Kerala High Court: While deciding the petition, the bench of Amit Rawal, J., held that calculation of six months for filing the claim petition must be calculated from the date of accident and a month is reckoned according to the British calendar.
In the case at hand the claim petition by the petitioner, who sustained injuries in an accident, was rejected by Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, for being barred by limitation. The petitioner challenged the order before this Court.
The Court noted that Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 was introduced to put an embargo on entertainment of the application for compensation. The Court further referred to Section 3(35) of the General Clauses Act, 1987 which is applicable to the State of Kerala, mean a month reckoned according to the British calendar.
The Court stated that by taking the definition of a month as the period to be counted for the purpose of limitation, filing of the claim petition within a period of six months must be calculated from the date of accident.
Applying the same principle, the Court held that the claim petition was instituted on the last date of six months, as the accident occurred on 10-05-2022 and petition was filed on 10-11-2022.
The Court placed reliance on Bibi Salma Khatoon v. State of Bihar, (2001) 7 SCC 197, in which the Supreme Court relied upon the provisions of the local General Clauses Act and found that the intention of the legislature is months and not the days, so the limitation has to be counted by taking into consideration month and not days.
Thus, the Court set aside the order of Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal and held that the Tribunal ought not to have returned the petition by calculating the limitation in the manner and mode as it has done.
[Vimala Jose v. Aboobacker, 2022 SCC OnLine Ker 8268, decided on 02-12-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Counsel for petitioner: Advocate R. Sreehari, Advocate Hamza A.V.;
Counsel for Respondents: Advocate Sri. P.K. Manoj Kumar.