Motor accident: Claimant borrowing vehicle of insured person cannot be a third party for insurance reliefs under personal accident cover, rules Gauhati HC

Motor accident: Claimant borrowing vehicle of insured person cannot be a third party for insurance reliefs under personal accident cover, rules Gauhati HC

The Gauhati High Court ruled that the claimant borrowing a vehicle of insured person cannot be a third party for insurance reliefs under personal accident cover.

Background 

The claimant was riding a motorcycle from Guwahati to Changsari and when he reached Silemahekhaity, all of a sudden, he lost control over the vehicle and the said vehicle fell by the side of the road. As a result of the said accident, the claimant sustained grievous injuries on his person and he was admitted to the hospital. At the relevant time of the accident, the alleged vehicle was duly insured with the National Insurance Company Limited. 

Argument

Advocate R. Goswami, appearing for the appellant/Insurance Company, contended that the award is against the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act. In MACT cases there are three necessary parties i.e. claimant, insured and the insurer. In the instant case, the injured/claimant has stepped into the shoes of the owner. Thus, the claimant/injured cannot be termed as a third party for the purpose of awarding the compensation under the Act.

Decision 

The single judge bench of Justice Malasri Nandi noted that when the claimant reached Silemahekhaity, he lost control over the vehicle and fell by the side of the road and as a result, he sustained injuries on his person.

The court stated that the respondent/claimant is not covered under the M.V. Act as the injured/claimant stepped into the shoes of the owner of the vehicle in question. Thus, he cannot be stated to be a third party for the purpose of awarding the compensation under the Act.  

The court while setting aside the Judgment and award of the MACT Kamrup (M) said that the benefits of the Insurance policy is restricted to the personal insurance cover to the owner and the personal accident cover is a contract between the insured and the insurer and only designed to give the benefit to the insured and not to the borrower.

Case title: National Insurance Co. Ltd v/s Md. Atikul Islam And Anr

Citation: Case No: MACApp. 15/2011

Click here to read the Order/Judgment

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