Co.Ltd. Vs. Sebastian K.Jacob  INSC 574 (20 March 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1748 OF 2009 (Arising
out of S.L.P. (C) No.12621/2007) National Insurance Co. Ltd. ....Appellant
Versus Sebastian K. Jacob ....Respondent
DR. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
controversy lies within a very narrow compass. The appellant had filed appeal
before the Kerala High Court questioning the correctness of a judgment rendered
by Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Thalassery. The award was passed in favour
of the respondent allowing him to realize a sum of Rs.24,033/- with interest
with proportionate cost from the driver, owner and present appellant jointly
and severally payable by the present appellant.
According to the
appellant, the insurer is not liable to make the payment since the claimant is
already compensated by another Insurance Company by paying Rs.21,700/- for the
same cause of action consequent to the same accident. Therefore, it was
submitted that the respondent was not entitled to double payment of compensation.
The High Court did not accept the plea and upheld the award of MACT.
counsel for the appellant submitted that in respect of the very same claim, the
matter was settled by Insurance Company. It was accepted by the claimant that
he had settled his claim with the insurer of the jeep. But according to him
that is of no consequence and did not debar him from making a claim under the
statutory liability against the tortfeasor.
Learned counsel for
the appellant submitted that there cannot be double benefit in respect of the
same accident. The claimant had accepted that he had settled the matter and
received the money in respect of the jeep in question. There was no scope for
granting a further relief.
is no appearance on behalf of the respondent. mount the appellant has to pay
the same, but that is not the case in the present scenario. The claimant claims
the whole amount. The earlier payment is not disputed. In fact, the Oriental
Insurance Company Ltd. has clearly accepted that the vehicle collided with the
stage carriage on 13.7.1995 and the damage claim was settled for Rs.21,700/- on
6.12.1995. The High Court does not appear to have considered this aspect in the
proper perspective. Therefore, we set aside the impugned order of the High
court and remit the matter to it for fresh consideration.
appeal is allowed.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)