The Delhi High Court has dismissed an appeal by an insurance company against the award of a compensation of Rs.14 lakh to a motor accident victim. The court dismissed the company’s argument that the driver who had hit the deceased was holding a fake driving licence.

Justice Suresh Kait dismissed the appeal filed by Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company against the compensation order by a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal here. He asked it to first make the payment and later recover the amount from the insurance holder.

Counsel for the insurance company had argued that it should be exonerated from the liability as it had proved that the driver was carrying a fake driving licence. However, the Court dismissed the contention.

“In the present case, the offending vehicle is admittedly an insured vehicle, limited to the terms of the policy of insurance, therefore, the insurance company is duty-bound to take over the contractual liability of the assured and pay the sum awarded to the claimants by the Tribunal,” Justice Kait said.

“Moreover, the provisions of sub-section 4 and 5 of the Section 149 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, may be considered as to the liability of the insurer to satisfy the decree at the first instance. Admittedly, recovery rights have been granted in favour of the appellant,” Justice Kait stated.

“No doubt, the appellant/insurance company successfully proved that there was breach of terms and conditions of the policy. However, mere breach of the conditions of the policy would not entitle the insurance company to avoid its liability against the insured,” the Court said.

“Keeping in view the above discussion and settled position of law, I do not find any discrepancy in the award dated December 22, 2011, on the issue raised above, therefore, the instant appeal is dismissed on this issue,” the judgment stated.

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