The Allahabad High Court recently held that Section 24 of CPC shall have no applicability to a motor accident claim petition pending before a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal.
The judgment was passed by the Allahabad High Court in the matter of Shankar Lal Jaiswal Vs. Asha Devi & Ors., Transfer Application (Civil) No. 214 of 2017 decided on 12.11.2018.
The question which arose for consideration in the above transfer applications was whether Section 24 of the Civil Procedure Code can be invoked for transfer of a Motor Accident Claim Petition pending before a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal.
After analysing various provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the Court observed that the Motor Vehicle Act is a complete code in itself. It was also noted that Rule 221 of the U.P. Motor Vehicles Rules, 1998 made certain provisions of the CPC applicable to a proceeding before a Claims Tribunal however, Section 24 of the Civil Procedure Code still had no application to matters before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal. The Court recorded that Section 24 of Civil Procedure Code confers a general power of transfer and withdrawal of a suit, appeal or proceeding upon the High Court or the District Judge, pending in any Court subordinate to them.
Further, the Allahabad High Court stressed on the importance of the words “subordinate to it” occurring in Section 24 (1) (b) and observed that since a Claims Tribunal is created by a notification of the State Government under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, it cannot be said that such Tribunal is a Court subordinate to the High Court within the meaning of the term occurring in Section 24 CPC, despite the fact that an award of the Claims Tribunal is appealable to the High Court under Section 173.
The Court further held that the Claims Tribunal is deemed to be a Civil Court on account of the legal fiction created by Section 169 of the Motor Vehicles Act only for the purposes of Section 195 and Chapter 26 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. However, the said legal fiction cannot be extended for the purposes of Section 24 of CPC.
The Court further observed that specific statutes like the Motor Vehicles Act that come later in time, supersede prior general statutes like CPC and the latter shall have limited applicability upon the former.
In the light of the above observations, the Allahabad High Court dismissed the Application as not maintainable.