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Malati Sardar Versus National Insurance Company Limited & Ors.

2016 (8) TMI 917 - SUPREME COURT

Entitlement to award of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Kolkata - whether the High Court was justified in setting aside the award only on the ground that the Tribunal did not have the territorial jurisdiction? - Held that:- The provision in question, in the present case, is a benevolent provision for the victims of accidents of negligent driving. The provision for territorial jurisdiction has to be interpreted consistent with the object of facilitating remedies for the victims of accidents. .....

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urt failed to notice the provision of Section 21 CPC. - Accordingly, we allow this appeal, set aside the impugned judgment of the High Court and restore the award of the Tribunal. - CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10 OF 2016 - Dated:- 5-1-2016 - Anil R. Dave and Adarsh Kumar Goel, JJ. JUDGMENT 1. Leave granted. The question raised in this appeal is whether the High Court was justified in setting aside the award of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Kolkata only on the ground that the Tribunal did not hav .....

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nd negligent driving by the driver of the bus having been established, the Tribunal, applying the multiplier of 13 on account of age of the appellant being 47 years, and taking into account the income of the deceased and other relevant factors, fixed compensation of ₹ 16,12,200/- with interest at the rate of 6% p.a. from the date of filing of claim petition vide its Award dated 7th February, 2012. 4. The respondent company preferred an appeal before the High Court on the only ground of lac .....

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rted the award by placing reliance on judgment of this Court in Mantoo Sarkar vs. Oriental Insurance Company Limited [3 (2009) 2 SCC 244] apart from other judgments. 5. The High Court upheld the objection of the respondent and allowed the appeal of the respondent company and directed refund of the amount deposited/paid, if any, to the respondent company. It was observed : In the instant case admittedly the accident took place in Hooghly. The claimant, as evident from the cause title, resides at .....

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ddress and not a residential address. Therefore, the Tribunal at Kolkata had no jurisdiction to entertain the claim petition. In this regard we follow the principles of law laid down in New India Assurance Company Limited vs. Kustiswar Pramanik (supra) [2010(1) T.A.C. 405 (Cal), in Nirmala Devi Agarwal (supra) [2013 (3) CLJ (Cal)] and in the unreported judgment delivered on 18th July, 2012 in FMA 724 of 2008 with C.O.T. 22 of 2008 (The New Indian Assurance Col. Ltd. vs. Silpi Dutta & Ors.) a .....

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ondent in a claim petition was residing within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. The residence in the case of juristic person included its Principal office. In any case, the view taken by the High Court is directly in conflict with the law laid down by this Court in Mantoo Sarkar (supra) under which the High Court could interfere in such cases only if there was failure of justice. The decisions of this Court in G.S. Grewal and Jagmittar Sain Bhagat have no application to the fact situation at ha .....

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when the accident took place outside Kolkata jurisdiction and the claimant also resided outside Kolkata jurisdiction, but the respondent being a juristic person carried on business at Kolkata. Further question is whether in absence of failure of justice, the High Court could set aside the award of the Tribunal on the ground of lack of territorial jurisdiction. 10. In our view, the matter is fully covered by decisions of this Court in Mantoo Sarkar (supra). It will be worthwhile to quote the stat .....

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such particulars as may be prescribed: Provided that where no claim for compensation under Section 140 is made in such application, the application shall contain a separate statement to that effect immediately before the signature of the applicant. 11. In Mantoo Sarkar (supra), the insurance company had a branch at Nainital. Accident took place outside the jurisdiction of Nainital Tribunal. The claimant remained in the hospital at Bareilly and thereafter shifted to Pilibhit where he was living .....

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ollow the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure (CPC). Having regard to Section 21 CPC, objection of lack of territorial jurisdiction could not be entertained in absence of any prejudice. Distinction was required to be drawn between a jurisdiction with regard to subject matter on the one hand and that of territorial and pecuniary jurisdiction on the other. A judgment may be nullity in the former category, but not in the later. Reference was also made to earlier decision of this Court in Kiran Si .....

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nd Section 11 of the Suits Valuation Act is the same, namely, that when a case had been tried by a court on the merits and judgment rendered, it should not be liable to be reversed purely on technical grounds, unless it had resulted in failure of justice, and the policy of the legislature has been to treat objections to jurisdiction both territorial and pecuniary as technical and not open to consideration by an appellate court, unless there has been a prejudice on the merits. The contention of t .....

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