In case of Bajaj Alliance General Insurance v Rambha Devi CA. No. 841/2018
A 5-Judge Bench will decide whether a person licenced to drive a ‘light motor vehicle’ under Section 2(21) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is automatically entitled to drive a ‘Transport Vehicle of Light Motor Vehicle Class’ with unladen weight of less than 7500 KGs.
In Mukund Dewangan v Oriental Insurance Company Limited, (2017) the Supreme Court was asked to decide if ‘unladen’ transport vehicles under Sec. 10(2)(e) which are less than 7500 Kg would be considered a light motor vehicle under Sec. 10(2)(d). That is, would a person holding a licence to drive a light motor vehicle need a separate licence to drive a transport vehicle which was less than 7500 before any goods were loaded on it. A 3-Judge Bench consisting Justices Arun Mishra, Amitava Roy and S.K. Kaul held that ‘A transport vehicle and omnibus, the gross vehicle weight of either of which does not exceed 7500 kg would be a light motor vehicle’. In March 2022, the appellants, Bajaj Alliance General Insurance argued that the SC erred in allowing holders of the light motor vehicle licence to drive a transport vehicle. The appellants also brought to the attention of the Court that Sec. 3 of the MVA. This provision states that a person may not drive a transport vehicle other than a ‘motor cab or motor cycle’ hired for one’s own use or rented under Sec.75(2) unless the licences specifically permits them to do so.
On March 8th 2022, a 3-Judge Bench of (then) Justice U.U. Lalit, S.R. Bhat and P.S. Narasimha referred the case to a larger bench to review the points omitted by the Court in Mukund Dewangan. The case was listed before a 5-Judge Bench led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, and Justices Hrishikesh Roy, P.S. Narasimha, Pankaj Mithal and Manoj Misra. for more legal updates follow us.