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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Accident claim - M.V. ACT - Goods vehicle - accident - Gumasthe died - Gumasthe also covered with in the clause "engaged in operation" - Expression in policy “Add: for LL to persons employed in connection with the operation and/or loading unloading of motor vehicle IMT 17”. - Tribunal rightly awarded compensation - High court misread it and interpreted narrowly only to loading and unloading of motor vehicle - Gumasthe comes under the persons employed in connection with operation - Apex court set aside the orders of high court and restored the orders of Tribunal = HANUMANAGOUDA ... APPELLANT VS. UNITED INDIA INSURANCE CO. LTD. & ORS. ETC. ... RESPONDENTS = 2014 ( January part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41181

Accident claim - M.V. ACT - Goods vehicle - accident - Gumasthe died -  Gumasthe also covered with in the clause "engaged in operation" - Expression in policy “Add: for LL to persons employed in  connection  with  the operation and/or loading unloading of motor vehicle IMT 17”. - Tribunal rightly awarded compensation - High court misread it and interpreted narrowly only to  loading and unloading of motor vehicle - Gumasthe comes under the persons employed in connection with operation - Apex court set aside the orders of high court and restored the orders of Tribunal = 

The  Tribunal
allowed their claim in MCV No. 616  of  1999  and  held  them  entitled  for
compensation of Rs.2,55,000/- from the owner-cum-driver of  the  lorry,  the
appellant and also from  respondent-Insurance  Company  as  they  were  held
responsible jointly and severally.  The claim was allowed with  6%  interest
from the date of claim petition till its realization  with  costs  fixed  at
Rs.200/-.
3.    In appeals preferred by the Insurance Company, the High Court by  the
order under Appeal dated 17.10.2005 interfered with the Award made  against
the Insurer in respect of death of Hanumanth and held that  the  Award  was
bad in law because the deceased was  in  a  clerical  cadre  working  as  a Gumasthe accompanying the goods in transit for the purpose of delivery  and as such he could not be covered by the clause under which premium was  paid for covering the risk of  the  persons  employed  in  connection  with  the operation of loading and unloading of the goods.  Against this order passed
in MFA No.2451 of 2002,  the  appellant/owner  of  the  goods  vehicle  has
preferred this appeal.=
 whether the clause  IMT  17
for which premium was paid to the insurer in respect of the concerned lorry
will cover the deceased Hamumanth or not.
For deciding the above issue, one is simply  required  to  go  through
the relevant clause  IMT  17  of  the  policy,  whose  copy  has  been  made
available to us.  The clause reads thus:
                 “Add: for LL to persons employed in  connection  with  the
           operation and/or loading unloading of motor vehicle IMT 17”.

6.    The High Court has  clearly  fallen  in  error  in  holding  that  the
insurer is not liable in respect  of  death  of  Hanumanth.   The  clause  -
“persons employed in connection with the  operation”  is  clearly  over  and
above  the  coverage  provided  by  the  policy  to  “persons  employed   in
connection with  loading/unloading  of  motor  vehicle”.  As  Gumasthe,  the
deceased was accompanying the goods in transit for the purpose  of  delivery
of goods. This has been accepted by the High Court.  Obviously, as  Gumasthe
the deceased would  be  covered  by  the  expression  “persons  employed  in
connection with operation of motor vehicle” The operation of  the  aforesaid
clause has wrongly been restricted and limited only to persons  employed  in
connection with loading/unloading of the motor vehicle.
In view of the aforesaid error committed by the High Court, the  order
under appeal is set aside and the order of the Tribunal is restored.   As  a
result, the respondent-Insurance Company will be bound by the Award made  by
the Tribunal for paying compensation to  the  claimants  for  the  death  of
Hanumath as per orders of the Tribunal. The dues of compensation along  with
due interest should be deposited by the respondent Insurance Company  within
eight weeks with the Tribunal which will permit the  claimants  to  withdraw
the amount as per order of the Tribunal.
8.    The appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent.  No costs.

2014 ( January part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41181
P SATHASIVAM, RANJAN GOGOI, SHIVA KIRTI SINGH
                                                         

 REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


              CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5901 OF 2008


  HANUMANAGOUDA                      ... APPELLANT

                       VS.

