D.K. Mahajan, J.
1. This appeal is directed against the order of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal awarding certain amount against the driver of the motor-cycle in an award made under Section 110-B of the Motor Vehicles Act (Act No. 4 of 1939) --(hereinafter referred to as the Act).
2. An application was made by the person who was injured In the accident to recover the amount allowed to him under the Award before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Kapurthala. An objection was taken to this application by the driver of the motor-cycle, against whom the award had been made, that the award could not be executed; and in support of this objection, reliance was placed upon the decision of the Madras High Court in K. Gopala Krishnan v. Sankara Narayan, AIR 1968 Mad 436. This objection was overruled by the Tribunal on the short ground that the State Government had amended Motor Accident Claims Tribunal Rules, 1964 (hereinafter referred to as the Rules), whereby in Rule 20 of these Rules, Order 21 of the Code of Civil Procedure had been added. The result of the amendment, therefore, according to the Tribunal, was that the award could be executed against the appellant. Against this decision, the present appeal has been preferred by Darshan Singh, the driver of the motorcycle.
3. The principal contention of Mr. Yash Paul Gandhi, learned counsel for Darshan Singh, is that no doubt the Claims Tribunal could have given an award against Darshan Singh, there is no machinery provided in the Act or the Rules for the execution of that award. His further contention is that Order 21 of the Code of Civil Procedure only applies to decrees and the award is not a decree. Therefore, the introduction of Order 21 of the Code of Civil Procedure in Rule 20 of the Rules will be of no consequence and the position will remain as it prevailed before the amendment of Rule 20. It is undoubtedly true that before the amendment of Rule 20, it had been held by the Madras High Court in K. Gopala Krishnan's case, AIR 1968 Mad 436 that such an award against the person other than the Insurance Company would be inexecutable. But the question arises, whether such an award, after the amendment of Rule 20, can be executed or not? In order to determine this question, it will be necessary to refer to Sections 110-F and 111-A, which are in these terms:--
'110-F. Where any Claims Tribunal has been constituted for any area, no Civil Court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any question relating to any claim for compensation which may be adjudicated upon by the Claims Tribunal for that area, and no injunction in respect of any action taken or to be taken by or before the Claims Tribunal in respect of the claim for compensation shall be granted by theCivil Court.
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111-A. A State Government may make rules for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of Sections 110 to 110-E. and in particular, such rules may provide Cor all or any of the following matters, namely-
(a) the form of application for claims for compensation and the particulars it may contain; and the fees, if any. to be paid in respect of such applications;
(b) the procedure to be followed by a Claims Tribunal in holding an Inquiry under this Chapter,
(c) the powers vested in Civil Court which may be exercised by a Claims Tribunal;
(d) the form and the manner in which an appeal may be preferred against an award of a Claims Tribunal; and
(e) any other matter which is to be, oamay be prescribed.'
The amendment in Rule 20 has been made under Section 111-A, The obvious reason lor the amendment is that it removes the lacuna that existed in the Act regarding the execution of the award made against persons other than the Insurance Company. The only question is, whether that intention has been carried into effect or not? In this connection, I may refer to the decision of the Madras High Court in Annamalai Mudaliar v., Perumal, (1969) 1 Mad LJ 335, wherein their Lordships clearly highlighted the omission of O. 21 from Rule 18, which is equivalent to Rule 20 of the Punjab Rules. If in Rule 18 of the Madras Rules, Order 21, Civil P. C. had been mentioned, their Lordships would have found no difficulty in executing the award. That lacuna has been removed, so far as Punjab is concerned, by amendment of Rule 20. Therefore, the award would be executable under Rule 20. It is well settled that effect has to be given to the meaning and purpose of a Statute. And if the interpretation which is sought to be placed on a Statute, will reduce it to absurdity, that interpretation has to be avoided; and the Courts can even go to the length of adding words to give meaning to the Statute. This was so held by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Tirath Singh v. Bachittar Singh, AIR 1955 SC 830. In my opinion, the purpose of addition of Order 21 of the- Code of Civil Procedure in Rule 20 of the Rules was clearly intended to give effect to the award made under Section 110-B of the Motor Vehicles Act. It is not the object of the Motor Vehicles Act to drive the claimants from piller to post. It was a summary remedy provided in the case of an accident; and if effect is not given to Rule 20, as amended, it will really defeat the obiect of Section 110-E. It may be mentioned that Section 110-F of the Act bars the jurisdiction of the Civil Courts in matters which fall for determination under Section 110 to 110-E of the Motor Vehicles Act. This further lends support to the view. I have taken of the matter.
4. The last contention of Mr. Yash Paul Gandhi is that amendment of Rule 20 is beyond the rule-making powers of the State Government. I am unable to agree with this contention because Section 111-A clearly gives that power to the State Government; and the addition of Order 21, Civil P. C. to Rule 20 is entirely in consonance with that power.
5. For the reasons recorded above, this appeal fails and is dismissed. But there. will be no order as to costs.