The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal granted compensation of around Rs 55 lakh (Rs 15 lakh interest) to the family of Rajaram Desai, a 53-year-old Police Sub-Inspector, who died after a drunk car driver rammed into his bike in 2014. Desai was riding pillion with another cop who survived the accident. The driver of the car, Ritesh Modi, a sales executive, was claimed to be drunk by the Insurance company.
A complaint was submitted to the tribunal in Oct 2014 by Desai’s wife & two adult children. Subsequently, the tribunal ordered the car owner, Shantilal Shah, & New India Assurance Co. Ltd to pay Rs 40 lakh with an annual interest of 7.5 percent from 2014. The court held that the defense of the offending car driver of being drunk, cannot apply to the insurer.
“It can safely infer that even though a copy of the charge sheet along with chemical analysis report is produced on record, it doesn’t mean the insurer is liable to be exonerated from the liability of paying compensation. The insurer has failed to prove the issue that the offending vehicle owner has committed a breach of terms & conditions of insurance policy,” stated the Tribunal.