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Old 9th February 2018, 18:39   #61
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Change records after car sale or pay for mishaps

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Originally Posted by SR-71 View Post
..in this case there is nothing wrong with the law per say. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure the ownership is transferred if he/she is directly dealing with the customer.
I don't quite agree with the statement that there is nothing wrong with this law. But again, maybe because

Even when dealing with individuals, if I have delivered the vehicle along with the required documents and signed forms etc. it should be the responsibility of the buyer to make sure it is registered on his name.

The different approaches mentioned here, including not handing over the vehicle till the name is not transferred on the RC and the online portal (I did that when I sold mine), is just to make sure that the seller does not get into trouble later. But this is because the law is flawed (in my humble opinion).

We have already seen instances where the individual flatly refuses to register the vehicle on his name and/ or provides various reasons to not register.

We can go on and on and but I believe that it is high time some changes need to be made in the law to protect the interests of the Buyer at the same time make sure that the seller is not made a scapegoat.
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Old 9th February 2018, 21:34   #62
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Change records after car sale or pay for mishaps

Having gone through the Supreme Court judgment of 06/02/2018 I will make the following observations:

The SC judgment of 6/2/18 in Civil Appeal no. 1427 of 2018 arising out of SLP (C) No. 18943 of 2016 in Naveen Kumar (Plaintiff) versus Vijay Kumar and others (Respondents).

The M 800 regn no. DL 3CC 3684 had changed hands with four to five owners. It was not insured. While reversing on 27/05/2009 at 7.30 pm, the car hit a child and his aunt. The child died while the aunt was injured. Rs 3.75 L was awarded to the child's parents and Rs 10K to the injured lady by the The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) in two separate suits that were filed. MACT blamed the registered owner Mr Vijay Kumar of as on 2007, whose name appeared as registered owner and asked him to pay the compensations.

An appeal was filed in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana. The HC ruled that the person in possession of the car (Naveen Kumar) who was then the driver is liable, not the registered owner.

Mr Naveen Kumar then moved the SC and the SC ruled against the registered owner, upholding the MACT decision, that had asked Mr Vijay Kumar to pay the compensations. He is the registered owner of the M 800 as on date and is liable. This unfortunately was in the name of the same person since 2007,as later transfers of ownership were not effected by successive buyers. The Supreme Court three judge bench headed by the Chief Justice relied on Sec 2(30) of the MV Act, 1988, which says the registered owner is the owner of a motor vehicle. The SC also said that the dependents of the deceased or injured should not be harassed for claims and that the registered owner is liable. Reliance was not given on Sec 50 of the MV Act (though this Section is quoted and referred in the judgment) that puts equal responsibility on the transferor and the transferee, which would have also made the present buyer also responsible.

Perhaps the defence was weak and hence Sec 2(20) was fully relied upon.
Being a SC decision, it will be the law of the land, until a larger bench in future comes across some similar case and nullifies this judgement.

Hence, all sellers need to please be particular about valid insurance and to keep a constant tab on the transfer process when they sell any motor vehicle.

A good step to secure the seller is that even while selling through brokers, such precautions need to be taken viz. overseeing the entire transfer process. We need to fully be vigilant about the transfer process and bring it to its logical conclusion.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 11th February 2018 at 08:16. Reason: as requested
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Old 9th February 2018, 21:41   #63
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Change records after car sale or pay for mishaps

I've heard plenty of people mention insurance transfer is dependent on RC transfer (which is probably true by the letter of relevant regulations), but is that the only way to handle this?

When I sold my car in 2015, I canceled my insurance, notifying the insurance provider in writing that the buyer is aware of the fact and will be purchasing insurance of his own. The insurance provider did sell a new policy to the buyer based on forms 29/30 (while I was technically still the car's owner on paper), so I guess my question basically comes down to the legality of the transfer paperwork. If it's enough to issue an insurance policy, does it mean it has enough legal standing to hold up in a court of law?

I'm curious what would've happened if the car I sold was involved in a legal issue while the ownership transfer was in process, the time period where the owner on the RC and the insurance policy were two different people?

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 9th February 2018 at 21:43.
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Old 9th February 2018, 22:37   #64
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Change records after car sale or pay for mishaps

Talked to Lawyer friend about this judgement and will mention the important parts that I understood.

The judgement is only enforcing a law as written in the MVA. The Criminal Negligence liability still lies with the person who was driving the vehicle. The only thing that SC ruled on is the Financial liability in the case which, according to the law, lies with the registered owner.

