17 June 2024


Judgments

High Court of Bombay

United India Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Laxman Hirman Shewale and Ors.

MANU/MH/3002/2021

04.10.2021

Motor Vehicles

Expression "Use of the vehicle" can be attracted even where the vehicle is stationary

The Appellant-Insurance Company is challenging the judgment and award passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Mumbai ('Tribunal'). By the impugned award, the Tribunal has awarded a compensation of Rs. 2,16,398 (inclusive of the no fault liability) to the first Respondent-claimant alongwith interest at the rate of 6% per annum from 28th October 2008 (the date on which the first Respondent tendered his evidence) till realisation.

It is submitted by the learned counsel for the Appellant that the injuries suffered by the first Respondent cannot be said to be arising out of an accident, of the nature specified under sub Section 1 of Section 165 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Thus, the injuries sustained by the first Respondent cannot be said to be arising out of the use of motor vehicle', within the meaning of sub Section 1 of Section 165 of the Act of 1988.

In a recent case in Kalim Khan and Ors. vs. Fimidabee and Ors., a blasting machine was carried on a tractor for digging a well in an agricultural field. During the said operation, a splinter stone flew and hit on the head of a person resulting into his death. The Tribunal awarded compensation which was set aside by the High Court holding that, the battery was detached from the tractor when it was used to trigger the explosives. In short, the High Court held that, the battery not being the part of the vehicle at the time of the explosion, the accident could not be said to be arising out of the use of the vehicle. The Supreme Court found that, the vehicle was stationary and the battery was installed on the tractor which was used for trigging the explosives. The Supreme Court therefore held that, the accident occurred on account of the use of the vehicle.

In the facts of the present case and in as much as, the first Respondent suffered the injury in the process of the iron bars being unloaded from the vehicle, the accident can be said to be arising out of the use of the motor vehicle. It is necessary to note that the Supreme Court in the case of Kalim Khan and Ors. vs. Fimidabee and Ors. has held that, in certain circumstances, the expression "use of the vehicle" can be attracted even where the vehicle is stationary. The impugned award do not suffers from any infirmity so as to require interference. Appeal dismissed.

Relevant

Kalim Khan and Ors. vs. Fimidabee and Ors. MANU/SC/0677/2018

Tags : Accident Award Legality

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