7 Jan 2023 4:30 AM GMT
LiveLaw reported almost 7,000 orders and judgments in 2022 from various High Courts across the country. Here are some important decisions relating to road accidents and Motor Vehicles Act, 1988:1. Motor Accident Claim- Fixing 15K As Notional Income Per Annum For Non-Earning Member Is Unreasonable: Allahabad HCCase title - Roop Lal and Anr v. Suresh Kumar Yadav and 2 Ors.Case citation:...
LiveLaw reported almost 7,000 orders and judgments in 2022 from various High Courts across the country. Here are some important decisions relating to road accidents and Motor Vehicles Act, 1988:
Case title - Roop Lal and Anr v. Suresh Kumar Yadav and 2 Ors.
Case citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 13
Referring to a Supreme Court's Judgment delivered in 2021, the High Court observed that fixing notional income at Rs.15,000/- per annum for a family's non-earning members is not just and reasonable.
The Bench of Justice Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Ajai Tyagi was hearing an appeal filed by the parents of a 7-year-old deceased boy, seeking enhancement of quantum, against Motor Accident Claims Tribunal's order awarding Rs.1,80,000 as compensation with interest at the rate of 7.5% per annum.
2. Motor Accident Claim- Fixing 15K As Notional Income Per Annum For Non-Earning Member Is Unreasonable: Allahabad HC
3. Motor Accident- Insurer Not Absolved From Paying Damages Merely Because Erring Driver Had Fake Driving Licence: Allahabad HC
Case title - National Insurance Company Ltd. v. Kewal Krishna Arora And Others
Case citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 47
In a motor accident death claim case, the High Court recently observed the insurance company cannot be permitted to avoid its liability only on the ground that the person driving the vehicle, which caused the accident of the deceased, was not duly licensed at the time of the accident.
Referring to a 2003 ruling of the Apex Court (United India Insurance Company Limited vs. Lehru and others), the bench of Justice Subhash Chandra Sharma observed that it was not expected of the employer to verify the genuineness of a driving license from the issuing authority at the time of employment.
4. 'Sympathetic View Required When Such Great Loss Of Body Part': Allahabad High Court Enhances Motor Accident Compensation To Child Who Lost One Kidney
Case Title: Prabhat Kumar And Others vs Dheeraj And Others
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 119
The Allahabad High Court enhanced the compensation granted by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal to a minor (as he then was), who lost one kidney and suffered liver damage on being hit by a motorcycle while driving a moped.
Justice Ajai Tyagi said,
"The learned tribunal has not taken sympathetic view which is required by tribunal in such matters when the child has suffered such a great loss of body part. Theories of just compensation has also been overlooked by the tribunal while adjudicating this matter, just because no disability or injury report was filed."
5. Motor Accident Claim: Allahabad High Court Imposes ₹5 Lakhs Cost On Insurance Co. For 'Keeping Litigation Alive' For 20 Yrs
Case title - United India Insurance Co. Ltd. Thru Its Divisional Manager v. Motor Accident Claim Tribunal
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 121
The Allahabad High Court imposed Rupees Five Lakhs on an insurance company while noting that it kept the litigation alive for almost 20 years in connection with a Motor Accident Claims case.
The Bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh imposed the exemplary cost on the Insurance Company as they made the complainant (whose husband died in a motor accident in the year 1999) and her five minor children suffer beyond imagination.
6. Motor Accident Claim| 'Future Prospects' Ought To Be Allowed For Those With Notional Income: Bombay High Court
Case Title: Mulchand Dhanji Shah & Anr. V. Mr. Noordam Iraj Ahmad & Ors.
Case No: First Appeal No. 1005/2019 (Civil Appellate Jurisdiction)
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 11
The Bombay High Court ruled that lack of evidence supporting the income of the deceased does not justify ascertaining notional income at the minimum tier of wage in determining compensation.
It partly allowed an order of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Mumbai, in an appeal against the compensation awarded to kin of a deceased of a motor accident.
7. Motor Accident Compensation: Claimant Entitled To Future Loss Of Income Proportionate To Extent Of Disability Though There Is No Total Loss Of Income: Bombay High Court
Case Title: Hareshwar Harishchandra Mistry v Pravin B. Nayak
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 19
The Bombay High Court held that while determining the compensation that the applicant would be entitled to on account of loss of future earnings, even if the applicant has not suffered total loss of income due to permanent disability. It was held that the claimant would be entitled to proportional of notional income corresponding to the extent of his disability. Accordingly, the Court enhanced the compensation awarded to the appellant-claimant from Rs.50,000 to Rs.2,70,000.
8. Bombay Asks Cab Aggregators Like Ola & Uber To Apply For Licenses Under New Motor Vehicle Rules By March 16
Case Title: Savina R Crasto vs Union Of India
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 71
In a sign of accountability for all cab aggregators in Maharashtra like Uber India and Ola, the Bombay High Court directed them to apply for new licences from the State Government by March 16, 2022, based on rules framed by the Central Government under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.
The Central Government's rules – Motor Vehicles Aggregators Guidelines 2020 – will be applicable till the State's rules come into effect based on a 2019 amendment to the MV Act.
"If rejected (application and appeal), such applying aggregator shall not be permitted to carry on further activities in the state of Maharashtra," a division bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta observed.
Also Read: Strictly Follow Motor Vehicles Aggregators Guidelines : Bombay High Court To Ola, Uber
9. Court May Increase Quantum Of Compensation In Motor Accident Claim, Irrespective Of Who Files Appeal: Bombay High Court
Case Title : Manager, National Insurance Co.Ltd v Shri Nilesh Suresh Bhandari and ors
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 126
The Bombay High court recently dealt with an appeal by an Insurance Company against the quantum of compensation awarded to an accident victim under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The claimant, in the course of this appeal, raised the issue of insufficiency of the compensation awarded.
Single Bench of Justice Bharati Dangre noted that though the claimant had not filed an appeal for enhancement of compensation,
"The Motor Vehicles Act is a beneficial piece of legislation and provide for some solace to a victim, who meet with an accident or to the family of the victim who is a sufferer, when the bread-earner is disabled or succumb to the said accident. The duty of the Court in granting compensation to the victim or to his family, for its survival and meet the harness is to ensure 'just' compensation, irrespective of whether any plea in that behalf was raised by the claimant."
10. Motor Accident Claim | Can't Compute Compensation On Basis Of 45% Permanent Disability In Case Of 100% Functional Disability: Bombay HC
Case Title: Akshay @ Vikas Ramesh Chavan vs Kailas Vitthalrao Shinde and ors
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 149
The Bombay High court held that the Motor Accident Tribunal at Aurangabad has committed an error in accepting the permanent disability of the claimant of a motor accident at 45% when it is a case of 100% loss of earning capacity due to amputation of leg.
Single judge Shrikant D. Kulkarni also awarded Rs 1 lakh compensation for loss of marriage prospects and another lakh for loss of happiness, amenities and entertainment of life.
11. [No Fault Principle] Employee Can Claim Compensation Both U/S 140 Motor Vehicle Act & U/S 3 Of Workmen's Compensation Act: Bombay High Court
Case Title: Narayan v Mrs. Sangita and Anr
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 214
The Bombay HC recently dealt with a case wherein a truck driver, who was the employee of the owner of the truck met with a vehicular accident. As he had initiated compensation proceedings under section 140 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 ("M.V. Act"), his claim for compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act 1923 (now Employees Compensation Act 1923) ("W.C. Act") was not entertained by the commissioner.
The court held that the compensation granted under chapter X of the M.V. Act does not forfeit the right of the employee to claim the compensation under section 3 of the 1923 Act as provided under Section 167 of the M.V. Act.
12. Misled By Claimant's Counsel, Bombay High Court Apologises To MACT Assistant Registrar For Making Strong Remarks
Case Title: Girish Gopal Nair & Ors v. Divisional Manager The New India Assurance Co Ltd
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 422
The Bombay High Court apologised for its strong remarks against the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), Pune and said that the remarks will be expunged from the record after realising that it was misled by a claimant's advocate.
A division bench of Justice Gautam S Patel and Justice Gauri V Godse on September 22 and October 14, 2022, had pulled up the Registrar MACT for failure to remit Rs. 30 lakh compensation to the claimant-son for 2.5 years.
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.
