At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
By, THE HONOURABLE MS. JUSTICE P.T. ASHA
For the Appellant: M.A. Gouthaman, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1 & R2, No Appearance, R3, D. Baskaran, Advocate.
(Prayer: Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, as against Decree and Judgement dated 01.02.2017 in M.C.O.P.No.513 of 2011 on the file of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (Principal Sub Judge), Krishnagiri.)
1. The petitioner is the appellant before this Court seeking enhancement of the award passed in M.C.O.P.No.513 of 2011 by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Krishnagiri. The brief facts are as follows and the parties are referred to in the same rank as before the Tribunal.
2. The petitioner would submit that he was travelling in a Tractor Trailer in which bricks were loaded. According to the petitioner, the driver of the Tractor has driven the same in a rash and negligent manner and while driving the Tractor, he had lost control of the wheels as a result of which, the Tractor has capsized. The petitioner has fallen on the road and the bricks in the Tractor Trailer fell on him, as a result of which he had sustained grievous injuries.
3. The petitioner was immediately taken to the Dr. Radhakrishnan Hospital, Krishnagiri for First Aid. Thereafter, the petitioner was taken to Sparsh Hospital, Bangalore. It is the case of the petitioner that he was an inpatient for 29 days and had fractures at 3 places and he had claimed a compensation of a sum of Rs.10,00,000/-. It is the case of the petitioner that he is an Agriculturist & Load man, earning a monthly income of a sum of Rs.10,000/- and aged about 27 years.
4. The 3rd respondent Insurance Company alone had filed a counter since respondents 1 and 2 had remained absent and was set ex parte.
5. The Insurance Company would submit that there is a violation of the Road Rules as well as policy condition in as much as the vehicle in which the petitioner was travelling. The Insurance Company had contended that the driver of the Tractor Trailer did not have valid driving license and consequently the Insurance Company was not liable to compensate the petitioner.
6. The Tribunal below by its order dated 01.02.2017 had held that the accident had occurred on account of the rash and negligent driving of the driver of the Tractor Trailer. The Tribunal below arrived at a compensation of a sum of Rs.1,97,324/-. However, since the driver of the Tractor Trailer did not possess a valid driving license to drive the vehicle at the time of the accident, the entire liability to compensate the petitioner was fastened on 1st and 2nd respondents, who are the owners of the Tractor Trailer.
7. Aggrieved by the above order, the petitioner is before this Court.
8. Heard the learned counsels on the either side.
9. The Tribunal below has taken into account the evidence of R.W.1, an Official of the RTO, Krishnagiri, who has stated that there were no records available to show that the driver of the Tractor Trailer had a valid driving license. The Insurance Company has taken this specific defense in their counter and the petitioner has not been able to countenance the said statement.
10. In these circumstances, the award passed by the Tribunal below fastening the liability only upon 1st and 2nd respondents, owners of the vehicle cannot be found fault with.
11. In the result, the Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is dismissed. Respondents 1 and 2 are directed to deposit the award amount along with interest and costs, less the amount already deposited within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of a
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copy of this Judgement, to the credit of M.C.O.P.No.513 of 2011. On such deposit, the petitioner is permitted to withdraw the award amount, after adjusting the amount, if any, already withdrawn, by filing necessary application before the Tribunal. In all other respects, the award of the Tribunal below stands unaltered. Consequently, connected Civil Miscellaneous Petition is closed. No costs.