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The New India Assurance Co. Ltd. v/s Union of India & Others

    Civil First Appeal No. 59 of 1996

    Decided On, 03 February 2015

    At, High Court of Rajasthan Jaipur Bench


    For the Appellant: Virendra Agarwal, Shailash Sharma, Advocates. For the Respondents: R1 to R3, Niraj Batra, Advocate.

Judgment Text

1. This first appeal under Section 96 CPC has been filed against the judgment and decree dated 22.11.1995 passed by Additional District Judge No.1, Jaipur City, Jaipur in Civil Suit No. 35/1983 whereby the suit for compensation has been decreed by the court below for the amount of Rs.30,100/-.

2. The short facts of the case leading to filing of this appeal are that plaintiff responden

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t filed a civil suit to recover the amount of Rs.51,050/- as compensation on account of loss sustained by them due to damage of Jeep No. R.R.B. 5453 which was alleged to have taken place on 2.6.1992. The contention of the appellant before the court below was that the civil court has no jurisdiction to hear and decide the present suit as the claim has been submitted under the Motor Vehicles Act but the court below has not framed any issue and the question of jurisdiction has not been decided which goes to the root of the case, hence this appeal.

3. Heard the learned counsel for the parties and perused impugned judgment and decree as well as the original record of the case.

4. In Para No. 22 of the written statement, it has been specifically pleaded by the appellant that in view of provisions of Section 110-F of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (in short the Act of 1939), the suit is barred and not triable by civil Court and Section 110-F of the Act of 1939 reads as follows:

"100-F. Bar of jurisdiction of Civil Courts.- Where any Claims Tribunal has been constituted for any area, no Civil Court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any question relating to any claim for compensation which may be adjudicated upon by the Claims Tribunal for that area, and no injunction in respect of any action taken or to be taken by or before the Claims Tribunal in respect of the claim for compensation shall be granted by the Civil Court."

5. A plain reading of the above clearly suggests that jurisdiction of the civil court is barred as regards the claims for compensation in the accident cases and to support his contention, the counsel for the appellant has submitted Chairman, Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation v. Consumer Protection Council (1995) 2 SCC 479, where it has been held as under:

"We, have, therefore, no manner of doubt that this case squarely fell within the ambit of section 165 of the 1988 Act and the Claims Tribunal constituted thereunder for the area in question had jurisdiction to entertain the same. As pointed out earlier, the 1988 Act and, in particular, the provisions in Chapter XII thereof creates a Forum before which the claim can be laid if it arises out of an accident caused by the use of a motor vehicle. That being a special law would prevail over the relevant general law such as the 1986 Act but in the instant case even that question does not arise for the simple reason that the dispute in question did not attract the jurisdiction of the National Commission, whatsoever, and the National Commission has not shown how it had jurisdiction. The issue was pointedly raised and for reasons best known to the National Commission it failed to come to grip with it. Surprisingly, there is no discussion whatsoever in the order of the National Commission in this behalf We are, therefore, of the opinion that the National Commission did not have jurisdiction and as counsel for the appellant put it this was a case of unwarranted exercise of jurisdiction."

6. Hence in view of the clear provisions of Section 110-F of Act of 1939 and 165 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 the civil court was not having any jurisdiction to entertain the claim of compensation caused by the use of motor vehicle and in view of the above pronouncement, the court below has erred in decreeing the suit.

Consequently, the appeal succeeds and is allowed. The judgment and decree under appeal dated 22.11.1995 passed by Additional District Judge No.1, Jaipur City, Jaipur in Civil Suit No. 35/1983 is quashed and set aside.

Appeal allowed.

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