13. Biker Not Liable For Contributory Negligence If Parking Lights Of Stationary Vehicle Against Which He Dashed At Night Were Off: Bombay HC
Case Title: Mohini Mohanrao Salunke and Ors. v. Ramdas Hanumant Jadhav and Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 428
The Bombay High Court Aurangabad bench held that a motorcycle rider cannot be held even partially responsible for ramming into a stationary tempo under the Motor Vehicle's Act if the offending vehicle's parking lights were off.
Justice SG Dige observed, "When there is specific rule in respect of taking precautions by stationary vehicle, if such precautions are not taken by the driver/owner of stationary vehicle then liability cannot be shifted on motorcycle rider."
14. [MV Act] 'Form 16' Issued By Employer Reliable Piece Of Evidence To Determine Real Income Of Deceased For Compensation: Bombay High Court
Case Title: Anjali Vilas Deshpande v. Prabha Rajendra Gupta
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 458
The Bombay High Court held that Form 16 issued by an employer for income tax purposes, showing a higher remuneration than a salary slip, is a reliable piece of evidence for compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act,.
"We find that Form 16 is a reliable piece of evidence to determine the real income of the deceased. The reason is that Form 16 has been signed and generated by the employer of the deceased," a division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Gauri Godse observed.
15. Motivated To Earn Profit: Calcutta HC Dismisses Bus Operators' Plea Seeking Right To Determine Fares
Case Title: Asansol Mini Bus Association and others v. Union of India and others
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Cal) 205
The Calcutta High Court dismissed a plea moved by Bus and Minibus Operators' Associations seeking the operators' right in the matter of determination of fares in a manner proportionate to hike of the market price of fuel on the ground that such fixation of fares lies squarely within the authority of the executive. The plea filed contended that the provisions of Section 67 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (Act) ought to be read down to give a handle to the bus operators to have a say in the fixation of fare structures. Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya observed that the privilege sought by the petitioners for the operators of motor vehicles in having a say in the fixation of fare structure has to be balanced with the convenience of the huge number of passengers and consignors who use the road transport network regularly for travelling and transporting goods. Opining that judicial interference is not warranted in such cases, the Court underscored, "..the domain of fixation of taxes in public transport is squarely within the authority of the executive and pertains to policy decisions of the Governments, both at the State and the Central level. Judicial interference, under normal circumstances, is not warranted, unless the very Constitutionality of the statutes are hit and/or the statues-in-question are in direct contravention of public policy or the like."
16. Police Officer Not Authorised To Suspend A Driving Licence, Only Licensing Authority Can Do So: Calcutta High Court
Case Title - Priyasha Bhattacharyya vs The State Of West Bengal And Others
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Cal) 274
The Calcutta High Court has observed that a police officer has no right to disqualify a person or revoke a driving licence under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and only the licensing authority is empowered to issue and suspend a driving licence. The Bench of Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya observed thus while hearing a plea filed by one Priyasha Bhattacharyya who sought quashing of an order passed by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Traffic Department, Kolkata suspending her Driving Licence for 90 days on account of overspending. The Court further stressed that the Motor Vehicles Act gives the power only to the licensing authority and limits the power of the police to disqualify a person or revoke his license under the Act, therefore, it held that a later Notification issued by the State Transport Department cannot override the provisions of the parent Act.
17. Person Driving Vehicle Rashly With 'Knowledge' That It Would Cause Death By Accident Can Be Prosecuted U/S 304 (II) IPC: Calcutta High Court
Case Title: Arnav Choudhury v. State of West Bengal & Anr.
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Cal) 365
The Calcutta High Court has declined to quash proceedings under Section 304 Part II of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in a motor accident case finding that the case was still at its investigation stage and that it was likely that the petitioner had "knowledge" that his reckless driving would lead to a fatal accident. Justice Bibek Chaudhuri pointed out that it was found from the initial police report that the petitioner was driving the vehicle at utmost high speed despite having knowledge that such reckless driving may cause death of any by-stander, himself and his fellow passengers. "Therefore at this stage of investigation, I am not inclined to quash the registration of case against the petitioner under Section 304 Part-II of the IPC. Accordingly the instant criminal revision being devoid of any material is dismissed on contest", the Court ordered.
18. Legal Representatives Entitled To Motor Accident Claim: Delhi HC Upholds Compensation Given To Children From Deceased's First Marriage
Case Title: UNITED INDIA INSURANCE CO.LTD v. FARIDA SAROSH POONAWALA AND ORS
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 100
Reiterating that legal representatives of a person are entitled to motor accident claim, the Delhi High Court has upheld the compensation given to two children from the deceased's first marriage.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva was dealing with a plea impugning the award dated 22.03.2021 whereby the detailed accident report was disposed of and compensation was awarded to the children.
It was the case of the appellant, Insurance company, that the tribunal had erred in awarding compensation to two children of the deceased from his first marriage. It was submitted that they cannot be treated as dependent family members of the deceased.
It was also argued that the tribunal had erred in taking the monthly salary of the deceased at Rs. 41,807 whereas as per the claim of the wife of the deceased the salary was only Rs. 35,000 per month.
19. "They Are Not Above Law": High Court Orders Action Against Delhi Police Personnel For Not Wearing Masks, Riding Two Wheelers Without Helmets
Case Title: Shalen Bhardwaj v. Ministry of Home Affairs & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 524
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Delhi Police to take action against its officials who are found not following Covid-19 masking policy and violating Motor Vehicles Act by not wearing helmets while riding their vehicles.
A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta observed, "Police officers are equally bound by directions issued by DDMA, as any other citizen. We are of the view that they should lead by example."
20. [Motor Accident Death] 'Parental Consortium' Available To All Children Irrespective Of Whether They Were Dependent On Deceased Or Not: Delhi High Court
Case Title: KANTI DEVI & ORS v. NEW INDIA ASSURANCE COMPANY LTD. & ORS
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 923
The Delhi High Court in a recent judgement observed that in cases of motor accident deaths, parental consortium is available to all the children irrespective of the fact that whether they were dependent on the deceased or not.
Parental consortium is granted to the child on the premature death of a parent for loss of parental aid, protection, affection, society, discipline, guidance and training, explained the court.
Justice Gaurang Kanth was dealing with a plea challenging an order passed by Motor Accident Claims Tribunal awarding compensation to four dependents of the deceased, a 44 year old man who had died in an accident.
21. InsuranceCompany Not Liable To Indemnify Award When Driver Of Offending Vehicle Did NotHave Valid License : Gujarat High Court
Case Title: National Insurance Company Ltd vs Bharatbhai Bhimjibhai Songara and Ors
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 12
An insurance company cannot be held liable for indemnity ifthe driver of the offending vehicle does not have a valid license on the dateof the accident, Gujarat High Court has held.
In an appeal filed against an order of Motor Accident ClaimsTribunal which had held that the insurance company would be liable to indemnifyan award for accidental damage even if the license of the person driving theoffending vehicle had expired, Justice RM Chayya, overturned the award of theTribunal. It stated that in absence of any valid license, the insurance companymust be exonerated from the liability of payment of indemnity.
22. Only Use Of Motor Vehicle Required To Be Established U/S163A MVA; Need Not Prove Someone Else Was Driving Negligently: Gujarat HighCourt
Case Title: SONALBEN BHANABHAI TADVI-MINOR THROUGH UNCLE& 2 other(s) Versus MADHUBEN BHAGUBHAI TADVI & 1 other(s)
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 39
Affirming that it is not necessary under Section 163A of the Motor Vehicles Act to prove that somebody else was driving the vehicle rashly and negligently which resulted in the death of the victim, the Gujarat HighCourt has imposed liability on the insurance company to pay compensation to the family of the deceased.
The Bench comprising Justice Sandeep N Bhatt ordered this in connection with the First Appeal filed under Section 173 of the MV Act by theAppellants who were dissatisfied with the award of the Motor Accident ClaimsTribunal.
23. Motor Accident Claim | Lack Of Endorsement To DriveTransport Vehicle Not Equivalent To Lack Of Valid Driving License: Gujarat High Court
Case Title: NEW INDIA ASSURANCE CO LTD Versus MUKESHBHAI BHIMSINGBHAI RAJPUT & 4 other(s)
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 54
The Gujarat High Court has recently held it to be awell-settled principle of law that "merely in absence of endorsement todrive the transport vehicle in the license does not amount to lead to theinterpretation that the driver is not holding valid and effective drivinglicense."
Justice Sandeep Bhatt observed this in connection with aFirst Appeal under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicle Act ('MV Act') wherein theAppellant-Insurance Company was aggrieved with the order passed by the MotorAccident Claims Tribunal. The Tribunal had awarded compensation worth INR1,55,000 with 9% interest pa to the claimants (driver) and owner jointly andseverally.
