Mere Acceptance Of Guilt By Owner/ Driver Of Offending Vehicle No Ground To Grant Compensation To Claimant: Karnataka High Court

Mustafa Plumber

13 Nov 2023 11:45 AM GMT

  • Mere Acceptance Of Guilt By Owner/ Driver Of Offending Vehicle No Ground To Grant Compensation To Claimant: Karnataka High Court

    The Karnataka High Court has held that when an application is filed under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, it is for the claimant to prove their case by adducing independent evidence. Mere acceptance of guilt by the owner/driver of the offending vehicle can never be a ground for the tribunal to come to a conclusion, it held.A single judge bench of Justice Lalitha Kanneganti thus...

    The Karnataka High Court has held that when an application is filed under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, it is for the claimant to prove their case by adducing independent evidence. Mere acceptance of guilt by the owner/driver of the offending vehicle can never be a ground for the tribunal to come to a conclusion, it held.

    A single judge bench of Justice Lalitha Kanneganti thus dismissed the appeal filed by a claimant seeking enhancement of compensation and allowed the appeal filed by United India Insurance to set aside the order of the tribunal granting compensation to the claimant.

    As per the claimant, he was proceeding on a motorbike when the rider of the offending vehicle dashed against him in a rash and negligent manner. Following this claimant was admitted in the hospital for 10 days and a private complaint was filed about a month thereafter.

    The insurance company disputed the claim and said the claimant himself was driving the motorcycle at a high speed, he lost control and fell on the road. Further it was argued that the delay in lodging the complaint create doubts. It was also argued that when an application is filed under Section 166 MV Act, the burden lies on the claimant to prove that there is involvement of the vehicle and there is negligence.

    The bench on going through the records noted that there was a clear delay of almost 30 days in giving the complaint. It was also of the view  that the tribunal went wrong in observing that the filing of the charge sheet and accepting of the guilt by the owner of the vehicle are the basis to convict the accused.

    Accordingly it dismissed the appeal of the claimant saying, “There is no doubt that the charge sheet supports the case of the claimant. In this case, considering the circumstances i.e., the date of accident, the date of complaint, this Court is not able to appreciate any of the contentions raised by the claimant as well as the findings of the Tribunal that the vehicle is involved in the accident. In the considered opinion of this Court, the claimant could not satisfactorily prove that there is involvement of the vehicle. In view of the same, this Court is of the view that the Tribunal went wrong in holding that the insurance company is liable to pay the compensation.

    Appearance: Advocate Shivaraj B K for Appellant.

    Advocate O Mahesh for R1.

    Citation No: 2023 LiveLaw (Kar) 430

    Case Title: Ganesh Achar AND United India Insurance Co LTD.

    Case No: MISCELLANEOUS FIRST APPEAL NO. 8145 OF 2012 (MV-I) C/W MISCELLANEOUS FIRST APPEAL NO. 2731 OF 2012.

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