The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to examine a question whether persons murdered in motor vehicles are entitled to accident insurance claims provided to those killed in road mishaps.
"Is it that in murder cases accident insurance awards are being provided?," a three-judge bench of Justices R V Raveendrana, Mukundakam Sharma and K S Radhakrishnan said in surprise when counsel for some the insurance companies raised the issue.
The counsel submitted that in a number of cases, the tribunals are awarding accident claim compensation to even those persons who are found murdered in vehicles in different parts of the country.
In a particular case, a tribunal in Assam had directed an insurance company to pay accident compensation to an auto driver who was murdered by an unidentified person and the vehicle found abandoned a few yards away, the court was told.
The apex court said it would also take up for hearing the liability of insurance companies vis-a-vis compensation to victims who are killed in accidents where the driver does not possess a valid license.
This is because in a number of cases, even the Supreme Court had earlier directed an insurance company to first pay the compensation and then recover the same from the owner.
The insurance companies are against such directions as under the Motor Vehicle Act, the liability is solely on the owner to pay the compensation if the driver fails to possess a valid driving license.