2013(2) ALL MR (JOURNAL) 12
(ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT)

SATYA POOT MEHROTRA AND Y.C. GUPTA, JJ.

The New India Assurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Smt. Urmila Verma & Ors.

First Appeal from Order No. 2999 of 2011

29th February, 2012

Petitioner Counsel: Shri Saral Srivastava

Motor Vehicles Act (1988), Ss.147, 149 - Insurer's liability - Practice of pay and recovery in case of third party risk - Direction given by the Tribunal to the insurance company to firstly pay the compensation to claimants and then recover the same from insured - Is in accordance with Ss.147 and 149 - After making deposit of compensation amount, it will be open to insurance company to initiate appropriate proceedings for recovery and seek appropriate direction in such proceedings.

Provision of Sec. 147 provides that an insurer issuing a policy of insurance under Section 147 of the said Act, shall be liable to indemnify the person or classes of persons specified in the policy in respect of any liability which the policy purports to cover in the case of that person or those classes of persons. Provision of Sec.149 provides that in case any judgment or award is obtained against any person insured by the policy, then the insurer shall pay to the person entitled to the benefit of the decree any sum not exceeding the sum assured payable thereunder, as if he were the judgment debtor, in respect of the liability, together with any amount payable in respect of costs and interest. This will be so even though the insurer may be entitled to avoid or cancel or may have avoided or cancelled the policy.

In view of the above provisions, the directions given by the Tribunal requiring the Insurance Company to make the deposit of compensation awarded under the impugned award and thereafter recover the same from the owners of the vehicle in question, is in accordance with law, and the same does not suffer from any infirmity.

AIR 1998 SC 588, (2004) 3 SCC 297, (2007) 3 SCC 700, (2008) 1 T.A.C. 803 (SC) Rel.on. [Para 19,21,22,31,39,40]

Cases Cited:
Oriental Insurance Company Ltd. Vs. Sri Nanjappan & Others, 2004(5) ALL MR 393 (S.C.)=2004(2) TAC 12 (SC) [Para 15,33]
National Insurance Company Vs. Challa Bharathamma, 2004(5) ALL MR 1184 (S.C.)=2005(1) TAC 4 (SC) [Para 15,34]
Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Inderjit Kaur and others, AIR 1998 SC 588 [Para 23,24]
National Insurance Company Ltd. Vs. Swaran Singh, 2004(5) ALL MR 251 (S.C.)=2004 (3) SCC 297 : 2004 (1) TAC 321 : AIR 2004 SC 1531 [Para 23,26,28,29,30]
National Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Laxmi Narain Dhut, 2007(3) ALL MR 834 (S.C.)=(2007) 3 SCC 700 : 2007(2) TAC 398 (SC) [Para 23,28,30]
Prem Kumari & Others Vs. Prahlad Dev & Others, 2008 ALL SCR 289=2008(1) T.A.C.803 (SC) [Para 23,30]
Smt. Bhuri and others Vs. Smt. Shobha Rani and others, 2007 (1) TAC 20 (All.) [Para 37]
National Insurance Company Limited Vs. Smt. Khursheeda Bano and others, 2009 (1) A.W.C. 355 [Para 38]


JUDGMENT

-The present Appeal has been filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, against the Judgment and Order/Award dated 11.4.2011 passed by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Kanpur Nagar in Motor Accident Claim Case No.677 of 2007 filed by the claimant-respondent nos.1 to 4 on account of the death of Om Prakash Verma in an accident which took place on 5th September, 2006.

2. The case set-up in the Claim Petition was that on 5th September, 2006, the claimant-respondent no.1 with her husband, namely, the said Om Prakash Verma, were returning from Lucknow to Kanpur on Hero Honda Splender Motorcycle; and that a Tractor bearing Registration No.UP35 B6234 (hereinafter also referred to as "the vehicle in question"), coming from the opposite direction and being driven by its Driver rashly and negligently, dashed the said Motorcycle, as a result of which, the said Om Prakash Verma and the claimant-respondent no.1 sustained serious injuries and were hospitalized; and that during treatment, the said Om Prakash Verma died in the hospital.

