Insurance Company Can’t Deny Claim Merely Because Person Insured Is Allegedly Involved In Multiple Motor Accidents: Orissa High Court

In the case of The Divisional Manager, National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Sunil Majhi & Anr.(MACA No. 253 of 2019), the Orissa High Court through the single Judge Bench of Justice B.P. Routray has held that merely because a person driving a vehicle is involved in multiple road accidents, at different points in time, is no reason for the Insurance company to deny his claim.

Brief Facts Of The Case:  The insurer (appellant here) filed an appeal against two motor accident judgments rendered by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), Keonjhar. The current appeal relates to MAC Case No. 156/2017, in which the Tribunal awarded the claimant compensation for injuries he incurred in the motor vehicle accident on April 30, 2017, in the amount of Rs. 65,000 along with 7 percent interest annually. The Appellant said that the accused, who was driving the motorbike, is a habitual offender of causing traffic accidents and that two previous cases against him are still ongoing in Cuttack and Keonjhar. In light of this, his claim to receive compensation for injuries allegedly experienced in the motor vehicle collision is unjustifiable in the eyes of the law.

Judgement: However, dismissing this argument put out by the appellant-insurer, the High Court ruled that the Appellant’s statement is categorically untrue because no supporting documentation has been shown before the learned Tribunal. Second, the argument made by the appellant that the claim for compensation envisioned in Section 166 of the Motor Vehicle Act would be void since the accused was engaged in many accidents at various times lacks coherence. As a result, the appeal was denied, and the appellant insurance company was given two months to deposit the whole award sum, plus interest, in accordance with the Tribunal’s directions before it could be disbursed to the claimant.

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