Decided on February 19,2021

ARATI DEB Appellant
Swapan Kumar Gope Respondents


Akil Kureshi,J. - (1.) This appeal is filed by the owner of the vehicle which was involved in an accident causing injury to the respondent No.1 claimant.
(2.) The accident took place on 15th December, 2003. Claimant filed claim petition in the year 2004 which was decided by the Claims Tribunal by the impugned award dated 7th August, 2006. Throughout the proceedings before the Claims Tribunal, the appellant did not participate. The award was, therefore, passed without any contribution from the appellant. No documents including the copy of insurance policy were produced perhaps even a written statement was not filed. The Tribunal awarded a compensation of Rs.92,700/- to the claimant which the owner would pay. Insurance company was absolved. Even after this award was passed, the appellant took no further steps. In the year 2010, she first filed a review petition for setting aside ex parte order. This review petition was also dismissed for default. She sought and was granted restoration. Thereafter, the matter proceeded first before the Tribunal and thereafter before this Court. Eventually, when the Claims Tribunal refused to recall the said award she has filed this appeal. Her sole ground is that though the vehicle was duly insured she could not produce the insurance policy before the Claims Tribunal and therefore, her insurance company would not cover the risk and she would have to bear the burden of paying the awarded amount.
(3.) In view of the gross facts emerging from the record, I do not think that this appeal can be entertained. As noted, all throughout the proceedings before the Claims Tribunal for close to 2 years, the appellant took no steps to defend herself. Even after the award was passed in the year 2006, her first move was to file a review petition 4 years later. Her request for reopening the issues and setting aside the award for a fresh trial by the Tribunal would cause enormous prejudice and inconvenience to the claimant for an accident which took place in the year 2003, he would be asked to appear before the Claims Tribunal 18 years later. Even the insurance company may plead a genuine case of non-availability of original records to verify whether the insurance policy which the appellant claims was issued for the vehicle in question covering the period of accident. Learned counsel for the insurance company submitted that the insurance company also has a policy of destroying its records which are older than certain number of years.;

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