Vehicle owners must pay for compensation claims if ownership is not transferred

Supreme Court has ruled that if the owner of the vehicle did not bother to change the ownership in registration records, he would be liable for compensation claims arising from accidents involving the vehicle even if another person owned and drove the car.

This painful legal truth dawned upon one Vijay Kumar, who had sold his car to another person on July 12, 2007. That person further sold the car on September 18, 2008. This third owner then sold the car to one Naveen Kumar, who claimed before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal that he had sold it to one Meer Singh.

While the car was allegedly in possession of Meer Singh but driven by another person, an accident took place on May 27, 2009, in which one person was killed and another injured. The tribunal awarded a compensation of Rs 3.85 lakh and ordered Vijay Kumar, whose name figured in the registration certificate, to be jointly liable with the driver of the car.