Indian-origin man shocked to receive condolences for his death from UK local council

Madan Lal Kosla had to report to a job centre with his own passport in order to prove he was still alive.

Published: 11th June 2016 05:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th June 2016 11:37 AM   |  A+A-


LONDON: An Indian-origin man from Manchester was shocked when he opened a letter from his local council offering condolences for his own death.

Madan Lal Kosla then had to report to a job centre with his own passport in order to prove he was still alive.

"What if I had been away and someone else had opened that letter. They would think I'm dead. I had to pinch myself when I opened it," the 83-year-old told Manchester Evening News.

"My wife is very angry about this too. It has inconvenienced us both and caused us both a lot of stress," he said.

Manchester City Council had cancelled Kosla's council tax support payments, offered to the elderly, and wrote to his wife, for whom English is a second language, in order to offer their condolences.

The letter read: "I am sorry to hear of your partner's death on the 18th of May. Please accept my condolences. I am sorry to write to you at this difficult time but as the claim for council tax support was in your partner's name I have cancelled payments from 18th of May."

The council claimed the error occurred due to the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

A council spokesperson said: "We have apologised to Mr Kosla and his family for the letter we sent and would like to once again extend our most sincere apologies to them for the distress this must have caused.

"The letter was generated as a result of direct information we were given by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about Mr Kosla that we now know was incorrect.

We receive hundreds of notifications each day from them and had no reason to suppose the information received about Mr Kosla was anything other than correct - hence our letter to his family."

A DWP spokesperson added: "We have spoken with Mr Kosla to offer our apologies. We are also taking steps to ensure this does not happen again in future."

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp