The Thane Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) has awarded a compensation of Rs 24.09 lakh to the wife and other family members of a man who was killed in a road accident in 2014.
Tribunal member and district judge K D Vadane observed that even though the driver of the tanker, which hit the man, did not possess a valid licence at the time of the accident, the insurance firm was liable to pay the compensation and recover it from the offending vehicle's owner.
According to the claimants' counsel, the deceased, Uday Potdar (then 48), worked with a private firm in Mumbai and drew a salary of around Rs 22,000 per month.
On October 20, 2014, while he was travelling from Panvel (Navi Mumbai) to Mumbai on his motorcycle, a speeding tanker hit Potdar's two-wheeler from the rear side.
Potdar sustained multiple injuries and died on the spot, he said.
A case was lodged with the Kalamboli police station against the tanker driver, identified as Khurshid Ahmad.
Later, Potdar's wife Pranita (then 43), daughter Udita (then 12) and mother-in-law Suniti (then aged 75) filed a claim with the Thane MACT.
The tanker owner, Jagdeep Singh from Vadodara, did not contest the claim.
However, the insurer, Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd, contested the claim saying there was breach of terms and conditions of the policy as the tanker driver was not holding a valid and effective driving licence. Hence, it was not liable to pay any compensation to the applicants.
Judge Vadane observed that the insurance company filed on record the driving licence information of the driver.
The details provided by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) revealed that Ahmad was holding a driving licence for light motor vehicle (LMV) and not for LMV (transport).
"Undisputedly, the offending vehicle is a transport vehicle. However, the driver was not holding a valid and effective driving licence on the date of accident, therefore there is breach of terms and conditions of policy," the judge observed in an order issued last week.
Referring to decisions of various courts, the judge said though there is breach of terms and conditions of the policy, the insurance firm is liable to pay the compensation and recover the same from the tanker owner, as the offending vehicle was insured with the company on the date of the accident.
Judge Vadane, therefore, directed the insurance company and the tanker owner to jointly and severally pay the applicants Rs 24.09 lakh along with eight per cent interest from the date of the claim.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)