Naveen Kumar v. Vijay Kumar - Supreme Court Important Judgment

 Naveen Kumar v. Vijay Kumar - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2018 - 


On 6th February, 2018, in the case of Naveen Kumar v. Vijay Kumar and Ors. [Civil Appeal No.1427 of 2018], it was held that in view of the definition of the expression ‘owner’ in Section 2(30) of the Motor Vehicles Act, “it is the person in whose name the motor vehicle stands registered who, for the purposes of the Act, would be treated as the ‘owner’. However, where a person is a minor, the guardian of the minor would be treated as the owner. Where a motor vehicle is subject to an agreement of hire purchase, lease or hypothecation, the person in possession of the vehicle under that agreement is treated as the owner. In a situation such as the present where the registered owner has purported to transfer the vehicle but continues to be reflected in the records of the registering authority as the owner of the vehicle, he would not stand absolved of liability.”


The Supreme Court observed that the “Parliament has consciously introduced the definition of the expression ‘owner’ in Section 2(30), making a departure from the provisions of Section 2(19) in the earlier Act of 1939. The principle underlying the provisions of Section 2(30) is that the victim of a motor accident or, in the case of a death, the legal heirs of the deceased victim should not be left in a state of uncertainty. A claimant for compensation ought not to be burdened with following a trail of successive transfers, which are not registered with the registering authority. To hold otherwise would be to defeat the salutary object and purpose of the Act. Hence, the interpretation to be placed must facilitate the fulfilment of the object of the law.”

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