CIVIL

Charge of Fraud

A charge of fraud, naturally requires a high degree of probability. It must be established beyond all reasonable doubt and could not be based on suspicion and conjectures. Fraud is odious and cannot be presumed; frausest odiesa et non est prae-sumenda. The court will not be satisfied with proof which falls short of showing that the intentional misrepresentation was made with the knowledge of perpetrating fraud. The onus probandi in all such cases rests heavily on party alleging fraud or misrepresentation to repudiate the claim or avoid liability because of the breach of the policy. See, AIR 1941 93 (Privy Council); Lakshmi Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Bibi Padma Wati, ; Life Insurance Corporation of India v. I.R. Parvathavardnini Animal, AIR 1965 Madras 357 and Bhanu-mati v. L. I. Corporation 1970 Lab IC 598 (Guj).

In the case of Mithoolal Nayak Vs. Life Insurance Corporation of India, , the Supreme Court, for considering a case of fraudulent suppression of material facts, has laid down three conditions for the application of Section 45 of the Insurance Act as under:

(a) The statement must be on a material matter or must suppress fact which it was material to discolse;

(b) The suppression must be fraudulently made by the policy and;

(c) The policy holder must have known at the time of making the statement that it was false or that it suppressed facts which it was material to disclose.

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Categories: CIVIL