The Delhi State Consumer Commission has ruled out that insurance companies have to pay claim to the driver injured in an accident of his vehicle due to mechanical defects even if he did not had the valid driving license at the time of accident.
The commission's bench of Justice Barkat Ali Zaidi and member Kanwal Inder ordered the insurance firm to pay the damages to the driver. The bench citing a Supreme Court judgement which said if the accident took place due to a mechanical fault, the insurance company's contention that the driver did not have a valid licence could not be a ground to deny the claim.
Commission ordered the private sector insurance player Bajaj Allianz General Insurance to pay damages to Ramesh Kumar who had lost 30% vision in both his eyes when the axle of his auto rickshaw broke.
"It can be safely held that the accident took place due to the mechanical defect in the vehicle which resulted in causing injuries to the complainant's eyes and as certified by the doctors he lost 30 per cent of his sight," the bench said, while dismissing Bajaj Allianz's appeal against the district forum's order awarding damages to the driver.
Ramesh had met with the accident when the axle of his auto rickshaw broke down on Ring Road near Maharani Bagh area of South Delhi. The accident resulted in his face striking against the vehicle's front window and he sustained several injuries on his face and in eyes.
The district forum, earlier, after considering Kumar's disability certificate, found that he had lost 30 per cent of his eye sight and awarded a total of Rs. 85,000/- as damages, for deficiency in service, mental agony, harassment and cost of litigation.
The commission bench upheld the order of district forum and said that the trial forum was fully justified in passing the aforementioned award in favour of the complainant (Kumar) which calls for no interference. The bench noted that the accident took place due to the shortcoming or defect in the machine of the vehicle.