1 Nov 2022 6:21 AM GMT
Realising that it was misled by a claimant's advocate, the Bombay High Court recently apologised for its strong remarks against the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), Pune and said that the remarks will be expunged from the record. "We express our regret and convey our apologies to the Assistant Registrar, MACT Pune. We were misled as to the actual circumstances," the court said in...
Realising that it was misled by a claimant's advocate, the Bombay High Court recently apologised for its strong remarks against the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), Pune and said that the remarks will be expunged from the record.
"We express our regret and convey our apologies to the Assistant Registrar, MACT Pune. We were misled as to the actual circumstances," the court said in its order.
A division bench of Justice Gautam S Patel and Justice Gauri V Godse was hearing an appeal against an insurance company by one Girish Gopal Nair and his son Gautam Nair.
On September 22 and October 14, 2022, the bench pulled up the Registrar MACT for the failure to remit Rs. 30 lakh compensation to the claimant-son, for 2.5 years. The money was required for his higher education in February 2019, the claimants said.
However, on October 19 the bench learned that an application for remittance was made only on October 10, 2022. It therefore commented on the "poor" conduct of the law firm, for the manner in which the case was handled.
"This means that from 13th February 2019 until we intervened, the Advocates for the claimants in the First Appeal had done absolutely nothing. This reflects very poorly on the law firm engaged by the claimants in the First Appeal."
The claimants were represented by Advocate Yashashree Munde instructed by Parinam Law Associates.
In September 2022, the High Court was informed that a coordinate bench had allowed the second claimant Gautam Nair to withdraw Rs 30 lakh, a part of his compensation to pursue higher studies in February 2019.
Advocate Munde informed the court that MACT Pune did not remit the permitted withdrawal of Rs. 30 lakh for over two years and therefore the order of 13th February 2019 remained without compliance, on account of 'covid.'
The court accordingly directed MACT Pune to remit the amount, sought an explanation from the registrar of MACT and also warned of contempt action. The bench was particularly miffed after it was told that the Registrar was insisting on the claimant's personal appearance knowing that he is in the US.
Subsequently, the court was told that the Assistant Registrar MACT had in fact accepted an application from the father and a delay, if any, was on the advocate's part.
"It is difficult to express the extent of our dismay and disappointment at the way in which the Advocates for the original claimants have conducted themselves in this First Appeal that comes up from the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) Pune…."
"The MACT Pune has never declined to remit the funds. It has not insisted on the personal presence of Gautam Nair, the 2nd claimant. It has not insisted on an undertaking by the 2nd claimant either. There is an application dated 10th October 2022 filed by the 1st claimant, Girish Nair, Gautam Nair's father, that is accompanied by his own undertaking," it said in the order.
Advocate Anil Patani, who had represented the claimants before the tribunal had also written to the advocates saying that an incorrect submission was made to the bench. Accordingly, the bench expressed regret for what had transpired and apologised to the Registrar of MACT.
Case Title: Girish Gopal Nair & Ors Versus Divisional Manager The New India Assurance Co Ltd
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 422
Click Here To Read/Download Order