Gujarat HC in “The Mercedes Benz Accident Case”: Orders by Lower Court cannot be substituted in the absence of perversity or material irregularity

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Facts of the Case

The Respondent (Kloeckner Desma Machinery Pvt. Ltd.), through the Managing Director (MD), had purchased a Mercedes Benz car in 2007 from the Authorised Dealer of the present petitioner (Daimler Chrysler India Pvt Ltd- Now Mercedes Benz). The son of the MD was driving the Mercedes Benz car in question, accompanied by two other occupants, and was going to play golf at Kensville Golf Club, Gandhinagar early in the morning at 6.30 am., the said Mercedes Benz car was stated to be driven at the speed of 140 Kms. Per Hours. However, near the SG Highway, one Jeep coming from right side dashed with Mercedes Benz car in question on the rear part of its right side, resultantly, leading to an accident and also the sad demise of the son of the MD subsequently. However, two other occupants in the car could survive in the said accident, whereas, deceased, left behind his wife and a minor son.

On account of such accident, the widow and the minor child filed a Motor Accident Claims Petition against the driver of the offending Jeep, its owner and its Insurance Company, claiming that the driver of the Jeep vehicle was driving in a rash and negligent manner which caused the accident. There was also a Consumer Complaint having being filed, for a claim of Rs.44 crores to be paid by way of compensation and damages arising out of a car accident, causing death of the son, while he was driving a defective car manufactured by the Petitioner and sold by Authorised Dealer. The Insurance Company settled the claim towards accidental damage. During the course of time, the Consumer Complaint was dismissed as the complaint was not maintainable. Further, the petitioner pointed out, that the complaint was barred by limitation, also when the Special Leave Petition before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in 2010 was filed by the Respondents, it was dismissed. The present Civil Revision Application came up for consideration before this High Court in 2019 after going through the Lower Courts, and the Court heard the matter at length.

The present Civil Revision Application under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 was filed by the Petitioners for the main purpose of seeking reliefs i.e. to call for the record and proceedings of the 2011 suit pending in the Ahmedabad City Civil Court at Ahmedabad and more particularly Application in 2013 and quash and set aside the judgment and order passed in 2016 and to stay pending the hearing and final disposal of the present Civil Revision Application further proceedings of the Suit Of  2011 pending in the City Civil Court at Ahmedabad.

Arguments

The Petitioners, as has been aforementioned, pointed out, that the complaint was barred by limitation, also when the Special Leave Petition before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in 2010 was filed by the Respondents, it was dismissed. As for the Respondents, they contended that the issue of limitation is a mix question of law and facts, and as such, whenever there is an element of facts to be examined by the Court, no such jurisdiction be exercised under Order 7 Rule 11(d) of the C.P.C. (Code Of Civil Procedure), the respondents further contended that the trial Judge had exercised his discretion well within the bounds of his authorities in relation to the Respondents and has passed a reasoned order upon consideration of several provisions and simply because another view is possible, the same cannot be substituted in exercise of revisional jurisdiction especially when there is no perversity is reflecting, a mere different conclusion is no ground for exercising jurisdiction under Section 115 of the C.P.C.

Decision of the Court

The Gujarat High Court, finally concluded in favour of the Respondents, holding that “Looking to the circumscribed discretion of Section 115 of the C.P.C., the Court is of the opinion that the stand of the petitioner has not been accepted by the Court below, not only on the issue of limitation but also on the issue of jurisdiction and the arrival of such conclusion cannot be substituted in the absence of any perversity or material irregularity.”

[googlepdf url=”http://libertatem.in/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Gujarat-HC-in-“The-Mercedes-Benz-Accident”-Orders-by-the-Lower-Court-cannot-be-substituted-in-the-absence-of-perversity-or-material-irregularity_watermark.pdf” download=”Download Judgement PDF” width=”100%” height=”900″]


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