(1) This is a petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India challenging the order dated 28-2-1960 passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Punjab.
(2) It appears that an accident took place on 20-9-1959, in which one Hardev Krishan died. On 17-11-1959 his heirs filed an application before the Tribunal for compensation. In this application, they impleaded the drivers of the two trucks, which were involved in this accident, their owners and the Insurance Company with which these trucks were insured.
(3) In the written statement filed by the Insurance Company, it was stated that the company had insured Messrs. Mehta Goods Carrier (Private) Limited with respect to Truck No. DLE-6936. On 24-10-1960 one Mohan Lal Bhasin filed an application on behalf of the alleged owner of this Truck No. DLE-6939 that Messrs. Mehta Goods Carrier (Private) Limited be impleaded as a party to this application for compensation. On 20-12-1960 the Tribunal ordered that since it was discovered from the written statement filed by the Insurance Company that the party insured with them regarding Truck No. DLE-6939 was Messrs. Mehta Goods Carrier (Private) Limited, they should be impleaded as a party to the application. This having been done, they filed a written statement in which they raised a preliminary objection that the claim against them was time barred.
(4) On 28-2-1961 the Tribunal rejected the preliminary objection and held that the application for compensation was within time. Against this order, Messrs. Mehta Goods Carrier (Private) Limited have filed the present petition.
(5) Learned counsel for the petitioning Company has submitted that, according to section 110-A, sub-section (3) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, the application for compensation has to be filed within 60 days of the occurrence of the accident, but the order impleading the Company as a defendant was passed on 20-12-1960 any by virture of the provisions of Section 22 of the Indian Limitation Act, the suit against the Company should be deemed to have been instituted on 20-12-1960 and, consequently, it was barred by limitation.
(6) After hearing the counsel for the parties, I am of the view that there is no merit in this submission. Admittedly, the application for compensation filed on 17-11-1959 was well with time. Besides, according to the proviso to sub-section (3) of section 110-A of the Act, the Tribunal could certain the application even after the expiry of the prescribed period of 60 days, if it was satisfied cause from making the application in time. The Tribunal while ordering the impleading of Messrs. Mehta Goods Carrier (Private) Limited, observed that it was only from the written statement filed by the Insurance Company that it was discovered that the owner of Truck No. DLE-6939 was the petitioning-Company. Under these circumstances, the Tribunal was well within its rights to impleaded the petitioning-Company and entertain the application against the same even after the prescribed period of 60 days. Moreover, in my opinion, by impleading the petitioning-Company, no injustice has been done in this case and I decline to interfere with the impugned order of the Tribunal in these proceedings under Article 227 of the Constitution.
(7) In view of the matter, no other question arises for decision.
(8) This petition is, consequently, dismissed. But in the circumstances of this case, however, I will leave the parties to bear their own costs in this Court.
(9) Petition dismissed.