Pre-emptory compensation award u/s 92A of Motor Vehicles Act

There is a proviso added to this section by amendment of 1982 and it says that where such application makes a claim for compensation u/s 92A in respect of the death or permanent disablement of any person, such claim and any other claim (whether made in such application or otherwise) for compensation in respect of such death or permanent disablement shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Chapter VII-A.

Thus it is clear from this legislation that a separate application u/s 92A can be filed and a separate claim u/s 110A can also be filed by the claimants. As mentioned above, to give expeditious relief Section 92A has been enacted and according to this section on a principle of no fault, a compensation is to be granted to the claimant as first mentioned compensation. The point is that u/s 92A only the owner is liable to make this compensation or the Insurer is also liable. If the vehicle is insured and the Insurer is liable to the extent to which the vehicle is insured. So the Insurance Company can also be saddled with the liability u/s 92A of the Act keeping in view the provisions of Section 96 which says that it is the duty of the insurers to satisfy demands against persons insured.

This matter has also been examined in the case of Mahaveer Prasad v. Manmohan (1986) 2 JS 521. This is the decision of our High Court where the question was whether the Insurance Company can be made liable for payment of the interim compensation u/s 92A. In this case it has been observed as under : —

“Having regard to the provisions contained in Sections 92A, 95, 96 and 110B, the insurance company is liable for specifying the compensation claimed, arising from the accident by the insured vehicles in accordance with the terms of Section 95. In this view of the matter, to the extent of the policy, which covers the risk without enquiry as to whether the amount awarded is u/s 92A of the Act or is otherwise, the insurance company is liable to pay the amount awarded. The Tribunal was not right in holding that in terms of Section 92A of the Act, the owner is only liable.

The case of Oriental Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd. Goa Vs. Aleixo Fernandes and others, is also with regard to this very aspect and where a claim is u/s 92A it has been held that the Insurer is liable to pay pre-emptory compensation award u/s 92A.

 Thus the intention of the legislation at the time of amending the Motor Vehicles Act in the year 1982 is clear that interim relief is to be given to the claimant u/s 92A and this can be awarded against the owner as well as the Insurance Company. In the present case the owner has raised an objection before the Tribunal that Insurance Company is necessary party and it should be impleaded as party. At that time the claimant should have requested the Court to implead the Insurance Company as party in the claim and after hearing it the Tribunal should have decided the matter. When it was brought to the notice of the Tribunal that in a claim u/s 92A the Insurer is also liable to make pre-emptory compensation it was incumbent on the Tribunal to implead the Insurance Company as party. The claimant have also not requested the Court to make the Insurer party in this claim. So without calling a party no order could be passed. The Tribunal had passed Award only against Mohanlal, the appellant who is the owner of the vehicle. The Insurance Company, respondent 1 has not been made party and no award has been passed against it. In the appeal notice has been issued to respondent 1, Insurance Company and their objection that unless the Company is party in the claim before the Tribunal, no appeal lies against it and the appeal is not maintainable. This objection raised by Shri Bhansali has force and I agree with him. When respondent 1, the Insurance Company, was not made party in the original claim u/s 92A of the Act, when no award has been passed against it, no appeal lies against the Company. But as Section 92A makes liable the Insurer also, so in the interest of justice I feel that the order of the Tribunal be set aside and the matter be remanded back to the Tribunal after making the National Insurance Company as party to the claim and after giving opportunity to the Insurance Company to decide the claim afresh. As there is objection raised by the owner before the Tribunal the claimant should move an application before the Tribunal to implead National Insurance Company as party to the claim and after giving notice to the Company the matter be decided afresh.