Madras High Court Orders Insurance Company to recover Compensation from Insurer.

TITLE: TATA AIG General Insurance Co Ltd  Vs. Saravanan.

Decided On: August 30, 2023.

Civil Miscellaneous Appeal No.626  and C.M.P. No. 4479 of 2022.

CORAM:  Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sunder Mohan.


The deceased Subasakthi was a driver by profession and was driving TATA Ace Vehicle. While he was driving since the cows ran across the road, to avoid hit against them, he turned the vehicle towards left side, the vehicle turned turtle and resulted in the accident. He was initially admitted at Nagapattinam Government Hospital. Subsequently, he was referred to Thiruvarur Medical College Hospital, where he was declared as brought dead. Hence the respondents 1 and 2 filed claim petition claiming compensation against the appellant and the 3rd respondent the appellant/Insurance Company filed counter statement denying all the averments made by the respondents 1 and 2 in the claim petition and stated that the accident had not occurred due to the rash and negligent driving of the 3rd respondent’s vehicle.

Legal Analysis and Decision:

The deceased was the tort-feaser. The evidence adduced before the Tribunal and the fact that the respondents 1 and 2 filed a claim petition under Section 163-A of Motor Vehicles Act confirms the said fact. The Tribunal however, strangely fixed 20% contributory negligence on the deceased after holding that he was the tort-feaser and held that the 3rd respondent and the appellant were liable pay to 80 % of the compensation amount. This finding is without any basis and logic. As stated earlier, as seen from the evidence, the deceased had driven the offending vehicle (TATA Ace Van) in a rash and negligent manner and two persons who travelled in a two wheeler belonging to a third party involved in the accident died.

The fact is that the respondents 1 and 2 were unable to produce driving license of the deceased. The 3rd respondent/employer also could not produce the driving license. On the other hand, the 3rd respondent in his counter statement before the Tribunal had stated that the deceased had misled him and stated that he had valid driving license. Therefore, the finding of the Tribunal that the deceased did not have valid driving license cannot be faulted.

This Court is of the view that the Civil Miscellaneous Appeal deserves to be partly allowed and the compensation awarded by the Tribunal is reduced from 10,57,261/- to Rs.9,01,000/- together with interest rate at 7.5 per annum (excluding the default period if any) from the date of petition till the date the deposit. The appellant is directed to deposit the compensation amount, now determined by this Court within a period of four (4) weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this Judgment, at the first instance and recover the same from the third respondent.


The Court Concluded that Since the Deceased died in an accident and the respondents are entitle to claim the compensation from the appellant insurance company and recover the same from the insurer 3rd respondent.

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