The Department of Posts has published a standard operating procedure (SOP) for processing claim cases covering PoSB accounts, Cash Certificates, Money Orders, Postal Life Insurance (PLI), Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI), etc. In a circular dated May 27, 2021, the department explained the SOP. Regarding Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) for handling of 'Claim Cases' arising out of loss and fraud cases and introduction of 'Simplified Standardized Claim Form', the Department of Posts has clarified in its circular that "while monitoring the 'claim cases' arising out of loss and fraud cases, it was noticed that at present there is no standard form for obtaining and processing such claims and the Circles are using forms devised by them for processing such claims. Therefore, a common standardized form has been devised and enclosed herewith for obtaining and processing of such claims in future. Further, a SoP has also been devised for obtaining and processing of claims, as under:"
i) A Standardized Claim Form (as per annexure) will be used for submitting claims by the members of public in case of Loss caused to them due to fraud/ misappropriation by the employees of DoP.
ii) Form can be used for claims pertaining to cases of fraud/misappropriation of money in PoSB Accounts, Cash Certificates, Money Orders/EMOs, PLI/RPLI.
iii) While submitting the claim form, the claimant will be required to submit self- attested photocopies of his Photo ID and Address proof. In support of his claim, he would require to submit self-attested copy of the Pass Book/Certificate/ Deposit Receipt etc. The original will be required to be shown to the officer/official accepting the claim, who will also sign the photocopy in token of having seen the original. At the time of final settlement or for investigation, the claimant may be asked to submit original pass book/receipt etc, if absolutely necessary. In such case, proper receipt thereof will be issued or duplicate passbook will be issued, free of cost.
iv) Provision has been kept in the form itself, where the claimant can submit justification of claim in his favour, for which additional sheet of paper can also be used by the claimant and attached with the form. The officer/official accepting the claim can also seek further clarification/version/statement of the claimant, as part of investigation, to examine the justification of the claim. In case it is felt that handwriting/specimen signatures are also required for forensic examination, the same will also be obtained at the time of accepting the forms.
v) In order that claimant is not put to any hardship, the claim can be obtained through e-mail/by Registered/Speed Post and clarifications, if any, thereon may also be obtained through e-mail in case the claimant provides any valid email address.
vi) Claim Form will be required to be submitted in duplicate. The officer/official accepting the claim form will accept the form under dated receipt with rubber stamp of the officer/office. In case claim is submitted through email, the email will be acknowledged by the official/officer authorized for the purpose. The claimant, in such cases, may be asked to produce the original receipt/passbooks etc., if required.
vii) It is expected that the claim case would be accepted and processed on the day of receipt itself. Official/officer receiving and processing the claims can be one and the same person. However, in the cases, where large number of cases are involved and processing same day is not feasible, the same should be processed within seven working days of acceptance of the form. If any further version of the claimant is required, that should also be obtained during the said period of seven days.
viii) After processing of the claims, the claim will either be submitted by the 10th day of acceptance of form to the Divisional Office for Indexing and further action with the recommendations of the officer or will be returned to the claimant (physically) or through email, for submitting further clarification/documents, if any. All the cases pertaining to a fraud case, will be indexed separately and a unique Registration No. will be allotted to the claim case for monitoring purpose by the Divisional Office/independent GPO. The Registration Number with date of registration will be intimated to the claimant as well, which will be treated as the date of deposit of claim. The date of registration of claim will be 10th day from the date of first acceptance of the claim form, unless the claimant has been informed of the shortcomings therein or the claimant does not turn up /provide requisite clarification.
ix) The Claim will be sanctioned by the competent authority within their financial powers within a period of 25 days from the Registration of the claim and the amount of claim so sanctioned will be restored in the account within 30 days of the date of registration. In cases, where restoration is not possible due to technical reasons or not desired/applicable, provision is kept in the form itself to specify the mode of payment. The claimant will be informed to submit the requisite original passbook/certificate to make payment. Physical attendance of the claimant at Post office may not be enforced for submission of documents/original pass books etc and seamless payment to the claimant will be the duty of the concerned Post Office.
x) The cases, in which forensic examination is required, the above process should be completed within a period of 90 days from the date of registration of the claim. If it is likely to take more than 90 days, the case will be submitted to next higher office, i.e., in case of Division/GPO to Regional Office and in case of Regional Office, the case will be submitted to Circle Office and a considered view will be taken by the PMG/Chief PMG about the settlement of claim.
xi) The above timelines are mandatory to be followed and the concerned Division of the Directorate has been asked to include the same in the Citizens' Charter also, for which separate instructions will be issued by the concerned Division.
xii) It may be ensured that no claimant is put to any kind of inconvenience and all possible help should be rendered at every stage, including filling up the claim form, obtaining statement and payment.
2. The competent authorities for sanctioning of the claim cases would, however, remain the same. The above time limits would also be applicable to all the claims pending as on date. The cases, which are pending due to non-receipt of FSL report and period of more than 90 days have been passed, would be reviewed by the next higher office (i.e, in case of DO/GPO, by RO and in case of pendency at RO, the same would be reviewed by CO) and a considered view will be taken by the PMG/CPMG about the settlement of claim. The cases which are pending due to court orders, will however be settled in accordance with the orders of the competent courts. The concerned staff be apprised of the above changes and their training be ensured. A copy of the above instructions is also being placed on indiapost.gov.in.
Note: Data has been taken from the circular without any changes apart from the heading.