24. MotorAccident Claim | Offending Driver's Statement Can't Form Part Of Charge-Sheet: Gujarat High Court
Case Title: Reliance General Insurance Company LimitedVersus Ashaben Vikrambhai Chauhan
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 81
The Gujarat High Court has held that when proceedingsagainst a driver are instituted for negligence causing a motor accident, thensuch driver's statements cannot form part of the charge sheet filed againsthim.
"The copy of charge-sheet filed against the driverof the offending vehicle – Truck and the fact that he is prosecuted in theCourt of law, if at all, chargesheet is filed against the driver, his ownstatement recorded in the said criminal case would never form a part ofcharge-sheet as it cannot be used against him during the course of trial", JusticeUmesh Trivedi opined.
25. GujaratHigh Court Increases Motor Accident Compensation; Includes Loss of Amenities,Functional Disability In Computation
Case Title: Ishwarlal Kasturlal Pandya vs Ibrahimbhai Farukdin Vohra
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 117
The High Court enhanced the compensation granted by theMotor Vehicles Tribunal to the Applicant, working in an agricultural land, computing his "functional disability" to be 100%, after he sustained fracture injuries on both the legs, on head and right hand on being dashed by a Truck while riding his scooter.
The Bench comprising Justice Sandeep Bhatt observed that the Tribunal had awarded compensation towards future loss of income.However, considering Applicant's 100% functional disability in terms of theSupreme Court decision in v. Ram Avtar Tomar, the amount of compensation is required to be enhanced.
26. IncomeTax Not Applicable On Interest Awarded By The Motor Accident Claim Tribunal: Gujarat High Court
Case Title: Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. VersusChief Commissioner Of Income Tax (TDS)
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 148
The High Court bench of Justice J.B.Pardiwala and Justice Nisha M. Thakore held that the interest awarded by the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal (MACT) under section 171of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 is not taxable under the Income Tax Act, 1961.
The writ applicant, Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., is an insurance company. One Motor Accident Claim Petition was filed in the City Civil Court of Ahmedabad. The claim petition was allowed by the MACT.
27. MereDelay In Filing FIR Not Fatal In Motor Accident Claims If Adequate ExplanationIs Offered: Gujarat High Court
Case Title: Hardasbhai Raymalbhai Gohil vs Sanjaybhai Arvindbhai Jabuani
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 178
The High Court directed the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal to consider the claim petition filed by a motor accident victim, even though there was a delay of about 1 month in reporting the matter to the Police.
The direction was passed in a First Appeal filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 challenging dismissal of the claim petition. Attention was drawn to the fact that the victim herein was earning INR 1,50,000 from his agricultural work and therefore the claimants were entitled to get compensation worth INR 11,00,000.
28. AppealFiled By Insurance Company 'Unnecessary' Considering 'Smallness Of Amount':Gujarat High Court Upholds Compensation Award Of ₹65,200
Case Title: National Insurance Co Ltd V/S Rajeen Rafiqahmed Vohra & 4 Other(S)
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 182
Stating that the Insurance Company had unnecessarily filedan appeal for challenging a small compensation amount in a motor vehiclesaccident claim, Justice Sandeep Bhatt has affirmed the awardof INR 65, 200 passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal and dismissed theappeal of the Insurance Company.
The brief facts of the case were that the Claimant(Respondent No. 1) was riding in a rash and negligent manner on a motorcycle with the Opponent No. 2 as a pillion rider when the Opponent No. 4 driving a tempo hit the motorcycle because of excessive speed. This caused serious injuries and fracture to the Claimant. The claim petition was filed to gain compensation worth INR 3 lakhs. However, noting the involvement and liabilities of both parties and the disability claims, the Tribunal declared a compensation of INR65,200 with 7.5% interest for the Claimant.
29. Motor Accident | Failure To Produce Evidence Of Deceased's Income Does Not Justify Adoption Of Lowest Tier Of Minimum Wage: Himachal Pradesh HC
Case Title: UNITED INDIA INSURANCE COMPLANY LTD v. SMT. SUMNA DEVI
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (HP) 24
The Himachal Pradesh High Court observed that merely because the claimants were unable to produce documentary evidence to show the monthly income of the deceased, the same should not justify adoption of lowest tier of minimum wage while computing the income.
Observation came from Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua while deciding the appeal preferred by an Insurance company against award of Rs. 15,85,000/- compensation to the bereaved mother by the Claims Tribunal.
30. Motor Accident | "Insurance Co. Can't Raise License Validity Issue In Appeal If It Wasn't Pleaded Before Tribunal": J&K&L High Court
Case title - Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Narinder Kumar and another
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 8
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court 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.
31. Non-Incorporation Of Finer Elements Of Pleadings In A Petition Under Motor Vehicles Act Not Necessarily Fatal For Claimant: J&K&L High Court
Case Title: Ram Charan Singh Vs Ranjyoti Singh
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 105
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court ruled that the finer elements of the pleadings, which are required to be mentioned in proceedings like a civil suit, if not incorporated in a claim petition filed under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act will not necessarily prove fatal for the claimant.
"The sum and substance of the claim petition should be gauged and not the phrasing of the claim petition in order to do justice in the case. The pedantic approach in this regard can deprive the petitioner of compensation which may be otherwise due to the claimant. That cannot be the legislative intent behind the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act", the bench recorded.
32.Preponderance Of Probability & Not Strict Principles Of Proof Like In Criminal Case Applicable In Motor Accident Claims: J&K&L High Court
Case Title: Showkat Ahmad Bhat & others Vs Khazir Mohammad Bhat & others
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 112
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court ruled that the strict principles of proof in a criminal case will not be applicable in a claim for compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act and that standard to be followed in motor accident claims is one of preponderance of probability rather than one of proof beyond reasonable doubt.
33. Provident Fund & Other Pecuniary Benefits Received By Legal Heirs Of Deceased Have No Co-Relation With Motor Accident Claim: J&K&L High Court
Case Title: United Insurance Co Ltd Vs Jawahira Begum &Ors
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 115
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court ruled that Provident Fund, Pension, Insurance, bank balance, shares, fixed deposits, etc., are all pecuniary advantages receivable by heirs on account of one's death but all these have no correlation with the amount receivable as compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act, a statute occasioned only on account of accidental death.
Justice Vinod Chaterjee Koul Observed, "The deceased employee works throughout his life expecting that on his retirement he will get substantial amount as pension and gratuity and these amounts are also payable on death, whatever be the cause of death. Therefore, applying the same principles, the said amount cannot be deducted".
34.Insurer Must Show Negligence & Lack Of Reasonable Care By Insured To Avoid Its Liability Under Motor Vehicles Act: J&K&L High Court
Case Title: National Insurance Co Ltd Vs Mushtaq Ahmad Kutary
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 118
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court ruled that under the Motor Vehicles Act, mere absence, fake or invalid driving licence or disqualification of driver to drive at the relevant time are not in themselves defences available to the insurer against either insured or third parties. To avoid liability towards insured, the insurer has to prove that insured was guilty of negligence and failed to exercise reasonable care.
35.Motor Vehicles Act - Claimant Whether Gratuitous Or Non- Gratuitous Cannot Fasten Liability On The Insurer Under The Provisions Of Motor Vehicles Act: J&K&L High Court
Case Title: New India Assurance Co Vs Mehra Begum
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 129
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court ruled that in a claim with regard to death or disability of a person travelling by a goods vehicle /goods carriage, as gratuitous or non-gratuitous does not, by the application of statutory provisions of Motor Vehicles Act, fasten the liability on the insurer, except an owner of the load /goods travelling in the vehicle having such load /goods.
36. Passenger Injured On Account Of Mine Blast Entitled To Compensation Under Motor Vehicle Act: J&K&L High Court
Case Title :State of J&K & Ors Vs Mir Fathima
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 167
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court ruled that even if the cause of accident is remote or as a result of subversive activity involved, the victim is entitled to grant of compensation under Motor Vehicle Act.
"The death of the deceased had taken place due to use of the vehicle and the same cannot be said that the land mine blast can divest the accident from the use of the vehicle. The appellants being functionaries of the law and order in the State knew it very well that planting of land mine was the order of the day in those days particularly the security vehicles being the target", the bench observed.
