Court pulls up insurance firms for challenging compensation orders

August 18th, 2008 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday criticised insurance companies that frequently challenge lower court orders of accident compensation and said they were after the victim’s blood.Dismissing a petition of Oriental Insurance Company, Justice V.B. Gupta said the provisions in the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal Act (MACT) were brought in to grant relief to the victim by way of compensation and the insurance companies should not avoid payment of compensation by raising all possible pleas and thereby defeating the object of such provisions.

The court also slapped a fine of Rs.10,000 on the company.

“Instead of letting the poor victim of the road accident live in peace and have little solace due to the meagre amount of compensation, which has been awarded to him after a protracted trial, the insurance company is after his blood,” it observed.

It also directed the company to deposit the fine with the court’s legal services committee within four weeks.

Oriental Insurance had moved an appeal against the MACT order, which awarded compensation to Santosh Kumar Chauhan who was hit by a cab insured with the company.

Chauhan, who was severely injured in the accident and suffered permanent disability, claimed Rs.300,000 as compensation.

The company in its defence contended that at the time of the incident the vehicle driver was not possessing a valid driving license.

But the court rejected the company’s submission and said the Tribunal had rightly held that the offending vehicle was being driven under a valid and effective driving licence by the driver and, therefore, the appellant had been rightly held liable to pay the awarded amount.

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