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Supreme Court Quarterly Digest 2022 - MOTOR ACCIDENT CASES (Jan- Mar)

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
30 May 2022 4:19 AM GMT
Supreme Court Quarterly Digest 2022 - MOTOR ACCIDENT CASES (Jan- Mar)
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Motor Accident Compensation Claims - Enhanced the compensation payable to over Rupees 50 Lakhs in a motor accident case where appellant has been rendered paralysed for life after he met with an accident as a 5 year old boy in 2010 - The appellant is not able to move his both legs and had complete sensory loss in the legs, urinary incontinence and bowel constipation and bed sore. Master...

Motor Accident Compensation Claims - Enhanced the compensation payable to over Rupees 50 Lakhs in a motor accident case where appellant has been rendered paralysed for life after he met with an accident as a 5 year old boy in 2010 - The appellant is not able to move his both legs and had complete sensory loss in the legs, urinary incontinence and bowel constipation and bed sore. Master Ayush v. Reliance General Insurance, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 330

Motor Accident Compensation Claims - The determination of damages in personal injury cases is not easy. The mental and physical loss cannot be computed in terms of money but there is no other way to compensate the victim except by payment of just compensation. (Para 12) Master Ayush v. Reliance General Insurance, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 330

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 - Motor Accident Compensation - Awarding compensation on the head of pain, shock and suffering - Factors to be considered - Prolonged hospitalization; the grievous injuries sustained; the operations underwent and the consequent pain, discomfort and suffering - There cannot be straight jacket formula. It depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case and it varies from person to person who has suffered due to the accident. (Para 8) Benson George v. Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 214

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 - Motor Accident Compensation - Awarding compensation on the head of Loss of amenities and happiness suffered by the claimant and his family members - Factors - The position of the claimant post­ accident and whether, he is in a position to enjoy life and/or happiness which he was enjoying prior to the accident. To what extent the claimant has lost the amenities in life and the happiness will depend on the facts of each case. (Para 8.1) Benson George v. Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 214

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 - Motor Accident Compensation - Claimant is in coma even after a period of eight long years and that he will have to be permanently bedridden during his entire life - The amount of compensation awarded under the head loss of amenities and happiness of Rs.1,00,000/­ only is unreasonable and meagre - Enhanced to Rs.10,00,000/ - The pain, suffering and trauma suffered by the claimant cannot be compensated in terms of the money. However, still it will be a solace to award suitable compensation under different heads including the pain, shock and suffering, loss of amenities and happiness of life - The amount of compensation under the head of pain, shock and suffering is enhanced to Rs.10,00,000/­ -. (Para 7, 8.1) Benson George v. Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 214

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 - Motor Accident Compensation - Method of determination of compensation applying two multipliers is clearly erroneous - The age of the deceased should be the basis for applying the multiplier. R. Valli v. Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Ltd., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 152

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 - The Madras High Court affirmed the findings recorded by the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal, in respect of multiplier of 3 upto the date of superannuation and thereafter multiplier of 8 keeping in view the dependency of life for 10 years. Allowing appeal, the Supreme Court set aside the High Court judgment and held that the claimants are entitled to compensation of Rs. 24,33,064/ - with interest @ 9% from the date of filing of the claim application till realisation. R. Valli v. Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Ltd., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 152

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 - Whether a person holding a driving licence in respect of "light motor vehicle", could on the strength of that licence, be entitled to drive a "transport vehicle of light motor vehicle class" having unladen weight not exceeding 7500 kgs.? - Certain provisions were not noticed by the court in Mukund Dewangan v. Oriental Insurance Company Limited (2017) 14 SCC 663 - The controversy in question needs to be revisited - referred to larger bench of more than Three Judges. Bajaj Alliance General Insurance v Rambha Devi, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 270

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988; Section 2(30) - U.P. Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1997; Section 2(h) - A financier who is in possession of the transport vehicle owing to non -payment of the loan amount is an "owner". (Para 8.3) Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 198

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988; Section 56, 59 and 83 - Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules,1989; Rule 174(2)(c) - Rule 174 (2) (c) made by the State Government to enable replacement of the vehicle under a Transport permit, does not impinge upon the powers of the Central Government with respect to fixation of the age of the vehicle, or fitness of the vehicle conferred upon it under Sections 56 and 59 in Chapter IV. The scrutiny under Rule 174 is only to enable the Authority to ensure that the subsisting permit is not interrupted and at the same time public interest is not compromised by deviating from the permit. The Rule will have no bearing on the power of the Central Government and as such it would not be ultra vires the provisions of the Act. (Para 13.6) Regional Transport Authority v. Shaju, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 174

