The Madras High Court Monday directed the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) to return the entire corpus of rupees 6.29 lakh to man, who had been given that amount as compensation after his teenaged son died in a gas pipeline explosion [Life Insurance of India v Pakkirisamy]..A bench of Acting Chief Justice T Raja and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy said that LIC, a public sector undertaking, could not be permitted by the Court to claim a benefit from the money that had been awarded to a poor man, whose teenaged son had died in an accidentThe Court was hearing an appeal filed by LIC challenging a single judge's order directing the insurance company to return the corpus amount to the original petitioner, one Pakkirisamy from Tiruvarur district in Tamil Nadu.In 2009, a pipeline owned and maintained by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in Tiruvarur district exploded. Three persons including Pakkirisamy's 14-year-old son were injured in the incident and the teenaged boy succumbed to his burn injuries in a private hospital, where he was being treated. After the accident, ONGC gave a compensation of rupees 6,29,100 to Pakkirisamy. The company however, did not transfer the amount in cash but, invested it in Pakkirisamy's name with LIC in an annuity scheme. As per the scheme, Pakkirisamy was to get a monthly annuity amount of ₹4,000. After his death, his spouse was to continue receiving such annuity amount. But after both Pakkirisamy's and his wife's death, the remaining corpus amount would go to LIC. In 2010 however, Pakkirisamy fell ill and asked LIC for his corpus amount to be returned so he could pay his medical bills. He also got a no objection certificate from ONGC for such withdrawal. LIC, however, refused to return the amount. .On Monday, the LIC counsel CK Chandrasekkar told the Court that once the money had been invested, there was no scheme where the entire corpus could be returned to the principal investor. He also said that LIC was in no way responsible for the accident or Pakkirisamy's son's death. Advocate Chandrasekkar also argued that this was an annuity scheme approved by the IRDA and therefore, there was no illegality in the case. The High Court, however, said there was no justification in LIC keeping the corpus amount which was given to Pakkirisamy by ONGC, especially since it wasn't Pakkirisamy who had invested the amount in the annuity scheme."It is his money. LIC, a public sector undertaking refusing to give that money to a poor man who lost his son. Ten years ago, had one put that money in a simple savings account, one would have got interest. If there is any loss to LIC, you better claim it from ONGC," the Court said. It agreed with the single judge's observation that LIC had no justification to keep the entire amount saying that was the contract. The Court further said it found no reason to entertain the appeal and directed the insurance company to release the entire corpus amount of rupees 6.29 lakh to Pakkirisamy within two weeks. While LIC sought more time for compliance, the bench refused. "You are one of the richest bodies in the world. You can comply within two weeks," the Court said.