MV Act- Deceased Stepped Into Shoes Of Vehicle Owner, Cannot Claim Against Insurance Company: Karnataka HC
The Karnataka High Court, Dharwad Bench under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 held that, as the deceased stepped into the shoes of the owner of the vehicle, the claimants cannot claim compensation against the insurance company.
The Division Bench of Justice Sunil Dutt Yadav and Justice Umesh M Adiga while relying upon the judgments of the Supreme Court observed, “In this case also, the deceased steps into the shoes of the owner of the vehicle, the claimants cannot claim compensation against the insurance company of the said motorcycle. However, in the above said case, as per the contract of insurance, owner-cum-driver was entitled compensation of Rs.1,00,000/-. Therefore, Hon’ble Supreme Court was awarded compensation of Rs.1,00,000/- to the claimants.”
The Bench while referring to the case of Ramkhiladi and Another vs. United India Insurance Co.Ltd. and Another 2020 ACJ 627 ordered that the claimants are entitled to the compensation of Rs. 1,00,000/- with interest at the rate of 6% p.a. from the date of the petition.
Advocate Bhagyalaxmi Bikkannavar appeared on behalf of the appellants while Advocate M.Y. Katagi appeared for the respondents.
Brief Facts –
The deceased aged about 25 years was riding the motorcycle and a pedestrian at the same time came across the road. The deceased tried to avoid the accident but lost control of the motorcycle and fell down sustaining grievous injuries. He was working as a driver and earning Rs.3,333/- per month.
The claimants were depending upon the earnings of the deceased i.e., his wife, minor son, brother, and sister respectively. For these reasons, they claimed compensation of Rs.22,88,200/- by filing the petition but the same got dismissed by the Motor Accidents Tribunal.
The issue for consideration that came across before the High Court was whether the petition was maintainable and whether claimants were entitled to compensation.
The High Court after hearing arguments of the counsels of the parties noted, “… in the present case, the deceased himself was riding the motorcycle and according to petition averments, he was riding the motorcycle in a high speed and he could not control the vehicle thereby he dashed against a pedestrian and caused the accident. Therefore, he stepped into the shoes of the owner of the vehicle and he hence, he cannot maintain claim petition against the insurance company.”
The Court in the above context asserted that the brother and sister of the deceased are not directly depending on the deceased as they are majors.
The Court, therefore, said, “… the said meager amount of compensation has to be equally apportioned to petitioner Nos.1 and 2 with interest at the rate of 6% p.a. from the date of petition till realization of the entire amount.”
The Court also said that the amount of compensation shall be kept in an interest-bearing deposit till the son of the deceased attains the majority.
Accordingly, the Court partly allowed the appeal.
Cause Title- Pushpalata & Ors. v. Sharanabasappa & Anr.