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New India Assurance Co. Ltd., Branch office, Rep Through Tuppad Building Gandhi Circle, Gadag v/s Gangavva & Others

    M.F.A. No. 22903 of 2009 (MV)

    Decided On, 16 September 2021

    At, High Court of Karnataka Circuit Bench At Dharwad

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE V. SRISHANANDA

    For the Petitioner: N.R. Kuppelur, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1 to R4, B.V. Somapur, Advocate.



Judgment Text

(Prayer: This appeal is filed Section 173(1) of the M.V.ACT 1988, against the Judgement and award dated: 30/5/2009 passed in MVC No.101/2006 on the file of the Civil Judge (Sr.Dn.) & MACT, Ron, awarding compensation of Rs.2,39,000/- with interest @ 6% p.a.)

1. Appeal is filed by the Insurance Company challenging the validity of the judgment and award dated 30.05.2009 passed in MVC No.101/2006 on the file of the Civil Judge (Sr.Dn.) and Member, MACT, Ron (hereinafter referred to as “the Tribunal” for short).

2. The brief facts, which are necessary for disposal of the appeal are as under:

A claim petition came to be filed under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act contending that on 18.08.2006 Basappa was travelling in a vehicle bearing No.KA- 25/3207 and when the said vehicle reached on Asuti- Karmudi road, a tractor bearing No.KA-26/T-6156 came in a rash and negligent manner and dashed against the vehicle, wherein Basappa was travelling and due to the impact of the accident, Basappa sustained fatal injuries and died on the spot. The claimants being the dependants having lost the bread winner of the family, laid a claim for awarding suitable compensation.

3. Claim petition was resisted by filing written statements by respondent Nos.1 and 2. The Tribunal after raising necessary issues and after considering the oral and documentary evidence on record, allowed the claim petition in part and awarded a sum of Rs.2,39,000/- with interest at 6% p.a. from the date of petition till realization.

4. Sri.N.R.Kuppelur, learned counsel for the appellant-Insurance Company contended that the tractor bearing No.KA-26/T-6156 was not having valid insurance policy as on the date of accident and the owner of the tractor also possessed another vehicle for which he had taken insurance policy vide Ex.R.1 and therefore, the said policy has been relied on by the owner to shift the liability on the Insurance Company and thus sought for allowing the appeal.

5. Further, he contended that in Ex.R.1 tractor number is shown as KA-25/T-0094 and therefore, there was no insurance coverage as on the date of the accident and thus sought for allowing the appeal.

6. Before this court, the owner of tractor bearing No.KA-26/T-6156 produced copy of the policy, wherein the vehicle number is mentioned as KA-26/T-6156. The number 6156 is mentioned in handwriting and all other numbers are found in printed form and therefore the said policy is a concocted policy only to transfer the liability on the Insurance Company.

7. This Court has granted time for the Insurance Company to verify the engine and chasis number found in the policy produced by the owner before this Court. Accordingly, Sri.N.R.Kuppelur has now produced the RC extract in respect of the vehicle bearing No.KA-26/T-6156 obtained form the Regional Transport Authority, Gadag, wherein the engine and chasis number mentioned in the copy of the policy produced by respondent No.1 and the claimant are tallying. Therefore, there is sufficient proof that as on the date of the accident, the tractor bearing No.KA-26/T-6156 which is the offending vehicle in the case on hand, had valid insurance policy and therefore, Insurance Company is liable to pay the compensation.

8. In view of the rival contentions of the parties, the point that would arise for consideration is:

“Whether the Insurance Company has made out a case for exoneration of its liability?”

9. In the case on hand, the accidental death of Basappa on 18.08.2006 when he was travelling in vehicle bearing No.KA-25/3207 which met with an accident involving tractor bearing No.KA-26/T-6156 on Asuti- Karmudi road stands established by placing necessary oral and documentary evidence on record. Ex.R.1 is the insurance policy that has been produced before the Tribunal which bears the tractor number as KA-25/T- 0094. However, when the said discrepancy was noticed, the claimants have filed another insurance policy before this Court, wherein the vehicle number is mentioned as No.KA-26/T-6156.

10. Moreover, on perusal of the trial Court records, it is seen that there is no evidence placed by the Insurance Company inasmuch as no officer of the Insurance Company is examined to say that Ex.R.1 did not cover the offending tractor. Further, while cross- examining the owner of the tractor also, no suggestion is put to the owner of the tractor as to the tractor was not duly insured.

11. In view of the discrepancy found in Ex.R.1 and the photocopy of the policy filed by the claimants, earlier this Court directed the counsel for the appellant to verify the RC extract in respect of tractor No.KA-26/T-6156. In pursuance of the same, learned counsel for the Insurance Company has filed RC extract issued by the Regional Transport Authority, Gadag, wherein chasis and engine number found in the policy produced by the claimants is tallying with tractor number KA-26/T-6156. Therefore, it is established that the policy marked at Ex.R.1 may not be the proper policy and the photocopy of the policy produced before this Court by the claimants bearing policy No.672002/31/06/02/00001316 pertains to tractor bearing No.KA-26/T-6156. Therefore, it is clearly established that as on the date of accident tractor bearing No.KA-26/T-6156 was duly insured with the appellant-

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Insurance Company. Accordingly, grounds urged on behalf of Insurance Company that tractor was not insured as on the date of the accident and therefore it is to be exonerated from its liability cannot be countenanced in law. Hence, point is answered in negative and following order is passed: ORDER Appeal is dismissed. Amount in deposit, if any, is ordered to be transferred to the Tribunal forthwith. Entire amount is ordered to be deposited by the Insurance Company within four weeks from the date of receipt of certified copy of this order.
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