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Insurance Companies Not Liable for Accidents Caused by Minor Riders: Karnataka High Court

Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by News Desk

The Karnataka High Court has ruled that the principle of pay and recover is not applicable in cases where a minor boy causes an accident. In such cases, the owner of the vehicle alone must pay the compensation to the claimants, not the Insurance Company.

The court ruled that a minor boy under 16 cannot be considered a qualified person to apply for a driving license, and therefore, the principle of pay and recovery is not applicable.

The Insurance Company argued that the accident was caused by a minor boy, who did not have a valid driving license to ride the motorcycle at the time of the accident.

The claimants argued that the owner of the motorcycle, Mohammed Mustapa, was riding the motorcycle but not the minor.

The court noted that the oral evidence of the owner of the vehicle does not have any corroboration, and the FIR and complaint both prove that one Mushraff, s/o Hakeem Mothisham was riding the motorcycle as on the date and time of the accident.

The court rejected the claimant’s contention that an order of pay and recovery can be made against the insurance company. It stated that the proviso is not applicable when considering Sub-Clause (ii) of Sub-Section (2) of Section 149 of the Motor Vehicles Act, in the case of a minor boy of 16 years old who was riding the vehicle and caused the accident.

The court allowed the appeal filed by the Insurance Company and partially allowed the appeal filed by the claimants, modifying the compensation to be paid by the owner to Rs. 4,44,972 instead of Rs. 2,56,000 awarded by the Tribunal.

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