3. The respondent nos.5, 6 and 7 were the owners of the vehicle in question while the Appellant-Insurance Company was the insurer of the vehicle in question.

4. After exchange of the pleadings between the parties, the Tribunal framed Issues in the said Claim Case.

5. Evidence was led in the said Claim Case.

6. Having considered the material on record, the Tribunal recorded its findings on various Issues.

7. The Tribunal, interalia, held that the accident in question took place on account of rash and negligent driving by the Driver of the vehicle in question resulting in injuries to the said Om Prakash Verma and his consequent death.

8. The Tribunal further held that the accident in question was not caused on account of negligence or contributory negligence on the part of the Driver of the aforesaid Motorcycle (i.e. the deceased Om Prakash Verma).

9. The Tribunal further held that the vehicle in question was insured with the Appellant-Insurance Company on the date of the accident.

10. The Tribunal further held that the Driving Licence of the Driver of the vehicle in question was not valid and effective on the date and at the time of the accident.

11. In view of the above findings, the Tribunal passed the impugned Judgment and Order/Award dated 11.4.2011, interalia, awarding to the claimant-respondent nos. 1 to 4, compensation amounting to Rs. 3,29,500/- with interest at the rate of 6% per annum with effect from the date of presentation of the Claim Petition till the date of final payment.

12. However, in view of the above finding recorded by the Tribunal that the Driving Licence of the Driver of the vehicle in question was not valid and effective on the date and at the time of the accident in question, the Tribunal directed that the amount of compensation would initially be paid by the Appellant-Insurance Company, and thereafter, the Appellant-Insurance Company would have right to recover the same from the owners of the vehicle in question (respondent nos.5,6 and 7 herein).

13. We have heard Sri Saral Srivastava, learned counsel for the Appellant-Insurance Company, and perused the record.

14. Sri Saral Srivastava, learned counsel for the Appellant-Insurance Company submits that having held that the aforesaid vehicle in question was being run against the terms and conditions of the Insurance Policy, the Tribunal erred in directing the Appellant-Insurance Company to pay the amount of compensation and thereafter recover the same from the owners of the vehicle in question, i.e., respondent nos. 5,6 and 7 herein.

15. Sri Saral Srivastava submits that in any case, the interest of the Appellant-Insurance Company as against the owners of the vehicle in question (respondent nos. 5,6 and 7 herein) should have been properly secured so that after making the payment of compensation under the impugned award, the Appellant-Insurance Company would be able to recover the same from the owners of the aforesaid vehicle in question. Sri Saral Srivastava has relied upon the following decisions in this regard:

1. Oriental Insurance Company Ltd. Vs. Sri Nanjappan & Others, 2004(2) TAC 12 (SC) : [2004(5) ALL MR 393 (S.C.)].

2. National Insurance Company Vs. Challa Bharathamma, 2005(1) TAC 4 (SC) : [2004(5) ALL MR 1184 (S.C.)].

16. We have considered the submissions made by Shri Saral Srivastava, learned counsel for the Appellant-Insurance Company.

17. As regards the submission made by Sri Saral Srivastava that the Tribunal erred in directing the Insurance company to make the payment of compensation and thereafter recover the same from the owners of the vehicle in question, it is pertinent to refer to the relevant provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

18. Sub-section (5) of Section 147 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 lays down as under:

"147. Requirements of policies and limits of liability-- (1) to (4).........

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, an insurer issuing a policy of insurance under this section shall be liable to indemnify the person or classes of persons specified in the policy in respect of any liability which the policy purports to cover in the case of that person or those classes of persons."

19. The abovequoted provision thus provides that an insurer issuing a policy of insurance under Section 147 of the said Act, shall be liable to indemnify the person or classes of persons specified in the policy in respect of any liability which the policy purports to cover in the case of that person or those classes of persons.