37. Compensation For "No Fault Liability" U/S 140 MV Act Is Adjustable In Claims Of Compensation For Fault Liability: JKL High Court
Case Title: Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd Vs Gulshan Kumar and Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 253
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court on Wednesday ruled that compensation paid under the "No Fault liability" provision is adjustable in the compensation claimed for fault liability under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
Nonetheless, the bench clarified that any compensation made under the No-Fault liability provision is adjustable in the compensation claimed fault liability under section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
38. Motor Accident| Veracity Of Witness Adducing Evidence Of Victim's Income Can't Be Doubted Merely Because He Appeared Sans Employer's Permission: Jharkhand HC
Case Title: Smt. Vibha Sinha & Ors v. The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd & Anr.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Jha) 19
In a case seeking enhancement of compensation under the Motor Vehicle Act, 1989, the Jharkhand High Court refused to discard the testimony of a witness, General Manager at the company where the deceased used to work, merely because he appeared without permission from the Department Head.
Justice Gautam Choudhary noted that the rules and protocols of official business in a private concern are quite different from that of a public sector undertaking or a Government Department.
39. MV Act | Mere Assertion By Witness That Vehicle Was Being Driven Rashly Not Conclusive, Must Emerge From Evidence: Jharkhand High Court
Case Title: M/s Oriental Insurance Company Ltd., Ranchi v. Smt. Kalwati Devi & Ors and other connected matters.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Jha) 34
The Jharkhand High Court has held that a mere assertion by a witness that a particular vehicle was being driven rashly and negligently cannot be the last word based on which a Court will draw its conclusions of composite negligence in a motor vehicle accident case.
Justice Gautam Kumar Choudhary held that the courts must piece together the evidence and draw an inference on the manner of an accident.
40. Motor Accident Compensation Assessed On Basis Of Dependency, Not Heirship; Non-Joinder Of All Legal Heirs Not Fatal To Claim: Jharkhand High Court
Case Title: Ugni Bibi v. Gobind Ram Hathampuria
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Jha) 35
The Jharkhand High Court held that a Motor Accident Tribunal cannot deny compensation to the wife of the deceased, merely for non-joinder of his remaining heirs, i.e. sons and daughters.
41. 'Litigation Dragged To Court, Reflects Sorry State Of Affairs': Jharkhand High Court On Govt Dept's Failure To Satisfy Compensation Award
Case Title: Birendra Prasad Roy v. Yogeshwar Mirdha & Ors
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Jha) 52
The Jharkhand High Court expressed regret over a government department's failure to satisfy the compensation awarded to the kin of a motor accident victim, following her demise due to a mishap caused by the department's vehicle.
42. Greatest Agony Of Parent Is To Lose Child During Lifetime': Karnataka HC Enhances Compensation For Death Of 2 Yr Old In Motor Accident
Case Title: Suresh v.D Ramesh
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 18
Observing that the amount awarded to the parents is the compensation for loss of love, affection, care and companionship of the deceased child, the Karnataka High Court recently enhanced the compensation granted by the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal (MACT) to a couple who lost their2-year old daughter in an accident. Justice Shivashankar Amarannavar modified the order dated August 16, 2016, by which MACT had awarded a compensation of Rs 3.50 lakh to the petitioners.
43. Motor Accident| CourtsCan Award Compensation Higher Than What Is Claimed: Karnataka High Court
Case Title: Basavarajv. Umesh
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw(Kar) 29
Coming to the aid of a 14-year old (at the time) who suffered permanent disability to his pelvic region in an accident, the Karnataka HighCourt recently modified the order of the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal, awarding compensation of Rs 50,000 under the head loss of amenities and enjoyment in life and increased it to Rs 10 lakhs.
A division bench of Justice S.G. Pandit and Justice Anant Ramanath Hegde said, "Since the marriage prospect of the claimant is wiped out, the claimant is deprived of all the pleasure and benefits of married life. The mental trauma of having to remain single, and answering the curious questions posed by the people around throughout life, for not getting married, are some of the things not easy to cope with. The trauma is going to be perennial and unabated."
44. Insurance Company Not Liable To Pay Compensation If Heavy Goods Vehicle Is Driven By Person Holding Light Motor Vehicle License: Karnataka High Court
Case Title: Mahantesh v. Netharavati Case No: M.F.A.No.100096/2019 (MV)
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 74
The Karnataka High Court has said that the insurance company will not be liable to pay compensation, if a heavy goods vehicle is driven by a person holding a light motor vehicle license. A single judge bench of Justice S Vishwajit Shetty while partly allowing an appeal filed by one Mahantesh, owner of a tipper lorry said, "The vehicle in question which is categorised as a heavy goods vehicle comes within the meaning of Section 2(16) of the MotorVehicles Act, 1988 as the gross vehicle weight undisputedly exceeds 12000 kg. Under the circumstances, the Tribunal was fully justified in holding that the offending vehicle was used in violation of the terms and conditions of the policy and therefore the insurer of the offending vehicle was not liable to pay the compensation."
45. Incapacity To Work HasTo Be Determined With Reference To Sole Occupation Of Person As On Date Of Motor Accident: Karnataka High Court
Case Title: UNITED INDIA INSURANCE CO., LTD., versus NAGENDRA Case No: MFA NO.8801 OF 2018,
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw(Kar) 146
The Karnataka High Court has said that a person who is a driver by profession if loses complete vision of one eye in a motor accident, then he would not be able to continue his profession of driving, thus it would have to be considered as permanent physical disability and 100% loss of earning capacity.
46. Motor Accident Compensation For 'Loss Of Future Prospects' May Be Awarded Even If Disability Not Result Of Amputation: Karnataka High Court
Case Title: NEW INDIA ASSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED v. ABDUL S/O MEHABOOB TAHASILDAR, and C/W matter.
Case No: MISCELLANEOUSFIRST APPEAL NO. 103807 OF 2016
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw(Kar) 192
The Karnataka High Court has held that 'Loss of futureprospects' has to be factored in, notwithstanding the fact that it is not acase of death but a case of injury without amputation resulting in whole bodydisability, which ultimately has a bearing on the reduced earning capacity.
47. Dysfunctional LimbsRender 100% Functional Disability: Karnataka High Court Orders ₹21.86 Lakh Compensation For Minor Victim In Motor Accident
Case Title: MISS.PRIYANKA PRADEEP GAVADE v. THE DIVISIONAL MANAGER
Case NO: MFA NO. 25028OF 2010
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw(Kar) 260
The Karnataka High Court has said if the medical evidenceindicates that a minor child cannot straighten one of the lower limbs and oneof the upper limbs has lost its power for use, it is as good as the human bodybecoming useless, so far as the person's ability to work and earn livelihood isconcerned. Thus, the minor claimant has become functionally 100% disabled evenwhen the medical expert has stated she has suffered 50 percent disability.
48. S.81(5) Motor Vehicle Act | Permit Renewed After Condoning Delay Is Deemed To Be Effective From Date Of Actual Expiry: KarnatakaHigh Court
Case Title: Dr Narasimulu Nandini Memorial Education Trust v. Banu Begum & Others
Case NO: MFA 202022/2016
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 295
The Karnataka High Court has said an insurance company cannot disown its responsibility to indemnify the liability of the insurer (vehicle owner) on the ground that on the date of accident, the fitness certificate and the permit of the vehicle were not in force.
49. Married Daughters Entitled To Motor Accident Compensation For Parent's Death; Can't Discriminate Between Sons & Daughters : Karnataka High Court
Case Title: RELIANCE GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED v GANGAPPA S/O. CHINNAPPA SAUNSHI
Case No: MISCELLANEOUS FIRST APPEAL NO. 102868 OF 2014
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 315
The Karnataka High Court has said that even married daughters are entitled for compensation on all the heads from the insurance company on the death of their parent in an accident.
A single judge bench of Justice H P Sandesh, sitting at Dharwad made the observation while dismissing the appeal filed by Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd challenging the order of the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal dated May 9, 2014.
50. Motor Vehicle Act | Insurer Liable To Compensate Spare Driver If Only One Claim Made: Karnataka High Court
Case title: THE BRANCH MANAGER ORIENTAL INSURANCE CO.LTD V TAHASEENTAJ W/O SHAMIULLA @ GULLAB, & Others
Case No: M.F.A.No.23205/2011 c/w M.F.A.No.23206/2011
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 343
The Karnataka High Court has reiterated that the insurer is very much liable to pay compensation in respect of a spare driver under Section 147 of Motor Vehicles Act, if there is only one claim under the policy
51. State Can't Take Contradictory Stands In Disciplinary Proceedings & Before Court: Karnataka HC Directs KSRTC To Devise SOP
Case Title: THE KARNATAKA STATE ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION v. GANGANNA
Case No: WRIT PETITION NO. 24370 OF 2019
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 390
The Karnataka High Court has directed the Managing Director of State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to institute a proper Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to ensure that no contradictory stand is taken by any of the disciplinary authorities and/or the authorities who file written statements in the Motor Accident claim proceedings.
