Read Judgment: Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd. vs. Bheema & Another 

Pankaj Bajpai

Ernakulam, November 11, 2021: The Kerala High Court (Ernakulam Bench) has recently said that if the claimant had not been travelling in the vehicle as owner of the goods, he shall not be covered by the policy of insurance. 

Going by the background of the case, the Insurance Company (Appellant) disputed compensation liability of one lakh fifty thousand and sought exoneration from same raising the contention that Bheema (first Respondent-injured) was a gratuitous passenger in a goods vehicle viz., Goods Auto rickshaw along with construction goods going to the work site by sitting near the driver of the vehicle and transporting the construction goods, while he met with an accident when the said Auto rickshaw was suddenly turned by its driver. Though the appellant sought for exoneration, the Tribunal refused to allow the same. 

After considering the facts & precedents, the Bench of Justice A. Badharudeen found that as per the insurance policy, the seating capacity of the vehicle involved in the accident is one person and nobody is permitted to travel in the said Goods Auto rickshaw, other than the driver. 

The decision of the Supreme Court in the case of National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Baljit Kaur , was referred to wherein it was held that the Insurance Company is not liable to pay the amount and the liability is upon the owner of the vehicle, added Justice Badharudeen. 

Hence, relying on the judgment of National Insurance Company(supra), Justice Badharudeen reiterated that the pay and recovery right ordered against the appellant Insurance Company merits to be set aside. 

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the appeal and exonerated the Appellant from liability.

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