There was no evidence before the Tribunal to support the appellant’s plea that timely information regarding the dishonour of cheque towards premium and the policy being cancelled before the date of the accident had been given to the RTO: Delhi High Court
MAC.APP. 816/2018, CM APPL. 37614/2018 (Stay)
IFFCO TOKIO GENERAL INSURANCE CO LTD vs MUNNA KUMAR & ORS
The current appeal was under Section 173 (appeals) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 by the insurer sought to assail the award of 17.07.2018 passed by the learned Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (South-West District), Dwarka Courts in MACP No. 1146/2017. Appeal before HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE REKHA PALLI.
FACTS OF THE CASE
Through the award of 17.07.2018, the learned Tribunal awarded a compensation of Rs. 2,04,000/- in favour of claimants has directed the appellant (insurer of the offending vehicle) to pay the said amount to the claimants and recover the same from the owner and driver of the vehicle.
Learned counsel appearing for the appellant contended that even though a policy insuring the offending vehicle for the period between 26.04.2014 to 25.04.2015 had been issued on 25.04.2014, the said policy was cancelled on 07.05.2014 as the cheque towards the insurance premium having been dishonored. Information in this regard was not only furnished to the insurer but also to Regional Transport Office (RTO) on 07.05.2014 itself.
The Counsel further contended that as per the above submission, on the date of the accident i.e. 01.07.2014, there was no valid insurance policy and therefore, the appellant could not be held liable to pay any compensation to the claimant. The Counsel relies on the decision of the Apex Court in United India Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Laxmamma, (2012) 5 SCC 234.
Learned counsel for the respondent (claimant) did not dispute the above factual position but submitted that the appellant had not having given any information to the RTO about the policy being cancelled. The Council contends that the learned Tribunal had rightly held that the appellant was liable to pay compensation and thereafter recover the same from the owner and driver of the offending vehicle.
The Court stated that even though the appellant before the learned Tribunal had made a bald statement that office of the RTO was informed about the dishonor of the cheque towards the premium payable under the insurance policy, no evidence was led by the appellant to show that any such claimed communication was issued or served to the RTO.
The Court further stated that even in this current situation the learned counsel for appellant had not been able to point out anything to show that information regarding the dishonor of the cheque was given to the RTO. Thus, the Court held that the learned Tribunal could not be faulted for directing the appellant to pay compensation to the claimant and then recover the same from the owner and driver of the offending vehicle.
The Court took reference of the Apex Court decision in Manuara Khatun v. Rajesh Kr. Singh, (2017) 4 SCC 796 , which had similar circumstances. Here the Apex Court had directed the insurer of the offending vehicle to pay the awarded compensation to the claimant and then recover the same from the owner of the offending vehicle.
Thus the Court found no merit in the appeal and accordingly dismissed it.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY ADITYA G S.
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