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  • (2018)2 SCeJ 1338 / 14th August, 2018.

     

    Motor Vehicles Act, 1998, Section 149  - Driving Licence – Fake  - Suffice it to observe that it is well established that if the owner was aware of the fact that the licence was fake and still permitted the driver to drive the vehicle, then the insurer would stand absolved -  However, the mere fact that the driving licence is fake, per se, would not absolve the insurer - Indubitably, the counsel for the appellant did not dispute that the driving licence was found to be fake, but that concession by itself was not sufficient to absolve the insurer. Held, neither the Tribunal nor the High Court has bothered to analyse the pleadings and evidence adduced by the parties on the crucial matter. We, therefore, deem it appropriate to relegate the parties before the High Court for fresh consideration of the appeal filed by the appellant (owner) only on the question of liability of the owner or of the insurer  to pay the compensation amount. That in the oral evidence, the owner had stated that he had seen the photocopy of the driving licence of S and was also satisfied about his driving skills, before employing him as the driver for driving the vehicle. The Tribunal made no attempt to analyse the pleadings and evidence on record to ascertain whether the appellant (owner) was aware of the fake driving licence possessed by the driver. The Tribunal merely adverted to the investigation and verification report and found that the stated driving licence was invalid. The High Court also made no attempt to enquire into the relevant aspect, as has been consistently expounded by this Court and restated in PEPSU Road Transport Corporation Vs. National Insurance Company, (2013)10 SCC 217 and Premkumari and Ors. Vs. Prahlad Dev and Ors., (2008)3 SCC 193. Matter remanded. 

