The Tripura High Court in the case of High Court Of Tripura vs Sri Suku Debbarma (MAC App. No. 67/2018) upheld that there is no need of having a separate endorsement in the license in regard to the eligibility of the driver to drive “heavy goods vehicle” where the license authorizes the driver to drive a “transport vehicle”
Facts of the case : The short question which arose for consideration in this appeal was whether the possessor of a license to drive a non-transport light motor vehicle (LMV NT) as well as transport vehicle (trans) is authorized to drive a heavy goods vehicle. The claimants pleaded that their son died at the age of 25 years due to the negligence of the accused driver.
On appreciation of evidence, the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal held that the driver was authorized to drive a light motor vehicle whereas the vehicle involved in the instant case was a truck. Therefore, the tribunal held that since there was a breach of the insurance policy, the insurer would not be held liable to pay the compensation.
Judgment : Aggrieved by the award, the owner of the offending vehicle challenged the judgment and award passed by the Tribunal by filing this appeal. It had been contended by the appellant-owner that the driver of his vehicle was authorized to drive the offending truck since he was possessing a license for driving a transport vehicle. According to the appellant, truck is a heavy goods vehicle and under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 transport vehicle has been substituted for medium goods vehicle and heavy goods vehicle.
The court held that it is evident that “transport vehicle” has now been substituted for “medium goods vehicle” and “heavy goods vehicle”. The amendments carried out in the Rules having a prospective operation, the license held by the driver of the vehicle in question cannot be said to be invalid in law.
There is no need of having a separate endorsement in the licence in regard to the eligibility of the driver to drive “heavy goods vehicle” where the license authorizes the driver to drive a “transport vehicle”.
The driving license of the driver of the offending vehicle in the instant case indicates that he was authorized to drive a transport vehicle and his license was valid on the date of accident. Therefore, there was no breach of the insurance policy. Since the policy was operative on the date of occurrence, the insurance company cannot deny its liability to pay the compensation awarded by the Tribunal.
JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY : SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY