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Gujarat High Court Directed Insurance Company To Pay Compensation to Victim and Recover the Same From Owner of the Vehicle

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Facts of the case 

The claimants had stated that on 17/05/2013 the deceased was going as a pedestrian. At the time when the deceased reached near the spot of the accident, a driver of a hydraulic crane drove his vehicle harshly and collided with the deceased. As a result of this accident, the deceased received severe injuries. Therefore, the claimants had filed a motor accident claim petition before the tribunal claiming compensation of Rs.20,00,000 and the tribunal awarded compensation of Rs.8,78,000 along with costs and interest at 9% per annum. Being aggrieved by the judgment and award of the learn it motor accident claims Tribunal the appellant had filed an appeal in the High Court of Gujarat.

Arguments by Parties

The counsel for the Appellant had contended that the tribunal had committed an error because the appellant’s insurance company had no liability if the driver was not holding a valid driving license and that the license was fake. It was also further submitted that no RTO officer was examined regarding the validity of the license. The appellant insurance company was not liable to satisfy any award since the owner and the driver had not appeared and produced any valid or effective license. Henceforth, it was submitted that the order if any had been passed it should be against the owner of the vehicle. The appellant had relied upon the judgment of Singh v. Nirmala, and others wherein the owner remained absent and the award given was drawn against him.

The counsel for the respondents had argued that the insurance company had failed to examine any officer from the concerned RTO and hence, the tribunal had not believed the case of the appellant. It was further submitted that the insurance company might be directed to pay the compensation to the family of the deceased with the liberty to the insurer to recover from the owner of the vehicle.

Court’s observation 

The court had observed that no license existed in the name of the driver and the same was also confirmed by the RTO. The owner had also not appeared during the trial or in the appeal henceforth, the adverse inference should be drawn against them. The court had also observed that the vehicle driver was not holding a valid license and the license was found to be fake in nature.

Court’s Decision 

The court held that the insurance company should pay the compensation to the claimants and should recover the amount from the owner of the vehicle by filing an execution petition before the same court. The present appeal had been partly allowed and had been disposed of.

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