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The Divisional Manager, The New India Assurance Co. Ltd., Divisional Office, Tiruvannamalai v/s Sivasankar & Another

    CMA No. 2457 of 2016 & CMP No. 17249 of 2016

    Decided On, 24 August 2021

    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE ABDUL QUDDHOSE

    For the Appellant: S. Manohar, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1 - Served - No appearance, R2, S. Palanivelayutham, Advocate.



Judgment Text

(Prayer: Civil Miscellaneous Appeal filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act against the judgment and decree dated 22.12.2011 made in MCOP No.547 of 2007 on the file of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (Sub Court), Tirupattur, Vellore District.)

(Heard Video Conference)

1. This appeal has been filed by the Insurance Company challenging the award dated 22.12.2011 passed by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Sub Court, Tirupattur, Vellore District in MCOP No.547 of 2007.

2. In this appeal, the appellant/Insurance Company has challenged the impugned award questioning its liability to pay the compensation as according to them despite a categorical finding given by the Tribunal that the injured victim was a gratuitous passenger in the insured Tractor, the Tribunal has erroneously granted pay and recover rights in favour of the claimant against the appellant/Insurance Company.

3. Heard Mr.S. Manohar, learned counsel for the appellant/Insurance Company.

4. This Court has perused and examined the impugned award before the Tribunal.

5. The learned counsel for the appellant drew the attention of this Court to the findings of the Tribunal found in para 8 of the impugned award and would submit that despite the Tribunal having found that the first respondent/claimant was travelling in the insured Tractor Registration bearing No.TN-74- F-1177 as an unauthorised passenger has erroneously held the Insurance Company liable to pay the compensation on pay and recovery basis.

6. Under Section 147 of the Motor Vehicles Act, the appellant Insurance Company is not statutorily liable to compensate, in case of a gratuitous passenger. The said proposition is well settled by various decisions of this Court as well as the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The Tribunal under the impugned award as rightly pointed out by the learned counsel for the appellant in paragraph 8 has given a categorical finding that the injured claimant was travelling in the insured Tractor as a gratuitous passenger.

7. The relevant finding in paragraph 8 of the impugned award are as follows:-

“TAMIL”

8. Despite the aforesaid finding, which clearly reveals that the first respondent/claimant was a gratuitous passenger, the Tribunal has directed the appellant/Insurance Company to pay the assessed compensation and thereafter recover from the owner of the Tractor (insured), which is not in accordance with law. The Insurance Company is liable to compensate only if the claimant satisfies the conditions for coverage as laid down under Section 147 of Motor Vehicles Act. In the case on hand, admittedly the first respondent/claimant has not satisfied the said conditions. Therefore, the impugned award directing the appellant/Insurance Company to pay the compensation to the respondent/claimant and thereafter recover the said amount from the owner of the vehicle (insured) has to be necessarily set aside. Accordingly, the impugned award dated 22.12.2011 passed by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Sub Court, Tirupattur, Vellore District in MCOP No.547 of 2007 is hereby set aside and the Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is allowed. However, insofar as the award passed ag

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ainst the owner of the vehicle is concerned, the same is confirmed. No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petition is closed. 9. It is made clear that the appellant/Insurance Company is permitted to withdraw the amount if any deposited by them before the Tribunal, after the passing of the impugned award by filing an appropriate application.
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