Put driving licences on website: Court tells TC
Srinagar, Apr 19: The High Court on Monday directed the Jammu and Kashmir Transport Commissioner to make available all information about driving license-holders on a website within 60 days.
“There is no reason as to why the concerned authorities should not integrate the Information Technology (IT) with the day today affairs of their office(s) and with the help of IT tools make the requisite information accessible to the general public,” said an order issued by the single bench of Justice Hasnain Masoodi.
The Court said that the Transport Commissioner, J&K and all other authorities associated with grant of driving license(s) under the Motor Vehicles Act, are directed to place names, parentage, residential address, age, date of issuance of driving license, type of the driving license, the type of vehicle authorized to drive and period of validity in respect of each and every driving license issued on the Government website or any website set up by the Transport Department within 60 days from the date of this judgment.
“In the event if such website is not already set up then the department should set up one within the said period, so that flow of hassle-free information is facilitated and general public including owners of vehicles have online access to the information,” the Court directed.
Justice Hassnain Masoodi issued the judgment in the case National Insurance Company (NIC) versus Saja Begum.
The NIC had filed an appeal before the High Court against an award passed by Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT).
Earlier Saja Begum had filed an petition before MACT pleading that her husband Ghulam Muhammad Lone while traveling in a passenger vehicle from Ganderbal to Srinagar fell down from it near Sabzi Mandi, Soura, on city outskirts, due to negligence of driver and sustained injuries. Subsequently, he died. The family pleaded that he was the sole bread earner of the family and was an expert craftsman earnings at least Rs 7000 per month.
The Tribunal awarded Rs 5,17,000 in favour of Saja Begum as compensation.
The Insurance Company filed appeal against the award on grounds that the driver of the vehicle at the time of accident was not holding driving license to drive a passenger vehicle. This, the Company said, absolves it from obligation to pay any compensation to the dependents of the deceased.
It said compensation assessed by the tribunal was exorbitant, excessive and unjust worked out unmindful of settled norms.
The High Court after hearing the case said it was fact that the driver was driving the passenger vehicle without having a license to drive it. The Court said the tribunal has erred while drawing conclusion that even though driver was found not to have an effective driving license, the owner was not liable to pay compensation.
The Court said the insurance company is held to be absolved of its obligation under the insurance contract to indemnify the insured. “The award amount is to be recovered from the owner of the offending vehicle because of the breach committed by the insured of the terms and conditions of the insurance contract,” the Court added.
But the Court said the insurance company has already made a deposit of part of the award amount. “The claimants, who belong to deprived and downtrodden section of the society, would be exposed to immense hardship, if asked to initiate proceeding for recovery of the award amount from the owner,” the Court observed.
The Court however said owner of a motor vehicle should have access to correct information while employing a driver.
About the quantum of compensation awarded by the tribunal, the Court said that the evidence on the file reveals that the deceased at the time of fatal accident was 39-45 years of age. The tribunal has while determining the compensation taken the deceased to have been of 45 years of age at the time of accident and rightly applied the multiplier of 15 as given in 2nd schedule. “The amount so determined can not be said to be exorbitant,” the Court said.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Apr 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Apr 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Apr 2010 00:00:00 IST
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