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Is that legal

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Is that Legal – June 30th 2014

Nature’s fury

A number of cars were damaged in the recent dust storm in the capital. Can the owners claim insurance for damage in such a case?

The owners can claim insurance for damage in such a case, if it satisfies the terms and conditions specified in the policy document. In case of a natural calamity, the first step for claimants is to inform the insurance company about the damage and losses incurred. In the next step, one can submit a claim in writing, giving details of damages and other insurances on the same property, if any. The claim must be in line with the guidelines specified in the insurance policy document entered into by both the parties for processing and disbursement of claim amount.wave

In the Divisional Manager, United India Insurance Co. Ltd. and Anr vs Samir Chandra Chaudhary (2005) case, a car that was insured by the petitioner company was damaged due to the falling of a eucalyptus tree on it. The terms of insurance stated that any accident that arises due to flood, typhoon, hurricane, storm, inundation, cyclone, hailstorm, frost would not be covered by the insurance and hence no claim would lie. The claims made by the owner of the car were for the damages due to repairing and for the loss of hiring charges.

On an appraisal of evidence it was found that the claim of the insurance company that the falling of the tree was due to storm was incorrect, substantiated by the meteorological department’s letter confirming that there was no storm.

Armyman’s liability

An army vehicle, while it’s transporting soldiers for training, hits a car. The occupant of the car dies. In this case, will the driver of the army vehicle be charged in his individual capacity or as an army driver, and will the army take up responsibility?image description

In this case, the driver of the army vehicle will be charged in his individual capacity and not as an army driver. The trial will be conducted as an ordinary trial before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) because in the present case the deceased person is a civilian. Further, the responsibility for paying the compensation to the dead person’s family, if any, will be borne by the army and the driver because the driver was working in his official capacity.

In October 2013, the police arrested Saurab Chanje, a driver employed with the Indian army, who rammed an army vehicle into an Alto car in Old Panchkula, resulting in the death of two youth from Shimla. Chanje was arrested after police booked him for causing the death of a person due to rash and negligent driving. He was handed over to the police by the army.

Green dreams

A builder advertises his project in newspapers showing a lot of greenery within and around the compound. But as occupants move in, they find to their horror that more buildi­ng blocks are coming up. Can they take the builder to court, and what are the precedents of such grievances being addressed?

While builders insert various clauses in agreements to ensure that clients can’t take them to court in case of violation, we see courts now coming up in support of consumers.

A case in point is the Allahabad High Court judgment on the Supertech Towers, Noida—the court had ordered demolition, although the apex court later stayed it. The Central Consumer Protection Council has also safeguarded consumers’ interest.

They share the onus

Tour companies organizing adventure trips ask clients to fill forms that they won’t be liable in case of any accident. For that matter, schools too ask parents to sign a form to the same effect, when they are taking out students for an outing. Does that absolve tour companies, or schools, of all responsibility? What are the legal provisions that an aggrieved party can resort to, if something happens during these trips?Print

The aggrieved person has no legal remedy if something happens to him after signing the said forms. However, if an accident is caused due to negligence on the part of tour company or school authorities, in that instance the aggrieved party can sue the tour company or school and claim damages.

In MS Grewal & Anr Vs Deep Chand Sood & Ors (2001) case, 14 school students of classes IV to VI of Dalhousie Public School, Pathankot, had drowned while on a picnic on the bank of river Beas due to the negligence of the school authorities in May 1995. The court ordered the school to pay a compensation of `5 lakh to the parents of each deceased child.

Whose road is it anyway?

Skirmishes over parking slots in residential areas are quite common in cities. If a man regularly parks his car on the street right in front of his house, can he claim it to be his legal right and debar others from parking at the same place?image description

If the parking space on the street of the residential area has been purchased from municipal authority then the man will have legal right and can debar others from parking at the same place. On the other hand if the said space on road is not purchased then the same comes under the purview of municipal authorities and the man will have no legal right.

Conflicting claims

A widower gets his only son married, and after a couple of years, marries himself. The son walks out of the house in resentment. The father decides to bequeath the property to his wife. Can the son stake a legal claim to a share in his father’s property?Prop 001

The son can legally claim a share in his father’s property if the property of his father is an ancestral property. On the other hand if his father’s property is self-acquired property, he cannot claim any share and the father can bequeath his property in favor of his second wife.

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