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National Insurance Company Ltd vs. Gunja Rai And Ors. - (High Court of Delhi) (01 Feb 2023)

Unless any prejudice is shown to be caused, the High Court should not interfere with the award passed by the Tribunal on the ground of lack of territorial jurisdiction


Motor Vehicles

The present appeal under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, preferred by the insurer, seeks to assail the award passed by the learned Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal. Vide the impugned award the learned Tribunal, while holding that the death of Chandramohan Raiwas was the result of an accident which took place at Ahirauli Chatti, Ghaziabad due to rash and negligent driving of a truck insured by the appellant, driven by Respondent no.6, has awarded a sum of Rs 59,00,000 as compensation to the claimants.

The Appellant submitted that there was no material on record before the learned Tribunal to conclude that the deceased was earning Rs.30,000 per month, present Court find that the said conclusion of the learned Tribunal was based on the testimony of PW-1, the widow of the deceased, who had categorically deposed that her husband was earning more than Rs.50,000 per month. Moreover, PW-3, who was a regular patient of the deceased, had also deposed that he was paying Rs.1,200 per visit to the deceased. In these circumstances, present Court unable to accept the appellant's plea that the yardstick of minimum wages ought to have been applied while computing the income of the deceased. This Court, therefore, finds absolutely no infirmity in the finding of the learned Tribunal that the income of the deceased was required to be taken as at least Rs.1,000 per day, i.e., Rs.30,000 per month.

Once it is an admitted case that the appellant/insurer is carrying out business in Delhi, the learned Tribunal was, in the light of the settled legal position, justified in holding that the claim petition was maintainable.

There is no reason to interfere with the impugned award. Even otherwise, as held in Malati Sardar v. National Insurance Company Limited and ors, unless any prejudice is shown to be caused, the High Court should not interfere with the award passed by the Tribunal on the ground of lack of territorial jurisdiction. Even otherwise, the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act are benevolent in nature and, therefore, ought to be interpreted in a manner so that the claimants, like in the present case, who lose of their sole bread earner are not made to run from pillar to post to seek compensation. Appeal dismissed.


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