Delhi Supreme Court
The Delhi High Court noted that parents who allow minor children to drive motor vehicles endanger not only their children’s lives but also ordinary citizens. The court made the comment as it rejected an appeal against the car’s registered owner challenging the grant of recourse rights to an insurance company. In 2013, a 42-year-old man was killed in a car accident involving the car owner’s underage son.
Justice Rekha Palli said the 42-year-old man only lost his life because the minor’s father failed to take proper steps to ensure his vehicle was only driven by a person with a valid driver’s license. The court said it cannot condone such act by the applicant and place the liability on the insurance company, when it is clear that the terms of the insurance policy have been breached by the applicant himself.
In November 2021, a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal in Rohini awarded compensation of Rs 16,32,700 in favor of Kumar’s wife and daughter. The tribunal also said in the order that the insurance company would be entitled to recover the amount from the registered owner in appropriate action under the law. It was ruled that the car owner had breached the terms of the insurance policy by allowing his underage son to drive the vehicle.
The appellant argued that since the vehicle was being driven by his underage son without his knowledge and consent, it could not be said that he had knowingly violated the terms of the insurance policy. He stated that he was in his office at the time of the accident and that his underage son took the car keys from his drawer which was unknowingly unlocked at the time.
Referring to the judgment of the MACT, the court noted that the fact that her minor son had taken the car without her consent had not been raised by the applicant, the registered owner of the car, with the relevant police authority or the Juvenile Justice Board. .