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Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 – ss. 163A, 166, 168 and 169 – Motor accident – Claim for compensation u/s. 163-A – For the death of owner of the vehicle – Maintainability of the petition questioned – Tribunal holding that petition was maintainable – High Court holding the same as not maintainable – On appeal, held: The claims tribunal in a claim petition, is required to decide all the issues in one go and not in piecemeal – The question of maintainability is connected with the liability of the Insurance Company – Therefore, the matter is sent back to claims tribunal to decide all the issues together. Owner of the insured vehicle died in a road accident while he was driving the vehicle. His dependants filed petition u/s. 163-A of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 claiming compensation. The Insurance Company questioned the maintainability of the petition stating that it was liable to compensation only for third party and not to the owner. The tribunal held that the petition was maintainable. High Court, in revision, held that it was not maintainable. In the instant appeal, appellants contended that additional premium was paid to cover the risk of the driver of the vehicle and in the policy, persons or classes of persons entitled to drive included the insured and thus the insurance company was liable. =Partly allowing the appeal, the Court HELD: 1.1 The whole object of summary procedure required to be followed by the Claims Tribunal, is to ensure that claim application is heard and decided by the Claims Tribunal expeditiously. The inquiry u/s. 168 and the summary procedure do not contemplate the controversy arising out of claim application being decided in piecemeal. The Claims Tribunal is required to dispose of all issues one way or the other in one go while deciding the claim application. [Para 5] 1.2 The objection raised by the Insurance Company about maintainability of claim petition is intricately connected with its liability which in the facts and circumstances of the case, is dependent on determination of the effect of the additional premium paid by the insured to cover the risk of the driver and other terms of the policy including terms of the policy. Since all issues (points for determination) are required to be considered by the Claims Tribunal together in the light of the evidence that may be led in by the parties and not in piecemeal, it is not proper to consider the rival contentions on merits at this stage. The matter is sent back to the Claims Tribunal. [Para 5] CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 2164 of 2004. From the Judgment & Order dated 01.10.2002 of the High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh in Civil Revision No. 5952 of 2001. B.K. Satija for the Appellants. Manish Singhvi, P.V. Yogeswaran, Jaswant Perraya for the Respondent.

REPORTABLE
Red minibus (aka maxicab) on Jardine's Bazaar,...

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 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2164 OF 2004

Bimlesh and Ors. ...Appellants

 Versus

New India Assurance Co. Ltd. ...Respondent

 JUDGMENT

R.M. Lodha, J.

 The claimants are in appeal by special leave

aggrieved by the judgment and order dated October 1, 2002

of the High Court for the States of Punjab and Haryana at

Chandigarh. The High Court by the said order, set aside the

order dated August 7, 2001 of the Motor Accident Claims

Tribunal, Gurgaon, (for short, `the Claims Tribunal') and held

 1
that claim petition filed by the claimants under Section 163-

A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (for short, `Act, 1988')

was not maintainable against the respondent-New India

Assurance Company Ltd. (for short, `the Insurance

Company').

2. Siri Bhagwan was the registered owner of a Jeep

bearing No. HR-26-G-0179 which was being used as a

Maxicab. The said vehicle was insured with the Insurance

Company for the period from August 30, 1999 to August 29,

2000. He himself used to drive that vehicle. An accident

occurred on August 15, 2000; Siri Bhagwan while driving the

said vehicle on Rewari-Pataudi Road, to save a dog, hit a

tree and died. His wife and children--the appellants herein

filed a claim petition under Section 163-A of the Act, 1988

before the Claims Tribunal against the Insurance Company

claiming compensation in the sum of Rs. 10 lakhs. The

Insurance Company filed the written statement and a plea

was raised that the claim petition was not competent

because the deceased was not a third party being the driver

and owner of the vehicle and under the Act, 1988 and

 2
terms of the policy of the insurance, the Insurance Company

is only required to indemnify the owner in case of third party

loss.

3. The Claims Tribunal heard the parties on the

question of maintainability of the claim petition and by its

order dated August 7, 2001 held that the claim petition was

maintainable.

4. Being not satisfied with the order dated August 7,

2001 passed by the Claims Tribunal, the Insurance

Company preferred revision petition before the High Court.

The High Court set aside the order of the Claims Tribunal

and held that claim petition was not maintainable.

5. The case of the claimants appears to be that

additional premium was paid by the insured to cover the risk

of the driver of the vehicle and in the policy issued by the

Insurance Company, in para 5, persons or classes of

persons entitled to drive includes the insured and

accordingly the Insurance Company is liable. On the other

hand, the Insurance Company has denied its liability

principally on the ground that deceased being owner of the

 3
vehicle is not a `third party'. Section 166 of the Act, 1988

provides that an application for compensation arising out of

an accident of the nature specified in Section 165(1) may be

made, inter alia, by all or any of the legal representatives of

the deceased where death has resulted from the accident.

Section 169 makes a provision that the Claims Tribunal shall

follow the summary procedure subject to any rules that may

be made in this behalf. The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 is

not applicable to the proceedings before the Claims Tribunal

except to the extent provided in sub-section (2) of Section

169 and the rules. The whole object of summary procedure

is to ensure that claim application is heard and decided by

the Claims Tribunal expeditiously. The inquiry under Section

168 and the summary procedure that the Claims Tribunal

has to follow do not contemplate the controversy arising out

of claim application being decided in piecemeal. The Claims

Tribunal is required to dispose of all issues one way or the

other in one go while deciding the claim application. The

objection raised by the Insurance Company about

maintainability of claim petition is intricately connected with

 4
its liability which in the facts and circumstances of the case

is dependent on determination of the effect of the additional

premium paid by the insured to cover the risk of the driver

and other terms of the policy including terms of the policy

contained in para 5. Since all issues (points for

determination) are required to be considered by the Claims

Tribunal together in light of the evidence that may be let in

by the parties and not in piecemeal, we do not think it proper

to consider the rival contentions on merits at this stage.

Suffice it to say that matter needs to be sent back to the

Claims Tribunal.

6. The appeal is partly allowed. The order dated

October 1, 2002 passed by the High Court as well as the

order dated August 7, 2001 passed by the Motor Accident

Claims Tribunal, Gurgaon are set aside. The claim petition

shall be decided by the Claims Tribunal after hearing the

parties in accordance with law, if not decided so far pursuant

to the interim order dated March 29, 2004 passed by this

Court. In case the inquiry has been concluded during the

pendency of this appeal, the Claims Tribunal may make the

 5
award now. It will be open to the aggrieved party to

challenge such award in a statutory appeal. No order as to

costs.

 ..................
 .... J.
 (Aftab Alam)

 ....................
 ... J.
 (R.M. Lodha)

New Delhi,
August 3, 2010. 6
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