Law of Torts

Liability of owner of a vehicle for damages for injury caused by negligence of his driver arises under common law of torts and under Fatal Accidents Act

The liability of the owner of a vehicle for damages for any injury caused by the negligence of his driver, arises not under the Act, but under the common law of torts and under the Fatal Accidents Act. As pointed out by the Madras High Court in Palani Ammal v. Safe Service Ltd. 1966 ACJ 19, the object of Sections 110-A to 110-F of the Act, is to provide cheaper and speedier remedy for recovery of compensation for injuries and death caused by the use of motor vehicles and those Sections do not create any new right or even a new remedy. The effect of those provisions is to create a new forum thus taking away the jurisdiction of the ordinary Civil Courts. The forum is changed and the period of limitation for an action for damages has also been curtailed. But these two are matters of procedure. The substantive law as to what gives rise to liability for damages and who are liable for damages, remains unaltered by these provisions of the Act.

Hence, definition contained in Section 2 (19) of the Act, is not relevant for determining as to who was the owner of the motor vehicle or as to who was the master of the driver thereof at the time of an accident, for the purpose of liability under the Fatal Accidents Act or under the Law of Torts.

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Categories: Law of Torts

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