Passenger on tractor - Insurance Company not liable
Motor Vehicles Act, 1986, S. 166 - Appellant travelled in the tractor as a passenger which was in breach of the policy condition, for the tractor was insured for agriculture purposes and not for carrying goods - Neither was any trailer insured nor was any trailer attached to the tractor - Appellant travelled in the tractor as a passenger, even though the tractor could accommodate only one person namely the driver - Insurance Company was not liable for the loss or injuries suffered by the appellant or to indemnify the owner of the tractor.
(2018)2 SCeJ 1411 / SUPREME COURT e@journal / 5 September, 2018
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Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, Section 166 - Injured - Cleaner in a lorry – Age 25 years - 25% partial but permanent disability in the whole body – factors taken into consideration for increasing compensation - Claimant was a young unmarried boy of 25 years at the time of accident and did not suffer with any kind of ailment; Second, the appellant had sustained fracture of both pelvic bones with rapture of urethra and abdomen injuries for which he underwent four operations and suffered partial but permanent disability in his body which reduced his movement capacity to a larger extent; Third, the appellant due to partial but permanent disability also lost his job; Fourth, he spent a substantial sum for his medical treatment; and lastly, since the appellant is not still able to move freely due to disabilities suffered by him, he is entitled to be suitably compensated by awarding him monetary compensation – Compensation increased from Rs. Rs.3,43,000/ to Rs. 8,43,000/.
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, Section 166 - Deceased was the owner-cum-driver of the vehicle in question - Accident occurred due to the rash and negligent driving of the vehicle by the deceased - No other vehicle was involved in the accident - Deceased himself was responsible for the accident - The deceased being the owner of the offending vehicle was not a third party within the meaning of the Act - A Claimant, in our view, cannot maintain a claim on the basis of his own fault or negligence and argue that even when he himself may have caused the accident on account of his own rash and negligent driving, he can nevertheless make the insurance company to pay for the same - Therefore, the respondents being the LRs of the deceased could not have maintained the claim petition filed under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act - High Court was not justified in directing the appellant/insurer to pay the compensation determined by the Tribunal - Since the indemnification extended to personal accident of the deceased is limited to Rs. 2,00,000/- under the contract of insurance, the respondents are entitled for the said amount towards compensation with interest @ 9 per cent per annum from the date of the Claim Petition.
31 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.