Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: Ashok G. Nijagannavar, J., allowed the appeal and enhanced the compensation in light of the “pay and recover” principle.

The facts of the case are such that the deceased was travelling as a Cleaner in the lorry when the driver of the said lorry drove in a rash and negligent manner and dashed against another vehicle consequent to which the deceased sustained grievous injuries and later succumbed to it. The dependents filed a petition for compensation before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal i.e. MACT as the deceased was the main earning member of the family and due to his untimely death, the claimants lost financial support. The MACT thereby directed to pay the compensation of Rs 5,71,000 along with interest at the rate of 6% p.a. from the date of petition till its realization. Being aggrieved by the same, the petitioner’s claimants preferred the instant appeal under Section 173(1) Motor Vehicle Act i.e. MV Act for enhancement of compensation.

Counsel for the appellants submitted that on the date of the accident the insurance policy was in force. It was further submitted that as the driver of the offending vehicle had no valid and effective DL, the insurance company is liable to pay the compensation and recover it from the owner of the offending vehicle as per “pay and recover” principle.

Counsel for the respondents submitted that as the driver had no valid and effective DL, hence the insurance company has no liability to pay the compensation.

The Court relied on judgment titled Parminder Singh v. New India Assurance Company Ltd., (2019) 7 SCC 217 and observed that as per pay and recover principle the insurance company is liable to pay compensation to the victim and later recover it from the owner of the offending vehicle.

The Court thus held that the compensation granted vide impugned order is too meagre and disproportionate and in view of the ratio laid in National Insurance Company Limited v. Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680, compensation was enhanced.

In view of the above, petition was allowed and disposed off.[Geetha Bhai v. Amanullah, 2020 SCC OnLine Kar 1878, decided by 21-01-2020]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

Legislation UpdatesNewsNotifications

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued a notification for amendment  to the FORM 1 and FORM 1A of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989for enabling the  Citizens with mild to medium colour blindness in obtaining the Driving License. The GSR 401 (E) dated 24th June 2020 is a social and facilitative regulation published by the Ministry.

The Ministry has been taking many measures to enable divyangjan citizens to avail transport related services and especially relating to the obtaining of the Driving Licence. The Advisories issued in regard to facilitate driving licence to the divyangjan and further an advisory for people with monocular vision have been issued earlier.

The Ministry received representations that the Colour Blind Citizens are not able to have the driving licence made as restrictions through the requirements in the declaration about physical fitness (FORM I) or the Medical certificate (FORM IA) makes it difficult.

The issue was taken up with Medical Expert Institution and advice was sought. The recommendations received were to allow  Mild to Medium Colour Blind Citizens to be allowed to drive and put restrictions only on the severe colour blind citizens from driving. This is also allowed  in other parts of the world. Accordingly a draft notification was issued to seek comments and suggestions.

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways

[Press Release dt. 26-06-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

In a move to benefit skilled persons from economically underprivileged sections of the society, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has decided to remove the requirement of minimum educational qualification for driving a transport vehicle.

As per the rule, Under Rule 8 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, a transport vehicle driver needs to have passed class 8.

However, there are large numbers of unemployed persons especially in rural areas of the country, who may not have a formal education, but are otherwise literate and skilled.

In a recent meeting in the Transport Ministry, the Haryana government had requested for waiver of the educational qualification condition for drivers from the economically backward Mewat region where the population is dependent for livelihood on low-income earning pursuits including driving. The state government had submitted that many people in the region possess the required skill but not the required educational qualification, and were finding it difficult to obtain driving license.  Hence it was felt that driving being more a matter of skill than of educational competence, the condition of minimum educational qualification acts as a hindrance for the otherwise eligible unemployed youth. The removal of this requirement will open up employment opportunities for a large number of unemployed persons, especially the youth in the country.

However, while removing the requirement of a minimum educational qualification, the Ministry has strongly emphasized upon training and skill testing of drivers so that road safety is not compromised in any way. Anyone applying for a driving license will have to mandatorily pass a stringent skill test. The Ministry has emphasized that training imparted by a school or establishment as mentioned in the the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 should ensure that the driver can read signs and perform logistical duty such as maintenance of driver logs, inspection of trucks and trailers, submission of pre-trip and post-trip records, determination of discrepancies in paperwork, effective communication to report safety hazards. 

The Ministry had already proposed the removal of the requirement for educational qualification in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill that got passed by the previous Lok Sabha. The subject was also deliberated upon by the Standing Committee and  Select committee of the Parliament.

In light of the above, the Ministry of Road Transport & highways has initiated the process of amendment to Rule 8 of Central Motor Vehicles 1989 and the draft notification in this regard will be issued soon.

[Press Release dt. 18-06-2019]

[Source: PIB]

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: An appeal was allowed by a Single Judge Bench comprising of Harinder Singh Sidhu, J., filed against an award of Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, where appellants were made jointly and severally liable to pay compensation instead of Insurance Company.

The facts of the case are that an accident took place between a motorcycle and a bus due to which one person died. The brother of the deceased filed FIR under Sections 279, 304-A of Indian Penal Code. The Tribunal awarded compensation concluding the accident to be a result of rash and negligent driving of bus driver. While imposing liability Tribunal found the bus to be insured and was of the view that under Section 6 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 no driver can validly hold two driving license and hence driver and its owner cannot escape liability by first showing a fake license and then another license.

Appellant contended that if one license is found to be fake then the question of the existence of two licenses cannot be sustained. Whereas respondent agreed with the findings of Tribunal. High Court was of the view that the validity of driving license was not checked by the respondent i.e. insurer company, therefore, the same is presumed to be valid. Court viewed that onus to prove the genuineness of driving license is on respondent and as the respondent failed to show that the second license was also fake it cannot escape its liability. Though a provision is there to that effect that a person cannot hold more than one driving license it cannot be said that on finding one license to be fake another license cannot be valid. Therefore, the appeal was allowed and insurance company was made liable to pay the compensation amount. [Matan Shiv Shakti Co. Op. Tpt, Society Ltd. v. Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Co., 2018 SCC OnLine P&H 1295, decided on 11-09-2018]