GUMAN MAL LODHA, J. -
(1.)THIS appeal has been filed by the insurer and the owner of truck No. RJX 1898 jointly against the award of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Tonk, granting compensation of Rs. 14,841though the claim submitted was for Rs. 26,650 for an accident in which one truck dashed against other truck.
(2.)GAURISHANKER , claimant -respondent No, 1, the owner of truck No. RSJ 248, claimed damages caused to his truck in the accident which took place on the midnight of March 29/30, 1979, near Soyala village on the main road when his truck was standing as it has become out of order. The cause of the accident, as alleged, was that while the said truck No. RSJ 248 was standing on one side of the main road and in the said truck, its driver and cleaner were sleeping, in the morning at about 7.30 a.m. one truck No. RJX 1898, which was being driven by Tulsiram, respondent No. 2, came from the side of Jaipur going towards Tonk, with a very high speed being driven rashly and negligently and collided with the said truck RSJ 248 which was standing on one side of the road, with the result the said truck was smashed. A complaint was lodged in the police station and, thereafter, this claim petition was filed.
After the filing of the reply, the issues were framed and the evidence of the parties was recorded. The Tribunal then, as mentioned above, awarded claim of Rs. 14,841. Both the owner and the insurer of truck No. RJX 1898 were made liable. Before this court, Shri Bhargava has raised an important question of law regarding jurisdiction of the Claims Tribunal in the matter of accident causing damage to property. Shri Bhargava pointed out that under Section 110A in the amended form of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (hereinafter, for short, referred to as 'the Act'), there was no provision for filing a claim by the owner and this was introduced by an amendment in the year 1978. Shri Bhargava further pointed out that for a claim of more than Rs. 2,000, an option was given to go to the civil court and this again shows that the Tribunal had no jurisdiction. In support of his contention, Shri Bhargava relied upon the decision of the Madras High Court in R. Selvaraj v. Jagannathan  ACJ 1 wherein it has been observed as under:
'3. But I am unable to share the view in Dr. Om Prakash Mishra v. National Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd., AIR 1962 MP 19, that where the claim is a composite one, part of it relating to compensation for personal injury and the rest to loss of property, the Claims Tribunal will have jurisdiction over the entire matter. The principle that where in order to give relief it will be necessary as an incidental matter to cover another subject otherwise within the exclusive jurisdiction of a different forum is applicable only to civil courts and cannot, in my opinion, be extended to Tribunals. The reason is that the Tribunal is a creature of the statute and its jurisdiction is strictly limited by the terms of such statute. It cannot be allowed to exceed its limits on any general principle of law. The jurisdiction should be delimited strictly in terms of the statutory definition thereof. But that is not the case as to the jurisdiction of the civil courts of the land. The principle that will govern such courts will be that they will have jurisdiction to try all civil matters unless it is expressly or by necessary implication taken away from their purview by a competent legislation.
4. As I said, Section 110 brought into being the Tribunal for a specific purpose, namely, to try claims for compensation in respect of accidents involving the death of, or bodily injury to, persons arising out of the use of such motor vehicles. It is only in respect of such claims, the jurisdiction of the civil court is excluded by the terms of Section 110F. There is absolutely no indication in either of the sections or in any other provision of the Motor Vehicles Act to justify the proposition that the Tribunal will have jurisdiction to try any claim other than that defined in Section 110(1). It may be that this approach to the matter may involve trial of identical issues by different jurisdictions which may possibly lead to conflict of findings. But that in itself will not, in my opinion, make any difference to the limits of the jurisdiction of the statutory tribunal set up by the terms of the legislation.'
(3.)A reading of the editorial note contained in the decision of the Madras High Court in R. Selvaraj v. Jagannathan  ACJ 1 would show that the Gujarat High Court, at that time in Zarin Rustomji Munshi v. Sanlubhai Manibhai Patel  ACJ 327 ; AIR 1969 Guj 233, has also taken a contrary view and followed the decision of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Om Prakash v. National Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd., AIR 1962 MP 19, wherein it was held that in such matters, the civil court will have no jurisdiction, but the Madras High Court in R. Selvaraj v. Jagannathan  ACJ 1 expressed its inability to support this view. The Madras view is based on the ground that the Tribunal has been brought into for a specific purpose, namely, to try claims for compensation in respect of accidents involving the death of, or bodily injury to, persons arising out of use of motor vehicles.