A single judge bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj said, "if any such event occurs, necessary disciplinary proceedings to be initiated against such persons by following the applicable rules." It added, "Instructions to be also issued that a statement to be made in any written statement filed in a Motor Vehicle Accident claim petition, if any disciplinary proceedings are initiated or not."
52. Broken Tree Branch Kills Bike Rider: Karnataka High Court Allows Legal Heirs' Claim U/S 163A Motor Vehicle Act
Case Title: UNITED INDIA INSURANCE CO., LTD v. SUSILA W/O. SHAMRAO PATIL
Case No: M.F.A. No.22468/2011
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 406
The Karnataka High Court recently allowed the claim filed under Section 163A of the Motor Vehicle Act by legal heirs of a deceased bike rider, who was killed after a big tree branch fell on his head while riding the bike.
The insurance company, in appeal against the award passed by Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal, contended that the accident occurred because of fall of branch of eucalyptus tree and the same cannot be treated as a motorcycle accident and hence the company is not liable to pay the compensation.
53. [Principle Of Pay & Recover] Statutory Right Of Third Party To Be Compensated U/S 149 MV Act Even If Vehicle Owner Contests Claim: Karnataka HC
Case Title: A BANU PRAKASH v. THIMMA SETTY & Others
Case No: M.F.A.No.4945/2014
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 421
The Karnataka High Court has said the 'Principle of Pay and Recover' under Section 149 (1) of the Motor Vehicles Act is a statutory right available to third party (claimants) and it cannot depend on whether the owner of offending vehicle contests the claim petition or not, or may or may no prefer an appeal against the Tribunal order.
A single judge bench of Justice Hanchate Sanjeevkumar said, "When the claimants/the victims of the motor accident are third parties, then rights of the third party is statutorily protected as per sub-section (1) of Section 149 of the M.V.Act. Therefore, this right of the third party cannot be fluctuated or oscillated according to the conduct of the owner or any other parties."
54. Road Accidents Involving Injury To Animals Do Not Attract 'Rash Driving' Offences U/S 279 IPC, S.134 & 187 MV Act: Karnataka High Court
Case Title: PRATHAP KUMAR.G v. STATE OF KARNATAKA
Case No: CRIMINAL PETITION NO. 1133 OF 2019
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 433
The Karnataka High Court has held that Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code which pertains to rash driving would not be attracted in cases of accident involving a pet dog/ animals.
A single judge bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj further held that such accidents would also not attract liability under Sections 134 and 187 of the Motor Vehicles Act which pertain to 'Duty of driver in case of accident and injury to a person' and 'Punishment for offences relating to accident' respectively.
55. Order 41 Rule 33 CPC: Karnataka High Court Enhances Motor Accident Compensation Payable To Injured In Appeal By Insurance Company
Case Title: NATIONAL INSURANCE CO LTD v. ALWIN LOBO
Case No: M.F.A.NO.8449/2015
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 434
The Karnataka High Court has said that in an appeal against compensation filed by an Insurance Company in a Motor Accident case, the appellate court can invoke Order 41 Rule 33 of CPC to enhance compensation, if injustice is caused to the victim or deceased due to compensation awarded by the Claims Tribunal.
Order 41 Rule 33 of CPC deals with the power of the Court of Appeal to pass an appropriate order in a case regardless of the fact that the appeal is only with respect to a part of the decree or that the appeal is filed only by some of the parties. In other words, the Appellate Court can pass an order as it deems it fit regardless of the scope of the appeal.
56. [Motor Accident] Burden To Prove That Driver's License Is Fake Lies Upon Insurance Company: Karnataka High Court
Case Title: THE REGIONAL MANAGER UNITED INDIA INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED v. MASTER THARUN C. GOWDA & others.
Case NO: M.F.A.NO.5197/2014
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 490
The Karnataka High Court has said that the burden lies on the insurance company to prove that licence of the driver of vehicle which met with an accident was fake, by examining the author of the document (RTO), and unless the same is proved as a fake document, the shifting of the liability on the owner does not arise.
A single judge bench of Justice HP Sandesh dismissed the appeal filed by the United India Insurance challenging the judgment and award passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal which allowed the claim petition filed by injured Master Tharun Gowda, 8 years old at the time.
57. [Motor Accident] Insurance Company Not Exempted From Third Party Liability For Breach Of Policy, May Recover From Insured: Karnataka HC Reiterates
Case Title: BASAVARAJA BEERAPPA KAMBALI v. THE CHOLAMANDALAM MS GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY LTD & others
Case No: M.F.A. NO.9207/2013
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 501
The Karnataka High Court has reiterated that even if the court comes to the conclusion that there is a breach of any policy condition recognized under Section 149(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act, the insurer is liable to compensate the third party and recover the same from the insured.
A single judge bench of Justice HP Sandesh allowed an appeal filed by claimant Basavaraja Beerappa Kambali in part and modified the order of the Tribunal by directing Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company (respondent No.1) to pay the compensation amount with interest within six weeks and recover the same from the insured.
58. Insurer Has Third Party Liability If Cancellation Of Policy Over Dishonour Of Premium Cheque Is Not Intimated To Insured Before Accident: Karnataka HC
Case Title: SRIKANTA M.R v. GEETHA & Others
Case No: M.F.A. NO.7043/2014
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 505
The Karnataka High Court has said that an insurance company is liable to pay compensation to a third party, even if the cheque issued towards premium by the insured was dishonoured, if such fact was not intimated to the policy holder before the occurrence of the motor accident.
A single judge bench of Justice HP Sandesh while allowing the appeal preferred filed by a claimant against the order of Claims Tribunal which exonerated the Insurance company from liability, observed, "The Tribunal while considering the issue of liability, only considered the bank's memo regarding the dishonour of cheque and comes to the conclusion that the Insurance Company has intimated about the dishonour of cheque as well as cancellation of policy to the owner of the offending vehicle but not discussed whether it was served or not and simply comes to the conclusion that the policy was not in force...No material before the Court that they have intimated the same to the insured."
59. Motor Accident Claims | Multiplier To Be Determined Based On Completed Age, Not Running Age: Kerala High Court
Case Title: P.O Meera & Anr. v Ananda P Naik & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 43
The Court recently ruled that the multiplier to be used while computing compensation in motor accident claims has to be determined on the basis of the age attained by the deceased/injured and not based on the running age. Therefore, Justice C.S Dias observed that when a person aged 50 years and 7 months dies in a motor accident, the multiplier applicable to the age bracket of 46-50 will apply and not the one applicable to the age bracket of 51-55.
60. Kerala High Court Directs State Police, Motor Vehicle Dept. To Take Strict Action Against Overloading, Misuse Of Govt Boards On Vehicles
Case Title: Anoop K.A & Anr. v K.R Jyothylal & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 80
The Court has directed the State Police and Enforcement Officials of the Motor Vehicles Department to initiate stringent measures against vehicle drivers/owners found disregarding the Road Safety Policy guidelines, particularly against those who overload their vehicles or use a government nameplate without the requisite authorisation. Justice Anil K Narendran issued certain directions to reinforce the strict implementation of the Road Safety Policy, Motor Vehicles Act and the Motor Vehicles (Driving) Regulations in the State as directed by the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety.
61. Kerala High Court Urges State Transport Commissioner To Ensure Motor Vehicles Strictly Follow Safety Standards
Case Title: Principal v. Addl. Registering Authority & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 225
The Kerala High Court has directed the Transport Commissioner to take necessary steps to ensure strict compliance with its earlier directions issued in 2019, through the concerned officers of the Motor Vehicles Department against motor vehicles which violate the safety standards in the State. Justice Anil K. Narendran laid particular emphasis on the safety standards relating to lighting, light-signalling devices, vehicles fitted with unauthorised name board, emblem, flag and also multi-coloured red, blue and white lights intended for vehicles on designated emergency and disaster management duties; vehicles used on public places without displaying registration marks appropriately; vehicles pasted with cooling films on safety glass or fitted with sliding cloth curtains.
