corporate laws – insurance laws – Motor Accident Claims = what is the Light Motor Vehicle & Light Motor Vehicle driving Licence is enough – “Light motor vehicle” as defined in Section 2(21) of the Act would include a transport vehicle as per the weight prescribed in Section 2(21) read with Sections 2(15) and 2(48). Such transport vehicles are not excluded from the definition of the light motor vehicle by virtue of Amendment Act 54 of 1994.” (Id at page 709) ; A transport vehicle and omnibus, the gross vehicle weight of either of which does not exceed 7500 kg would be a light motor vehicle and also motor car or tractor or a roadroller, “unladen weight” of which does not exceed 7500 kg and holder of a driving licence to drive class of “light motor vehicle” as provided in Section 10(2)(d) is competent to drive a transport vehicle or omnibus, the gross vehicle weight of which does not exceed 7500 kg or a motor car or tractor or roadroller, the “unladen weight” of which does not exceed 7500 kg. That is to say, no separate endorsement on the licence is required to drive a transport vehicle of light motor vehicle class as enumerated above. A licence issued under Section 10(2)(d) continues to be valid after Amendment Act 54 of 1994 and 28-3-2001 in the form.

1

 

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO 240 OF 2017

JAGDISH KUMAR SOOD ..Appellant

VERSUS

UNITED INDIA INSURANCE CO. LTD.

AND ORS ..Respondents

J U D G M E N T

Dr D Y CHANDRACHUD, J

1 The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal allowed a claim for compensation

filed by the third respondent. The claim arose from the death of the husband of

the claimant on 4 January 2009 as a result of an accident caused by a collision

with an offending truck. The Tribunal awarded an amount of Rs 4,08,000

together with interest at 6 per cent per annum. In an appeal filed by the third

respondent the High Court enhanced the compensation to Rs 8,04,000.

Interest @ 7.5 per cent per annum was awarded on the enhanced

compensation.

REPORTABLE

2

2 The Tribunal absolved the insurer on the ground that the vehicle involved

in the accident was a Light Goods Vehicle. The driver had a licence to drive

the Light Motor Vehicle. The Tribunal held that in the absence of a specific

authorization to drive a transport vehicle, the liability could not be fastened on

the insurer. The Tribunal directed the insurer to pay in the first instance and

allowed it to recover the compensation from the driver and the owner. The

present appeal has been filed by the owner.

3 The High Court, while enhancing the compensation did not interfere with

the order of the Tribunal absolving the insurer.

4 The issue which arises before the Court is not res integra and is covered

by a judgment of a three Judges of this Court in Mukund Dewangan v Oriental

Insurance Company Limited1

in which it has been inter alia held as follows:

“60.1. “Light motor vehicle” as defined in Section 2(21) of

the Act would include a transport vehicle as per the weight

prescribed in Section 2(21) read with Sections 2(15) and

2(48). Such transport vehicles are not excluded from the

definition of the light motor vehicle by virtue of Amendment

Act 54 of 1994.” (Id at page 709)

“60.2. A transport vehicle and omnibus, the gross vehicle

weight of either of which does not exceed 7500 kg would be

a light motor vehicle and also motor car or tractor or a

roadroller, “unladen weight” of which does not exceed 7500

kg and holder of a driving licence to drive class of “light

motor vehicle” as provided in Section 10(2)(d) is competent

to drive a transport vehicle or omnibus, the gross vehicle

 

1

(2017) 14 SCC 663

3

weight of which does not exceed 7500 kg or a motor car or

tractor or roadroller, the “unladen weight” of which does not

exceed 7500 kg. That is to say, no separate endorsement

on the licence is required to drive a transport vehicle of light

motor vehicle class as enumerated above. A licence issued

under Section 10(2)(d) continues to be valid after

Amendment Act 54 of 1994 and 28-3-2001 in the form.” (Id

at page 710)

5 Having regard to the above position, the Civil Appeal will have to be

allowed.

6 The appeal is allowed, the order of the Tribunal absolving the insurer

shall accordingly stand set aside. The liability shall jointly and severally be

fastened on the insurer, in addition to the owner and driver. There shall be no

order as to costs.

…………………………………….CJI

[DIPAK MISRA]

…………………………………….J

[A M KHANWILKAR]

…………………………………….J

[Dr D Y CHANDRACHUD]

New Delhi;

March 06, 2018