MOTOR ACCIDENT CLAIMS
In cases involving total or partial disablement, the term 'compensation' used in section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, would include not only the expenses incurred for immediate treatment, but also the amount likely to be incurred for future medical treatment/care necessary for a particular injury or disability caused by an accident.
In accident claim cases, it is imperative that the officers, who preside over the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal adopt a pro-active approach and ensure that the claims filed under section 166 of the Act are disposed of with required agency and compensation is awarded to the victims of the accident and/or their legal representatives in adequate measure. If the victim of the accident suffers permanent disability, then efforts should always be made to award adequate compensation not only for the physical injury and treatment, but also for the loss of earning and his inability to lead a normal life and enjoy amenities, which he would have enjoyed but for the disability caused due to the accident.
Govind Yadav v. New India Insurance Co. Ltd ., C.A. No. 9014 of 2011; Decided on 1-11-2011 (SC) [G.S. Singhvi and Surinder Singh Nijjar, JJ.]
ADVOCATE-ON-RECORD: Role of
As observed, many special leave petitions are being filed with Advocate-on-Record being name-lenders, without having, or taking, any responsibility for the same suggestions received from the Advocate-on-Record Association, the Supreme Court Bar Association and from several counsels have been placed before the Rule Committee of the Supreme Court of India. Appropriate amendment to the Advocate-on-Record Examination Regulation, regarding the third paper relating to Elementary Knowledge of Book Keeping and Accounts recommended while holding that if the same is deleted, there would be better participation of the members of the Bar in the examination. It is observed that the interests of the institution would be better served if the third paper is made purely one relating to Advocacy and Professional Ethics, by deleting the part relating to Book Keeping and Accounts. Many candidates fail in the Book Keeping and Accounts paper being a part of the AOR examination.
Vijay Dhanji Chaudhary v. Suhas Jayant Natwadkar , IA No. 2 of 2009 in SLP No. 18481/2009; Decided on 12-10-2011 (SC) [R.V. Raveendran and A.K. Patnaik, JJ.]
TRANSFER OF PROPERTY: Power of Attorney Sales
Immovable property can be legally and lawfully transferred/conveyed only by a registered deed of conveyance. Transactions of the nature of 'General Power of Attorney Sales' or Sale Agreement/General Power of Attorney / Will Transfers, do not convey title and do not amount to transfer nor can they be recognized as valid mode of transfer of immovable property. The courts will not treat such transactions as completed on concluded transfers or as conveyance as they neither convey title nor create any interest in an immovable property. As observed, it is time that an end is put to the pernicious practice of SA/GPA/Will transactions known as GPA sales. However they can continue to be treated as existing agreement of sale. Nothing prevents affected parties from getting registered Deeds of Conveyance to complete their title. If SA/GPA/Will transactions are entered before this day, they may be relied upon to apply for regularization of allotments/leases by Development Authorities.
Suraj Lamp & Industries Pvt. Ltd. v. State of Haryana , SLP (C) No. 13917 of 2009; Decided on 11-10-2011 (SC) [R.V. Raveendran, A.K. Patnaik and H.L. Gokhale, JJ.]
JUDICIAL SERVICE: Retirement of Age
The primary consideration for the High Court in extending benefit of increase in the retirement age of the Judicial Officer is his continued usefulness in the service based on entire service record, quality of judgments, his conduct, integrity and all other relevant factors. A judicial officer may have a service record not tainted by many adverse remarks; he may have got promotion from time to time but still he may be found to be lacking in potential for continued useful service. In assessing potential for continued judicial service, obviously entire record of service, character rolls, quality of judgments are of considerable importance. A judicial officer is not an ordinary government servant; he exercises sovereign judicial power.
High Court of Judicature, Patna v. Shiveshwar Narayan , C.A. No. 6103 of 2005 with C.A. No. 7372 of 2005; Decided on 22-9-2011 (SC)
UPHAAR CINEMA TRAGEDY: Liability of Public Authorities
It is not proper to award damages against public authorities merely because there has been some inaction in the performance of their statutory duties or because the action taken by them is ultimately found to be without authority of law. In this case, the cause of the fire was not attributable to the Licensing Authority and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. But there was close and direct proximity between the acts of the Licensee and Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) on the one hand and the fire accident resultant deaths/injuries of victims on the other hand. In such circumstances, merely on the ground that the Licensing Authority and MCD could have performed their duties better or more efficiently, they could not be made liable to pay compensation to the victims of the tragedy.
The calamity resulted in the death of 59 persons and injuries to 103 persons. The compensation awarded by the High Court in the case of death has been reduced from ` 18 lakhs to ` 10 lakhs (in the case of those aged more than 20 years) and ` 15 lakhs to ` 7.5 lakhs (in the case of those aged 20 years and less). The compensation of ` One lakh awarded in the case of each of the 103 injured persons is affirmed.
MCD v. Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy , CA Nos 7114-15 of 2003; Decided on 13-10-2011 (SC) [R.V. Raveendran and K.S. Radhakrishnan, JJ.]
The Land Acquisition Act was enacted in year 1894 and has undergone some amendments. The provisions contained in the Act, of late, have been felt by all concerned, do not adequately protect the interest of the land owners/persons interested in the land. As observed, the Act does not provide for rehabilitation of persons displaced from their land although by such compulsory acquisition their livelihood gets affected. For years, the acquired land remains unused and unutilized. According to the Supreme Court, the Act has become outdated and needs to be replaced at the earliest by fair, reasonable and rational enactment in tune with the constitutional provisions, particularly, Article 300A of the Constitution.
Ramji Veerji Patel v. Revenue Divisional Officer , C.A. No. 137 of 2003; Decided on 2-11-2011 (SC) [R.M. Lodha and Jagdish Singh Khehar, JJ.]
CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA: Mate's Receipts
The well recognized practice relating to carriage of goods by sea is that where a consignment is loaded/received on board on different dates, the person in charge of the vessel issues mate's receipts acknowledging the quantity received, as and when the goods are received. On completion of delivery of goods by the shipper, on production of the mate's receipts, the bills of loading would be issued to the shipper either by the master of the vessel or by the agent of the ship owner.
Once a mate's receipt is issued to the shipper on delivery of the goods to the ship, issue of bill of lading in respect of such goods cannot be postponed on any ground except where the person claiming the bill of lading is not the shipper. Once the mate's receipt is issued to the shipper or its agent and the demand for issue of a bill of lading in terms of the mate's receipts is made by the shipper or its agent, the owner of the vessel is bound to issue the bill of lading and cannot deny or delay the issue of the bill of lading.
Shaw Wallace & Co. v. Nepal Food Corpn , C.A. No. 7100 of 2001; Decided on 13-10-2011 (SC) [R.V. Raveendran and H.L. Gokhale, JJ.]