Now in order to safeguard yourselves from a similar situation, please make sure you have 3rd party insurance on the car while it is under the process of being transferred. Usually financial liability in case of an accident will be taken care of by the insurance. Make sure to mutually agree (have a signed document) upon a time period during which the buyer is to start the registration process under his/her own name. If the buyer fails to take any action, one can go to the Police Station and register an FIR stating that the buyer has failed to initiate the registration process under his own name. Once the buyer does send you proof (temporary registration under his own name), you are good to go and cancel your insurance on the car. Now the car is fully the responsibility of the new owner.

I too sold our Swift DZire ZDi in 2016 Aug and it changed from a HR registration to a UP registration. The car was under 3rd party insurance till March 2017. Kept in touch with the new owner and finally in December of 2016, the new owner sent me a picture of the new registration for the car. Now, when I run my old registration number through the VAHAN system, it comes back as non-existent, which means the car was successfully transferred.
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Old 9th February 2018, 23:21   #65
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Change records after car sale or pay for mishaps

Well, I think the judgement here is in a way justified because, it is the sellers responsibility to ensure that there must be a valid insurance with the vehicle while selling it. SC doesn't blame the seller for criminal responsibility, it is the financial liability part.

So, if the buyer doesn't transfer the ownership (which can be checked online), the seller should file an FIR with sale proof which should force the buyer to transfer the ownership.

Once the ownership transfer has been done, then onwards, the registered owner is liable to have a valid insurance for the vehicle.



P.S. Just couple of days back, I sold my older car to an individual who promised to initiate the transfer. Now I will have to chase him . Better part is comprehensive insurance is valid till Aug 2018. So, enough time to let the ownership transfer process get done.
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Old 10th February 2018, 00:15   #66
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Change records after car sale or pay for mishaps

Nothing prevents the law from penalizing the driver of a vehicle with ownership not established or updated to its latest buyer when he has broken a law and/ or caused injury . The only advantage of having a vehicle with up to date ownership status is to prevent the previous owner from being saddled with financial claims in the event that the last buyer has not insured the vehicle. However, I do not see how this penalty can not be made to stick with the driver of the offending vehicle, and why ownership status of the vehicle has to come in the picture.
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Old 10th February 2018, 00:55   #67
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Change records after car sale or pay for mishaps

I donot agree to this judgement specially after the court has accepted that ownership has changed hands. If there was no proof, or it could not be determined this would have been understandable. Very stupid just like the sunfilm ban.
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Old 10th February 2018, 01:17   #68
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Change records after car sale or pay for mishaps

Lawyer here. I feel that fellow members are criticising on the SC for the wrong reasons. The issue before the SC here was restricted to the interpretation of the meaning of "owner" under the MVA. The language of the definition is explicit and does not leave room for any loose construction/interpretation of the term.

A constructive interpretation, or to say that an interpretation wherein the owner is constructively derrived tracing the hands the car has changed could also not have been adopted.

s.2(30) of the MVA states - (30) “owner” means a person in whose name a motor vehicle stands registered, and where such person is a minor, the guardian of such minor, and in relation to a motor vehicle which is the subject of a hire-purchase, agreement*, or an agreement of lease or an agreement of hypothecation, the person in possession of the vehicle under that agreement;

It is quite clear from the above definition that the owner for the purposes of MVA is the person under whose name the car is registered.

It's easy to critcise the SC, but they too have to operate under the ambit of the laws made by the parliament. We're debating whether the SC went into the merits of the case or not, but the SC was not taking into consideration those matters, they were restricted to the interpretation of the definition of owner under the MVA.

Last edited by sibot : 10th February 2018 at 01:18.
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Old 10th February 2018, 05:45   #69
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Change records after car sale or pay for mishaps

With this judgement, what is the liabilty of the owner who uses a hired driver. What happens if there is an accident when the vehicle is driven by a hired driver?.
Will the owner be liable for financial compensation or the driver who was driving at the time of the accident.
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Old 10th February 2018, 08:52   #70
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Change records after car sale or pay for mishaps

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Originally Posted by speedmiester View Post
With this judgement, what is the liabilty of the owner who uses a hired driver. What happens if there is an accident when the vehicle is driven by a hired driver?.
Will the owner be liable for financial compensation or the driver who was driving at the time of the accident.
If the insurance is valid and the driver has a valid driving licence then owner does not have much to worry about. Else the owner is liable to pay for damages like how it has been always.

