Sunday 31 March 2024

Supreme Court: Motor Accidents | 'No Negligence' Finding In Final Report Has No Bearing On Claim Petition As Standard Of Proof Is Different

In this context, we could refer to judgments of this Court in the case of N.K.V. Bros. (P) Ltd. v. M. Karumai Ammal reported in MANU/SC/0321/1980 : AIR 1980 SC 1354, wherein the plea that the criminal case had ended in acquittal and that, therefore, the civil suit must follow suit, was rejected. It was observed that culpable rashness Under Section 304-A of Indian Penal Code is more drastic than negligence under the law of torts to create liability. Similarly, in MANU/SC/0577/2009 : (2009) 13 SCC 530, in the case of Bimla Devi v. Himachal Road Transport Corporation ("Bimla Devi"), it was observed that in a claim petition filed Under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the Tribunal has to determine the amount of fair compensation to be granted in the event an accident has taken place by reason of negligence of a driver of a motor vehicle. A holistic view of the evidence has to be taken into consideration by the Tribunal and strict proof of an accident caused by a particular vehicle in a particular manner need not be established by the claimants. The claimants have to establish their case on the touchstone of preponderance of probabilities. The standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt cannot be applied while considering the petition seeking compensation on account of death or injury in a road traffic accident. 

10. In that view of the matter, it is for the Appellant herein to establish negligence on the part of the driver of the tanker lorry in the petition filed by him seeking compensation on account of death of his son in the said accident. Thus, the opinion in the final report would not have a bearing on the claim petition for the aforesaid reasons. This is because the Appellant herein is seeking compensation for the death of his son in the accident which occurred on account of the negligence on the part of the driver of the tanker lorry, causing the accident on the said date. It is further observed that in the claim petitions filed by the dependents, in respect of the other passengers in the car who died in the accident, they have to similarly establish the negligence in accordance with law.


Criminal Appeal No. 1931 of 2023.

Decided On: 13.07.2023

Mathew Alexander  Vs. Mohammed Shafi and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:

B.V. Nagarathna and Prashant Kumar Mishra, JJ.

Citation: MANU/SC/0759/2023.

Author: B.V. Nagarathna, J.

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Supreme Court guidelines for conduct of motor accident claim proceeding

 It is now agreed as per table I of the note submitted by learned ASG that the following agreed directions can be issued:

A. Accident Information Report--The jurisdictional police station shall report the accident Under Section 158(6) of the Act (Section 159 post 2019 amendment) (hereinafter "the report") to the Tribunal and insurer within first 48 hours either over email or a dedicated website.

B. Detailed Accident Report--Police shall collect the documents relevant to the accident and for computation of compensation and shall verify the information and documents. These documents shall form part of the Report. It shall e-mail the Report to the Tribunal and the insurer within three months. Similarly the claimants may also be permitted to email the application for compensation with supporting documents, Under Section 166 to the Tribunal and the insurer within the same time.

C. The Tribunal shall issue summons alongwith the Report or the application for compensation, as the case may be, to the insurer by e-mail.

D. The insurer shall e-mail their offer for settlement/response to the Report or the application for claim to the Tribunal alongwith proof of service on the claimants.

E. After passing the award, the Tribunal shall email an authenticated copy of the award to the insurer.

F. The insurer shall satisfy the award by depositing the awarded amount into a bank account maintained by the Tribunal by RTGS or NEFT. For this purpose the Tribunal shall maintain a bank account and record the relevant account details along with the directions for payment to the insurer in the award itself.

G. Each Tribunal shall create an email ID peculiar to its jurisdiction for receiving the emails from the police and the insurer as mentioned above. Similarly, all insurer throughout India shall also create an e-mail ID peculiar to the jurisdiction of each claim Tribunal. These email IDs would be prominently displayed at Tribunal, the police stations and the office of the insurers for the benefit of the claimants. Similarly, these e-mail IDS shall also be prominently displayed on the website maintained by the Tribunal and the insurer.

H. Insurers shall appoint nodal officers for each Tribunal and provide their contact details, phone and mobile phone numbers, and email address to Director Generals of State Police and the Tribunals.

3. We direct that the aforesaid directions will apply across the country so that a uniform practice is followed.


Writ Petition (Civil) No. 534 of 2020 and IA No. 132263 of 2020

Decided On: 16.03.2021

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:

Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R. Subhash Reddy, JJ.

Authored By : Sanjay Kishan Kaul, R. Subhash Reddy

Citation:  MANU/SC/0418/2021.

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Tuesday 26 March 2024

Prioritise Cases Of HIV Positive Persons : Supreme Court Directs All Courts; Issues Directions To Centre & States To Enforce HIV Act

93. In keeping with the mandate of the HIV Act, the following directions are issued to the Central and State Governments:

1) Under Section 14(1) of the HIV Act, the measures to be taken by the Central Government and all the State Government are, to provide, (as far as possible), diagnostic facilities relating to HIV or AIDS, Anti-retroviral therapy and Opportunistic Infection Management to people living with HIV or AIDS.

2) The Central Government shall issue necessary guidelines in respect of protocols for HIV and AIDS relating to diagnostic facilities, Anti-retroviral therapy and opportunistic Infection Management applicable to all persons and shall ensure their wide dissemination at the earliest, after consultation with all the concerned experts, particularly immunologists and those involved in community medicine, as well as experts dealing with HIV and AIDS prevention and cure. These measures and guidelines shall be issued within three months, and widely disseminated, in the electronic media, print media and all popularly accessed public websites.

