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Supreme Court holds Employer liable, under Motor Vehicles Act, for permitting driver to drive with an expired license

September 24, 2020

The Supreme Court had the occasion to consider a question as to what would be the consequence on the Employer and the Insurance Company in case of an accident where the validity of a driving license had expired. having expired. The claim made under the Workmen’s Compensation Act was rejected against the Insurance Company as the driver did not have a valid licence on the date of the accident. While the Supreme Court fixed the liability on the Insurance Company under the Workmen’s Compensation Act howoever held that under the Motor Vehicles Act, the employer has to, thus, bear responsibility and consequent liability of permitting the driver to drive with an expired licence over a period of three (3) years.

 

The Supreme Court further held that once the basic care of verifying the driving licence has to be taken by the employer, though a detailed enquiry may not be necessary, the owner of the vehicle would know the validity of the driving licence as is set out in the licence itself, it cannot be said that thereafter he can wash his hands off the responsibility of not checking up whether the driver has renewed the licence.

 

Kindly refer to the text of the judgment for complete details.

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