20. Sub-section (1) of Section 149 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 provides as follows:

"149. Duty of insurers to satisfy judgements and awards against persons insured in respect of third party risks --- (1) If, after a certificate of insurance has been issued under sub-section (3) of Section 147 in favour of the person by whom a policy has been effected, judgment or award in respect of any such liability as is required to be covered by a policy under clause (b) of sub-section (1) of Section 147 (being a liability covered by the terms of the policy) [ or under the provisions of Section 163-A] is obtained against any person insured by the policy, then, notwithstanding that the insurer may be entitled to avoid or cancel or may have avoided or cancelled the policy, the insurer shall, subject to the provisions of this section, pay to the person entitled to the benefit of the decree any sum not exceeding the sum assured payable thereunder, as if he were the judgmentdebtor, in respect of the liability, together with any amount payable in respect of costs and any sum payable in respect of interest on that sum by virtue of any enactment relating to interest on judgments. (2) to (7). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ."

21. The abovequoted provision thus provides that in case any judgment or award is obtained against any person insured by the policy, then the insurer shall pay to the person entitled to the benefit of the decree any sum not exceeding the sum assured payable thereunder, as if he were the judgment debtor, in respect of the liability, together with any amount payable in respect of costs and interest. This will be so even though the insurer may be entitled to avoid or cancel or may have avoided or cancelled the policy.

22. In view of the above provisions, we are of the opinion that the directions given by the Tribunal requiring the Appellant-Insurance Company to make the deposit of compensation awarded under the impugned award and thereafter recover the same from the owners of the aforesaid vehicle in question, is in accordance with law, and the same does not suffer from any infirmity.

23. The above conclusion is supported by various decisions of the Apex Court:

1. Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Inderjit Kaur and others, AIR 1998 SC 588.

2. National Insurance Company Ltd. Vs. Swaran Singh, 2004 (3) SCC 297 : 2004 (1) T.A.C.321 : AIR 2004 SC 1531 : [2004(5) ALL MR 251 (S.C.)].

3. National Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Laxmi Narain Dhut, (2007) 3 SCC 700 : 2007(2) TAC 398 (SC) : [2007(3) ALL MR 834 (S.C.)].

4. Prem Kumari & Others Vs. Prahlad Dev & Others, 2008(1) T.A.C. 803 (SC) : [2008 ALL SCR 289].

24. In Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Indrajit Kaur and others, AIR 1998 SC 588, their Lordships of the Supreme Court opined as under ( paragraph 7 of the said AIR):

"7. We have, therefore, this position. Despite the bar created by S.64VB of the Insurance Act, the appellant, an authorised insurer, issued a policy of insurance to cover the bus without receiving the premium therefor. By reason of the provisions of Ss.147(5) and 149(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, the appellant became liable to indemnify third parties in respect of the liability which that policy covered and to satisfy awards of compensation in respect thereof notwithstanding its entitlement ( upon which we do not express any opinion) to avoid or cancel the policy for the reason that the cheque issued in payment of the premium thereon had not been honoured." (Emphasis supplied)

25. This decision thus supports the conclusion mentioned above on the basis of Sections 147(5) and 149(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

26. In National Insurance Co.Ltd. v. Swaran Singh, 2004(3) SCC 297 : 2004 (1) T.A.C. 321 : AIR 2004 SC 1531 : [2004(5) ALL MR 251 (S.C.)], their Lordships of the Supreme Court held as follows( paragraph 105 of the said AIR):

"105. The summary of our findings to the various issues as raised in these petitions is as follows:

(i) Chapter XI of the Motor Vehicles Act, 198 8 providing compulsory insurance of vehicles against thirdparty risks is a social welfare legislation to extend relief by compensation to victims of accidents caused by use of motor vehicles. The provisions of compulsory insurance coverage of all vehicles are with this paramount object and the provisions of the Act have to be so interpreted as to effectuate the said object.

(ii) An insurer is entitled to raise a defence in a claim petition filed under Section 163A or Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, interalia, in terms of Section 149(2) (a) (ii) of the said Act.

(iii) The breach of policy condition e.g., disqualification of the driver or invalid driving licence of the driver, as contained in sub-section (2) (a) (ii) of Section 149, has to be proved to have been committed by the insured for avoiding liability by the insurer. Mere absence, fake or invalid driving licence or disqualification of the driver for driving at the relevant time, are not in themselves defences available to the insurer against either the insured or the third parties. To avoid its liability towards the insured, the insurer has to prove that the insured was guilty of negligence and failed to exercise reasonable care in the matter of fulfilling the condition of the policy regarding use of vehicles by a duly licensed driver or one who was not disqualified to drive at the relevant time.