62. Motor Vehicle Accidents | Can't Establish Contributory Negligence Solely Relying On Scene Mahazar: Kerala High Court
Case Title: T.A Ansad v. Sanjay Kumar Thunjhunwala & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 257
In an interesting development, the Kerala High Court has ruled that in accident cases where two vehicles are involved, contributory negligence cannot be found against the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident solely relying on the recitals in the scene mahazar, ignoring the police charge which attributes negligence only against one driver. Justice A. Badharudeen thereby set aside the order of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal and allowed the appeal challenging the impugned award.
63. Use Of High-Power Audio Systems, DJ LED Lights, Multi-Toned Horns In Motor Vehicles Not Legally Permissible: Kerala High Court
Case Title: Suo Motu v. State of Kerala & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 265
The Court has recently held that the use of high-power audio systems with multiple boosters, power amplifiers, speakers and sub-woofers producing loud noise is legally impermissible in motor vehicles. A Division Bench of Justice Anil K Narendran and Justice P G Ajithkumar added that loud sound produced by such audio systems with a rating of several thousand watts PMPO (Peak Music Power Output) will not only impair the hearing of the driver and the passengers but also cause a distraction to other drivers and road users.
64. Motor Accident | Claimant Compensated By His Insurer Not Entitled To Compensation For Same Damages From Offending Vehicle's Insurer: Kerala High Court
Case Title: Antony v. V.K. Suresh & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 272
The Court has recently established that a claimant who was compensated by his own insurer is not entitled to get any compensation again for the very same damages from the owner or insurer of the offending vehicle in cases of motor accidents. Justice A. Badharudeen held so after finding that the Apex Court had held that the law of insurance recognises an equitable corollary of the principle of indemnity; when the insurer had indemnified the insured, the rights and remedies of the insured against the wrongdoer stand transferred to the insurer.
65. Motor Accident Death | Kerala High Court Lays Down 'Twin Conditions' To Claim Compensation In Plea Alleging Driver's Negligence
Case Title: Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd v. V. Babu & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 278
The Court has held that in a claim under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, the petitioners must prove not only the negligence on the part of the driver or rider but also prove that the person alleged to have sustained injuries in a motor accident died in consequence of the accidental injuries. Justice A. Badharudeen added that it is the burden of the petitioners to adduce evidence to satisfy the allegations raised by them since grant of compensation therein is based on the principle of `fault' liability.
66. Limitation Period For Filing Motor Accidents Claim Applicable Only Prospectively From April 1, 2022 : Kerala High Court
Case Title: Sathy & Ors v. Dileep I.S & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 324
The Kerala High Court on Friday while allowing an original petition, held that the limitation period for filing motor accident claims as per Section 166(3), which was introduced by Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019, only has a prospective effect. Justice Amit Rawal remarked that otherwise, with the stroke of the amendment, the right available to the injured and the claimants of the deceased person would be taken away.
67. Motor Accidents | Compensation For Actual Damages Includes Value Of Spare Parts To Be Repaired: Kerala High Court
Case Title: Thomas v. R. Murugasamy
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 337
The Kerala High Court on Thursday, while allowing a motor accident claims appeal, held that in Motor Accident Claims the claimant is entitled to get compensation for 'actual damages', which includes the value of spare parts as well. Justice Badharudeen opined that the claimant is entitled to compensation for the value of spare parts incurred for repairing the vehicle which got damaged as a consequence of the motor accident.
68. Underage Driving | 'Innocent Lives Are Lost, Can't Give Stamp Of Approval': Madras High Court Declines Motor Accident Claim Of Minor
Case Title: Irfan v. K.S Kumaran & Anr.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 85
Madras High Court has recently refused to entertain a motor accident claim in which the claimant, a minor, was found driving the motorcycle involved in the accident.
In a strongly-worded judgment, Justice S. Kannamal noted that the claimant who was a minor boy at the time of accident cannot demand compensation from the insurance company when he himself is a tortfeasor.
Though the bench agreed with the claimant's submission that Motor Vehicles Act is intended to be a 'benevolent legislation', it clarified that that in itself would not mean there is an ipso facto applicability in all the cases. In the light of clear insurance policy violation, the court noted that the insurance company is relieved from the responsibility of paying compensation. Therefore, the court upheld the order of Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Chennai that had rejected the claim in 2017.
69. Madras High Court Issues Directions In Suo Motu Petition Regarding Motor Accident Fund Misappropriation
Case Title: Suo Motu W.P. No. 12935 of 2021
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 105
While pronouncing orders in a Suo Motu writ petition, the Madras High Court bench of Justice P.N Prakash and Justice Abdul Quddhose made a series of directions to be followed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunals (MACT) in the state. The court also made suggestions to the Chief Justice and requests to the portfolio judges to issue appropriate directions to put in motion these suggestions.
The petition was for directing the respondents - Registrar General, Additional Registrar (Inspection) and State Bank of India to audit the motor accident cases funds in all districts, lodge criminal complaints against recalcitrant officials and monitor the investigation in the matters. From the inputs received, the court was satisfied that practitioners in the MCOP jurisprudence operate in delineated specific turfs and would not brook encroachment by anyone.
It was also found that the practitioners were not alone in this misadventure and were assisted by court staff and sometimes even judicial officers. "MCOP jurisprudence is a gold mine as well a mine field and attempts to clean the Augean stables earlier by various Benches of this Court had not yielded the desired results", the court observed.
70. Claim U/s 163A Of MV Act Not Maintainable Against Owner/Insurer Without Third-Party Involvement When Injured Was Driving The Vehicle: Madras HC
Case Title: The Divisional Manager, TATA AIG General Insurance Company Limited v. A.C. Jagadeesann & Anr
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 114
The Madras High Court has highlighted that the deceased/ injured in a motor accident claim must be a third party to maintain a claim under Section 163A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
Justice P.T. Asha noted that an application under Section 163A of the Act against the Insurance Company of the vehicle driven by the injured/ deceased himself/herself/themselves is liable to be disimissed.
The court also held that usually the claimant does not have to establish the negligence of the owner of the vehicle which resulted in death or permanent disablement However, when the claimant himself was driving the borrowed vehicle that was insured. In such an instance, he would step into the shoes of the owner of a vehicle.
71. Insurance Company Liable To Pay Compensation Even When Driver Does Not Have Valid License, May Recover From Owner Later: Madras High Court
Case Title: Thanikodi v. Parameswari and Others
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 173
The Madras High Court has recently held that when a claim is presented under the Motor Vehicles Act, the insurance company is liable to pay compensation even when the driver of the vehicle was not possessing a valid driving license. It added that amount may later be recovered from the owner of the vehicle.
The Madurai bench of Justice Teeka Raman made the above observations on an application filed by the owner of the offending vehicle, Thanikodi against the order passed by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Peiyakulam. The Tribunal had held that the owner of the vehicle was liable to pay compensation and exonerated the insurance company and had awarded compensation.
The court applied the principle of pay and recovery and directed the insurance company to compensate the family of the deceased and later recover this amount from the owner of the vehicle in the manner known to law.
72. MACT-Benefit Of Exemption From Payment Of Court Fees Can Be Claimed Only Before The Tribunals And Not On Appeals: Madras High Court
Case Title: Thirumalai and Others v. Divisional Manager, The New India Assurance Company Limited
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 200
The Madras High Court bench of Justice P.T Asha recently held that the benefit of exemption from payment of Court Fees can be claimed only before the Motor Accident Tribunals and not on appeals before the court.
Such exemption was at the discretion of the Judicial Officer and is available only before the Claims Tribunal.
The two issues that the court considered were whether the Provisions of Rule 24 of the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicles Accident Claims Tribunal Rules, 1989 would apply to Appeals under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act without giving proof of indigent circumstances and whether the claimants who have obtained exemption can withdraw the amounts deposited without paying the Court Fees.
73. Amount Paid By Insurance Company Under Mediclaim Policy Deductible From Compensation In Motor Accident Claim: Madras High Court
Case Title: The Manager, TATA AIG General Insurance Co Ltd v. Kathamuthu and another
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 223
The Madras High Court has held that the compensation for medical expenses is a matter of reimbursement and hence once the insurance company has chosen to compensate the victim of road accident for medical expenses, the same cannot be once again claimed under the Motor Vehicles Act.
The bench of Justice Teeka Raman thus held that the amount paid to the hospital directly by the insurance company under a medical policy coverage shall be deducted by the Motor Accident Tribunal while calculating the compensation to the injured.
