At, In the High Court of Bombay at Nagpur
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE M.G. GIRATKAR
For the Appellant: Asghar Hussain, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1 & R2, P.R. Agrawal, Advocate.
1. Heard Shri Hussain, learned Advocate for the appellant and Shri Agrawal, learned Advocate for respondent no. 1 and 2.
2. None appears for respondent no. 3.
3. Facts giving rise to the present appeal can be summarized as under (The parties shall be referred by their status in the Claim Tribunal):
On 22.09.2002, deceased - Prashant was travelling as a pillion rider on the motor cycle bearing No.MH-24/N-2235 from Morshi to Vishanora at about 11.30 p.m. The offending vehicle was insured by the respondent no. 2 (appellant). The respondent no. 1 was driving the said vehicle in high speed, rashly and negligently. Due to rash and negligent driving of the driver of the vehicle the accident took place. The deceased - Prashant was admitted in General Hospital, Amravati. Thereafter, he was shifted to the hospital of Dr. Gautam Darda at Nagpur. He died during the treatment.
The legal representatives of the deceased - Prashant filed claim petition before the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal, Amravati (for short the “Claim Tribunal”) and claimed compensation of Rs.2,50,000/-. The respondent no. 1 i.e. the owner and driver of the vehicle filed his written statement at Exh. 19. The claim of the claimants was resisted by the respondent no. 2 (appellant) by filing written statement at Exh. 17. Issues were framed at Exh. 20. The claimants adduced their evidence. The respondent no. 2 (appellant) examined Advocate Amol Kaloti, who was appointed as Investigator.
After hearing both sides, the Claim Tribunal partly allowed the claim and granted compensation of Rs.1,65,000/- inclusive of No Fault Liability with interest at the rate of 7.5% p.a. from the date of petition i.e. 09.06.2003. Hence, the present appeal.
4. Heard Shri Hussain, learned Advocate for the appellant (original respondent no. 2). He has submitted that the learned Claim Tribunal wrongly granted compensation. The risk of pillion rider is not covered in the Insurance Policy.
5. Shri Agrawal, learned Advocate for respondent nos. 1 and 2 (claimants) has pointed out the Insurance Policy and submitted that it was comprehensive policy. Learned Advocate has pointed out the judgment of the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of National Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Balakrishnan and another reported in 2013 ACJ 199, and submitted that risk of pillion rider is covered in the comprehensive/package policy. Therefore, Insurance Company is liable to pay the amount of compensation.
6. From the perusal of Insurance Policy (Exh. 26), it is clear that it was comprehensive policy for the offending vehicle. There is no dispute about it. The Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of National Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Balakrishnan and another reported in 2013 ACJ 199, has held that:
“In view of circular dated 18.03.1978 issued by Tariff Advisory Committee and circulars dated 16.11.2009 and 3.12.2009 issued by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, risk of passengers in a private car is covered under comprehensive/package policy and insurance company is liable to pay the amount of compensation……..”
7. Learned Advocate Shri Agrawal has pointed out the judgment in the case of General Manager, United India Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. M. Laxmi and others reported in 2009 ACJ 104, in which the Hon’ble Apex Court has held that:
“Death of pillion rider when the scooter hit a bullock cart because of rash and negligent driving of the scooter. As per the circular of Tariff Advisory Committee which states that standard form for motor cycle should cover liability to pillion passengers affixed liability on the insurance company..…..”
In view of the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the appellant (original respondent no. 2) is liable to pay compensation for the death of pillion rider. There is no dispute that the deceased was travelling as pillion rider on the scooter of respondent no. 3. There is no dispute that the offending vehicle was insured by the appellant (original respondent no. 2) and owned by respondent no. 3, namely, Dilip Kohale, therefore, the appellant (original respondent no. 2) is liable to pay amount of compensation. Learned Claim Tribunal has not committed any mistake directing the appellant (original respondent no. 2) to pay the amount of compensation. Hence, I do not find any merit in the appeal.
8. Hence, appeal is dismiss
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
ed with no order as to costs. 9. If the amount of compensation has been deposited by the appellant (original respondent no. 2) before this Court, it be transmitted to the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal, Amravati . 10. After the receipt of the said amount, the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal, Amravati is directed, to pay the amount of compensation alongwith accrued interest to the claimants i.e. respondent nos. 1 and 2 in this appeal. 11. Accordingly, appeal is disposed of.