(iv) Insurance Companies, however, with a view to avoid their liability must not only establish the available defence(s) raised in the said proceedings but must also establish 'breach' on the part of the owner of the vehicles;the burden of proof wherefor would be on them.

(v) The Court cannot lay down any criteria as to how the said burden would be discharged, inasmuch as the same would depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case.

(vi) Even where the insurer is able to prov e breach on the part of the insured concerning the policy condition regarding holding of a valid licence by the driver or his qualification to drive during the relevant period, the insurer would not be allowed to avoid its liability towards the insured unless the said breach or breaches on the condition of driving licence is/are so fundamental as are found to have contributed to the cause of the accident. The Tribunals in interpreting the policy conditions would apply " the rule of main purpose" and the concept of "fundamental breach" to allow defences available to the insurer under Section 149(2) of the Act.

(vii) The question, as to whether the owner has taken reasonable care to find out as to whether the driving licence produced by the driver,(a fake one or otherwise), does not fulfil the requirements of law or not will have to be determined in each case.

(viii) If a vehicle at the time of accident was driven by a person having a learner's licence, the insurance Companies would be liable to satisfy the decree.

(ix) The claims tribunal constituted under Section 165 read with Section 168 is empowered to adjudicate all claims in respect of the accidents involving death or of bodily injury or damage to property of third party arising in use of motor vehicle. The said power of the tribunal is not restricted to decide the claims inter se between claimant or claimants on one side and insured, insurer and driver on the other. In the course of adjudicating the claim for compensation and to decide the availability of defence or defences to the insurer, the Tribunal has necessarily the power and jurisdiction to decide disputes inter se between the insurer and the insured. The decision rendered on the claims and disputes inter se between the insurer and insured in the course of adjudication of claim for compensation by the claimants and the award made thereon is enforceable and executable in the same manner as provided in Section 174 of the Act for enforcement and execution of the award in favour of the claimants.

(x) Where on adjudication of the claim under th e Act the tribunal arrives at a conclusion that the insurer has satisfactorily proved its defence in accordance with the provisions of Sections 149 (2) read with sub-section (7), as interpreted by this Court above, the Tribunal can direct that the insurer is liable to be reimbursed by the insured for the compensation and other amounts which it has been compelled to pay to the third party under the award of the tribunal. Such determination of claim by the Tribunal will be enforceable and the money found due to the insurer from the insured will be recoverable on a certificate issued by the tribunal to the Collector in the same manner under Section 174 of the Act as arrears as land revenue. The certificate will be issued for the recovery as arrears of land revenue only if, as required by sub-section (3) of Section 168 of the Act the insured fails to deposit the amount awarded in favour of the insurer within thirty days from the date of announcement of the award by the tribunal.

(xi) The provisions contained in sub-section (4) with the proviso thereunder and sub-section (5) which are intended to cover specified contingencies mentioned therein to enable the insurer to recover amount paid under the contract of insurance on behalf of the insured can be taken recourse to by the Tribunal and be extended to claims and defences of the insurer against the insured by relegating them to the remedy before regular court in cases where on given facts and circumstances adjudication of their claims inter se might delay the adjudication of the claims of the victims." (Emphasis supplied)

27. Proposition nos.(vi) and (x), reproduced above, support the conclusion that the direction given by the Tribunal in the award impugned in the present case is in accordance with law.

28. In National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Laxmi Narain Dhut, 2007 (2) T.A.C. 398 (S.C.) : [2007(3) ALL MR 834 (S.C.)], their Lordships of the Supreme Court considered the decision in National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Swaran Singh [2004(5) ALL MR 251 (S.C.)] (supra) and held as under (paragraph 35 of the said TAC):

"35. As noted above, the conceptual difference between third party right and own damage cases has to be kept in view. Initially, the burden is on the insurer to prove that the license was a fake one. Once it is established the natural consequences have to flow. In view of the above analysis the following situations emerge:

(1) The decision in Swaran Singh's case ( supra) has no application to cases othe r than third party risks.

