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Is Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT) A 'Court' For Purpose Of Awarding Costs?: Supreme Court To Examine

Mehal Jain
11 Feb 2021 2:57 PM GMT
Is  Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT) A Court For Purpose Of Awarding Costs?: Supreme Court To Examine
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The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to determine the question whether in the matter of awarding costs, the procedure and rules framed under the Constitution, CPC and the Rules made thereunder, for `Courts', could be resorted to by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal "which is apparently, not a `Court'".The bench headed by Justice N. V. Ramana was hearing a SLP preferred by...

The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to determine the question whether in the matter of awarding costs, the procedure and rules framed under the Constitution, CPC and the Rules made thereunder, for `Courts', could be resorted to by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal "which is apparently, not a `Court'".

The bench headed by Justice N. V. Ramana was hearing a SLP preferred by ICICI Lombard General Insurance against the order dated 17.02.2020 passed by the High Court of Kerala upholding the compensation granted by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Kottayam in favour of the injured respondent.
Having heard the counsel for the petitioner and carefully perusing the material placed on record, the bench saw no reason to interfere with the impugned order
However, the bench noted that the counsel for the petitioner raised a legal issue by stating that the Tribunal does not possess any authority to award any costs as incidental to its power over the parties or the subject matter of the litigation, and the Tribunal being constituted under a special enactment is to be governed solely by the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
The counsel also quoted paragraph 8 of the impugned order dated 17.02.2020 passed by the High Court of Kerala which is reproduced below:
"The question that arises for determination before us is whether in the matter of awarding costs, the procedure and rules framed under the Constitution, CPC and the Rules made thereunder, for `Courts', could be resorted to by the Claims Tribunal which is apparently, not a `Court'."
In view of the aforesaid, only to the limited extent of examining the legal issue raised by the counsel for the petitioner, the bench was inclined to entertain these special leave petitions. "We make it clear that the petitioner – Insurance Company will have to pay the compensation to the injured - respondent as awarded by the Tribunal and upheld by the High Court without fail, if not already paid", directed the bench at the same time.
For proper adjudication of the legal issue involved in these petitions, the bench appointed Mr. N.Vijayaraghavan, a Chennai-based advocate in MV accident jurisprudence, as an amicus curiae to assist the Court.

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]



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