IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM
WA.No. 474 of 2009()
1. V. VARGHESE, S/O. CHACKO VARGHESE,
2. DISTRICT COLLECTOR,
For Petitioner :SRI.S.MUHAMMED HANEEFF
For Respondent : No Appearance
The Hon'ble MR. Justice K.BALAKRISHNAN NAIR
The Hon'ble MR. Justice M.L.JOSEPH FRANCIS
O R D E R
K.BALAKRISHNAN NAIR &
M.L.JOSEPH FRANCIS, JJ.
W.A. NO. 474 OF 2009
Dated 4th March, 2009.
Balakrishnan Nair, J.
The writ petitioner is the appellant. He moved this Court by challenging Ext.P2 order dated 2.12.2008 in E.A.No.13/2008 in E.P.No.24/2006 in O.P.(MV) No.448/1996 of M.A.C.T., Pala.
2. The brief facts of the case are the following: The award in O.P. (MV) No.448/1996 has become final, as the appeal preferred by the appellant/writ petitioner against it has already been dismissed by this Court. The claimant moved for execution of the award. The Tribunal issued a certificate under Section 174 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to the District Collector for recovery of the amount, invoking the provisions under the Revenue Recovery Act. While so, the appellant preferred Ext.P1 application in the Execution Petition before the Tribunal, claiming that he is entitled to the protection of Section 60(1)(c) of the Civil Procedure Code. But, the Tribunal dismissed the application, holding that Revenue Recovery Certificate has already been issued to the Collector and therefore, the WA 474/2009 2
remedy of the appellant lies before the Revenue Recovery Authority. Aggrieved by that order, the Writ Petition was filed. The learned Single Judge dismissed the Writ Petition, holding that the exemption available under Section 60(1)(c) of the C.P.C cannot be claimed in revenue recovery proceedings. This Writ Appeal is filed, challenging the above judgment of the learned Single Judge.
3. The appellant submitted that in view of Rule 394 of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 all the provisions of the C.P.C concerning execution of a decree are applicable to the execution of an award. The Tribunal has issued the Revenue Recovery Certificate in an execution petition filed by the claimant. Therefore, the Tribunal was bound to consider Ext.P1 application on merits, it is submitted. The learned counsel for the appellant Mr.S.Muhammed Haneef took us through the provisions of Section 174 of the Motor Vehicles Act and Rules 394 and 395 of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules and also Section 60 of the C.P.C. The learned counsel also brought to our notice the decision of the Division Bench of this Court in Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Nirmala [2007(1) KLT 38], wherein it was held that all the provisions of the C.P.C will apply to execution of awards by the M.A.C.T., by virtue of Rule 394 of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules. Any confusion that was created by the provisions of WA 474/2009 3
Rule 395 of the said Rules has been cleared by the said Division Bench judgment, it is submitted.
4. Before dealing with the submissions of the learned counsel for the appellant, we will refer to the relevant statutory provisions. Section 174 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 reads as follows: "174. Recovery of money from insurer as arrear of land revenue:-- Where any amount is due from any person under an award, the Claims Tribunal may, on an application made to it by the person entitled to the amount, issue a certificate for the amount to the Collector and the Collector shall proceed to recover the same in the same manner as an arrear of land revenue."
The above quoted provision contemplates only one method of execution of the award, that is, by issuing a certificate to the revenue recovery authorities for recovering the amount due under the award, as if it is arrears of land revenue. But, Rule 394 of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules provides an alternative method for recovery of the award amount. It says that the award can be executed as if it is a decree passed by the concerned court and while executing the award, the Tribunal will have all the powers of a civil court under the Code for the execution of the decree. The above Rule is framed by virtue of the power conferred on the Government under Section 176 of the Motor Vehicles Act.
5. In this case, we notice that the Tribunal has followed the main WA 474/2009 4
method provided under Section 174, instead of taking recourse to the alternative method provided under Rule 394. Therefore, in the case on hand, the provisions of the C.P.C have no application. Though the Tribunal dismissed the application, holding that the appellant may raise his objections before the Revenue Recovery Authorities, we feel that the claim for the benefit under Section 60(1)(c) of the C.P.C is not maintainable either before the M.A.C.T., or before the Revenue Recovery Authorities, when recovery is made as provided under Section 174 of the Motor Vehicles Act. This Court cannot compel the Tribunal to follow the alternative method provided under Rule 394 of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules, so that the appellant can get the benefit under Section 60(1)(c) of the C.P.C. In the result, we find no reason to interfere with the judgment of the learned Single Judge, as per which the challenge against Ext.P2 has been repelled. Accordingly, the Writ Appeal fails and it is dismissed. K.BALAKRISHNAN NAIR, JUDGE.
M.L.JOSEPH FRANCIS, JUDGE.