Decided on February 19,2020

Prahallad Rai Sultania Respondents


DEEPA SHARMA,J. - (1.) This revision petition has been filed against the order dated 31.10.2019 in appeal no. 466 of 2016 of the petitioner / insurance company. Vide the said appeal, the insurance company had challenged the order of the District Forum dated 18.08.2016 in CC No. 3/2016 of the respondent / complainant.
(2.) The brief facts of the case are that complainant Prahallad Rai Sultania ( now deceased) was the owner of the truck no.OR-16-D-8377 which was insured with the petitioner for the period 13.06.2013 to 12.06.2014 for a sum of Rs.7,70,000/-. On 01.05.2014, the said truck got damaged since another loaded truck dashed against it while it had been parked on the left side of the road. Driver on the said truck on that day was Dutia Behera. The fact of accident was informed to the insurance company who deputed a surveyor to assess the loss. The vehicle was repaired by Sri Jagannath Motors who estimated the cost of Rs.7,09,482/-. The bills were submitted with the insurance company but the insurance company repudiated the claim on the ground that driver was not holding a valid effective driving license permitting him to carry in his vehicle dangerous and hazardous LPG Gas cylinder. Hence, there was contravention of the policy condition.
(3.) Parties led their evidences before the District Forum. The District Forum after perusing the evidence on record and hearing the arguments of the counsel, held as under: "3. The OP- insurance company has repudiated the claim on the ground that the driver of the vehicle was not having valid and effective driving license at the time of accident on 1st May, 2014. Annexure-1 is the copy of Driving License issued by the designated Authority in the name of Dutia Behera who was driving the insured vehicle at the time of the accident. The said License was issued on 02.08.2004 and is valid upto 17.11.2017 to drive transport vehicle. Admittedly, the insured vehicle was used for transport of LPG cylinders (hazardous) on the date of accident. The OP claims that the driving license issued by RTO, Raygada was not having endorsement to drive dangerous and hazardous goods but the driver on the date of accident was driving the vehicle with hazardous goods i.e. LPG cylinders. On perusal of the annexure-1, it cannot be denied that the driving license No.OR-1820040007476 is not carrying any endorsement to drive the vehicle carrying hazardous goods. It is clear to us that the driving license of the driver Sri Behera is though valid up to 17.11.2017 to drive transport vehicle but on perusal of the annexure-1 it was not effective. Annexure-2 is the copy of certificate issued by RTO, Jharsuguda jointly with Plant Manager, IOCL, LPG Bottling Plant Jharsuguda in favour of the driver Dutta Behera. In that annexure-2, the designated authority who used to issue driving license to the intending personnel, viz Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Jharsuguda has certified that the driver namely Dutia Behera having heavy motor vehicle driving license No.OR-1820040007476 (Annexure-1) had successfully, completed two days full training course on 'safe Transportation of Hazardous POL products as per rule of LMV 1989 from 16.01.2014 to 17.01.2014. Now question arises when RTO, Jharsuguda has approved the driver Sri Behera to have trained for safe transportation of hazardous POL products, non-endorsement to drive dangerous and hazardous goods in the annexure-1, can be taken as violation of policy condition. No because in our opinion, designated authority who usually issue driving license as RTO has issued both the annexure-1 can be a substitute on the annexure-1. We therefore, do not agree with the grounds of repudiation to be justified. We hold that the driver of the insured vehicle at the time of accident was having valid and effective driving license.;

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