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R. Selvaraj Vs. Jagannathan and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1969)2MLJ417
AppellantR. Selvaraj
RespondentJagannathan and anr.
Cases ReferredOm Prakash v. K.F. and G. Insurance Co.
Excerpt:
- .....the principle that will govern such courts will be that they will have jurisdiction to try all civil matters unless it is expressly or by necessary implication taken away from their purview by a competent legislation.4. as i said, section no brought into being the tribunal for a specific purpose, namely, to try claims for compensation in respect of accidents involving the death of or bodily injury to persons arising out of the use of motor vehicles, it is only in respect of such claims, the jurisdiction of the civil court is excluded by terms of section 110-f. there is absolutely no indication in either of the sections or in any other provisions of the motor vehicles act to justify the proposition that the tribunal will have jurisdiction to try any claim other than that defined in.....
Judgment:
ORDER

K. Veeraswami, J.

1. This petition is directed against an order of the City Civil Judge taking the view that the entire claim is triable only by the Claims Tribunal under the Motor Vehicles Act and that, as such, the Civil Court has no jurisdiction. On that view, it returned the petition for leave to sue in forma pauperis to the petitioner for presentation in the proper Court. The claim consisted of two items, (i) recovery of a sum of money as for personal injuries caused to the petitioner in the course of a. motor accident, and (ii) recovery of another sum of money as damage to the cycle in the course of the accident. The Court below followed Om Prakash v. N.F. & G. Insurance Co. : AIR1962MP19 . and arrived at the view that the civil Court will have no jurisdiction..

2. So far as the claim in respect of the personal injuries to the petitioner is concerned, the Court below was clearly right in the view it took. Sections no (1) and 110-F of the Motor Vehicles Act make it crystal clear that claims for compensation in respect of accidents involving bodily injury are triable only by the Claims Tribunal having territorial jurisdiction and that the civil Court's jurisdiction in respect of the matter is expressly ousted.

3. But I am unable to share the view in Om Prakash v. K.F. and G. Insurance Co. : AIR1962MP19 that where the claim is a composite one part of it relating to compensation for a personal injury and the rest to loss of property, 'the Claims Tribunal will have jurisdiction over the entire matter. The principle that where in order to give a relief, it will be necessary as an incidental matter to cover another subject otherwise within the exclusive jurisdiction of a different forum is applicable only to civil Courts and cannot, in my opinion, be extended to Tribunal. The reason is the Tribunal is a creature of the statute and its jurisdiction is strictly limited by the terms of such statute. It cannot be allowed to exceed its limits on any general principle of law. The jurisdiction should be delimited strictly in terms of the statutory definition thereof. But that is not the case as to the jurisdiction of the civil Courts of the land. The principle that will govern such Courts will be that they will have jurisdiction to try all civil matters unless it is expressly or by necessary implication taken away from their purview by a competent legislation.

4. As I said, section no brought into being the Tribunal for a specific purpose, namely, to try claims for compensation in respect of accidents involving the death of or bodily injury to persons arising out of the use of motor vehicles, it is only in respect of such claims, the jurisdiction of the civil Court is excluded by terms of Section 110-F. There is absolutely no indication in either of the sections or in any other provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act to justify the proposition that the Tribunal will have jurisdiction to try any claim other than that defined in Section 110 (1). It may be that this approach to the matter may involve trial of identical issue by different jurisdictions which may possibly lead to conflict of findings. But that in itself will not, in my opinion, make any difference to the limits of the jurisdiction of the statutory Tribunal set by the terms of the legislation.

5. Had the claim in respect of loss of property been inextricably bound up with the claim in respect of personal injury, I should have thought that the entire claim will be within the purview of the civil Court. But that is not the case here, because the two claims are severable, distinct and different.

6. It follows that the Court below has jurisdiction to try the suit in so far as it relates to the claim of compensation for alleged damage to property. The suit sought to be filed will be regarded as confined to that claim. In other respects, as the claim for compensation for alleged personal injuries is exclusively triable by the Tribunal, the Court below is right in its view that it has no jurisdiction over the matter. The result of that will be, the petitioner will have to pursue his remedy in respect of that matter before the appropriate Claims Tribunal.

7. The petition is partly allowed, but dismissed in other respects.


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