Posted On by &filed under High Court, Madhya Pradesh High Court.


Madhya Pradesh High Court
United India Insurance Company vs Smt. Vimla Bai And Ors. on 28 September, 2000
Equivalent citations: 2000 (4) MPHT 429
Author: B Singh
Bench: B Singh, A Mishra


ORDER

Bhawani Singh, C.J.

1. This appeal is directed against the award dated 6-2-1996 of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Jabalpur in Motor Vehicle Case No. 49 of 1995.

2. Accident took place on 5-6-1990 at 9.00 p.m. when Tempo No. U.R.Q. 1425 coming from Barela side at high speed committed the accident resulting in the death of deceased Kaloo Singh Yadav, whose legal heirs are the claimants in this case. Allegation is that accident took place due to rash and negligent driving of the vehicle by the driver, otherwise it could not have taken place. The case has been opposed by the other side. The Insurance Company alleges that it was not informed about the accident. Driver did not possess driving licence. Vehicle (Tempo) could not be used for transport for passengers without endorsement from the Regional Transport Authority. Therefore, the Insurance Company is not liable to pay the compensation.

3. The Tribunal has accepted the taking place of the accident as alleged by the claimants and has come to the conclusion that the vehicle was being driven rashly and negligently resulting in the accident and death of the deceased. It was also found that the claimants are legal heirs of the deceased, therefore, they are entitled to compensation. Against claim of Rs. 6,50,000.00, award for Rs. 2,84,000.00 has been made carrying interest at the rate of 12% per annum from the date of application till payment.

4. The present appeal is at the instance of Insurance Company. Memorandum of appeal discloses that the award has been challenged on various grounds, some of them relate to payment of interest at higher rate, use of wrong multiplier and non-resort to Section 149(2)(a)(ii) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.There is objection with respect to non-endorsement of the vehicle for use as ‘transport vehicle. In the absence of permission from Claims Tribunal under Section 170 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the defence of Insurance Company is confined to the grounds under Section 149(2). In this background, the only objection which survives for consideration is that the vehicle was not suitable for transport or passengers in the absence of endorsement required under the Rules made under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 in terms of Insurance Policy to that effect. We are not impressed by the submissions advanced by the learned counsel for Insurance Company.

5. It has been held in a decision announced by this Court that vehicle in question is ‘light motor vehicle’ as defined in Section 2(21) of the Act. This provision defines ‘light motor vehicle’ means a transport vehicle or omnibus the gross vehicle weight of either of which or a motor car or tractor or road-roller the unladen weight of any of which, does not exceed 7,500 kilograms. ‘Transport Vehicle’ is defined under Section 2(47) of the Act to mean a public service vehicle, a goods carriage, an educational institution bus or a private service vehicle. The definition of ‘transport vehicle’ under Section 2(47) is to be read with ‘light motor vehicle’ as defined under Section 2(21). The vehicle in question falls within the definition of ‘light motor vehicle’ and, therefore, ‘transport vehicle’, which includes a public service vehicle for which purpose the vehicle in this case was being used is a light motor vehicle. This definition can not be stiffened by the formula of endorsement that the vehicle could not be used for transport or passengers since the determination hereinabove qualifies ‘light motor vehicle’ for use as transport vehicle or for carrying passengers. Therefore, we are of the opinion that there is no merit in this appeal.

6. Consequently, the appeal is dismissed being without merit. Costs on parties.


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