st September, 1937, p. 2157.

2. Legislative Assembly Debates, Vol. 6, 7th September, 1937, p. 1363.

3. Legislative Assembly Debates, 7th September, 1937, p. 1363.

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

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