Lawstreet Journal

Breath analysis or blood test not necessary for insurer to reject claim on grounds of drunken driving: Supreme Court

Lawstreet Journal 15 Apr 2021 8:17pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Breath analysis or blood test not necessary for insurer to reject claim on grounds of drunken driving: Supreme Court

In an important judgement, the Apex Court held that a breath analyzer test or blood test as contemplated under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is not necessary for the insurer to reject an accident policy claim underground of drunken driving.

The Apex Court held that if the insurance company is able to establish from the fact that the driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident it will not be deprived of its right to exclude the policy benefits merely on the ground that the scientific test for alcohol present was not carried out. 

The insurer can invoke the exclusion clauses in the policy contract if the attendant circumstances show that the accident was caused while driving under the influence of alcohol, even if the exact alcohol contained present in the body was not established.

Facts of the Case:

The court propositioned an appeal to be filed by the insurance company against an order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission which held the insurer at fault for excluding the policy liability on the ground of drunken driving.

As reported by the NCDRC the insurer had to prove that the alcohol content was above 30 mg out of 100 ml of blood, as stipulated under section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act. The NCDRC held that without proving the said alcohol content present through the scientific results of breath analyzer and blood tests as prescribed under section 203 and 204 of the Motor Vehicle Act the insurer cannot exclude the… Continue Reading...

Tagged: Motor Vehicles   Supreme Court of India  
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