Supreme Court, Auto News, ET Auto


An insurance claim can be denied if a vehicle does not have a valid registration, the Supreme Court said Thursday while dismissing a claim for theft of a car that had a temporary registration.

A bench led by Judge UU Lalit said the insurance amount claim would be dismissed if there was a fundamental breach of the terms and conditions of the policy.

“What is important is the opinion of this Court on the law, that when an insurable incident which potentially results in liability occurs, there should be no fundamental breach of the conditions contained in the insurance contract. “said the judiciary also including judges S Ravindra Bhat. and Bela M Trivedi.

The submissions were made during the hearing of an appeal filed by United India Insurance Co Ltd challenging an order of the National Consumer Disputes Recovery Commission which dismissed the company’s review petition challenging the order. of the Rajasthan State Consumer Dispute Resolution Commission, Circuit Bench in Bikaner.

As the case may be, Sushil Kumar Godara, a resident of Rajasthan, obtained an insurance policy from the insurer for his Bolero car, somewhere in Punjab, despite residing in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan.

The vehicle, whose sum insured was 6.17 lakh, had a temporary registration which expired on July 19, 2011.

As the complainant was a private entrepreneur, he had to be out of town for business purposes.

On July 28, 2011, the Complainant traveled to Jodhpur on business and spent the night in a guesthouse where his vehicle was parked outside the premises. He discovered in the morning that the car had been stolen.

He filed an FIR in Jodhpur alleging the commission of offenses under section 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code.

However, on November 30, 2011, police filed a final report stating that the vehicle was not found.

The trial court noted that on the date of the theft, the vehicle had been driven / used without a valid registration, which is a flagrant violation of Articles 39 and 192 of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988.

“This results in a fundamental violation of the terms and conditions of the policy, as held by this Court in Narinder Singh (supra), allowing the insurer to repudiate the policy.

“This court is of the opinion that the order of the NCDRC cannot be upheld,” the magistrate said.

While ordering is most favorable for general insurers as they receive a lump sum up front, there are different voices within the industry as ordering makes the playing field uneven.


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