(2) Where originally the license was fake one, renewal cannot cure the inherent fatality.

(3) In case of third party risks the insurer has to indemnify the amount and if so advised to recover the same from the insured.

(4) The concept of purposive interpretation has no application to cases relatable to Section 149 of the Act. The High Courts/Commissions shall now consider the matter afresh in the light of the position in law as delineated above. The appeals are allowed as aforesaid with no order as to costs." (Emphasis supplied)

29. In view of the above decision, it is evident that in case of third party risks, the decision in National Insurance Co.Ltd. v. Swaran Singh and others [2004(5) ALL MR 251 (S.C.)] (supra) would apply, and the insurer has to indemnify the amount to the third party and thereafter may recover the same from the insured.

30. In Prem Kumari & others vs. Prahlad Dev and others, 2008(1) T.A.C. 803 (S.C.) : [2008 ALL SCR 289], their Lordships of the Supreme Court have reiterated the view expressed in National Insurance Company Limited. Vs. Laxmi Narain Dhut's [2007(3) ALL MR 834 (S.C.)] case (supra) explaining the decision in National Insurance Company Limited Vs. Swaran Singh and others [2004(5) ALL MR 251 (S.C.)] (supra), and held as under (paragraphs 8 and 9 of the said TAC):

"8. The effect and implication of the principles laid down in Swaran Singh's case ( supra) has been considered and explained by one of us ( Dr.Justice Arijit Pasayat) in National Insurance Co.Ltd. v. Laxmi Narain Dhut, (2007) 3 S.C.C. 700: 2007 (2) T.A.C. 398. The following conclusion in para 38 are relevant:

"38. In view of the above analysis the following situations emerge:

(1) The decision in Swaran Singh's case (supra) has no application to cases other than third party risks.

(2) Where originally the license was a fake one, renewal cannot cure the inherent fatality.

(3) In case of thirdparty risks the insurer has to indemnify the amount, and if so advised, to recover the same from the insured.

(4) The concept of purposive interpretation has no application to cases relatable to Section 149 of the Act.

9. In the subsequent decision Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd v. Meena Variyal & others, (2007) 5 S.C.C. 428: 2007 (2) T.A.C. 417, which is also a two Judge Bench while considering the ratio laid down in Swaran Singh's case ( supra) concluded that in a case where a person is not a third party within the meaning of the Act, the Insurance Company cannot be made automatically liable merely by resorting to Swaran Singh's case (supra). While arriving at such a conclusion the Court extracted the analysis as mentioned in para 38 of Laxmi Narain Dhut ( supra) and agreed with the same. In view of consistency, we reiterate the very same principle enunciated in Laxmi Narai n Dhu t (supra) with regard to interpretation and applicability of Swaran Singh's case (supra)." (Emphasis supplied)

31. In view of the above decisions, it is evident that the directions given by the Tribunal requiring the Appellant-Insurance Company to deposit the amount awarded under the impugned award in the first instance, and thereafter, recover the same from the owners of the vehicle in question, are valid and legal.

32. As regards the submission made by Sri Saral Srivastava that the interest of the Appellant-Insurance Company should be protected as against the owners of the vehicle in question (respondent nos. 5,6 and 7 herein) so that in case the Appellant-Insurance Company deposits the amount of compensation, it may be able to recover the same from the owners of the aforesaid vehicle in question, it is pertinent to refer to the decisions relied upon by Sri Saral Srivastava.

33. In Oriental Insurance Company Ltd. Vs. Sri Nanjappan and others, 2004(2) T.A.C.12 (SC) : [2004(5) ALL MR 393 (S.C.)] (supra), their Lordships of the Supreme Court opined as under (Paragraph 7 of the said T.A.C.):

