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Des Raj Angra Vs. Oriental Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberF.A.F.O. No. 874 of 1983
Judge
Reported inAIR1985P& H229; [1985]58CompCas526(P& H)
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 95; Punjab Motor Vehicles Rules, 1940 - Rules 4 and 60
AppellantDes Raj Angra
RespondentOriental Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd. and ors.
Cases ReferredPritam Kaur v. Surjit Singh
Excerpt:
.....by way of limitation is in the nature of a restraint on the remedy provided under the act. so viewed two inferences are clear viz., (1) sections 80 and 89 of the act read with rule 85 of the rules make it obligatory for the authorities making the order to communicate it to the applicant concerned and (2) the period of limitation for any appeal against the order is reckonable from the date of such communication of the reasons would imply communication of a copy of the written order itself, a party who knows about the making of an order cannot ignore the same and allow grass to grow under its feet and do nothing except waiting for a formal communication of the order or to choose a tenuous plea that even though he knew about the order, he was waiting for its formal communication to..........court in gurdev kaur's case (supra) had been taken. the division bench referred the matter to the larger bench with the observations that instead of distinguishing the full bench on the ground urged on behalf of the appellant, it would be desirable if a larger bench has a fresh look in the matter. that is how this appeal is before us.2. in order to appreciate the view taken by the full bench of this court and contention advanced on behalf of the appellant, it would be desirable to notice the relevant provision of s. 95 of the act which is in the following terms:--'95. requirements of polices and limits of liability--(1) in order to comply with the requirements of this chapter, a policy of insurance may be a policy which--a) xx xx xx xx xx xxb) insures the person or classes of persons.....
Judgment:

D.S. Tewatia, J.

1.This first appeal of the owner of the truck against the order off the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, in the very first instance, was admitted to D. B. One of the questions on the facts of this case that arose for consideration was as to whether when a hirer of a motor-truck travelling, on the same in order to guard his goods sustains injuries or dies in an accident, does the insurer i.e. insurance company would be liable to indemnify the insured that is the owner of the offending vehicle to pay damages. The Tribunal in view of the Full Bench decision of this Court in Oriental Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Gurdev Kaur 1967 Acc CJ 158: (AIR 1967 Punjab 486) held that the insurance company was not liable to indemnify the owner of the offending truck in regard to such third party risk. When the matter came up for hearing before the Division Bench, the counsel for the appellant canvassed that the Full Bench, in fact, dealt with the second aspect of proviso (ii) of Clause (b) of sub-section (1) of S. 95 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) and did not specifically dealt with the first limb of the said provisions and that the Full Bench also did not consider the impact of R. 4 and 60 of the Punjab Motor Vehicles Rules, 1940. The learned counsel brought to the notice of the Division Bench, the two Full Bench decisions of the Gujarat High Court in Ambaben v. Usmanbhai Amrimiya Sheikh 1979 Acc CJ 292: (AIR 1979 Guj 9) and other in National Insurance Co. v. Nathibai Chaturbhuj 1982 Acc CJ 153: (AIR 1982 Guj 116) in which a view contrary to the one taken by the Full Bench of this Court in Gurdev Kaur's case (supra) had been taken. The Division Bench referred the matter to the larger Bench with the observations that instead of distinguishing the Full Bench on the ground urged on behalf of the appellant, it would be desirable if a larger Bench has a fresh look in the matter. That is how this appeal is before us.

2. In order to appreciate the view taken by the Full Bench of this Court and contention advanced on behalf of the appellant, it would be desirable to notice the relevant provision of S. 95 of the Act which is in the following terms:--

'95. Requirements of polices and limits of liability--(1) In order to comply with the requirements of this Chapter, a policy of insurance may be a policy which--

a) xx xx xx xx xx xx

b) insures the person or classes of persons specified in the policy to the extent specified in sub-section (2)--

(i) against any liability which may be incurred by him in respect of the death of or bodily injury to any person or damage to any property of a third party caused by or arising out of the use of the vehicle in a public place.

ii) xx xx xx xx xx

Provided that a policy shall not be required--

(i) xx xx xx xx xx

(ii) except where the vehicle is a vehicle in which passengers are carried for hire or reward or by reason of or in pursuance of contract of employment, to cover liability in respect of the death of or bodily injury to persons being carried in or upon or entering or mounting or alighting from the vehicle at the time of the occurrence of the event out of which a claim arises; or

(iii) xx xx xx xx xx

3. The learned counsel for the insurance company urged that the Full Bench had considered not only the second limb of proviso (ii) of Clause (b) of sub-section (1) of S. 95 of the Act but had also adverted to the first limb of the said provisions, though, of course, not in the detailed manner in which the appellant has now required this Court to do. He drew out attention to the Full Bench of this Court reported in Pritam Kaur v. Surjit Singh (1984) 86 Pun LR 202: (AIR 1984 Punj & Har 113) wherein this Court has laid down the following principles as to in what cases a larger Bench decision can be required to be reconsidered by a still larger Bench:--

'The law specifically laid down by the Full Bench is binding upon the High Court within which it is rendered and any and every veiled doubt with regard thereto does not justify the reconsideration thereof by a larger Bench and thus put the law in a ferment afresh. The ratios of the Full Benches are and should be rested on surer foundations and are not to be blown away by every side wind. It is only within the narrowest field that a judgment of a larger Bench can be questioned for reconsideration. One of the obvious reasons is, where it is unequivocally manifest that its ratio has been impliedly overruled or whittled down by a subsequent judgment of the superior Court or a larger Bench of the same Court. Secondly, where it can be held with certainty that a co-equal Bench has laid the law directly contrary to the same. And thirdly, where it can be conclusively said that the judgment of the larger Bench was rendered per incuraim by altogether failing to take notice of a clearcut statutory provision or an earlier binding precedent. It is normally within these constricted parameters that a smaller Bench may suggest a reconsideration of the earlier view and not otherwise. However, it is best in these matters to be neither dogmatic nor exhaustive, yet the aforesaid categories are admittedly the well accepted ones in which an otherwise binding precedent may be suggested for reconsideration............

If the ratios of larger Benches and the judgments of superior Courts were to be merely rested upon the quicksands of the ingenuity of the counsel to raise some fresh or novel argument (which had not been earlier raised or considered) in order to dislodge them, then the hallowed rule of the finality of binding precedent would become merely a teasing mirage..'

4. The learned counsel for the appellant has not been able to satisfy us that any case is made out in terms of the aforesaid guidelines for the reconsideration of the Full Bench in Gurdev Kaur's case (AIR 1967 Punjab 486) (supra) to a larger Bench. We are also informed that the very question is before the Supreme Court in some Special Leave Petitions which are on the daily board of their Lordships and we may soon have an authoritative view of the highest Court in the matter.

5. On merits of the appeal, if may be observed that since the appeal of the owner of the truck was admitted only against the insurance company and not against the claimants, no other question, therefore, arises for consideration. Hence, the appeal is dismissed with no order as to costs.

6. Order accordingly.


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