the insurance police is a comprehensive policy and covers the risk of damage to the vehicle insured as also risk coverage to 10 persons in all. Though it is not stated that the claimant who travelled in the jeep in question on the fateful day is a family member of the owner of the jeep nor the driver of the jeep, but was a third person. But it is not the case of either the insurance company or anybody else that the claimant was travelling as a gratuitous passenger or was a fare paid passenger or for reward. Inasmuch as the policy being a comprehensive policy and covers the risk of 10 persons in all, it cannot be said that the insurance policy does not cover the risk of the claimant who was travelling in the jeep in question. When once the policy being a comprehensive policy and covers the risk of ten persons, not being gratuitous passengers or fare paid passengers or for reward, the claimant being none of them, can be one of the ten persons covered under the comprehensive policy. In the absence of any evidence adduced that the jeep in question was used for hire or reward contrary to the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, it cannot be said the insurance policy does not cover the risk of the claimant. 4. Therefore, I am of view that the Tribunal below erroneously exonerated the liability of the 3rd respondent-insurance company from paying the compensation awarded jointly and severally.


HON'BLE  SRI JUSTICE V. ESWARAIAH      

CMA No.2701 OF 2003  

02-08-2012

Yeduwaka Thata Babu  

Allu Prasad, S/o.Appalanaidu others

!Counsel for the Appellant   Jayanti S.C. Sekhar

Counsel for the respondent No.3:   Mr. R.K. Suri

<Gist:

>Head Note:

?CITATIONS:

JUDGMENT ::  (  per Hon'ble Sri Justice V.Eswaraiah,J )

       
The claimant is the appellant herein filed OP No.524 of 1997 on the file of
Motor Vehicle Accidents Claims Tribunal-cum-Addl. District Judge, Vizianagaram,
claiming compensation of Rs.1,20,000/- for the injuries sustained by in the
accident on 25-2-1997 while he was travelling in a jeep bearing registration
No.AP 31E 8568 driven by its driver  in a rash and negligent manner and the said
jeep hitting a tree and turned turtle.
2.      The Tribunal below considering the oral and documentary evidence adduced
held that the accident occurred due to the rash and negligent driving of the
jeep in question by its driver who is respondent no.1, owned by respondent no.2
and insured by the respondent no.3. The Tribunal below taking into considering
the avocation and income of the claimant and the injuries sustained by him
granted total compensation of Rs.25,120/- payable by the respondents 1 and 2 who
are the driver and owner of the jeep in question exonerating the liability of
the 3rd respondent-insurance company on the ground that the insurance policy
does not cover the risk of gratuitous passenger.
3.      It is not in dispute that the insurance police is a comprehensive policy
and covers the risk of damage to the vehicle insured as also risk coverage to 10
persons in all.  Though it is not stated that the claimant who travelled in the
jeep in question on the fateful day is a family member of the owner of the jeep
nor the driver of the jeep, but was a third person.  But it is not the case of
either the insurance company or anybody else that the claimant was travelling as
a gratuitous passenger or was a fare paid passenger or for reward.  Inasmuch as
the policy being a comprehensive policy and covers the risk of 10 persons in
all, it cannot be said that the insurance policy does not cover the risk of the
claimant who was travelling in the jeep in question. When once the policy being
a comprehensive policy and covers the risk of ten persons,  not being gratuitous
passengers or fare paid passengers or for reward, the claimant being none of
them, can be one of the ten persons covered under the comprehensive policy.  In
the absence of any evidence adduced that the jeep in question was used for hire
or reward contrary to the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, it cannot be
said the insurance policy does not cover the risk of the claimant.
4.      Therefore, I am of view that the Tribunal below erroneously exonerated the
liability of the 3rd respondent-insurance company from paying the compensation
awarded jointly and severally. As to the adequacy or otherwise of the
compensation awarded by the Tribunal below, I do not see any valid grounds to
enhance the compensation than what is awarded by the Tribunal below.
5.      In the result, the appeal is allowed in part making the 3rd respondent-
insurance company also liable to pay the compensation granted by the Tribunal
below jointly and severally along with the other respondents who are driver and
owner of the accident jeep in question. No order as to costs.
______________________  
V. ESWARAIAH, J        
Dated: 2-8-2012

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