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New India Assurance Co. Ltd. Vs. H. Siddalinganakia and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCompany
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported inILR1984KAR706
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 102
AppellantNew India Assurance Co. Ltd.
RespondentH. Siddalinganakia and ors.
Appellant AdvocateK. Suryanarayana Rao and ;P.R. Ramesh, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateC.K. Kambavanda and ;K.P. Krishnan, Advs.
Excerpt:
.....as owner of suit property, unless title to suit property by adverse possession, is proved. - in the accident, siddalinganaika as well as p. 5. we well next advert to the appeal made by the insurer of the lorry in mfa no......1971, one siddalinganaika was proceeding to hale yalanadu in the jeep belonging to the vani vilas sugar factory ltd., hiriyur, to attend the 'vasikuntha samaradhana' in the house of one k. seetharamiah, the then chairman of the vani vilas sugar factory ltd., hiriyur. they were proceeding at the invitation of seetharamiah. when the jeep left hiriyur, the petitioner, siddealinganiks, was the only occupant in the jeep apart from the driver. when the jeep was proceeding it met with an accident. a lorry, bearing no. myn 3196, came form the opposite, direction with high speed and dashed against the jeep. the first respondent in the petition was driving the lorry, while p. w 1 , sayed issak, was the driving the jeep belonging to the sugar factory. in the accident, siddalinganaika as well as p......
Judgment:

Sabhahit, J.

1. These appeals arise out of the judgment and ward dated March 31, 1979, passed by the Claim Tribunal, Chitradurga, in MVC No. 3 of 1972.

2. The brief facts giving rise to the present appeals are these:

On August 9, 1971, one Siddalinganaika was proceeding to Hale Yalanadu in the jeep belonging to the Vani Vilas Sugar Factory Ltd., Hiriyur, to attend the 'Vasikuntha Samaradhana' in the house of one K. Seetharamiah, the then chairman of the Vani Vilas Sugar Factory ltd., Hiriyur. They were proceeding at the invitation of Seetharamiah. When the jeep left Hiriyur, the petitioner, Siddealinganiks, was the only occupant in the jeep apart from the driver. When the jeep was proceeding it met with an accident. A lorry, bearing No. MYN 3196, came form the opposite, direction with high speed and dashed against the jeep. The first respondent in the petition was driving the lorry, while P. W 1 , Sayed Issak, was the driving the jeep belonging to the sugar factory. In the accident, Siddalinganaika as well as P. W. 6. Narayanappa, sustained injuries, The injured persons were removed to the Hiriyur hospital and they were treated. Petitioner in MVC No. 3 of 1972 examined as P.w. 7 was further taken to Banglore hospital on the same day and he was admitted to St. Martha's Hospital. He was in the hospital for twenty-eight days After his discharge, he he attended the hospital for some more time. he was not fully cured though he took treatment from several doctors. The injured had sustained server injuries and suffered deformity in his left arm and in right leg. His left hand was shortened by 3.4'. He had prolonged treatment and suffered agony. He was disabled. He applied before the Tribunal for compensation claiming Rs. 1,30,000 from the owners and insurers of both the vehicle. The Tribunal appreciating the evidence on record held that the accident was due to the rash and negligent driving of both the vehicles and it apportioned the liability of 50 per cent. on each vehicle-driver and awarded compensation of Rs. 61,970 to the injured claimant. Aggrieved by the said judgment and warded, the insurance company of the lorry had instituted MFA No. 1000 of 1979, the insurer of jeep has instituted MFA N0. 1258 of 1979, the owner of the jeep has instituted MFA No. 1043 of 1979, and the claimant has instituted MFA No. 1179 of 1979 complaining that compensation awarded is not adequate.

3. It may be noted that when the appeal of the claimant was pending, he died and has legal representatives ar brought on record. it also appears that the owner of the lorry also died during the pendency of the proceeding before the Tribunal. But there was no award made against him.

4. We will first take up for consideration the appeal made by the claimant in MFA No. 1179 of 1979. He has no doubt made a grievance that the compensation awarded is not adequate. But the evidence on record discloses that he died during the pendency of this appeal. Along with him, his claim for higher compensation and it is accordingly dismissed. No costs in appeal.

5. We well next advert to the appeal made by the insurer of the lorry in MFA No. 1000 of 1979. The grievance of the insurance company is that the owner of the vehicle died even during the pendency of the claim petition before the Tribunal and, as such, no award could be passed against the insurance company.

6. There is no substance in this contention so raised because section 102 of the Motor Vehicles Act States:

'notwithstanding anything contained in section 306 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, the death of a person in whose favour a certificate of insurance had been issued, if it occurs after the happening of an event which has given rise to a claim under the provision of this Chapter, shall not be a bar to the survival of any cause of action arising out of the said event against his estate or against the insurer.'

7. In this case, the claim petition was already filed before the Tribunal and the insurance company has issued the policy. that being so, the fact that the owner of the lorry dies, makes no difference. The Tribunal has rightly passed the award against the insurer. hence, there is no substance in this appeal and it is liable to be dismissed. Accordingly it is dismissed. No costs in the appeal.

8. Next we will advert to Misc. First Appeal No. 1043 of 1973. This appeal is by the owner of the jeep. The only contention raised is that the injured was travelling in the jeep as a gratuitous passenger. The evidence on record shown that there was 'Vikuntha Samaradhana' in the house of the chairman of the V.V. Sugar Factory an d it was the chairman of the sugar factory who had sent the jeep to bring the person concerned. That being so, he cannot be heard to say that the person who was traveling in the jeep was a gratuitous passenger. The Tribunal has rightly rejected his plea. We see no reason to differ. (vide Pushpabai Parshottam Udeshi v. Ranjit Ginning and Pressing Company Private Ltd., : [1977]3SCR372 . Therefore, the appeal is liable to be dismissed and accordingly it is dismissed. No costs of this appeal.

9. Lastly, we will take up for consideration MFA No. 1258 of 1979 instituted by the insurer of the jeep. The learned counsel for the appellant strenuously urged before us that the jeep was to be used only for official purpose of the sugar factory and since attending the function in the house of the chairman of the sugar factory cannot be considered to be an official function, he submitted that the insurance company was not liable to pay the damages. He next contended that the policy does not cover passenger liability in the jeep. Adverting to the first contention, it is obvious that the policy not only covers the official purpose of the sugar factory, but also social, domestic and pleasure purpose and for the insurer's business. Therefore, the argument advanced before us holds no water. Adverting to the second point, in section 2 of the policy, it is very clear stated that the insurer will indemnify the insured in the event of an accident caused by or arising out of the use of a motor car, including claims, costs and expenses which the insured had become legal liable to pay on the death of, or bodily injury to, any person. Therefore, it is obvious that the passenger's liability also is covered. The only exception made therein is personal injury of death liability to employees ands nothing else. Hence, there is no substance in the submission that the policy does not cover passenger liability. In fact, except the contracting parties, the injured, insurer, all other are considered as third parties for purpose of liability. This court had occasion to deal with a similar clause and interpret the same, in Indian Mercantile Insurance Company v. Gowramma (1979) 1 ILR Kar 887. Interpreting similar clause in the policy, this court had held by a Division Bench, of which one of us was a party, that the clause includes passenger liability also. Hence, there is no substance in the contention raised before us that the policy does not cover passenger liability in the jeep. This appeal has no substance and is liable to be dismissed and we dismiss the same. No costs of this appeal.


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