In case of death of a co-passenger after a car overturned, the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT) presided over by additional district and sessions judge Roopam Singh directed the driver and the car owner to pay Rs 4.53 lakh as compensation to parents of the victim. Muneer, 20, died in the road accident in 2009.
Coming to aid of victim’s mother Bano and father Raees both hailing from Muzzafarnagar, UP, the tribunal also directed the driver and the car owner to pay 7.5% interest on the compensation. The compensation is to be paid jointly by driver of the car Irshad, a resident of Sector 35-B, Chandigarh, and the car owner Harinder Kaur, a resident of Sector 21, Chandigarh.
“Risk to passenger’s life in a private car is covered under comprehensive policy, for which insurance company is liable, but third party risk of an occupant of a private car is not covered under the policy,” held the tribunal on December 15.
On the intervening night of July 23, 2009, and July 24, 2009, at about 11.15 pm, Irshad, along with his brothers Intzar and Dilshad, nephew Muneer, brother-in-law Gulzar and neighbour Shamim were going to Chandigarh. Irshad was driving the car.
In order to avoid collision with a cow, near Khanna farm house on the Chandigarh, the driver lost balance and the car overturned. While all the boarders received injuries, Muneer succumbed to his injuries.
Muneer’s post mortem mentioned hemorrhage and shock as the cause of death that are antemortem in nature and sufficient to cause death in due course of time. There being no rebuttal, it was held that the accident, resulting in Muneer’s death took place on account of car’s use.
Driver Irshad, a resident of Sector 35-B, Chandigarh, and vehicle owner Harinder Kaur, a resident of Sector 21, Chandigarh, failed to appear in front of the tribunal despite notice.
They were proceeded against ex parte.
National Insurance Company Limited denied the factum of accident for want of knowledge. The insurance company said they were not liable to pay as the driver was not holding a valid and effective driving license at the time of the accident.