Skip to content


Damodar Singh Vs. Draupadibai and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal No. 39 of 1977
Judge
Reported in[1987]61CompCas350(MP)
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 95(4) and 96(2)
AppellantDamodar Singh
RespondentDraupadibai and ors.
Appellant AdvocateA.K. Mangal, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateP.N. Aneja and ;S.K. Dubey, Advs.
DispositionAppeals dismissed
Cases Referred(Orissa) and Ruby General Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Kesharbai
Excerpt:
- - kesharbai [1976] acj 385 (mp), in support of their contention that the condition of driving licence in the insurance policy does not hold good in case the vehicle isdriven at the relevant time by a mechanic for trial after repairs. in none of these decisions it has been held that when a mechanic without licence is driving the vehicle for trial at the time of the accident even in the face of a specific term like the one indicated above in the insurance policy, the insurance company would be liable......persuade me to take a view contrary to the one that has been taken by the tribunal. it would also be significant to mention here that during the course of the argument, learned counsel appearing for the appellant and the claimants were asked as to whether at this stage they can produce the driving licence of rahim, of the relevant time, or any other record to show that rahim was holding the driving licence at the relevant time. learned counsel submitted that the appellant is unable to do so. this case is being heard for the last 3 days. the address of rahim, respondent no. 5, given in the memorandum of appeal, indicates that rahim is a local person. had it been a fact that rahim was holding a driving licence at the relevant time, there could be no understandable reason for not producing.....
Judgment:

U.N. Bachawat, J.

1. This is an appeal by the owner of tractor No. MPH 6453 which was involved in an accident resulting in the death of one Gorelal.

2. The dependants of late Gorelal filed a claim under Section 110A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Gwalior (hereinafter referred to as ' the Tribunal'), against the present appellant; the insurance company, and the Central Bank of India, which had financed the appellant in the matter of purchase of this tractor,being Claim Case No. 94 of 1974. The Tribunal, vide its award awarded a compensation of Rs. 8,760 to the claimants against the appellant and respondent No. 5 herein (i.e., Rahim, who was respondent No. 1 before the Tribunal), only. The Tribunal held that Rahim, respondent No. 5 herein, was driving the tractor at the relevant time; that he (Rahim) was not holding a driving licence; and, therefore, according to the terms of the insurance policy (exhibit D-3), the insurance company was not liable. Hence, the present appeal by the owner of the tractor. The claimants have also filed a cross objection contending that the insurance company should also be held liable for the compensation awarded.

3. It is argued by learned counsel for the appellant that Rahim was a mechanic, who had repaired the tractor and was driving the tractor at the relevant time for taking trial and, therefore, the insurance company was liable, even if Rahim had no driving licence. This argument (hereinafter will be referred to as 'contention No. 1'). Learned counsel for the claimants, while adopting the arguments of learned counsel for the appellant, also argued that there is no proof that Rahim was not holding a driving licence at the relevant time, and the burden to prove this was on the insurance company. This argument (hereinafter will be referred to as 'contention No. 2 '). Thus, there are only two contentions to be decided in this appeal.

4. For the reasons to follow, the appeal deserves to be dismissed.

5. At the outset, it would be advisable to quote the following from the insurance policy, which provides that the insurance company would be liable only when the person driving held a driving licence at the relevant time:

' Driver: Any of the following:

(a) The insured;

(b) Any other person provided he is in the insured's employ and is driving on his order or with his permission:

Provided that the person driving holds a licence to drive a motor vehicle or has held and is not disqualified from holding or obtaining such a licence.'

6. Learned counsel for the appellant and the claimants referred to the decisions in Shantibai v. Principal, Govindram Sakseria Technological Institute [1972] ACJ 354 (MP), Kilari Mammi v. Barium Chemicals Ltd. [1979] ACJ 58 (AP) ; AIR 1979 AP 75, Sabitri Kumari Dass v. State of Orissa [1976] ACJ 341 (Orissa) and Ruby General Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Kesharbai [1976] ACJ 385 (MP), in support of their contention that the condition of driving licence in the insurance policy does not hold good in case the vehicle isdriven at the relevant time by a mechanic for trial after repairs. None of these decisions deals with the question at hand. In none of these decisions it has been held that when a mechanic without licence is driving the vehicle for trial at the time of the accident even in the face of a specific term like the one indicated above in the insurance policy, the insurance company would be liable. Thus, these decisions do not advance the contention of learned counsel for the appellant and the claimants. The net of the proviso in the term extracted hereinabove, is so wide that it includes even a mechanic in its ken. The words ' any other person ' are very significant in this respect.

7. As an upshot of the foregoing discussion, contention No. 1 is repelled.

8. I now turn to the second contention as to whether it has been proved in the instant case that Rahim was not holding a driving licence. Rahim has not entered the witness-box. Rahim, who had contested the claim and filed his written statement, despite a specific contention raised in the written statement of the insurance company, that Rahim was driving the tractor at the relevant time and was not holding a driving licence, did not contend in his return statement that he was having a driving licence. The Tribunal has in paragraph 83 held that Rahim was not holding a driving licence. Learned counsel could not point out any cogent reason to persuade me to take a view contrary to the one that has been taken by the Tribunal. It would also be significant to mention here that during the course of the argument, learned counsel appearing for the appellant and the claimants were asked as to whether at this stage they can produce the driving licence of Rahim, of the relevant time, or any other record to show that Rahim was holding the driving licence at the relevant time. Learned counsel submitted that the appellant is unable to do so. This case is being heard for the last 3 days. The address of Rahim, respondent No. 5, given in the memorandum of appeal, indicates that Rahim is a local person. Had it been a fact that Rahim was holding a driving licence at the relevant time, there could be no understandable reason for not producing the same even at this stage, more particularly when the court had asked.

9. In this view of the matter, the appeal fails and is hereby dismissed. I, however, make no order as to costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //