HIGH COURT OF KERALA
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(1.) The short but interesting question that arises for consideration in this Original Petition is whether the financier of a motor vehicle under a hire purchase agreement has to be impleaded as necessary party in a proceeding before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, under S.166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Relevant facts may be briefly noticed.
(2.) A petition for compensation was filed by the parents of a deceased victim in a motor accident. The accident occurred on March 2, 1994. The insurance company which was impleaded in the case contended that there was no valid insurance in respect of the vehicle on the date of the accident. The petitioner who was impleaded as the owner of the vehicle filed written statement contending that the vehicle in question was the subject matter of a hire purchase agreement with M/s. Sundaram Finance Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as the financier). It was further contended that the financier was bound under the Hire Purchase Agreement to remit the requisite insurance premium against the statutory third party risk as contemplated under the Act. The petitioners in his capacity as the hirer, was regular in remitting the monthly hire charges to the financier which included the amount payable towards the insurance premium also. Petitioner had remitted all the instalments and the entire liability was discharged. Petitioner was not liable if the financier had failed to renew the insurance policy on its expiry.
(3.) Petitioner, therefore, filed an application for impleading the financier in the proceedings before the Tribunal. The above application was initially allowed by the Tribunal. However, the learned Judge reviewed his earlier order suo-motu and dismissed the application, holding inter alia that the breach of a contract entered into between the petitioner herein and the financier is not a matter to be adjudicated upon by the Tribunal. It was further held that the dispute which was sought to be resolved was solely based on a different cause of action. Thus the Tribunal took the view that application for impleading the financier was not maintainable. The order passed by the Tribunal has been placed on record as Ext. P5. Petitioner prays that a writ of certiorari be issued to quash Ext. P5.;
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