Lawstreet Journal

Non-Wearing of Helmet Alone Will Not Amount to Contributory Negligence by the Victim in Motorcycle Accident Cases: Kerala HC [READ JUDGMENT]

Lawstreet Journal 19 Apr 2021 9:29pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Non-Wearing of Helmet Alone Will Not Amount to Contributory Negligence by the Victim in Motorcycle Accident Cases: Kerala HC [READ JUDGMENT]

A single-member bench of the Kerala High Court while deciding an appeal from a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, made it clear that the fact that the victim in an accident was not using a helmet at the time of the accident by itself cannot prove contributory negligence.

The case involved an accident caused by rash and negligent driving of one of the respondents which resulted in an accident and the eventual death of a college professor. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal awarded the kin of the deceased a compensation amount of Rs. 33,03,700/- but with a deduction of 20% citing contributory negligence by the deceased in not wearing a helmet. The appellants approached the High Court challenging the application of contributory negligence.

In the High Court, the matter was heard by a Single-member bench comprising Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan.

After hearing the pleadings from both sides, the court deliberated on the issue of whether the fact that the deceased was not wearing a helmet can amount to contributory negligence. 

The court approved that Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 makes wearing of helmets mandatory for riders of two-wheelers. The court observed that:

"….it is clear that as per Section 129 of the Act, every person riding or driving on a motorcycle of any class, the description shall, while in public place wear protective headgear conforming to the Standards prescribed in this regard. The explanation to Section 129 of the Act makes it clear that protective gear means a helmet. There is no doubt to… Continue Reading...

Tagged: kerala high court  
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