UNITED INDIA INSURANCE
CO. LTD. & ORS. ETC.               ... RESPONDENTS




                               J U D G M E N T






SHIVA KIRTI SINGH, J.


      Heard learned counsel for the appellant and learned  counsel  for  the
respondent-Insurance Company.

2.    Due to accident involving a goods vehicle, a lorry, two persons  died
and others  received  injuries.  
All  the  thirteen  claim  petitions  were
decided  by  a  common  judgment  dated  21.01.2002  by  the  Motor  Vehicle
Accidents  Claim  Tribunal  (hereinafter  referred  to  as  `The  Tribunal’)
presided by the Principal  District  Judge  at  Raichur  (Karnataka).  
This
appeal relates only to claim filed by dependents and  legal  representatives
of deceased Hanumanth which included his  widow  Smt.  Mariyamma  and  three
minor children, who are respondents 2 to 4 in  this  appeal.  
The  Tribunal
allowed their claim in MCV No. 616  of  1999  and  held  them  entitled  for
compensation of Rs.2,55,000/- from the owner-cum-driver of  the  lorry,  the
appellant and also from  respondent-Insurance  Company  as  they  were  held
responsible jointly and severally.  The claim was allowed with  6%  interest
from the date of claim petition till its realization  with  costs  fixed  at
Rs.200/-.
3.    In appeals preferred by the Insurance Company, the High Court by  the
order under Appeal dated 17.10.2005 interfered with the Award made  against
the Insurer in respect of death of Hanumanth and held that  the  Award  was
bad in law because the deceased was  in  a  clerical  cadre  working  as  a Gumasthe accompanying the goods in transit for the purpose of delivery  and as such he could not be covered by the clause under which premium was  paid for covering the risk of  the  persons  employed  in  connection  with  the operation of loading and unloading of the goods.  Against this order passed
in MFA No.2451 of 2002,  the  appellant/owner  of  the  goods  vehicle  has
preferred this appeal.
4.    The only issue requiring determination is whether the clause  IMT  17
for which premium was paid to the insurer in respect of the concerned lorry
will cover the deceased Hamumanth or not.
5.    For deciding the above issue, one is simply  required  to  go  through
the relevant clause  IMT  17  of  the  policy,  whose  copy  has  been  made
available to us.  The clause reads thus:
                 “Add: for LL to persons employed in  connection  with  the
           operation and/or loading unloading of motor vehicle IMT 17”.

6.    The High Court has  clearly  fallen  in  error  in  holding  that  the
insurer is not liable in respect  of  death  of  Hanumanth.   The  clause  -
“persons employed in connection with the  operation”  is  clearly  over  and
above  the  coverage  provided  by  the  policy  to  “persons  employed   in
connection with  loading/unloading  of  motor  vehicle”.  As  Gumasthe,  the
deceased was accompanying the goods in transit for the purpose  of  delivery
of goods. This has been accepted by the High Court.  Obviously, as  Gumasthe
the deceased would  be  covered  by  the  expression  “persons  employed  in
connection with operation of motor vehicle” The operation of  the  aforesaid
clause has wrongly been restricted and limited only to persons  employed  in
connection with loading/unloading of the motor vehicle.
7.    In view of the aforesaid error committed by the High Court, the  order
under appeal is set aside and the order of the Tribunal is restored.   As  a
result, the respondent-Insurance Company will be bound by the Award made  by
the Tribunal for paying compensation to  the  claimants  for  the  death  of
Hanumath as per orders of the Tribunal. The dues of compensation along  with
due interest should be deposited by the respondent Insurance Company  within
eight weeks with the Tribunal which will permit the  claimants  to  withdraw
the amount as per order of the Tribunal.
8.    The appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent.  No costs.

                                  ……………………………………………C.J.I.
                                    (P. SATHASIVAM)






                                    ……………………………………………………J.
                                    (RANJAN GOGOI)






                                    ……………………………………………………J.
                                    (SHIVA KIRTI SINGH)
New Delhi,
January 28, 2014.


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