"7. Therefore, while setting aside the judgment of the High Court we direct in terms of what has been stated in Baljit Kaur's case 2004(1) T.A.C. 366 (SC) (supra) that the insurer shall pay the quantum of compensation fixed by Tribunal, about which there was no dispute raised to the respondents-claimants within three months from today. For the purpose of recovering the same from the insured, the insurer shall not be required to file a suit. It may initiate a proceeding before the concerned Executing Court as if the dispute between the insurer and the owner was the subjectmatter of determination before the Tribunal and the issue is decided against the owner and in favour of the insurer. Before release of the amount to the insured, owner of the vehicle shall be issued a notice and he shall be required to furnish security for the entire amount which the insurer will pay to the claimants. The offending vehicle shall be attached, as a part of the security. If necessity arises the Executing Court shall take assistance of the concerned Regional Transport Authority. The Executing Court shall pass appropriate orders in accordance with law as to the manner in which the insured, owner of the vehicle shall make payment to the insurer. In case there is any default it shall be open to the Executing Court to direct realisation by disposal of the securities to be furnished or from any other property or properties of the owner of the vehicle, the insured. The appeal is disposed of in the aforesaid terms, with no order as to costs." (Emphasis supplied)

34. In National Insurance Company v. Challa Bharathamma, 2005 (1) T.A.C. 4 (SC) : [2004(5) ALL MR 1184 (S.C.)] it was laid down as follows (Paragraph 13 of the said T.A.C):

" The residual question is what would be the appropriate direction. Considering the beneficial object of the Act, it would be proper for the insurer to satisfy the award, though in law it has no liability. In some cases the insurer has been given the option and liberty to recover the amount from the insured. For the purpose of recovering the amount paid from the owner, the insurer shall not be required to file a suit. It may initiate a proceeding before the concerned Executing Court as if the dispute between the insurer and the owner was the subjectmatter of determination before the Tribunal and the issue is decided against the owner and in favour of the insurer. Before release of the amount to the claimants, owner of the offending vehicle shall furnish security for the entire amount which the insurer will pay to the claimants. The offending vehicle shall be attached, as a part of the security. If necessity arises the Executing Court shall take assistance of the concerned Regional Transport Authority. The Executing Court shall pass appropriate orders in accordance with law as to the manner in which the owner of the vehicle shall make payment to the insurer. In case there is any default it shall be open to the Executing Court to direct realisation by disposal of the securities to be furnished or from any other property or properties of the owner of the vehicle i.e. the insured. In the instant case considering the Quantum involved we leave it to the discretion of the insurer to decide whether it would take steps for recovery of the amount from the insured." (Emphasis supplied)

35. In our opinion, the directions contemplated in the above decisions may be sought by the Appellant-Insurance Company before the Executing Court when the Appellant-Insurance Company, after depositing the amount awarded under the impugned award, moves appropriate application before the Executing Court to recover the said amount from the insured person, i.e. the owners of the vehicle in question (respondent nos. 5,6 and 7 herein), while the claimant files an application for the execution of the award or for the release of the amount deposited by the Appellant-Insurance Company. We are refraining from expressing any opinion in this regard.

36. We may, however, refer to two decisions of this Court wherein the above decisions of the Supreme Court have been considered.

37. In Smt. Bhuri and others Vs. Smt. Shobha Rani and others, 2007 (1) T.A.C. 20 (All.), a learned Single Judge of this Court held as under (paragraph 5 of the said T.A.C.):

"5. From the aforesaid case law, as referred to by the learned Counsel for the parties, it would be evident that in spite of the fact that the insurer is not made liable to compensate the claimants under the policy under Section 149 of the Motor Vehicles Act, still the liability of payment, under the law as developed by the Apex Court in this context, has been assigned to the Insurance Company. At the same time, the Insurance Company has also been given liberty to recover the said amount from the insured within the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act itself and without taking the burden of filing a suit for that purpose. This principle of law was initially propounded in Baljit Kaur's case (supra) and it has been followed in the aforesaid cases referred to by the parties concerned. But in the subsequent cases more especially in Nanjappan's case (supra) it has also been observed that before releasing the amount under deposit before the Court the insured/owner of the vehicle shall be issued a notice and he shall be required to furnish security for the entire amount which the Insurance Company will pay to the claimants. After that notice the Court may direct the attachment of the offending vehicle as part of the security and could also pass appropriate orders in accordance with law. In case of default it shall be open to the Court to direct realisation of the amount from the insured/owner by disposal of security or from any other property or properties of the owner of the vehicle. Therefore, all these modes have been provided by the Apex Court for the insurer to make recovery from the insured. But from all these directions as given by the Apex Court, the purport is that the Court shall not undermine the interest of the claimants for whose welfare the Supreme Court has been developing this law through all these cases even by interpreting otherwise the liability of the insurer with Section 149 of the Motor Vehicles Act. Thus, what is the crux of the matter in the present case is that the revisionists claimants cannot be made to suffer even if the insured/owner of the vehicle does not furnish security or does not appear before the Court in pursuance to the notice issued to him. The burden of recovering the amount within the provisions of the Act itself has been placed upon the insurer in the aforesaid judgments of the Apex Court. The claimants who have obtained the award in their favour have not been made to suffer through any observation made by the Supreme Court in these cases. Thus, in the aforesaid view of the matter, what I feel is that it would be just and proper if the Court below is directed to first take resort to the issuance of notice to the insured/owner of the vehicle and thereafter only the money under deposit before the Court should be released in favour of the claimants." (Emphasis supplied)

