1. Whether the dependants/the Claimants of the deceased were not entitled for any Compensation inasmuch as the deceased was the owner and driving the vehicle TATA SUMO and the deceased was not personally insured under the policy.
the comprehensive policy in the instance case also covered the personal insurance of the owner of the vehicle.
[Legal questions involved for adjudication]
2. Whether the claim application was not maintainable inasmuch as the Claim Application was filed under Section 163-A of The Motor Vehicles Act showing an income of the deceased at Rs. 1,21,094/= which was more than Rs. 49000/= per annum.
3. Whether merely notional income of Rs. 15,000/= per annum could have been awarded inasmuch as the compensation had been awarded without any proof of income of the deceased being filed by the claimants?
Statute involved :- 1. The Motor Vehicles Act Section 163-A-Claim Application-preferring of.
Section 173- Preferring of the Memo. of Appeal.
Section 166- Preferring of Claim Application.
Section 2(9)- “Driver”- Definition of.
Cases referred to :-
1. Oriental Insurance Company Ltd. Vs. Rajni Devi and Others 2008 (2) T.A.C. 752(SC.)
2. New India Assurance Company Vs. Meera Bai and Others, 2006 (9) SCC 174.
3. Deepal Girish Bhai Soni and Others Vs. United India Insurance Company Ltd. 2004 (5) SCC 385.
4. Chinagi Rao Shirka and another Vs. Oriental Fire and General Insurance Company Limited, 2008 (3) TAC 585.
Held:- We find that the claim application was maintainable, inasmuch as, the claim application was converted from Section 163-A to Section 166 of the Act.
Further, proof of income of the deceased was filed by filing the Income Tax return of the deceased, which was duly accepted. The contention of the appellant on these two issues is patently misconceived and is rejected.
A perusal of the aforesaid provision indicates that any person, who is behind the steering wheel is a driver and, consequently, we are of the opinion, that the owner of the vehicle who is behind the steering wheel of the vehicle would also be a driver.
Section 2(9) of the Act defines driver, which in our view encompasses the owner also to be the person who is behind the steering wheel and driving the vehicle. The cover note of the insurance policy in the instant case includes the insured and any other person, who is entitled to drive.
We are of the opinion, that the comprehensive policy in the instance case also covered the personal insurance of the owner of the vehicle.
Consequently, we do not find any error in the order of the Tribunal. The appeal fails and is dismissed.
My Legal Friend