The court observed that what has not been paid by the original petitioner to the hospital cannot be granted as compensation in a claim under the Motor Vehicles Act. Thus, the court deducted the amount already paid by the insurance company and directed the appellant company to pay the remaining along with compensation for disability, pain and suffering, permanent disability loss of income etc together with an interest of 7.5% per annum
74. Passenger May Be Prosecuted For Motor Accident Caused By Drunk Driver: Madras High Court
Case Title: Dr. Lakshmi v. State
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 335
The Madras High Court recently held that a co-passenger in a vehicle involved in motor accident caused by an inebriated driver can be prosecuted for instigation and culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304 (ii) of IPC.
Justice Bharatha Chakravarthy held that the co-passengers could not escape liability by merely claiming that they were merely sitting in the passenger seat and were not behind the wheels.
The court noted that the petitioner had committed a "positive act" in opening the door and sitting in the front seat of the car and thus participating in the journey. Whether this positive act would amount to instigating the driver to drive in an inebriated state would depend on the facts of each case. In the present case, the parties were going on a night stroll which would amount to instigation.
75. Insurance Company Can't Deny Claim Merely Because Person Insured Is Allegedly Involved In Multiple Motor Accidents: Orissa High Court
Case Title: The Divisional Manager, National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Sunil Majhi & Anr.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ori) 31
The High Court has held that merely because a person driving a vehicle is involved in multiple road accidents, at different point in time, is no reason for the Insurance company to deny his claim. A Single Judge Bench of Justice B.P. Routray observed,
"no logic is there in the contention of the Appellant that because the accused is involved in more than one accident at different points of time, the claim of compensation contemplated under Sec.166 of the M.V. Act would be nullified on that ground."
76. MV Act | Multipliers Under Second Schedule To Be Applied Even If At The Time Of Accident Those Were Not In Force: Orissa High Court
Case Title: The Divisional Manager, New India Assurance Co. Ltd., Bhubaneswar v. Sauri Das & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ori) 32
A Division Bench of the High Court, comprising of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice R.K. Pattanaik, has held that the 'multipliers' provided under the second schedule to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 can be applied even in the cases where at the time of adjudication the schedule was in force, though it was not operational at the time of accident. The Bench observed,
"The MV Act being a statute intended to benefit accident victims, the Schedule thereto ought to be applied in pending cases of accident victims even if the accident occurred at a time when the Schedule was not in force."
77. Insurance Company Not Absolved Of Liability If It Fails To Prove That Vehicle Owner Was "Aware" That Licence Of Driver Is Fake: Punjab & Haryana HC
Case Title: National India Insurance Co. Ltd. versus Smt. Fajari & Others
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 68
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that an insurance company cannot be absolved from its liability from compensating the third party merely by claiming that the terms of insurance contract were breached as the vehicle insured was being driven by a person not holding a valid licence.
The bench comprising Justice Alka Sarin held that the insurer must show that the owner/insured was aware or had noticed that the licence was fake and still permitted that person to drive. It observed,
"The appellant-insurance company has failed to prove that the insured (owner) was guilty of negligence and failed to exercise reasonable care in the matter of fulfilling the condition of the policy regarding use of vehicles by a duly licensed driver or one who was not disqualified to drive at the relevant time. In this scenario, the appellant-insurance company cannot absolve itself from it's liability of paying the compensation."
78. Liability Of Insurer Invited Due To "Involvement" Of Vehicle In Accident, Not Negligence Of Driver Per Se: Punjab & Haryana High Court
Case Title: Tata AIG General Insurance Company Limited Vs. Surjeet Kaur and others, with connected matters
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 92
The Punjab and Haryana High Court while dealing with a matter related to compensation in a motor accident act claim observed that negligence of the driver is not, per se, the reason for inviting liability by such a vehicle.
The observation came from Justice Rajbir Sehrawat, who observed that it is the 'use of vehicle' on the road, which per se, invites liability for the owner of the vehicle; and thus it is for the insurer; to pay compensation; in case the vehicle is involved in accident:
Under section 165 the Tribunals are required to be constituted for adjudication of claims of compensation arising from the 'use of a vehicle' and not necessarily arising from the negligence of driver of such vehicle. Section 166 also enables filing of claims in case of accidents covered by section 165, i.e., not necessarily arising from the negligence of the driver of the vehicle. Therefore it is the 'use of vehicle' on the road, which per se, invites liability for the owner of the vehicle; and thus for the insurer; to pay compensation; in case the vehicle is involved in accident. Negligence of the driver is not, per se, the reason for inviting liability by such a vehicle. Hence it is strict liability attached to the vehicle as such."
79. Punjab & Haryana High Court Modifies MACT Order, Permits Release Of Compensation Amount From 3 Yrs Fixed Deposit To Claimant
Case Title: Ayyub Khan and Anr VERSUS Pratap Gurjar and Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 127
The Punjab and Haryana High Court allowed the plea of bereaved parents, seeking release of 50% compensation amount that was granted towards loss of their child in a motor accident, to be released from 3 years Fixed Deposit.
Justice Alka Sarin referred to the case of H.S. Ahammed Hussain vs. Irfan Ahammed, [2002(3) RCR (Civil) 563], where the Supreme Court held that the amount of compensation awarded in favor of the mothers should not be kept in a fixed deposit in a nationalized bank.
80. Motor Accident Claim Petition Does Not Abate On Death Of Original Claimant, Legal Representatives Can Be Substituted: Punjab & Haryana High Court
Case Title: National Insurance Company Limited through its Assistant Manager Vs. Satya Devi (since deceased) through her Legal Heirs and others
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 192
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has recently dismissed an appeal preferred by the Insurance Company for staying the operation of award passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal whereby the tribunal allowed the petition of legal representatives of the claimant and awarded the compensation of Rs.1,79,000/- with interest @ 7.5% per annum.
81. Motor Accident Claimants Have To Prove Case On Touchstone Of 'Preponderance Of Probabilities': Punjab & Haryana High Court
Case Title : Krishna Devi and Others v. Balvinder Singh and Others
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 201
Punjab and Haryana High Court recently held that the claimants in the proceedings under Motor Vehicles Act 1988 need to prove their case on the touchstone of preponderance of probabilities.
However, it denied the claim in the instant case while stating that the claimants had not been able to even 'remotely prove' the factum of accident against the alleged offending vehicle.
The bench comprising Justice Alka Sarin was dealing with an appeal against the award passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Ambala whereby the claim petition filed by the claimant-appellants was dismissed.
82. Insurance Company Not To Deduct TDS On Interest On Compensation Awarded To The Claimant Till 01.06.2015 : Punjab & Haryana High Court
Case Title: New India Assurance Company Limited versus Ravinder Kumar @ Vickey and others
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 227
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that the Insurance Company is not required to deduct TDS on the interest on the compensation awarded to the claimant uptil 01.06.2015, even if the interest amount exceeds Rs. 50,000 per claimant in the financial year.
The Single Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan reiterated that 194A of Income Tax Act, 1961 is not a charging provision and hence, the provisions of Section 194A that deal with tax deducted at source, do not make the interest income chargeable to tax if it is otherwise not taxable.
83. Insurer Liable To Indemnify Compensation To Third Party In Case Of Breach Of Policy Conditions, May Recover From Insured Later: Rajasthan High Court
Case Title: United India Insurance Company Ltd v. Smt Soniya
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj) 35
The Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur upheld the decision of Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), Alwar which, while relying on the 'principle of pay and recover', directed the insurance company to first pay compensation to the claimants and then recover the same from the vehicle owner.
Justice Sudesh Bansal, observed, "Insurance Company has miserably failed to prove that the declaration of cancellation/ nullifying the driving licence of the Driver was ever brought to the knowledge of the owner of vehicle and it is not proved that the owner was guilty of negligence in not following the due care and caution to fulfil the conditions of the insurance policy, therefore, the Tribunal has not committed any error of law in following the principle of "pay and recover".
84. Rajasthan HC Reverses Finding Of Motor Accident Tribunal; Directs Insurer Of Offending Vehicle To Reimburse Payment Made By Opposite Vehicle's Insurer
Case Title: New India Assurance Company Ltd., through Regional Manager v. Smt. Kanchan Devi
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj) 55
Reversing the findings of a Motor Accident Tribunal which had fixed 50% contributory negligence on the truck driver against which the claimants' car had dashed, the Rajasthan High Court has directed the car insurance company to reimburse the payments made by insurer of the truck.
Justice Birendra Kumar held that the Tribunal had passed the impugned order without taking note of the fact that the driver of the truck had died two days before the accident and the claimants' car had dashed into the truck which was in the seizure of the police and was parked in soiled portion of the road leaving the pitch road completely free for movement.