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  • Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, Section 149(2)(a)(i)(a)  - Permit was limited to the State of Maharashtra- No valid permit to operate in the State of Karnataka where accident took place  - Amount of compensation determined by the High Court shall be first paid by the Insurance Company with liberty to recover the same from the owner of the offending vehicle .(2018)2 SCe@J 1278
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  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149 – A driver who is having licence to drive a light motor vehicle and is driving transport vehicle of that class, is not required to obtain an endorsement to drive transport vehicle - The light transport vehicle are not excluded from the definition of LMV – Driver of the offending vehicle in this case was competent to drive the transport vehicle as well. (2018-3) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149 - Ample evidence on record to prove that the appellant's driving licence was fake - The appellant had initially projected that he was holding a driving licence No.8937/MTR/07 issued by the Registering Authority, Mathura which on verification was found to have been issued in the name of one Khalid - The appellant then changed his stand and submitted that he was holding a driving licence bearing No.8537/MTR/07 which too on verification from the Registering Authority, Mathura was found to have been issued in the name of one Gopal Singh - Subsequent renewal of a driving licence originally found to be fake would not cure its inherent defect - Tribunal rightly fastened the liability of payment of the assessed compensation. (2018-1 ) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149 – Deceased on the mudguard of the tractor – And was a gratuitous passenger – The tractor is not a vehicle to carry passengers, therefore, insurance company was entitled to recovery rights. (2018-1) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149 - Driver had a learners licence and was authorized to drive motorcycle and a car - The driving licence does not state that the driver could drive a light motor vehicle - The driver did not have a licence to drive a tractor - He was holding a learners licence and there was a breach of the policy conditions, therefore, recovery rights should have been given to the insurance Company. (2018-1 ) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149 – Driving Licence – Holding LMV driving licence – Vehicle though falls under LMV category but is a commercial vehicle and was insured as such and was passed for fitness as such commercial as well as transport vehicle - It is a transport vehicle – Special endorsement for transport vehicle – Not required.   (2018-3) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149 – Driving Licence - Evidence – Since respondent did not produce his driving licence, despite specific directions, therefore, learned tribunal ought to have drawn adverse inference against him that he was not holding a valid driving licence - Instead, the learned tribunal put the entire burden on the appellant-Insurance Company and illegally rejected the claim of recovery rights of the appellant-insurance company.     (2018-3) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149 – Driving Licence – Onus – Insurance Company had discharged the onus of making an effort calling upon the owner and the driver to produce the route permit to prove the breach of the terms and conditions of policy - It was a sufficient requirement of law to do so – Recovery rights are required to be granted to the Insurance Company as there was a breach of the terms and conditions of the policy. (2018-1) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149 – Insurance company filed application for production of driving licence – It has been noticed by the Tribunal that sufficient opportunities were given to owner – But he neither filed reply to the application nor produced document and eventually absented from proceedings and was proceeded against  ex-parte – Tribunal has rightly drawn an adverse inference against owner and driver of the offending vehicle that driver did not possess licence to drive the vehicle in question – Driver did not produce driving licence and registered owner opted to be ex parte before the Tribunal, the insured is guilty of committing breach of terms and conditions of the contract of insurance by giving a vehicle for driving to a person who was not possessing a driving licence. (2018-3) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149 - Policy - Violation of the condition should be such a fundamental breach so that the claimant cannot claim any amount whatsoever - As far as the violation in carrying passengers is concerned, this has consistently been held not to be a fundamental breach - Driver, on a cold wintery night, gave lift to some persons standing on the road - It was a humanitarian gesture - It cannot be said to be such a breach that it nullifies the policy - No doubt, these passengers turned against the driver and stole the truck, but this, the driver could not have foreseen - In the cases cited above, such claims where there is breach of policy, have been treated to be non-standard claims and have been directed to be settled at 75% - In addition, the insurance company shall also pay another sum of Rs.1,00,000/- as compensation. (S.C.) (2018-1 ) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149 – Seating capacity shown as 7+1 – Person having driving licence of LTV, Tractor, Motor Cycle, Car and Jeep, would be entitled to drive Tata Magic as the description of vehicle in the registration certificate was shown as LMV - Since the unladen weight was 2600 kgs., therefore, the vehicle would be considered to be as an LMV and transport vehicle.  (2018-1) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  • Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149 – Vehicle involved in the accident was a Light Goods Vehicle - The driver had a licence to drive Light Motor Vehicle - The Tribunal held that in the absence of a specific authorization to drive a transport vehicle – Insurance Company given recovery right – Order set aside. (2018-3) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER270
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149(2) – Learner Licence also comes within the purview of duly licenced. (2018-1) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149(2) – Registration Certificate and the driving licence were already available on record - Nothing prevented the insurance company to summon witness from the concerned Registering Authority whereby the vehicle was registered to ascertain the factum of non- validity of the permit - Even otherwise, sub-clause (c) clause (a) of sub- section 2 of Section 149 of the Motor Vehicles Act that provides for not allowing the vehicle if the same is being used for the purpose other than allowed by permit, in my view, would not strictly apply to the route permit as per Section 66 but would be in a case where a permit meant for carrying the passengers was found to be used for carrying goods or for any another purpose.   (2018-1 ) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149(2) – Route permit – There is no route permit and the vehicle was plying without permit which is an infraction and under Section 149(2), a defence is available to the insurer and the Tribunal had erred while placing the liability upon the Insurance company.   (2018-1 ) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149(2)(a)(ii) - Driving Licence – Onus of proof - Whether the fact that the offending vehicle bearing No.DIL-5955 was duly insured by respondent No.2 Insurance Company would per se make the Insurance Company liable? - Insurance Company is entitled to take a defence that the offending vehicle was driven by an unauthorised person or the person driving the vehicle did not have a valid driving licence - The onus would shift on the Insurance Company only after the owner of the offending vehicle pleads and proves the basic facts within his knowledge that the driver of the offending vehicle was authorised by him to drive the vehicle and was having a valid driving licence at  the relevant time - Insurance Company can be fastened with the liability on the basis of a valid insurance policy only after the basic facts are pleaded and established by the owner of the offending vehicle that the vehicle was not only duly insured but also that it was driven by an authorised person having a valid driving licence - Without disclosing the name of the driver in the Written Statement or producing any evidence to substantiate the fact that the copy of the driving licence produced in support was of a person who, in fact, was authorised to drive the offending vehicle at the relevant time, the owner of the vehicle cannot be said to have extricated himself from his liability - The Insurance Company would become liable only after such foundational facts are pleaded and proved by the owner of the offending vehicle. (S.C.)(2018-1 ) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149, 2(15), 2(48) - Holding a driving licence for light motor vehicle but he was driving a TATA Tempo-709 which was the goods carrying vehicle - Light motor vehicle would include the transport vehicle of such class as per the weight prescribed under Section 2(21) read with Section 2(15) and 2(48) of the Act - There is no need to obtain separate endorsement to drive transport vehicle. (2018-1 ) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) Section 149, 6(1), 9(7) – Only one driving licence can be possessed by a driver and the provisions of the Act provide the manner in which the licence has to be upgraded from a light motor vehicle to heavy transport vehicle – Second driving licence possessed by the driver having been issued subsequently after issuance of driving licence Ex.R3, is illegal and invalid for all practical purposes - Thus, the driver was not with a valid and effective driving licence authorizing him to drive the Toyota Innova at the time of the accident.   (2018-1) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER 
  •   Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) S. 149 – Plea with regard to the vehicle being plied without a permit cannot be entertained much less accepted as no such factual controversy was raised by the insurance company in its reply to the petition - Rather plea raised by the insurance company was that the vehicle was being plied without a route permit - As per the settled position in law, non-possessing of a route permit or deviation from the route does not constitute a defence in favour of the insurer under Section 149(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.  (2018-2) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •   Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) S. 149(2) – When the bus was passing – Claimant and other passengers who were sitting on the rooftop of the bus in question got in touch with electric live wires and received burn injuries on account of electrocution – Insurance compnay liable to pay compensation. (2018-2) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  • Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) S. 149, 166 - A distinction has to be made between “route permit” and “permit” in the context of Section 149 of the Act.Download
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988)  Section 149 – Package Policy – Comprehensive/package policy of the two-wheeler as well as private car covers the occupants thereof – Insurance Company cannot be restricted to make payment of compensation of Rs. 1,00,000/- only to the claimants in each claim petition. (2018-3) PUNJAB LAW REPORTER
  •  Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, Section 149(2)(a)(i)(a)  - Permit was limited to the State of Maharashtra- No valid permit to operate in the State of Karnataka where accident took place  - Amount of compensation determined by the High Court shall be first paid by the Insurance Company with liberty to recover the same from the owner of the offending vehicle .(2018)2 SCe@J 1278