The case discussed here is different. 1) There was no valid insurance and 2) The vehicle has changed hand couple of times, but not on records.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
The insurance provider did sell a new policy to the buyer based on forms 29/30 (while I was technically still the car's owner on paper), so I guess my question basically comes down to the legality of the transfer paperwork. If it's enough to issue an insurance policy, does it mean it has enough legal standing to hold up in a court of law?
It might have had some relevance (as proof of sale) and may have held up in a lower court before this SC judgement was passed, but not now as long as the name change is not done on the records. Because what I understood is that no proof of sale or video of hand over of vehicle will come to the rescue if the registered owner as per records is still the previous owner.

Last edited by Sankar : 10th February 2018 at 09:02.
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Old 10th February 2018, 10:06   #71
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Change records after car sale or pay for mishaps

Even incase there was valid insurance at the time of sale, what if the buyer continues to use the car without name change, and does not renew the insurance at the time of insurance expiry. In that case is the seller still liable?
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Old 10th February 2018, 10:35   #72
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Originally Posted by SRK72 View Post
Even incase there was valid insurance at the time of sale, what if the buyer continues to use the car without name change, and does not renew the insurance at the time of insurance expiry. In that case is the seller still liable?
In these cases, the "owner" - as per RC - has to share the financial liability for a vehicle mishap (except in cases such as vehicle requisition by the state/government for duties such as election). If the vehicle is insured, the liability might be paid by insurance company. If not insured, the owner would have to pay from his pocket. Now the catch in this is that if the vehicle has been sold off without name change in RC and the insurance is still in the name of old owner, whether the insurance company is liable to pay for the loses or not. This would depend on terms of insurance and I feel they might be able to hold off paying for the mishap as they could contest that the insured person has given away the vehicle without completing the procedures and they are not responsible to pay for mishaps caused by others. Very tricky indeed.

Last edited by Turbopetrol : 10th February 2018 at 10:41.
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Old 10th February 2018, 14:14   #73
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Change records after car sale or pay for mishaps

I have read somewhere that there is a procedure wherein a seller can inform RTO that a vehicle has been sold, and this would absolve him of any potential liability arising later. Any information on this?
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Old 10th February 2018, 16:40   #74
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Change records after car sale or pay for mishaps

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Originally Posted by sibot View Post
Lawyer here. I feel that fellow members are criticising on the SC for the wrong reasons. The issue before the SC here was restricted to the interpretation of the meaning of "owner" under the MVA. The language of the definition is explicit and does not leave room for any loose construction/interpretation of the term.

A constructive interpretation, or to say that an interpretation wherein the owner is constructively derrived tracing the hands the car has changed could also not have been adopted.

s.2(30) of the MVA states - (30) “owner” means a person in whose name a motor vehicle stands registered, and where such person is a minor, the guardian of such minor, and in relation to a motor vehicle which is the subject of a hire-purchase, agreement*, or an agreement of lease or an agreement of hypothecation, the person in possession of the vehicle under that agreement;

It is quite clear from the above definition that the owner for the purposes of MVA is the person under whose name the car is registered.

It's easy to critcise the SC, but they too have to operate under the ambit of the laws made by the parliament. We're debating whether the SC went into the merits of the case or not, but the SC was not taking into consideration those matters, they were restricted to the interpretation of the definition of owner under the MVA.
Would not this have been a great opportunity to reinterpret the law, so that it makes more sense? After all courts do that all the time. And this is the SC. Reading a law literally, that even the lowest court can do, right?
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Old 10th February 2018, 20:44   #75
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Change records after car sale or pay for mishaps

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Originally Posted by speedmiester View Post
With this judgement, what is the liabilty of the owner who uses a hired driver. What happens if there is an accident when the vehicle is driven by a hired driver?.
In such cases, the owner and the driver of the car would both be liable to pay the compensation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawdgawd View Post
Would not this have been a great opportunity to reinterpret the law, so that it makes more sense? After all courts do that all the time. And this is the SC. Reading a law literally, that even the lowest court can do, right?
Would it have been a great opportunity? Yes. Could they have done so? I think not. Rules of interpretation dictate, and it is a court precedent, that if the language of the provision is clear and explicit, leaving no room for any alternate interpretations, the courts are mandated to interpret the law to it's literal sense. There is very little wiggle room in such cases. Here the issue before the SC was to interpret the meaning of owner under MVA, which they did and sent the case back to the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT).

Last edited by sibot : 10th February 2018 at 20:45.
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