Libertatem Magazine

Non-Possession of Driving License Is Policy Violation and Hence Insurance Company Is Entitled To Pay Recovery Rights: Madras High Court

Contents of this Page


A Civil Miscellaneous Appeal was filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. It challenged the Judgment and the decree dated 29.04.2015 on the file of I-Additional District and Sessions Judge, (Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal) Vellore.


The Appellant filed a Civil Miscellaneous Appeal, challenging the award passed by Motor Accident Claims Tribunal. The Appellant challenged the award on the ground that they have not been granted pay and recovery rights, even though the rider of the Motor Cycle did not have a Driving License, in violation of the policy condition. However, the Appellant didn’t challenge the quantum of the compensation awarded by the Tribunal to the respondents. 


The Respondents / Claimants filed five documents that didn’t include the Driving License of the rider who caused the accident which resulted in the death of a person. Two witnesses were examined, the wife of the deceased and the eye-witness to the accident

However, on the other side, seven documents were submitted by the Appellants and three Witnesses were examined i.e. the official of the Appellant company, the Investigator of the company, and the RTO official

The RTO official deposed that the rider of the Motor Cycle who caused the accident did not have a driving license at the time of the accident

Court’s Observation

The Court observed that as per the deposition of the witness of the Appellant, the rider didn’t have a driving license at the time of the accident. The tribunal had not granted pay and recovery rights to the Appellant Insurance Company following the law. 

Non-possession of driving license was a policy violation and hence, the Appellant was entitled to pay and recovery rights i.e. pay the Claimants and recover the same from the insured owner of the motorcycle. Therefore, the tribunal by non-application of the settled law had failed to grant pay and recovery rights to the Appellant.

Thus, the award passed by the tribunal was modified by granting pay and recovery rights to the Appellant. However, the quantum of the compensation awarded remained unaltered.

Court’s Decision

The appeal was partially allowed. The Appellant company was directed to deposit the award amount together with interest from the date of claim till the date of deposit. Also, costs as assessed by the Tribunal after deducting the amount already deposited to the credit within four weeks from the date of the receipt of a copy of this Judgment and recover the same from the sixth respondent, the owner of the motorcycle (insured). 

On such a deposit, the Tribunal was directed to transfer the respective shares of the award amount lying to the credit to the bank account of the respondents 1 to 3 and 5 through RTGS as per the ratio apportioned by the Tribunal within two weeks thereafter.

Since the fourth respondent was a minor, her respective shares of the award amount shall be deposited in a fixed deposit in any one of the Nationalised Banks, till she attains majority. The first respondent who was the mother of the minor was permitted to withdraw the interest once in six months for the welfare of the minor. When the minor has attained the age of majority, it will be open for her to file a formal petition to declare her as major. 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE JUDGMENT. is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgment from courts. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can subscribe to our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

About the Author