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Report No. 85

4.6. Social justice and judicial observations suggesting reform.-

It may be pointed out that in one of the Punjab cases,1 the following observations have been made while rejecting the claim for compensation made by the owner of the goods, who was travelling with the goods:-

"No doubt, this is a hard case, but it is a case of a statutory omission2-3 for in this part of country small businessmen in protection of their goods, and to do their business personally, very often themselves travel on a goods carrier and that is probably the reason why rule 4.60(1) says that 'no person shall be carried in a goods carrier other than a bona fide employee of the owner or the hirer of the vehicle, and except in accordance with this rule'.

This sub-rule recognises that the hirer of the vehicle may travel as a passenger on a good carrier, but the proviso to sub-rule (2) of this rule limits the number of such persons to a maximum of six. The learned counsel for the respondents has pointed out that in this case number of persons travelling on the goods carrier in question was more than that number, but that does not bring in the liability of the insurer, and it may be a factor which may operate against the owner or the driver of the vehicle for disobedience of this sub-rule. The omission in the statute, however, cannot be supplied by a strained or incorrect interpretation of the statutory provision by a court. It can only be supplied by a legislative amendment."

1. Oriental Fire & General Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Gurdei' Kaur, AIR 1967 Punj 486 (490), para. 8 (FS).

2. Emphasis added.

3. See also para. 4.3, supra.

Claims for Compensation under Chapter 8 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 Back

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