The Karnataka High Court has ruled that as per the Motor Vehicles Act, the acceptance of wrongdoing on the part of one driver alone would not be a ground for compensation, and the person claiming compensation would have to provide additional evidence.
The order was passed by Justice Lalitha Kanneganti on October 3 based on an appeal by United India Insurance, setting aside an earlier order of the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal (MACT).
The tribunal in 2012 granted a compensation of Rs 60,670, regarding an accident which had happened in 2009 where the claimant’s bike was struck by the other driver’s vehicle, knocking him off and injuring him.
The insurance company counsel argued that there had been cooperation between the claimant and the other driver (who had accepted guilt regarding the accident) to get the compensation. It said that though the two belonged to the same village and community, there has been a long delay in filing complaint and issuing wound certificate.
They also argued that since the claimant had filed an application for compensation under Section 166 of MVA, the person should provide proof rather than merely relying on the other driver admitting his guilt.
Examining the delay in complaint and proof in the case, the bench said, “In this case, he was admitted to the hospital on the same day of the accident and was discharged on 04.12.2009. There is no explanation why he kept quiet from 04.12.2009 till 30.01.2010. Apart from that, he had not adduced any other evidence to show about the manner of the accident and the involvement of the vehicle.”
The bench added that mere acceptance of the guilt can never be a ground for the tribunal to come to a conclusion. “When the application is filed under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act by adducing the independent evidence, the claimant has to prove their case. There is no doubt that the charge sheet supports the case of the claimant. In this case, considering the circumstances i.e., the date of accident, the date of complaint, this court is not able to appreciate any of the contentions raised by the claimant as well as the findings of the tribunal that the vehicle is involved in the accident,” it held