NATIONAL INSURANCE CO LTD Vs. SAIDALI
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
NATIONAL INSURANCE CO.LTD.
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(1.) The insurer has come up with this appeal against the award passed by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Palakkad in O.P. (MV) No. 667 of 1995.
(2.) It is contended that there was an application under S.170 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 which was allowed permitting the appellant to take up all the grounds before the Tribunal below. It is submitted by the learned counsel appearing for the appellant that the appellant ought not to have been mulcted with the liability even in terms of the restriction contained in the policy to the extent of 50% in favour of the claimants as the deceased was a gratuitous passenger in a tractor tied with a trailer carrying goods. It is contended that the owner of the vehicle also had contended that the deceased was a gratuitous passenger. But it has come out in evidence that at the material time, he was a headload worker engaged for unloading the article loaded in the vehicle. When it was so found, necessarily he will come within the representative of the owner of the goods and it has to be taken that the owner of the goods had made arrangements for unloading the materials. The accident occurred on 28.3.1995, after the amendment to S.147(1)(a)(i) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 bringing the owner of the goods or the representative of the owner of the goods carried in the goods vehicle within the coverage of an Act only policy.
(3.) It is also contended before us that the vehicle in question was a goods vehicle. In such a situation, the representative of the owner of the goods carried in the vehicle comes within the coverage of an Act policy. Hence, the decision reported in New India Assurance Co. Ltd. v. Asha Rani, 2003 (1) KLT 165 (SC) cannot in any way be made applicable in the present case. The question examined in that case was whether compensation was payable to the injured or dependents of the deceased carried in a goods vehicle before 14.11.1994, the date of amendment to S.147(1)(a)(i) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1989. As the accident in this case had occurred after the said date; necessarily that decision cannot have any relevance to hold that even the representative of the owner of the goods is not covered by an Act only policy.;
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