Compensate truck driver’s kin, HC tells insurance firm
An insurance company is bound to pay compensation for a truck driver’s death if the owner was paying premium, the Bombay High Court has ruled.mumbai Updated: Jan 24, 2010 01:21 IST
An insurance company is bound to pay compensation for a truck driver’s death if the owner was paying premium, the Bombay High Court has ruled.
The HC directed New India Assurance Company Limited to pay compensation to the family Mahadeo Gaikwad (29), who died in an accident in 2005.
Gaikwad and Dilip Yadav were employed as drivers with Shekhar Ghortane (50). On October 15, 2005, Gaikwad was driving on the Pandharpur-Miraj highway. At 4 pm, he asked Yadav to take over and went to sleep. The truck met with an accident. Gaikwad died in hospital while Yadav survived.
When Gaikwad’s family claimed compensation before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal at Pandharpur, the firm refused claiming he was “a passenger” when the truck met with the accident. The tribunal ruled that the truck was being driven negligently and hence the owner was liable to pay compensation. Ghortane approached the HC challenging the order.
Reversing the order, Justice C.L. Pangarkar observed: “In this case, there were two drivers engaged and premium for only one driver has been paid. The claim is in respect of only one driver.” As one of the drivers died, the firm is liable to compensate for his death, ruled HC.