ORIENTAL FIRE AND GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY Vs. ANKURADA MAHALAXMI AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
ORIENTAL FIRE AND GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY
Ankurada Mahalaxmi And Ors.
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R.N. Misra, J. -
(1.) THIS appeal under Section 110 -D of the Motor Vehicles Act (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act ') is by the insurer against the decision of the Second Motor Accident Claims Tribunal of Ganjam -Boudh at Berhampur awarding compensation of Rs. 10,000/ - and fixing the liability on the insurer for the payment thereof.
(2.) O .R.G. 1731 is a Tata Mercedez Benz truck with a public carrier permit. It was purchased by one S. Raja Rao (Respondent No. 5) under hire purchase arrangement with the financier M/s. Sisodia and Co. of Madras and Raja Rao got this vehicle insured with the Oriental Fire and General Insurance Company Ltd. for a period of one year commencing from 26th of November, 1970. On 20th of June, 1971, as per Ext. A this vehicle was agreed to be sold to Bhagirathi Padhi, Respondent No. 6, for a sum of Rs. 20,021/., out of which Rs. 13.721/. was to be paid in case to Raja Rao and the balance sum of Rs. 6,300/ - was to be paid by Bhagirathi direct to the financier against six monthly installments which were outstanding. It was stipulated therein that Raja Rao would allow the vehicle to ply under his name and style till Bhagirathi cleared up the dues of the financier, but Bhagirathi was entitled to enjoy the proceeds from the vehicle from the date of the agreement and was liable to arrears of taxes, police prosecutions and other penalties from that date. The ownership was to be transferred after the installments of the financier were cleared. Bhagirathi started plying the vehicle on his own account and on 7 -9 -1971. while it was plying on the Badakhemundi -Berhampur road, near village Anangapur, it ran over one Bhima Reddi, an electrical linesman, who succumbed to the injuries instantaneously. His dependents thereupon filed a claim under Section 110 -A of the Act asking for compensation of Rs. 30,000/ -. They alleged that the vehicle was being run in a rash and negligent manner. Raja Rao who had been impleaded as the owner of the truck maintained that he had transferred the ownership of the truck in favour of Bhagirathi on 20th of June, 1971, and Bhagirathi was plying the truck on the date of the alleged accident on his own account and, therefore, Raja Rao had no liability to compensate on account of the accident.
On the basis of Raja Rao 's written statement, the claimants added Bhagirathi as an opposite party and he took the stand that he was not the registered or otherwise owner of the vehicle and there was no justification to implead him. He also disputed the quantum of claim and maintained that there was no rash or negligent driving. The insurer (the present Appellant) admitted that Raja Rao had insured the vehicle with it but maintained that Raja Rao having transferred the vehicle under the policy on 20th of June, 1971, to Bhagirathi and the accident having occurred after the transfer, the Insurance Policy was no more alive to cover the risk arising out of the accident.
(3.) ON the basis of the evidence before the Tribunal, it came to hold that the vehicle was being driven rashly and negligently and, therefore, the claimants were entitled to compensation. The total amount of compensation payable was found to be Rs. 10,000/ -. It recorded a finding that on the date of the accident Raja Rao continued to be the owner and, therefore, the liability under the policy was subsisting and the insurer would accordingly be liable under the provisions of the Act read with the terms of the policy to bear the burden of compensation on behalf of the insured. 1 he Insurance Company has carried this appeal against the decision of the Tribunal.;
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