The Jammu and Kashmir High Court stated in an appeal filed by National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) that mere absence, fake or invalid driving license or disqualification of the driver to drive at the relevant time are no defenses available to the insurer either against the insured or third parties. This was mentioned when National Insurance Company Limited had challenged the order of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Jammu which had directed to pay appellant/insurer (NICL) a sum Rs. 88,045/- with pendent lite and future interest at a 7.5% rate per annum to the claimant. This is because of injuries suffered by him in a motor vehicle accident which was caused due to rash and negligent driving of the driver of the offending vehicle.
National Insurance Company Limited challenged the award of the Tribunal by stating that a valid driving license was not held by the driver of the offending vehicle at the time of the accident, so it was absolved of its liability to indemnify the insured. They said to Tribunal that the driver of the offending vehicle was fake and for this reason, it was not right to pay compensation to the claimant in indemnification of the insured.
Justice Sanjeev Kumar said that even though NICL proved the license of the driver of the offending vehicle to be fake, no evidence was presented that the owner of the vehicle was aware of the same. It was also not that the breach of the condition of license was so fundamental as is found to have contributed to the cause of the accident. The Court gave reference to National Insurance Company Ltd. Vs Swaran Singh & others (2004).
The appeal was thus dismissed by the Court and they were directed to release the amount to the claimant under Motor Accident Tribunal after proper identification and verification.
The name of the case is National Insurance Company Limited vs Ashwani Kumari & others. The order was passed on 1st September 2020.