Decided on March 22,1999

KRISHNA DEVI Respondents


O.P.SHARMA, J. - (1.) The only question involved in these Letters Patent Appeals is, whether a copy of Insurance Policy produced by the insurer along with the returns could be excluded from consideration by the Motor Vehicle Accidents Tribunal (for short the Tribunal) while determining the extent of liability on the ground that it had not laid the foundation for reception of secondary evidence in accordance with the provisions of the Evidence Act? This question has arisen because the Tribunal excluded attested copy of Insurance Policy produced by the insurer on the ground that there was non-compliance of Order 11, Rules 12 and 14 of the Code of Civil Procedure and Section 65(a) of the Evidence Act.The 1st appellate Court reversed this finding and answered the question as follows :-"In the present case, it goes without saying that appellant-company had pleaded its limited liability and had discharged its obligation of placing a copy of Insurance Policy on record. No objection was raised casting any cloud on the genuineness, existence or admissibility of the copy. Therefore, it was not for the Company to make out a case for production of secondary evidence and to prove the contents of copy. Nor could the copy be excluded from consideration on that count."
(2.) The judgment is assailed by the insured on the ground that it runs counter to the decision of a Division Bench of this Court in Oriental Insurance Company Ltd. v. Smt. Savitri Kamal (CIMA No. 57 of 1989 decided on 13-12-1990) and also against the law because a duplicate copy of a document cannot be admitted in evidence without following the provisions of the Evidence Act.
(3.) The contention of Mr. Wazir, appearing for the appellants is that the learned Single Judge could not have ignored the judgment of a larger Bench of this court. He also argued that the facts of case decided by the Supreme Court and relied by him are distinguishable.Mr. Choudhary, appearing for the respondents, however, supports the judgment on the ground that it is in accord with the law laid down by the Apex Court.;

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