Parties should not allow workers to travel in lorries:HC

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Madurai, Apr 20 (UNI) The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court (HC) has said leaders of political parties should instruct party volunteers not to travel in goods vehicles to attend conferences or conclaves.

Unfortunately, none of the people concerned took note of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act which prohibited people from travelling in goods vehicles such as lorries or goods carrier vans, Justice R Sudhakar observed while allowing a batch of civil revision petitions filed by the National Insurance Company.

''It was not uncommon to frequently see large number of party workers travelling on goods vehicles to political conferences,'' he said.

''The lives of innocent people were lost and in most cases, the breadwinner dies or is injured,'' he said and added legal heirs of the deceased would not be entitled to monetary compensation from the insurance company.The only remedy was to claim it against the vehicle owner.

Stating that in most of the accident cases, the owner was always elusive and missing, he said in the interest of public, the political leaders henceforth should instruct party workers to desist from travelling in goods vehicles.

The Judge agreed with the petitioners' counsel S Srinivasa Raghavan that the insurance companies were not liable to pay compensation to the gratuitous passengers in goods vehicles as ruled by the apex Court in New India Assurance Company vs Asha Rani in 2003 and subsequent rulings.

The claimants in the present case were the victims of a road accident in which a lorry proceeding to a DMK conference in Tiruchirapalli from Pudukkottai with 58 party workers dashed against a tree near Kalamavur during 1996.

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