United India Insurance Co. Ltd. vs Sunil Kumar - Supreme Court
United India Insurance Co. Ltd. vs Sunil Kumar - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2017 -
On 24th November, 2017, in the case of United India Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Sunil Kumar & Anr. [Civil Appeal No. 9694 of 2013], a three-Judge Bench held that in a proceeding under Section 163A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, it is not open for the Insurer to raise any defence of negligence on the part of the victim.
It was held that “ grant of compensation under Section 163-A of the Act on the basis of the structured formula is in the nature of a final award and the adjudication thereunder is required to be made without any requirement of any proof of negligence of the driver/owner of the vehicle(s) involved in the accident. This is made explicit by Section 163A(2). Though the aforesaid section of the Act does not specifically exclude a possible defence of the Insurer based on the negligence of the claimant as contemplated by Section 140(4), to permit such defence to be introduced by the Insurer and/or to understand the provisions of Section 163A of the Act to be contemplating any such situation would go contrary to the very legislative object behind introduction of Section 163A of the Act, namely, final compensation within a limited time frame on the basis of the structured formula to overcome situations where the claims of compensation on the basis of fault liability was taking an unduly long time. In fact, to understand Section163A of the Act to permit the Insurer to raise the defence of negligence would be to bring a proceeding under Section 163A of the Act at par with the proceeding under Section 166 of the Act which would not only be self-contradictory but also defeat the very legislative intention.”