Honourable Supreme Court of India
Oriental Insurance v/s Jasmail Singh Kahlon 2021 SC 691
Honourable Supreme Court of India has held that the claim obligation on an insurance company can’t be evaded behind the defence that it was available only for personal injuries and abates on his death irrespective of the loss caused to the estate of the deceased because of the injuries.
Para 9. The Act is a beneficial and welfare legislation. Section 166(1)(a) of the Act provides for a statutory claim for compensation arising out of an accident by the person who has sustained the injury. Under Clause (b), compensation is payable to the owner of the property. In case of death, the legal representatives of the deceased can pursue the claim. Property, under the Act, will have a much wider connotation than the conventional definition.
If the legal heirs can pursue claims in case of death, we see no reason why the legal representatives cannot pursue claims for loss of property akin to estate of the injured if he is deceased subsequently for reasons other than attributable to the accident or injuries under Clause 1(c) of Section 166. Such a claim would be completely distinct from personal injuries to the claimant and which may not be the cause of death.
Such claims of personal injuries would undoubtedly abate with the death of the injured. What would the loss of estate mean and what items would be covered by it are issues which has to engage our attention. The appellant has a statutory obligation to pay compensation in motor accident claim cases. This obligation cannot be evaded behind the defence that it was available only for personal injuries and abates on his death irrespective of the loss caused to the estate of the deceased because of the injuries.
Drafted By Abhijit Mishra