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United India Insurance Company Limited Vs. Kusum Sood and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in2008ACJ2601; (2008)149PLR16
AppellantUnited India Insurance Company Limited
RespondentKusum Sood and ors.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases Referred and National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Laxmi Narain Dhut
Excerpt:
- limitation act, 1963.[c.a. no. 36/1963]. sections 60 & 62: usufructuary mortgage right to seek redemption limitation held, the limitation of 30 years under article 61(a) begins to run when the right to redeem or the possession accrues. the right to redemption or recover possession accrues to the mortgagor on payment of sum secured in case of usufructuary mortgage, where rents and profits are to be set off against interest on the mortgage debt, on payment or tender to the mortgagee, the mortgage money or balance thereof or deposit in the court. the right to seek foreclosure is co-extensive with the right to seek redemption. since right to seek redemption accrues only on payment of the mortgage money or the balance thereof after adjustment of rents and profits from the interest..........implication is that the person to whom the vehicle belongs, is also the intended driver for the same, and would be covered under the risk clause of the policy. the terms of the policy are, therefore, of extreme importance and are to be perused before ascertaining the liability of the insurance company.9. as noticed above, since the terms of the policy covered the driver, the deceased, who was admittedly the owner of the vehicle, would also be covered as the word 'driver' is not necessarily to refer to the person at the wheel or the employee of the owner, but it will also include the owner, who is an intended driver.10. on the basis of the above discussion, we hold that this appeal does not have any merit and the same is hereby dismissed.
Judgment:

Vijender Jain, C.J.

1. The present appeal under Clause X of the Letters Patent preferred by United India Insurance Company Limited is directed against judgment dated 26.5.1994 passed by the learned Single Judge in F.A.O. No. 989 of 1984.

2. The sole ground of challenge is that the appellant, which had insured the vehicle of the deceased, could not be held liable to pay compensation to the legal heirs of the insured, who lost his life in an accident while travelling in the said vehicle on 28.10.1982.

3. The plea is based on the premise that the deceased being the occupant of the vehicle in question which was insured by the appellant, could not claim any compensation from it as he was not a third party to be covered under the terms of the policy.

4. While arguing in support of the aforesaid contention, learned Counsel for the appellant placed reliance on the judgments of the Supreme Court reported as United India Insurance Co. Ltd. Shimla v. Tilak Singh and Ors. (2006) 4 S.C.C. 404 and National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Laxmi Narain Dhut (2007-2) 146 P.L.R. 510 (S.C.) : (2007) 3 S.C.C. 700.

5. On the other hand, learned Counsel for the respondents contended that as per the terms of the policy of insurance, the driver of the vehicle was also covered and since the deceased was travelling in his own car being driven by the driver, therefore, his act of negligence which resulted in the accident would invite the liability of the insurance company.

We have heard the learned Counsel for the parties.

6. In our considered opinion, the insurance company is bound by the terms of the policy as it is an intended contract between the insured and insurer. 7. In case, the insurance company wants to wriggle out of the liability to pay the compensation, then it has to establish the breach of the conditions of the contract of which the policy is an embodiment.

7. In the instant case, the insurance policy, which was produced before us, reveals that the driver of the vehicle was covered under the risk clause.

8. In a case where a vehicle, which is owned and possession by the owner himself, it is but natural to expect that he would ordinarily be its driver. The term 'driver' as appearing in the insurance policy, would not necessarily mean a person, who is an employee of the owner or who happens to be at the wheel of the vehicle at the time of accident, but the necessary implication is that the person to whom the vehicle belongs, is also the intended driver for the same, and would be covered under the risk clause of the policy. The terms of the policy are, therefore, of extreme importance and are to be perused before ascertaining the liability of the insurance company.

9. As noticed above, since the terms of the policy covered the driver, the deceased, who was admittedly the owner of the vehicle, would also be covered as the word 'driver' is not necessarily to refer to the person at the wheel or the employee of the owner, but it will also include the owner, who is an intended driver.

10. On the basis of the above discussion, we hold that this appeal does not have any merit and the same is hereby dismissed.


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