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United India Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Minaxiben Harishcandra Joshi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal No. 580 of 1978
Judge
Reported inAIR1979Guj108; (1979)0GLR158
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 95
AppellantUnited India Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd.
RespondentMinaxiben Harishcandra Joshi and ors.
Advocates: George Kurien,; P.V. Nanavati and; A.M. Sanghvi, Adv
Cases ReferredIn Pushpabai v. Ranjit Ginning and Pressing Co. Pvt. Ltd.
Excerpt:
..... - therefore, in a given case, if an insured is held liable to pay to the claimants more than the statutory limit prescribed by section 95, the insurance company is liable to make good the additional liability within the overall limit of its contractual liability. if an insured is required to make good the liability which is higher than the statutory liability but within the contractual liability of the insurance company, the insurance company must pay the amount. ; to him monetary liability, the insurance company must make good that liability within the limits of the contract. in case the insurance is for an amount higher than the statutory liability of the insurance company, it must make good that liability within the amount of insurance. the position of law has been fairly well.....s.h. sheth, j. 1. united india fire and general insurance company limited has filed this appeal against the award made by the motor accident claims tribunal no. i-a, ahmedabad, in motor accidents claims application no. 15 of 1976. the insured has been held by the tribunal liable to pay a sum of rs. 1,23,000/- as compensation to the claimants and has saddled the insurance company with that liability.2. the only contention which has been raised on behalf of the insurance company by mr. kurien is that even though the insurance company had insured the vehicle in question for a sum of rs. 3 lakhs, it cannot be made liable to pay the amount of the award beyond its statutory liability, that is to say, rupees. 50,000/- under s. 95 of the motor vehicles act, 1939. we are not impressed by this.....
Judgment:

S.H. Sheth, J.

1. United India Fire and General Insurance Company Limited has filed this appeal against the award made by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal No. I-A, Ahmedabad, in Motor Accidents Claims Application No. 15 of 1976. The insured has been held by the Tribunal liable to pay a sum of Rs. 1,23,000/- as compensation to the claimants and has saddled the Insurance Company with that liability.

2. The only contention which has been raised on behalf of the Insurance Company by Mr. Kurien is that even though the Insurance Company had insured the vehicle in question for a sum of Rs. 3 lakhs, it cannot be made liable to pay the amount of the award beyond its statutory liability, that is to say, Rupees. 50,000/- under S. 95 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939. We are not impressed by this argument raised by Mr. Kurien. It is not open to the Insurance Company to insure a vehicle for less than the statutory limit. It is always open to the Insurance Company to insure it for a higher amount. If the Insurance Company insures a vehicle for a higher amount than the limit prescribed by the statute, it always does so for the benefit, of the insured. Therefore, in a given case, if an insured is held liable to pay to the claimants more than the statutory limit prescribed by Section 95, the Insurance Company is liable to make good the additional liability within the overall limit of its contractual liability. It has been argued by Mr. Kurien that the Court could issue notice to the Insurance Company' only in respect of Statutory liability and not in respect of any further or additional liability which it might have undertaken under the terms of the policy. The insurance which the Insurance Company undertakes is for the benefit of the insured. It cannot escape the consequences flowing from the terms of the policy. The Insurance Company is bound by the terms of its policy. If an insured is required to make good the liability which is higher than the statutory liability but within the contractual liability of the Insurance Company, the Insurance Company must pay the amount. Merely because the Insurance Company voluntarily entered into a contract of insurance for a higher amount than the, statutory limit prescribed for such an insurance, in our opinion, it cannot claim with impunity that even though the insurance was for a higher amount, its liability was limited, only to what the statute prescribed for the vehicle in question. (Vide Sakinabibi v. Gordhanbhai, (1974) 15 Guj ER 428 para 19).

3. In Pushpabai v. Ranjit Ginning and Pressing Co. Pvt. Ltd., AIR 1977, SC 1735, the Supreme Court has observed in para 21 of the report that the insurer can always take policies covering risks which are hot covered by the requirements of S. 95. There cannot be any insurance under which the Insurance Company in the shape of higher premium or additional premium may receive the benefit without any corresponding obligations. The scheme of insurance is meant for the benefit of the society. Therefore, it an insured has committed a mishap which attract z.; to him monetary liability, the Insurance Company must make good that liability within the limits of the contract. In case the insurance is for an amount higher than the statutory liability of the Insurance Company, it must make good that liability within the amount of insurance. This is the only point which Mr. Kurien has raised in this appeal. We End no substance in it.

4. The appeal is, therefore, dismissed.

5. Mr. Kurien applies for certificate of fitness under Art. 133(l) of the Constitution for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. We do not find any substantial question of law of general importance which, in our opinion, is required to be decided by the Supreme Court. The position of law has been fairly well settled.

The oral application of Mr. Kurien is, therefore, rejected.

6. Appeal dismissed.


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