1. This appeal by the owner is directed against judgment and award, dated December 18, 1980, passed by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal Bangalore City, in M.V.C. 81/1980, on its file, awarding compensation of Rs. 51,318.58, to the injured claimant.
2. It is the case of the claimant that he was working as a casting inspector in M/s. Veekay Malleables, on a monthly salary of Rs. 226 plus attendance bonus of Rs. 26. On June 23, 1979, at about 7-45 p.m., the claimant was going cycling on Bangalore-Tumkur Road near Mangharam Biscuit Factory slowly and on the left side of the road in order to go to his factory. The lorry, bearing No. TNE 3831, came from behind at a terrific speed and without sounding the horn, suddenly hit against his cycle. The claimant fell down injured and his left foot was crushed. His cycle was damaged. On these averments he claimed compensation of Rs. 1,70,000 from the respondents. Respondent No. 1, Vellaya Gouder is the owner and] respondent No. 2 was the driver and respondent No. 3 is the insurer of the vehicle. They denied their liability. The Tribunal appreciating the evidence on record held that the accident was result of the rash and negligent driving of the lorry in question and in that view awarded compensation as stated above. Aggrieved by the said judgment and award, the owner of the vehicle was instituted the present appeal before us on the ground that the compensation awarded is very much on the higher side.
3. The sole point, therefore, that arises for or consideration in this appeal is :
Whether the compensation awarded by the Tribunal is just and proper
4. The evidence on record shows that as a result of the crush injury to the left leg of the injured, the leg was amputated below the knee and now he is left without his left leg and would suffer the same throughout his life and his chances of promotion are also gone. He has been no doubt continued in employment on humanitarian grounds by the company. It is on these averments that he claimed compensation. The Tribunal has awarded Rs. 48,000 towards general damages. The Tribunal has not given the details or the split up of the damages. Since the claimant has lost his left leg and has to suffer throughout his life, we feel an award of Rs. 20,000 as compensation on that account would be in keeping with the awards made in similar cases. The claimant has further deposed that he has chances of promotion. But he has not given details; he has suffered no loss in the salary which he was drawing. Under this head, we deem it proper to award Rs. 10,000. Together, therefore, instead of Rs. 48,000 we award Rs. 30,000 while confirming the special damages awarded by the Tribunal.
5. Before concluding it may be mentioned that the learned counsel for the respondent-claimant has invited our attention and urged that the appeal by the owner is not maintainable. In support of his submission, he relied upon a decision of a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court in the case of Kantilal & Bros. v. Ramarani Debi, : AIR1979Cal152 . In that case the High Court of Calcutta in Para 10 of the judgment has no doubt observed thus (at page 156 of AIR 1979 Cal) :
'No legal burden has been imposed on them (owners). By the award the owners of the vehicle have not been deprived or denied of any legal right in view of admission of the right of the petitioners to get compensation and in view of the fact that the liabilities of payment of compensation are upon the insurer. The grievance for which a person may appeal must be genuine and real grievance affecting prejudicially his intersets. In the present case, there has been no legal grievance, denial or deprivation of legal right or financial interest nor any order affecting prejudicially the interest of the owners of the offending car.'
6. On that ground the High Court held that the Owner is not an aggrieved party. With respect we are unable to accede to that view. It is a well settled principle of law that insurance is an indemnity contract and unless the owner is made liable, there is no liability on the insurer to indemnify the owner. Hence, it would not be correct to say that the owner cannot have any grievance because there is no award against him. In fact the award is against the owner and the insurer; it is joint and several. It is under s. 110B of the Motor Vehicles Act that we direct further the insurer to pay the amount if it is within its liability. That does not mean that there is no liability on the owner. Hence, we are unable to agree with the view of the Calcutta High Court. We hold that unless the owner is liable the liability of the insurance company does not arise for consideration. Hence, we are unable to accede to the submission made before use by the learned counsel for the respondent that no appeal lies by the owner under s. 110B of the Motor Vehicles Act.
7. In the result, therefore, the appeal is partly allowed. The compensation awarded by the Tribunal at Rs. 51,318.58 is reduced by Rs. 18,000 and we award Rs. 33,318.58 along with interest at 6 per cent. Per annum form the date of petition till date of payment as also costs before the Tribunal. The insurance company still pay the amount awarded less any amount if already paid to the claimant. No costs in this appeal.