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New Delhi, Mar 23 (PTI) The Supreme Court has ruled that it is the duty of the owner of the vehicle to ensure that the driver has a valid driving license. In the absence of a valid driving license, the insurance company would not be under any obligation to pay third party insurance claims, a bench of Justices S B Sinha and V S Sirpurkar has said. Dismissing the appeal of family members of Jaiguru who died in a road accident, the apex court observed, "The owner of the vehicle has a statutory obligation to see that the driver of the vehicle whom he authorised to drive the same holds a valid license." Jaiguru, a tonga driver, died after a tractor driven by one Sushil Kumar knocked him down. The family members filed a claim for compensation but the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) dismissed the plea on the ground that the insurance company was not liable to compensate as the tractor driver did not have a valid license. The aggrieved family members filed an appeal in the High Court which dismissed the plea by holding that the obligation to pay compensation vested with the owner and driver of the vehicle, but not the insurance company. After this, the family filed a special leave petition in the apex court. PTI
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