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Can claimant ask for relief against herself ?

(Querist) 28 April 2008 This query is : Resolved 
Request you to suggest on the below query ASAP.

Deceased (son of the insured) travelling as a pillion rider on Motor Cycle, Suddenly at Speedbraker bike got skid causing fatal injuries to pillion rider. The mother of the deceased who herself was the insured of the said vehicle filed a claim petition before MACT Tribunal claiming compensation. She is the only Legal Representative of the deceased and she is impleaded as claimant(petitioner) as well as respondent in the capacity of owner (insured) of the vehicle.

Please give your valuable opinion on the maintainability of the claim petition by the claimant who is also an insured assuming that the pillion rider is also covered under the policy and petition is under section 163 A of the act .

Can claimant ask for relief against herself ?

H. S. Thukral (Expert) 29 April 2008
It will depend upon the terms of the contract with the insurer. Kindly refer to a recent decision of the SC in this regard in the case of
Oriental Insurance Company Limited
Rajni Devi and Others (decided on 22-04-08)
where it is held that :
Held, in a case where third party is involved, liability of insurance company would be unlimited - Where compensation is claimed for the death of the owner or another passenger of the vehicle, contract of insurance being governed by the contract qua contract, the claim of the insurance company would depend upon terms thereof - Tribunal was not correct in taking the view that while determining the amount of compensation, the only factor which would be relevant would be merely the use of the motor vehicle - Liability under s.163-A is on the owner of the vehicle as a person cannot be both, a claimant as also a receipient - For the said purpose only the terms of the contract of insurance could be taken recourse to - Liability of insurance company was confined to Rs.1, 00, 000/- - Appeal partly allowed.

Rajesh Kumar (Expert) 30 April 2008
The mother plaintiff is claming as heir of the deceased whereas the mother respondent is the owner of the vehicle. Both the positions, and in different capacity, are different and hence the claim is valid.

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