New Delhi: In what could irk people, the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) is investing heavily in tobacco and gutka companies. What is more surprising that the LIC policy holder cannot claim money on the death due to tobacco intake.

The LIC has invested Rs 3,561 crore in ITC Ltd, while it has put in Rs 50 crore in Dharampal Satyapal Ltd (DS Group) a leading Gutka and Pan Masala Company.

The information came as the response to the RTI application filed by a consortium called Voice of Tobacco Victims mainly representing patients with cancer. In its response, LIC also admitted that it does not charge higher premium from people who consumes tobacco.

The number of equity shares held by LIC in ITC Ltd is around 99.58 crore which have a book value of Rs 3561 crore approximately on 31st March 11. Not only this, LIC has debentures of book value Rs 50 crore in DS Group a leading smokeless tobacco company.

“It is ridiculous that LIC takes much higher premium from old people than from tobacco smokers. Firstly, LIC invests in tobacco industry, they don’t charge higher premium from addicts and they reject the claims of addicts.” said Dr Surendra Shastri, Head of Preventive Oncology at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.