Decided on November 10,2008

Meeraben K Sindhi Respondents


- (1.) THE appellant - Ori. Opponent no. 2 - The Oriental Insurance Company Limited has preferred this appeal against the judgment and award dated 13th October, 1995, passed by the MAC Tribunal (Auxi.), Vadodara in MAC Petition No. 121 of 1987.
(2.) THE present appellant - ori. Opponent no. 2 with whom the vehicle in question, that is, motor truck bearing registering No. GTT -7672 has been insured and as per the evidence on record, the said vehicle was insured for a period from 1.5.1986 to 30.4.1987. The said vehicle has been involved in the accident in question and as a result of which, deceased Keshumal Sindhi has received serious injuries and ultimately he succumbed to the injuries and, therefore, heirs and legal representatives of the deceased have filed MAC Petition No. 121/1987 before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (Auxi.) Vadodara. After recording the evidence and giving opportunity of hearing to the learned advocates appearing for the respective parties, the learned Tribunal has delivered the judgment and award on 13th october, 1995, whereby, the learned Tribunal has awarded an amount of Rs. 5,90,000/ - in favour of original claimants along with the proportionate costs and interest at the rate of 15% p.a. from the date of the application till realisation. Being aggrieved and dissatisfied with the same, the appellant - Insurance Company has preferred this appeal in the year 1996, but, somehow, notice could not be served upon ori. Opponent no. 1 - Kamlasinh Chadulal Chaudhary, driver -cum -owner of the vehicle in question, who is opponent no. 9 in this appeal, from 1996 to 10th November, 2008, and, therefore, the office has placed this matter for hearing on Board.
(3.) MR . Nair learned advocate appearing for the appellant - Insurance Company has shown his willingness to argue the appeal on merits, irrespective of the fact that opponent no. 9 is not served till date. Mr. Nair has mainly argued on the ground that their contention was technical one and limited to the liability. We have heard Mr Nair learned advocate appearing for the appellant - Insurance Company. He has restricted his argument to the limited point, that is, as per the terms and conditions of the policy Ex. 62, third party liability of the Insurance Company is limited one, that is, up to Rs. 1,50,000/ - only, for which, learned counsel Mr. Nair has taken us through the relevant discussion made by the leaned Tribunal in paras -30,31,32,33 and 34 of the impugned judgment and award, whereby, the learned Tribunal has come to the conclusion that the liability of the Insurance Company is unlimited, for which, the learned Tribunal has taken into consideration the Policy Ex. 62 and the oral evidence of Vinod Dayabhai Patel, who was Assistant Divisional Manager, Vadodara Branch, at the relevant time. The oral evidence of this witness was recorded and this witness has produced the copy of policy at Exh. 62 which was proved by him. He has categorically admitted that the vehicle in question was insured with the Insurance Company for a period from 1.5.1986 to 30.4.1987. In his cross -examination, he has categorically stated that Rs. 240/ - has been shown as premium for third party risk and Rs. 48/ - is the premium for six coolly and Rs. 16/ - is the premium for driver and cleaner. He has categorically deposed that in this policy, risk of the Insurance Company is limited, that is, up to Rs. 1,50,000/ - and also deposed that for the purpose of unlimited liability, they will have to pay the premium of Rs. 150/ -. This witness has been cross -examined by the learned advocate for the ori. Claimants at length, wherein, he has categorically admitted that the policy which has been produced by him at Ex. 62 does not show that risk is limited one that is up to Rs. 1,50,000/. He has also admitted that there is a contract but contract also does not show the limited liability. He has also admitted in his cross -examination that Insurance Company is having the contract with them, but record shows that he has not produced the contract either before the learned Tribunal or before this Court. So, as per the evidence on record, that is, evidence of the Insurance Company, a responsible office like Assistant Divisional Manager who has deposed before the learned Tribunal on oath and after verifying the policy, he has categorically admitted that it is a policy of unlimited liability and contract is also for unlimited liability and contract has not been produced on record. Not only that, we have also gone through the policy Exh. 62 and we are of the opinion that the policy is for unlimited liability and the learned Tribunal has rightly dealt with the same in detail in paras no. 30,31,32,33 and 34 of the impugned judgment and award and, therefore, it is not required to be reproduced the same here when we fully agree with the findings given by the learned Tribunal on facts as well as on law, therefore, the present appeal requires to be dismissed. No other arguments are advanced by Mr. Nair on other grounds, and, therefore, this Court has not dealt with other grounds.;

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