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Motor Accident | "Insurance Co. Can't Raise License Validity Issue In Appeal If It Wasn't Pleaded Before Tribunal": J&K&L High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
27 Feb 2022 8:25 AM GMT
Motor Accident | Insurance Co. Cant Raise License Validity Issue In Appeal If It Wasnt Pleaded Before Tribunal: J&K&L High Court
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The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court recently dismissed an appeal moved by an Insurance company wherein it had challenged the award made by Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal on the ground that the offending vehicle was being driven by the driver, who was not holding a valid driving licence.The Bench of Justice Rajnesh Oswal observed that since the appellant-Insurance Company had...

The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court recently dismissed an appeal moved by an Insurance company wherein it had challenged the award made by Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal on the ground that the offending vehicle was being driven by the driver, who was not holding a valid driving licence.

The Bench of Justice Rajnesh Oswal observed that since the appellant-Insurance Company had not pleaded anything with regard to the validity of the licence in its objections before the tribunal and therefore, the same cannot be allowed to be raised in the appeal.

Essentially, Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. had moved the High court challenging a 2009 award passed by the Presiding Officer, Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal, Rajouriby by virtue of which, a sum of Rs. 2,90,800/- along with the interest had been awarded as compensation to respondent No. 1/claimant [Narinder Kumar], who had suffered injuries in a motor vehicular accident in June 2002.

The appellant-Insurance Company challenged the award on the ground that the offending vehicle was being driven by the driver, who was not holding valid driving licence at all and quantum of compensation is excessive.

Importantly, one Muzaffar Hakim was in fact examined by the appellant-insurance company in support of its case, who had deposed that the validity of the learner's licence is only for six months and the Licence was issued to Rakesh Kumar, however, the record was torn.

It was his further statement that he was making the statement on the basis of photocopy that the licence has been issued, but the record is not available

Against this backdrop, the Court, at the outset, noted that the Tribunal had not framed any issue with regard to the validity of licence as no such pleading was there in the response filed by the appellant-insurance company to the claim petition regarding the validity of the driving licence.

Further, the Court also opined that the statement of RW Muzaffar Hakim cannot be of any help to the appellant as he had made the statement on the basis of the incomplete record. In view of this, finding that there is no merit in the instant appeal, the same was dismissed.

Case title - Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Narinder Kumar and another

Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 8

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