New Delhi: An insurance company is not
liable to pay vehicle claim if a driver does not possess a
valid driving license at the time of an accident, the National
Consumer Commission has held.
"When the driver of the insured vehicle was holding a
driving license that entitled him to drive only a light motor
vehicle, he was not entitled to drive a medium goods vehicle,
which clearly fell in the category of transport vehicle," the
Commission, comprising President Justice Ashok Bhan and Member
S K Naik, said.
The Commission passed the order on a petition of Oriental
Insurance Company rejecting the vehicle claim of one M D
Srinivasa for driving the transport vehicle despite the fact
that he was in possession of license which allowed him to
drive a light motor vehicle only.
Citing section 14(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act, a
license for a transport vehicle could be issued only for a
period of three years while the license of the driver issued
was for a period of 20 years.
"This (validity of a license for a period of 20 years)
further proves that the license of the driver authorised him
to drive only non-transport vehicle and that is also the
endorsement in his driving license," it said while setting
aside the Karnataka State Commission`s order.
The State Commission had reversed the District Forum`s
order and directed the insurance company to pay Rs 1.25 lakh
to the policy holder.
Srinivasa, possessing a license for light motor vehicle,
was found driving Eicher Cantor, a medium goods vehicle at the
time of the accident in 2002.
His claim was rejected on the ground that he was not
authorised to drive the transport vehicle.