Owner of – A Motor Vehicle

As per the definition of the expression “owner” in Section 2(30) of the Motor Vehicles Act, it is the person in whose name the motor vehicle stands registered who, for the purpose of the Act, would be treated as “owner”. However, where a person is a minor, the guardian of the minor would be treated as the owner. Where a motor vehicle is subject to an agreement of hire purchase, lease or hypothecation, the person in possession of the vehicle under that agreement is treated as the owner. In a situation where the registered owner has purportedto transfer the vehicle but continues to be reflected in the records of the Registering Authority as the owner of the vehicle, he would not stand absolved of the liability. Parliament has consciously introduced the definition of the expression “owner” in Section 2(30) of the Motor Vehicles Act, making a departure from the provisions of Section 2(19) in the earlier 1939 Act. The principle underlying the provisions of Section 2(30) is that the victim of a motor accident or, in the case of a death, the legal heirs of the deceased victim should not be left in a state of uncertainty. A claimant for compensation ought not to be burdened with following a trail of successive transfers, which are not registered with the Registering Authority. To hold otherwise would be to defeat the salutary object and purpose of the Act. Hence, the interpretation to be placed must facilitate the fulfillment of the object of the law. Naveen Kumar v. Vijay Kumar, (2018) 3 SCC 1.

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Filed under Motor Vehicles Act, Owner of a Motor Vehicle, Uncategorized

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