Saturday, March 7, 2015

No insurance claim for damages as vehicle owner didn't apply for registration on expiry of temporary registration


Where an accident had taken place, petitioner as owner of vehicle would not be entitled to claim compensation for damages in respect of vehicle when, admittedly, vehicle was being driven on date of accident without any valid registration

Facts:

a) The Petitioner-complainant purchased a vehicle and got it insured with respondent-company, The vehicle was temporarily registered for one month's period.

b) The petitioner did not apply for permanent registration. Meanwhile, an accident took place in which vehicle got damaged. Consequently, the appellant filed a consumer complaint before the District Forum.

c) The District Forum allowed the complaint and directed the respondent-company to indemnify the complainant to the extent of 75% of the insured amount. Aggrieved by the decision of the District Forum, respondent-company as well as the appellant-complainant approached State Commission.

d) Petitioner's claim for insurance was rejected by the Sate Commission as well as by National Commission on ground that at the time of accident, the vehicle was being driven without registration, which was prohibited under section 39 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and was also an offence under section 192 of the said Act

On appeal, the Supreme Court held as under:

1) Using a vehicle on public road without any registration is not only an offence punishable under section 192 but also a fundamental breach of terms and conditions of policy contract

2) Nothing had been brought on record by petitioner to show that before or after period of temporary registration had expired, petitioner, either applied for permanent registration or made any application for extension of period.

3) Thus, the petitioner would not be entitled to claim compensation for damages in respect of vehicle when, admittedly, vehicle was being driven on date of accident without any valid registration - NARINDER SINGH V. NEW INDIA ASSURANCE CO. LTD. (2015) 54 TAXMANN.COM 414 (SC)
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