3) Under Section 15(1) & (2) of the HIV Act, the Central government and every State Government shall take measures to facilitate better access to welfare schemes to persons infected or affected by HIV or AIDS. Both the Central and State Governments shall frame schemes to address the needs of all protected persons.

4) Under Section 16(1) of the HIV Act, the Central and all the State Governments, shall take appropriate steps to protect the property of children affected by HIV or AIDS. By reason of Section 16(2) of the HIV Act, the parents or guardians of children affected by HIV and AIDS, or any person acting for protecting their interest, or a child affected by HIV and AIDS may approach the Child Welfare Committee [within the meaning of that expression Under Section 29 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000] for the safe keeping and deposit of documents related to the property rights of such child or to make complaints relating to such child being dispossessed or actual dispossession or trespass into such child's house.

5) The Central and every State Government shall formulate HIV and AIDS related information, education and communication programmes which are age-appropriate, gender-sensitive, non-stigmatising and non-discriminatory.

6) The Central Government shall formulate guidelines [Under Section 18(1) of the HIV Act] for care, support and treatment of children infected with HIV or AIDS; in particular, having regard to Section 18(2) "notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force", the Central Government, or the State governments shall take active measures to counsel and provide information regarding the outcome of pregnancy and HIV-related treatment to the HIV infected women. The Central Government shall also notify HIV and AIDS policy for establishments in terms of Section 12 of the HIV Act.

7) It is further directed that Under Section 19 of the HIV Act, every establishment, engaged in the healthcare services and every such other establishment where there is a significant risk of occupational exposure to HIV, for the purpose of ensuring safe working environment, shall (i) provide, in accordance with the guidelines, firstly, universal precautions to all persons working in such establishment who may be occupationally exposed to HIV; and secondly training for the use of such universal precautions; thirdly post exposure prophylaxis to all persons working in such establishment who may be occupationally exposed to HIV or AIDS; and (ii) inform and educate all persons working in the establishment of the availability of universal precautions and post exposure prophylaxis.

8) By reason of Section 20(1) of the HIV Act, the provisions of Chapter VIII33 of the HIV Act apply to all establishments consisting of one hundred or more persons, whether as an employee or officer or member or director or trustee or manager, as the case may be. In keeping with proviso to Section 20(1) of the HIV Act, in the case of healthcare establishments, the said provision shall have the effect as if for the words "one hundred or more", the words "twenty or more" were substituted.

9) Every person who is in charge of an establishment, mentioned in Section 20(1) of the HIV Act, for the conduct of the activities of such establishment, shall ensure compliance of the provisions of the HIV Act.

10) Every establishment referred to in Section 20(1) of the HIV Act has to designate someone, as the Complaints Officer who shall dispose of complaints of violations of the provisions of the HIV Act in the establishment, in such manner and within such time as may be prescribed. The Rules in this regard may be formulated by the Central Government at the earliest, preferably within 8 weeks from today.

11)The Secretary, Department of Labour of every state shall ensure the collection of information and data relating to compliance with Sections 19 and 20 of the HIV Act, in regard to designation of a complaint officer, in all the factories, industrial establishments, commercial establishments, shops, plantations, commercial offices, professional organizations, and all other bodies falling within the definition of "establishments" [Under Section 2(f) of the HIV Act] which reads as follows:

"establishment" means a body corporate or co-operative society or any organisation or institution or two or more persons jointly carrying out a systematic activity for a period of twelve months or more at one or more places for consideration or otherwise, for the production, supply or distribution of goods or services.

Such information shall be forwarded to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Labour and Employment, within 10 weeks. The Union Labour and Employment Secretary shall file an affidavit of compliance containing a tabular statement, with respect to implementation of provisions of the Act, within 16 weeks from today.

12) Every court, quasi-judicial body, including all tribunals, commissions, forums, etc., discharging judicial functions set up under central and state enactments and those set up under various central and state laws to resolve disputes shall take active measures, to comply with provisions of Section 3434 of the HIV Act. Chief Justices of all High Courts, shall compile information, and device methods of collecting information in that regard, anonymizing identity of persons affected, appropriately and also complying with provisions of Section 34(2) of the HIV Act. The Registrar General of the Supreme Court shall also look into the matter, and frame relevant guidelines which, after approval be issued and implemented.


Civil Appeal No. 7175 of 2021

Decided On: 26.09.2023

Ashish Kumar Vs. Commanding Officer and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:

S. Ravindra Bhat and Dipankar Datta, JJ.

Author: S. Ravindra Bhat, J.

Citation:  MANU/SC/1057/2023.

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Short notes on Latest Supreme Court judgments (Part 4)


1) Consumer Protection Act | If Commercial Use Is By Purchasers Themselves For Earning Livelihood By Self-Employment, They'll Be 'Consumers

The Supreme Court has ruled that a person buying goods either for resale or for use in large-scale profit-making activity, will not be a ‘consumer’ entitled to protection of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. However, if the commercial use is by the purchasers themselves for the purpose of earning their livelihood by means of self-employment, such purchasers of goods would continue to be ‘consumers’.

Rohit Chaudhary & Anr. vs M/s Vipul Ltd.
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