Oriental Insurance Company … vs Sunnapu Govindamma And Others on 24 August, 1999

Andhra High Court
Oriental Insurance Company … vs Sunnapu Govindamma And Others on 24 August, 1999
Equivalent citations: 1999 (6) ALD 547
Bench: K S Shrivastav


ORDER

1. The Insurance Company is the revisionist.

2. The respondents No. 1 to 6 are the claimants in OP No.497 of 1986. The Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal-cum-District Judge, Nellore, passed an award in the said OP on 27-7-1990 for an amount of Rs.73,500/-. The claimants filed an application for execution in EP No.1 of 1994 against the owner of the accident vehicle and the revisionist-Insurance Company which was respondent No.2 in OP No.497 of 1986. The revisionist filed an objection that the amount cannot be recovered from it because there is ambiguity in the decree. The application was resisted.

3. The executing Court rejected the objection on the ground that in the first clause of the decree the award was passed for Rs.73,500/- in favour of the petitioners (claimants herein) and against the third respondent (8th respondent herein) with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum and as per clause two, the second respondent (revisionist herein) was made liable to satisfy the decree passed against the 3rd respondent (8th respondent herein) as per the terms of the policy and the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act. Therefore, there is no ambiguity in the decree and the revisionist has to salisfy the decree.

4. This order has been challenged in the revision.

5. I have heard the learned Counsel of the revisionist as also of the respondents No. 1 to 6. There was no representation on behalf of the respondents No.7 and 8 though they were served.

6. Learned Counsel of the petitioner has urged that the deceased was a gratuitous passenger in the accident vehicle and the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal has recorded a finding that the revisionist has no liability to pay the compensation because the deceased was a gratuitous passenger in the accident vehicle, but instead of dismissing

the claim against the revisionist, it has been wrongly mentioned in the decree that the revisionist is liable to pay as per tlie terms of the policy and the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act. The executing Court has not read the judgment before passing the impugned order and, therefore, this revision may be treated as writ petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India and the Award may be looked into and appropriate orders may accordingly be passed exonerating the Insurance Company of its liability to pay the amount in question.

7. In the case of Vishesh Kumiar v. Shanti Prasad, , the Apex Court has held that a revision petition under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure, is a separate and distinct proceeding from a petition under Article 227 of the Constitution, and one cannot be identified with the other. In that case, the petitioner had made a request to the Apex Court to remit to the High Court the revision petition for consideration as a petition under Article 227 of the Constitution, but the Apex Court was of the view that such a course of action cannot be adopted because the revisional proceedings are separate and distinct proceedings than the proceedings under Article 227 of the Constitution. Under these circumstances, the request made by the learned Counsel of the revisionist cannot be allowed and the revision petition cannot be converted into proceeding one under Article 227 of the Constitution.

8. In the case of Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation v. Poonam Palnva (Suit) and others, , the Apex Court has observed that, in K. Narayana Reddiar v. P. Venugopala Rediar, 1976 ACJ 474 (AP) At Page 483, general provisions of the Civil Procedure Code have been made applicable to the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal on the footing that the Tribunal has the trappings of the Court.

Application of underlying principles of Civil Procedure Code has also been made in the decisions in Amarjit Kaur v. Vanguard Insurance Company Limited, 1969 ACJ 286 (Del.), Jai Singh v. N.A. Subramanyam, 1983 ACJ 1 (P&H), South India Insurance Company v. Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, J&K, AIR 1973 J&K 38, New India Assurance Company Limited v. Punjab Road Ways, AIR 1964 Punj 235, Bihar Co-operative Motor Vehicles Insurance Society Limited v. Rameshwar Rant, , and Madras Motor and General Insurance Company Limited v. K. Gopala Mudaliar, 1972 ACJ 135. The Apex Court has also observed that the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal being a Statutory Judicial Tribunal specifically constituted for adjudicating the claims arising out of motor accidents, has the trappings of the Court. In Bhagwti Devi v. I.S. Goel, 1983 ACJ 123 (SC), the Apex Court had applied the provisions of Section 25 of Civil Procedure Code for transferring the case from one Court to another by indicating that the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunals are Courts within the meaning of Section 25 of the Civil Procedure Code. In State of Haryana v. Darshan Devi, , the Apex Court also applied Order 33 dealing with the provisions for suing by an indigent person in forma pauperis even though in Rule 20, neither Order 33 nor Section 25 of the Civil Procedure Code have been made expressly applicable. The Apex Court has held that the provisions of Order 21, Rule I also apply so that the awardee is not deprived of the opportunity of gainfully utilising the amount under the award.

9. In view of what is stated above, in my view, there is no difficulty to apply the underlying principle under Section 152, CPC for amending the decree when it is established that there is an arithmetical error or accidental slip or omission in preparing the decree in accordance with the impugned award of compensation passed by the Motor Accidents Claims

Tribunal and the Tribunal must be held to be competent to invoke the provisions of Section 152 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

10. Learned Counsel of the respondents No.1 to 6 has urged that the revisionist has not filed an application under Section 152 CPC and after a lapse of so many years from the date of the award, the revisionist should not be permitted to invoke the provisions of Section 152 CPC. Reliance has been placed on the case of J. Abid Hussain v. Mrs R.K. Paul and another, AIR 1961 AP 308.

11. In the case of J. Abici Hussain (supra) it is held that though a correction could be made under Section 152, CPC at any time, such a thing is possible only as long as interests of third parties do not intervene and inertia on the part of a person asking for the amendment should not be tolerated when third parties acquire interests, though it is necessary that the third parties should have acted in good faith without the knowledge of the defective decree. This case is distinguishable on facts. The reason is simple. No third party interest has been created in the case on hand whereas in the case of J. Abid Hussain (supra) interest of third party had intervened.

12. The Award passed by the
Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal is not before me. The revisionist has also not filed a certified copy of the impugned award, but has asserted that the revisionist has been exonerated of its liability to pay the amount of compensation.

13. As noted above, the decree is ambiguous because it shows that the revisionist shall be liable to pay as per the terms of the policy and the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act. The Tribunal should have specifically stated about the liability of the revisionist to pay the amounts of

compensation because the terms of the policy and the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act cannot be looked into during (he execution of the award. Thus, it appears that the impugned decree is ambiguous.

14. For the foregoing reasons, the impugned order is set aside and the revisionist is permitted to move an application before the executing Court for amending the decree on or before 27-9-1999 and on such application being made, the executing Court shall requisition the record in OP No.497 of 1986 and verify whether the decree has been drawn in accordance with the impugned award and pass orders according to law. The parties through their learned Counsel are directed to appear before the executing Court on 27-9-1999 for further proceedings. The revision petition is thus finally disposed of. No costs.

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