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Claim can be filed in place where insurance firm runs business: Mohali accident tribunal

With the new ruling, the tribunal has settled the issue of jurisdiction
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Shailee Dogra, Mohali
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2020 12:35 AM IST

Settling the issue of jurisdiction, motor accident claims tribunal, Mohali, has ruled that “claim petition can be filed within the jurisdiction of a court where the insurance firm of the vehicle that causes the accident is running its business”.

The accident claims tribunal, presided over by Rajnish Garg, had ruled this while disposing of a petition filed by the kin of a factory supervisor hailing from Kangra working in Ludhiana, who was killed in an accident in 2019 in Theog. The claim was filed by 42-year-old Sanjay Rana’s kin, on account of his death on June 11, 2019. The deceased had been working as supervisor with SS Food Industries, Ludhiana.

The accident claims tribunal had directed National Insurance Company Limited (which has its office in phase 5, Mohali), car driver Rasal Singh and owner of car Atush Sharma(both from Kangra) to jointly and severally pay a compensation of 9.60 lakh along with 9% interest to kin of Rana.

During the hearing of the claim petition, the insurance company had sought dismissal of the claim, arguing that claimants and respondents No.1 and 2 are residents of Kangra district (HP) and no insurance policy had been issued in Mohali in respect of the vehicle. The insurance company had argued that the accident had also occurred within jurisdiction of police station Theog, district Shimla, while the claim was filed in Mohali without any jurisdiction.

Dismissing the argument, the accident claims tribunal reiterated, “the insurance company has its branch office in Mohali and is running its business here. The claim petition can be filed within jurisdiction of a court where the insurance company of the offending vehicle (vehicle involved in accident) is running its business.”

The accident took place owing to negligence of the driver in which Rana was travelling: petition

As per the claim petition–on June 11, 2019, Sanjay Rana and his colleague was coming from Nerwa to Sainj, wherein Rasal Singh the vehicle driver was speeding. At about 9.30 pm when they reached near Pujeli village on bypass road leading from Kargoli Nala to Deha in Himachal Pradesh, the driver lost control over the car due to which the car fell into a ditch and all persons sustained serious injuries. Rana suffered grievous injuries on his head and other parts of his body and died on the spot. Rana’s body was taken to civil hospital, Theog where a postmortem was done and a case was registered under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A IPC with Theog police station against Rasal Singh.

Mechanical fault led to accident: Driver, owner of vehicle
The driver Rasal Singh and owner of car, Atush Sharma, both from Kangra said the claim petition was filed to grab money from them. They said the accident took place due to a mechanical fault in the car and there was no negligence on Rasal Singh’s part.

To this, the tribunal responded, saying, “This fact could have been proved only by Rasal Singh but he never stepped into the witness box to claim that the accident did not take place due to his rash driving.”

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