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T.D.JOSEPH, WRONGLY WRITTEN AS v. UTHAMAN GOVINDAN, NALPATHANCHIL - MACA No. 303 of 2003(B)  RD-KL 15338 (9 August 2007)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAMMACA No. 303 of 2003(B)
1. T.D.JOSEPH, WRONGLY WRITTEN AS
1. UTHAMAN GOVINDAN, NALPATHANCHIL,
2. SALIKUMAR @ SASI SA/O. KRISHNANKUTTY,
3. THE ORIENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED
For Petitioner :SRI.A.ANTONY
For Respondent :SRI.R.SANTHOSH BABU
The Hon'ble MR. Justice K.PADMANABHAN NAIR
O R D E R
K. PADMANABHAN NAIR ,JM.A.C.A.No.303 of 2003
Dated, this the 9th day of August, 2007
First respondent in O.P.(MV) No.2406/1995 on the file of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Kottayam who was impleaded as the owner of the offending vehicle is the appellant. First respondent in this appeal filed Original Petition claiming compensation against the appellant and respondents 2 and 3. It was averred that while the first respondent was travelling in an autorickshaw bearing registration No.KL 5 A/8296 it capsized and he sustained injuries. It was alleged that the appellant was the owner of the autorickshaw and the second respondent was the driver. Insurer was impleaded as the third respondent. Appellant contended that he sold the vehicle to one T.D. Thankachan on 20.12.2003 and he was not the owner of the vehicle on the date of accident and Shri Thankachan was also a necessary party. Third respondent insurer contended that it was not liable to indemnify the insured as there was violation of policy conditions. Negligence alleged was disputed. Quantum of compensation claimed was denied. Tribunal in spite of the specific contention raised by the appellant that he sold the vehicle to Thankachan did not direct the first respondent to implead Thankachan also as a party to the proceedings. Appellant produced Exts.B1 to B8 documents to prove his contention that he sold the vehicle to Thankachan. Tribunal took a view that since the appellant was the insured he MACA No.303/2003 -: 2 :- was the registered owner of the vehicle and liable to pay compensation.
2. In this appeal the appellant filed I.A.No.1074/2003 to implead Thankachan as additional fourth respondent. It was allowed and Thankachan was impleaded as the additional fourth respondent in the appeal. The only question arising for consideration in this appeal is whether the Tribunal was correct in finding that the appellant was liable to pay compensation.
3. Appellant produced Exts.B3 agreement for sale. He produced Ext.B4 kaicheet to show that after the accident it was Thankachan who got the vehicle released from the Police Station. Appellant also produced Exts.B5 and B6 to show that it was Thankachan who furnished the details of the driver. Ext.B7 is a letter written by the appellant to the Joint RTO intimating the transfer of the vehicle. Ext.B8 is the postal acknowledgment of Ext.B7. In spite of production of all those documents the Tribunal took a view that if the appellant was not the owner the policy would not have been issued in his name. That reasoning is illegal. Even if the name of the appellant was shown as the owner in the RC book that was not sufficient. It is trite law that the sale of a vehicle which is movable, is governed by the provisions of the Sale of Goods Act and not by the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act. Certificate of registration is not a document evidencing the title. So the view taken by the Tribunal is illegal and the award passed is liable to be set aside. Since the transferee is impleaded in this appeal I am of the view that it is only just and proper that the matter is remanded MACA No.303/2003 -: 3 :- to the Tribunal for fresh disposal in accordance with law after giving a reasonable opportunity to both sides to adduce evidence. In the result, appeal is allowed. The impugned award is set aside. Tribunal is directed to take O.P.(MV) No.2406/1995 back to file; hear and dispose of the same afresh after impleading additional fourth respondent in the proceedings and after giving a reasonable opportunity to both sides to adduce evidence, in accordance with law. Parties shall appear before the Tribunal on 25.9.2007. If the appellant had deposited any portion of the amount awarded in pursuance of the award impugned in this appeal that amount is to be refunded to the appellant. I.A.No.1075/2003 will stand dismissed. K. PADMANABHAN NAIR
JUDGEcks MACA No.303/2003 -: 4 :-
K.PADMANABHAN NAIR, J.M.A.C.A.No.303 of 2003
9th August, 2007.
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