38. In National Insurance Company Limited Vs. Smt. Khursheeda Bano and others, 2009 (1) A.W.C. 355, a Division Bench of this Court laid down as follows (paragraph 4 of the said A.W.C.):

"4. Learned counsel has cited the judgment of the Supreme Court in National Insurance Company Ltd. v. Challa Bharathamma and others, (2004) 8 SCC 517, to establish that the claim of the insurance company should be secured by the owner. We have no quarrel with such proposition. What we want to say is that unless and until an appropriate application in the selfsame proceeding is made by the insurance company for the purpose of recovery, the question of furnishing security by the owner cannot arise. Such situation is yet to ripe. At this stage, we are only concerned with the payment of compensation to the claimants which cannot be stalled and has got nothing to do with the dispute regarding liability between the owner and the insurance company. The sufferer is a third party. Moreover, in such judgment, the Division Bench of the Supreme Court has categorically held "considering the beneficial object of the Act, it would be proper for the insurer to satisfy the award, though in law it has no liability." In effect it is a stopgap arrangement to satisfy the award as soon as it is passed. The judgment of 3 Judges' Bench of the Supreme Court in National Insurance Co. Ltd v. Swaran Singh and others, (2004) 3 SCC 297, also speaks in para 110 that the Tribunal can direct that the insurer is liable to be reimbursement by the insured for the compensation and other amounts which it has been compelled to pay to the third party under the award of the Tribunal. Therefore, the intention of the Legislature as well as the interpretation by the Supreme Court and different High Courts is well settled to the extent that under no circumstances payment of compensation to the claimants will be stalled. Even at the cost of the repetition we say, it has nothing to do with the dispute with regard to liability of owner or insurer, which can be considered in the separate application in the selfsame cause or in an execution application in connection thereto to be initiated by the insurance company." (Emphasis supplied)

39. In view of the above discussion, we are of the opinion that the Tribunal did not commit any illegality in directing the Appellant-Insurance Company to make deposit of the amount of compensation, and recover the same from the insured person i.e. the owners of the vehicle in questionrespondent nos.5, 6 and 7 herein.

40. After making deposit of the amount awarded under the impugned award, it will be open to the Appellant-Insurance Company to initiate appropriate proceedings for recovery of the amount from the owners of the aforesaid vehicle in question (respondent nos. 5, 6 and 7 herein), and seek appropriate directions in such proceedings.

41. It is made clear that in case any appeal is filed by the claimant-respondent nos. 1 to 4 or by the owners of the aforesaid vehicle in question (respondent nos. 5, 6 and 7 herein), it will be open to the Appellant-Insurance Company to contest the same on the grounds legally open to the Appellant-Insurance Company.

42. The amount of Rs.25,000/- deposited by the Appellant-Insurance Company while filing the present appeal, will be remitted to the Tribunal for being adjusted towards the amount to be deposited by the Appellant-Insurance Company, as per the directions given in the impugned award.

43. Subject to the above observations, the Appeal filed by the Appellant-Insurance Company is dismissed.

44. However, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, there will be no order as to costs.

Appeal dismissed.