NEW INDIA ASSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED, MUMBAI Vs. DAVID NADAR @ ARUN NADAR & 2
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
New India Assurance Company Limited, Mumbai
David Nadar @ Arun Nadar And 2
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(1.) As common question of law and facts arise in this group of appeals, all these first appeals are decided and disposed of by this common judgment and order.
(2.) All these first appeals have been preferred by the common appellant original opponent No.3 New India Assurance Company Limited challenging the impugned common judgment and award passed by the learned Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (Auxi.), Surat (hereinafter referred to as "Tribunal") in respective Motor Accident Claim Petition Nos.761/1994 to 764/1994 insofar as while partly allowing the aforesaid claim petitions and awarding the compensation to the respective original claimants, the learned Tribunal has directed the appellant insurance company to pay the compensation with 7.5% interest per annum from the date of claim petition till realization.
(3.) Facts Leading To The Present First Appeals In NutShell Are As Under:
[3.1] That the respective original claimants preferred the claim petition Nos.761/1994 to 764/1994 before the learned Tribunal on 27.10.1994. No court fee stamps were affixed at the time of filing of the claim petitions. That the learned advocate appearing on behalf of the claimants submitted the application Exh.5 in the month of October 1994 seeking time to affix the Court fees and the learned Tribunal vide order dated 27.10.1994 granted time below Exh.5 to the original claimants to affix the Court fees within 30 days. All the claim petitions remained dormant for about 15 years. Even the original claimants provided the name and address of the driver of the offending luxury bus vide Exh.7 on 24.12.2008 i.e. after a period of 14 years. The claimants affixed the Court fees on the claim petitions on 07.01.2009 and that too without seeking any permission from the learned Tribunal. At this stage it is required to be noted that as such while passing the order in the year 1994 below Exh.5, the learned Tribunal granted the time to the original claimants to affix the Court fees within a period of 30 days. Despite the above, the claimants affixed the Court fees on 07.01.2009 i.e. after a period of 15 years. For the first time the learned Tribunal issued the notice upon the insurance company on 08.10.2009. Having been served with the notice, the original opponent No.3 insurance company appellant herein appeared through advocate on 21.11.2009 and filed the written statement on 10.12.2009. That thereafter by impugned common judgment and award the learned Tribunal has partly allowed the aforesaid claim petitions. The insurance company before the learned Tribunal opposed the award of interest on the aforesaid amount of compensation from the date of claim petition till 08.10.2009, however the learned Tribunal relying upon the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Urmilla Pandey and Others vs. Khalil Ahmad and Others, 1994 4 SCC 207 and relying upon the decision of the Division Bench of this Court in the case of Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. vs. Aminaben Rahimbhai Kadiwala, 2001 2 GLH 23 has awarded the interest at the rate of 7.5% per annum from the date of claim petition till realization.
[3.2] Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned common judgment and award passed by the learned Tribunal insofar as awarding the interest at the rate of 7.5% per annum from the date of claim petition till realization, the original opponent No.3 insurance company of the luxury bus involved in the accident has preferred the present First Appeals.;
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