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988; Section 72 - Grant of a transport permit is an important function that the statutory authority under the Act would perform. (Para 18.1) Regional Transport Authority v. Shaju, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 174

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988; Section 83 - A scrutiny of the vehicle, stand alone, irrespective of its relation with the permit becomes an irrelevant consideration for the purpose of Section 83 - the scope of scrutiny is limited only to examining if the vehicle is of same nature as in the permit. (Para 13.2,13.3) Regional Transport Authority v. Shaju, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 174

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988; Section 83 - Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules,1989; Rule 174(2)(c) - Rule 174(2)(c) [which enables road transport authority to reject an application for replacement if the proposed vehicle is older than the one covered under the existing permit] is valid - Rule 174 (2) (c) is neither ultra vires the Act, nor has overridden Section 83 - Kerala HC Judgment in Regional Transport Authority vs. Shaju [ILR 2017 (3) Ker. 720] set aside. (Para 1, 23, 24) Regional Transport Authority v. Shaju, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 174

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988; Section 83 - Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules,1989; Rule 174(2)(c) - The purpose and object of mandating replacement by a vehicle of the same nature in Section 83 is only to ensure that the scrutiny and the conditions that were undertaken and imposed at the time of the grant continue even during the subsistence of the permit Rule 174 (2) (c) is intended to ensure that the conditions under which a transport permit is granted is not diluted when the vehicle covered by the permit is sought to be replaced by a new vehicle. (Para 15) Regional Transport Authority v. Shaju, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 174

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988; Section 83 - Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules,1989; Rule 174(2)(c) - The vehicle which the Authority may not approve for replacement under section 83 on the ground that it is older than the vehicle covered under the permit, can be used as a transport vehicle within the State. There is no prohibition for such a usage as the said vehicle may continue to be fit and within the age limit prescribed by the Central Government. The rigour of Rule 174 (2) (c) is only in the context of a subsisting transport permit and not as a condition for transport vehicles as such. (Para 13.7) Regional Transport Authority v. Shaju, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 174

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988; Section 83 - Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules,1989 - Rule 174(2)(c) - Replacement of a vehicle during the subsistence and continuation of a transport permit is only an incident in the working of a transport permit. While addressing such an incident, the Authority cannot be oblivious of the history and background in which the permit is granted. (Para 21.2) Regional Transport Authority v. Shaju, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 174

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988; Section 83 - The expression "same nature" is confined only to, mean "a bus by bus, a mini -bus by mini -bus and not bus by a minibus…." is not a correct way to read the provision. There is no need to restrict the meaning of an expression same nature - The phrase, of the same nature seen in the context of provisions proximate to Sections 83, relating to duration and renewals of permits (Section 81), transfer of permits (Section 82) lend clarity to the meaning of the expression. Same nature must necessarily relate to the same nature of the vehicle in the permit. The question to be asked is the nature of the vehicle under the permit. What kind of a vehicle was that? How was that connected to the permit granted? Does the new vehicle serve the same purpose as the old vehicle was serving under the permit? (Para 21.3, 13.4) Regional Transport Authority v. Shaju, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 174

Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1997 (U.P.); Section 9 - The requirement under law is to first pay the tax in advance as provided under Section 9 and thereafter to use the vehicle - It is 'pay the tax and use' and not 'use and pay the tax'. (Para 9) Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 198

Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1997 (U.P.); Sections 2(g), 2(h), 4, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14 and 20A - A financier of a motor vehicle/transport vehicle in respect of which a hire -purchase or lease or hypothecation agreement has been entered, is liable to tax from the date of taking possession of the said vehicle under the said agreement. (Para 12) Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 198

Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1997 (U.P.); Sections 2(g), 2(h), 4, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14 and 20A - If, after the payment of tax, the vehicle is not used for a month or more, then such an owner may apply for refund under Section 12 of the Act, 1997 and has to comply with all the requirements for seeking the refund as mentioned in Section 12, and 26 on fulfilling and/or complying with all the conditions mentioned in Section 12(1), he may get the refund to the extent provided in sub -section (1) of Section 12, as even under Section 12(1), the owner / operator shall not be entitled to the full refund but shall be entitled to the refund of an amount equal to one -third of the rate of quarterly tax or one twelfth of the yearly tax, as the case may be, payable in respect of such vehicle for each thirty days of such period for which such tax has been paid. However, only in a case, which falls under sub -section (2) of Section 12 and subject to surrender of the necessary documents as mentioned in sub -section (2) of Section 12, the liability to pay the tax shall not arise, otherwise the liability to pay the tax by such owner/operator shall continue. (Para 12) Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 198


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