HC dismisses plea against compensation to accident victims

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New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today dismissed a petition by an insurance company against an interim award of compensation to an accident victim.

Hearing the arguments, Justice V B Gupta ordered the petition dismissed. Besides, the order reads, "the appeal filed by National Insurance Co Ltd, a public insurance undertaking, is nothing but an abuse of the process of the law. A perusal of the impugned order shows that the tribunal arrived at the appelant's liability to pay interim compensation on the basis of oral and documentary evidence on record." The motor accident claims tribunal awarded a compensation of Rs 50,000 to the next-of-kin of Umesh Kumar who died in a road accident at Gazipur on February 11, 2007.

The counsel representing the insurance company argues that the tribunal had not considered how the driver of the offending truck had not been carrying any driving licence, a breach of the insurance policy. According to him, the breach therefore makes the owner of the offending truck liable to pay the compensation.

However, Justice Gupta quoted a Supreme Court order to say that the insurer could not escape the liability merely for technical breach of the conditions concerning the driving licence. Besides, possession of a driving licence is a matter of evidence which is yet to be done, the order mentioned further.

The order also mentioned that the insurance company should have adopted a beneficial rule of construction fulfilling the object of legislation. Justice Gupta ordered,"the insurer can't by raising all possible pleas avoid payment of interim compensation and defeat the object of the provision,".

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