UNITED INDIA INSURANCE CO. LTD. Vs. KUSUM W/O SITARAM IDOLE
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY (AT: AURANGABAD)
UNITED INDIA INSURANCE CO. LTD.
Kusum W/O Sitaram Idole
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K.K.SONAWANE, J. -
(1.) The appellant ? United India Insurance Company Ltd. By resorting to remedy under section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (for short " Act of 1988") preferred the present appeal, agitating validity and propriety of the judgment and award dated 20-03-2003 passed by Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Nanded (for short "Tribunal"), in Motor Accident Claim Petition No. 51 of 2000 imposing monetary liability to pay compensation to the original petitioners/claimants.
(2.) Factual matrix of the appeal in brief is that, on 05-12-1999 the deceased Sitaram Ramji Idole was travelling in the vehicle mini passenger bus bearing registration No. MH-26-B/481 from Nanded to Bhjavaninagar, Kandhar. The driver of the mini passenger bus was very negligent and rash while driving the bus. When the vehicle came in the vicinity of Vishnupuri village, the driver lost control on the wheels of the vehicle and get the vehicle plunged at the Babhul tree aside the road. Thereafter, the vehicle mini passenger bus turned turtle on the left side of the road. The deceased Sitaram received fatal injury and died on the spot itself. The information of the accident was passed on to the concerned Police of Nanded Police Station. Crime No. 237 of 1999 under sections 304-A, 279, 337 of the Indian Penal Code (for short "IPC") came to be registered. The police arrived at the spot, drawn spot panchnama, inquest panchnama on the dead body of deceased Sitaram. Thereafter, corpse of the deceased was referred to post-mortem to ascertain the exact cause of death. The medical experts opined that the deceased Sitaram died due to head injury following depressed fracture of skull vault with subdural hemorrhage. The claimants being widow and children of the deceased Sitaram blamed the driver of mini passenger bus for the death of their family member. Therefore, they filed the claim petition under section 166 of the Act of 1988 for compensation.
(3.) Despite service of notice, respondent No. 1-owner of mini passenger bus did not secure his presence before the Tribunal. He remained absent in the proceedings. The Tribunal passed order to proceed exparte against the owner of offending vehicle. However, respondent No. 2-appellant-Insurance Company appeared in the proceeding and raised the objection. It has been contended that driver of the offending vehicle was not holding valid driving licence. There were 60 to 70 passengers travelling in the bus at the relevant time. According to appellant-Insurance Company there was breach of condition of Insurance Policy and the appellant ? Insurance Company could not be held responsible to indemnify the insured in this case. Hence, no liability would be fastened on the Insurance Company.;
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