The bench thus ordered, "Accordingly, the impugned judgment is set aside to the extent that the Tribunal has fixed the liability to pay compensation on respondent Nos.2 and 3 i.e. owner and insurer of the truck. In fact, the liability was against the owner and insurer of car during use whereof the accident took place...Accordingly, the same is set aside and it is ordered that the entire liability to pay compensation goes against the owner and insurer of the car. Since the car was insured with respondent No.12 it is liable to pay entire compensation payable to the claimants...It has been informed that the appellant (truck insurer) has already paid Rs.5,10,500/- to the claimant. Therefore, the appellant would be entitled to be reimbursed by respondent No.12."
85. Whether Interest On Compensation For Motor Accident Claims Exigible To Tax and Is Insurance Company Required To Deduct Tax At Source?, Rajasthan HC Refers To Larger Bench
Case Title: Satya Narayan and Others v. The H.D.F.C. Irgo General Insurance Company Limited and Others
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj) 70
The question whether interest on compensation for motor accident claims exigible to tax and resultantly, is insurance company required to deduct tax at source while making such payment to the claimants has been referred to the larger bench by the division bench of Rajasthan High Court.
Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice Uma Shanker Vyas, ordered,
"Under the circumstances reference may be made to the Larger Bench on following question:- 'Whether the interest payable on motor accident claim compensation is exigible to tax and resultantly is the insurance company required to deduct tax at source while making such payment to the claimants?"
The court observed, "In view of this position and also considering the importance of the issue as also the fact that the issue is a recurring one arising in large number of motor accident claim cases, it is desirable that there is an authoritative pronouncement on this question by Larger Bench."
86. 'Buses Shall Be Seized If Operators Found Picking and Dropping Passengers In Violation MV Act', Rajasthan High Court
Case Title: Loonkaran v. State of Rajasthan
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj) 94
The division bench of Rajasthan High Court ordered that buses shall be seized of those bus operatOthers who are found picking and dropping passengers in violation of relevant rules and regulations framed under the Motor Vehicles Act as also under the local laws.
Essentially, the public interest litigation has been filed praying that instead of making operational bus-stand at the place donated by the petitioner, as per decision already taken, buses are operating from the main road seriously affecting the movement of the vehicles and also giving rise to apprehension of the accidents.
Acting Chief Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Justice Madan Gopal Vyas, ruled, "Those bus-operatOthers, who are found picking and dropping passengers in violation of relevant rules and regulations framed under the Motor Vehicles Act as also under the local laws, shall be proceeded against them and the buses shall be seized. This petition stands disposed off accordingly."
87. Claimants Can't Be Allowed To Take Double Benefit Of Two Claims Filed Under Two Different Statutes i.e. Motor Vehicle Act and Workmen's Compensation Act, Rajasthan HC
Case Title: Prem v. Amar Jeet Singh
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj) 103
The Rajasthan High Court observed that the claimants cannot be allowed to take double benefit of two claims filed under two different statutes i.e. under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923. It was added that the claimant has to choose one forum only and after choosing a forum, he cannot be allowed to choose another forum to get more benefits.
In this appeal, the court dealt with the issue 'Whether the claimants-appellants can file two parallel claim petitions for getting compensation under section 22 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923 and under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (for short 'the Act of 1988')?'
Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand, ordered,
"In view of the settled position of law, it is clear that the claimants cannot be allowed to take double benefit of two claims filed under two different statutes i.e. under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923. The claimant has to choose one forum only and after choosing a forum, he cannot be allowed to choose another forum to get more benefits. The claimants cannot claim double benefit under both the enactments."
88. Motor Accident | Insurance Company Liable To Pay Compensation Even Upon Exoneration, May Recover From Owner Later: Telangana High Court
Case Title: D. Janardhan Reddy v. K. Murali and Anr.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Tel) 9
The Telangana High Court ruled that in case of violation of insurance policy conditions, the insurer is still liable to pay the compensation to the claimant and it may recover the same from the owner of the offending vehicle later.
It relied upon the principle of "pay and recover" as laid down by the Apex Court in Manuara Khatun v. Rajesh Kr. Singh, 2017.
89. Compensation For Motor Accident Death Should Include Compensation Under Conventional Heads Including Loss Of Consortium: Telangana High Court
Case Title: V. Shivaji & Ors. V. K. Murali & Anr.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Tel) 14
The Telangana High Court ruled that the compensation in motor vehicle accident death claims should include amount under conventional heads viz. loss of estate, loss of consortium, and funeral expenses.
The court was dealing with a challenge to an award by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal. The Tribunal had not awarded any amount under conventional heads.
90. Insurance Company Not Liable If Motor Vehicle At Time Of Accident Was In Breach Of 'Purpose Of Use' As Per Policy: Telangana High Court
Case Title: M/S.United India Insurance Co Ltd V. Sri Rama Swamy & 2 Ors
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Tel) 35
The Telangana high Court ruled that the insurance company is not liable to pay compensation under Motor Vehicle Act if the vehicle at the time of accident was in breach of the terms and purpose of the insurance policy.
Justice P. Sree Sudha, in a case, noted that the deceased and injured were labourers, but they were not working with the owner of the Tractor and Trailor and there was no employer and employee relationship between them and that the accident had not occurred during the course of employment since the deceased and injured were returning after attending the labour work in a Tractor along with marriage party and then they met with an accident.
Therefore, it amounted to breach of terms and conditions of the policy and the insurance company was not liable to pay the compensation.
91. Quantum Of Compensation To Be Awarded By Tribunal Can Go Beyond The Claim Of The Dependents: Telangana High Court
Case Title: Sultana Begum v. Sri Ahmed Hussain Shaik
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Tel) 39
The Telangana High Court recently awarded an enhanced compensation amount beyond what was claimed by the dependents of the deceased who died in the motor vehicle accident. It relied on Laxman @ Laxman Mourya v. Divisional Manager, Oriental Insurance Company Limited (2011) which held that competent Court is entitled to award higher compensation to the victim of an accident.
92. [Motor Accident Death] Parental Consortium Cannot Be Granted To A Claimant Who Is No More A 'Child': Telangana High Court
Case Title: Madeenam Raju v. B. Sainath and Anr.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Tel) 81
The Telangana High Court recently disallowed compensation under the head of parental consortium to a 50 years old claimant in a Motor accident death case, stating that he was not a "child". Justice G. Anupama Chakravarthy observed that the claimant is aged 50 years and as such, he cannot be entitled for parental consortium.
On this ground, the compensation under the head of parental consortium was denied but the appeal was allowed enhancing the compensation to Rs. 4,06,400/- under other heads with costs and interests at the rate of 7.5% p.a.
93. 'Housewife More Than Mere Skilled Worker, Has Multifarious Role As Home Manager': Gauhati High Court Enhances MACT Compensation
Case Name : Sri Mrinal Kanti Debnath and 6 Ors v. M/S United India Insurance Co. Ltd and 2 Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Gau) 16
Gauhati High Court recently held that the role of a housewife is multifarious and to tag her as a mere skilled worker alone does not do complete justice to her role in managing the house. Therefore, compensation with respect to her death in a motor accident must be calculated including loss of dependency.
"In my considered opinion to tag a house wife as a 'skilled worker' alone does not do complete justice to her multifarious role as a home manager. Keeping in view the lapse of 32 years between the accident in the case of Lata Wadhwa (infra) and the present accident, my conclusion that a house wife was more than a mere skilled worker and it would not be unreasonable to estimate the contribution of the deceased in the present case at a higher figure amounting to Rs. 5,000/- without deduction.
94. Motor Accident Claim Not A "Bonanza", Insurance Company Can't Be Saddled With Exorbitant Amounts For Temporary Injuries: Tripura High Court
Case Title: Smt. Surabala Reang v. Sri Amal Majumder and Anr.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Tri) 31
The Tripura High Court recently observed that it can't impose exorbitant amount on insurance company for temporary injuries by a claimant under the Motor Vehicle Act.
The observation came from Justice T Amarnath Goud:
"After hearing both the parties and perusing the evidence on record this Court feels that the injuries suffered by the claimant-appellant herein are temporary in nature and it not permanent. The learned Claims Tribunal below has awarded Rs.3,00,000/- towards the effect of injuries on the work capability of the claimant-appellant herein and the same is appropriate in nature. No doubt, it is beneficial legislation and the claimant-appellant herein needs to be considered for fair compensation. But, at the same time it cannot be a bonanza and the respondent insurance company cannot be penalized with an exorbitant amount in favour of the claimant-appellant."