(Prayer: Appeal filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, against the judgment and decree in M.C.O.P.No.5031 of 2013 dated 16.10.2015, on the file of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal Special District Judge, Trichy.)
1. The accident took place on 15.02.2009 at about 13.40 hours at Thuraiyur Trichy Road, near Devi Gas Company. Unfortunately, it is a case of fatal accident and the parents of the deceased are the claimants, who filed the claim petition in M.C.O.P.No.5031 of 2013 before the file of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal Special District Judge, Trichy. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the Tribunal awarded the total compensation of Rs.8,60,000/- (Rupees Eight Lakhs and Sixty Thousand only) as compensation to the claimants and the present appeal is filed by the New India Assurance Company Limited solely on the ground that it is a case of 'No Driving Licence' and therefore, 'pay and recovery' is to be ordered.
2. The findings of the Tribunal are not disputed by the respective parties with regard to the non-possession of a valid driving licence by the driver of the vehicle and in fact, the licence expired in the year 2003 itself and the accident took place in the year 2009 and even after a lapse of six years, the licence was not renewed and therefore, it is to be treated as if the driver of the vehicle was not having any licence at the time of the accident.
3. The learned Counsel for the appellant in both the appeals contended that it is a case of driving without licence and it is proved before the Tribunal that the driver who was plying the vehicle was not in possession of a valid driving licence and accordingly, pay and recovery has to be ordered.
4. The learned Counsel for the respondents 1 and 2 is unable to dispute the fact that it is not a case of holding of a valid driving licence and therefore, the findings of the Tribunal with regard to non-possession of the valid driving licence is to be confirmed.
5. Heard the learned Counsel for the appellant Insurance Company and the learned Counsel for the respondents 1 and 2 and the learned Counsel for the third respondent and also perused the materials available on record.
6. It is a settled law that though the Insurance Company established violation of the policy condition and in respect of the claim made by the third parties, the Insurance company has to first satisfy the award and recover the same from the owner of the vehicle.
7. In Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., vs. Nanjappan and others reported in (2004) 13 Supreme Court Cases 224, the Honourable Supreme Court has held as follows:
8. Therefore, while setting aside the judgment of the High Court we direct in terms of what has been stated in Baljit Kaur's case (supra) that the insurer shall pay the quantum of compensation fixed by the Tribunal, about which there was no dispute raised, to the respondent-claimants within three months from today. For the purpose of recovering the same from the insured, the insurer shall not be required to file a suit. It may initiate a proceeding before the concerned Executing Court as if the dispute between the insurer and the owner was the subject matter of determination before the Tribunal and the issue is decided against the owner and in favour of the insurer. Before release of the amount to the insured, owner of the vehicle shall be issued a notice and he shall be required to furnish security for the entire amount, which the insurer will pay to the claimants. The offending vehicle shall be attached, as a part of the security. If necessity arises the Executing court shall, take assistance of the concerned Regional Transport authority. The Executing Court shall pass appropriate orders in accordance with law as to the manner in which the insured, owner of the vehicle shall make payment to the insurer. In case there is any default it shall be open to the Executing court to direct realization by disposal of the securities to be furnished or from any other property or properties of the owner of the vehicle, the insured. The appeal is disposed of in the aforesaid terms, with no order as to costs.
8. In the light of the ratio laid down by the Honourable Supreme Court in the above decision, this Court does not find any illegality or infirmity in the common award passed by the Tribunal. Accordingly, this appeal fails.
9. It is also represented that the entire award amount has already been deposited by the appellant Insurance Company vide order of this Court dated 28.06.2016 passed in C.M.P(MD)No.6091 of 2016 in C.M.A(MD)No.471 of 2016.
10. In the result, this Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is dismissed, confirming the award in M.C.O.P.No.5031 of 2013 dated 16.10.2015, passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal Special District Judge, Trichy. The claimants are permitted to withdraw their respective award amounts forthwith. Further, the appellant Insurance Company is at liberty to recover the award amount from the insured as per the law laid down by the Honourable Supreme Court in Nanjappan's case (cited supra). No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are dismissed.