Karnataka High Court: Ashok G. Nijagannavar, J., upheld the compensation order but revised the rate of interest to meet the ends of justice.
The facts of the case are such that the claimant was travelling as an inmate of the autorickshaw and sustained injuries in the motor vehicle accident pursuant to which he was taken to the Government Hospital and spent more than a sum of Rs 50,000 towards treatment. The injured claimant filed a petition under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act before II Additional Senior Civil Judge and VI Additional Motor Accident Claims Tribunal seeking compensation. The Tribunal held that the respondent insurance company is liable to pay compensation. Aggrieved by the same, present appeal by the insurance company has been preferred to quash the impugned order.
Counsel for the appellants submitted that although the driver had the driving license i.e DL but the driving license was not endorsed for driving the transport vehicle, it was only endorsed for driving the light motor vehicle, hence without proper endorsement made on the DL, the driver cannot be said to have had the duly valid DL.
The Court relied on the judgment Mukund Dewangan v. Oriental Insurance Company Ltd.,(2017) 14 SCC 663 and observed that if the driver of the offending vehicle has a valid license for driving a LMV, then, there is no need for a specific endorsement in the DL for driving a transport vehicle.
The Court held that even if there was no specific endorsement in driving license owned by the driver of autorickshaw, absence of such endorsement will not absolve the insurance company of its liability to pay the compensation amount to the respondent- claimant.
The Court before disposing off the appeal revised the rate of interest awarded by the Tribunal in the impugned order from 8 % to 6 % to meet the ends of justice.
In view of the above, appeal stands allowed in part.[National Insurance Company Ltd. v. T. Manjunatha Swamy, M.F.A. No. 763 of 2014, decided on 10-01-2020]
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