Sec 2(21) MV Act - Separate Transport Endorsement Is Not Required For Driving Light Motor Vehicle: Gauhati High Court
Finding that the motor vehicle involved is light vehicle as per Motor Vehicles Act, the Gauhati High Court held that the Tribunal has erred while giving liberty to the Insurance Company to proceed for recovery of the compensation amount from the owner of the vehicle.
A Single Judge Bench of Justice Parthiv Jyoti Saikia observed that “From the Insurance Policy, it is found that the concerned vehicle i.e. 407 TATA Vehicle bearing Registration No.AS-04-AC-1576 is below 7500 kilograms and therefore, it is a light motor vehicle within the definition of Section 2(21) of the Motor Vehicles Act and therefore, separate “Transport” endorsement is not required for driving such a vehicle”.
Advocate G. Bokalial appeared for the Petitioner, whereas Advocate M. Choudhury appeared for the Respondent.
The brief facts of the case were that there was an accident involving a 407 TATA Vehicle, wherein one person died. The matter reached Tribunal which awarded a compensation of ₹6,73,000/- to be paid by the Insurance Company of the vehicle. The Tribunal further held that the driver of the said 407 TATA Vehicle did not have driving licence having the “Transport” endorsement. The Tribunal further held that the said fact is a violation of policy condition and therefore, gave the liberty to the Insurance Company to proceed further for recovery of the compensation amount from the registered owner of the vehicle.
After considering the submission, the Bench considered the submission of the Petitioner’s counsel that the endorsement “Transport” is not a requirement for a person driving a commercial vehicle, which comes within the definition of light commercial vehicle as defined under Section 2(21) of the Motor Vehicles Act.
The Bench also referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in case of Jagdish Kumar Sood v. United India Insurance Co. Ltd. [(2018) 3 SCC 697], wherein it was held that “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 light motor vehicle by virtue of Amendment Act 54 of 1994”.
Therefore, while allowing the appeal, the High Court clarified that the Insurance Company shall not have the liberty to proceed further for recovery of the compensation amount from the owner of the vehicle.
Cause Title: Horen Rajkonwar and Anr. v. United India Insurance and Anr.