High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Dr.Nirban Singh & Ors. v. Balkar Singh & Ors. - FAO-1018-1990  RD-P&H 2593 (25 April 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
FAO No.1018 of 1990
Date of Decision: 26.04.2006
Dr.Nirban Singh & Ors. ...Appellants
Balkar Singh & Ors. ..Respondents
CORAM: HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE VINOD K.SHARMA
Present: Mr.K.G.Chaudhary, Advocate,
for the appellants.
None for the respondents.
This is an appeal filed by the claimants seeking enhancement of compensation granted by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Jalandhar (for short the Tribunal).
The claimants in the claim application had claimed compensation to the tune of Rs.5 lacs on account of death of Kanwal FAO No. 1018 of 1990 (2)
Kaur, who was wife of Dr.Nirban Singh, claimant No.1, and mother of claimants No.2 to 4. Kanwal Kaur had died in a road accident between Jeep No.PAG-2076 and truck No.PBN 687 on 21.2.1989 at Nawanshahr.
The deceased along with her husband and children was going from Gurdaspur to Chandigarh in the jeep driven by one Swinder Singh when at about 6 p.m. on 21.2.1989 it met with an accident with a truck coming from the opposite side which was being driven by Balkar Singh rashly and negligently. It was the case of the claimants that in spite of the best efforts and pre-cautions taken by the driver of the jeep to take the said jeep on a kacha portion, the truck driver brought the truck on wrong side and colluded with the jeep. On account of the impact, the jeep turned turtle and fell into the ditches by the road side where all the occupants of the jeep suffered injuries and Kanwal Kaur died on account of injuries suffered by her in the accident. It was also the case of the claimants that the deceased Kanwal Kaur was 48 years of age at the time of her death and was having a qualification of B.A.B.Ed. and she was doing private teaching work in addition to house-hold work. She was earning a sum of Rs.1500/- per month from tuition work. On account of loss suffered and also on account of services rendered by her to the family, it was alleged that though the claimants were entitled to compensation to the tune of Rs.10 lacs, they were only claiming a sum of Rs.5 lacs.
FAO No. 1018 of 1990 (3)
The claim was contested by the respondents and it was stated in the written statement that the truck was not involved in the accident. It was also the case of the respondents that the jeep driver was an inexperienced hand and did not hold a valid driving licence and the cause of death was also attributed to the jeep driver.
On the pleadings of the parties the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal framed the following issues:
1. Whether the accident took place on account of the negligence of Balkar Singh, respondent No.1, as alleged in the claim application?OPA
2. Whether Dr.Nirban Singh and three others are the sole legal representatives of the deceased Kanwal Kaur and were dependent upon her for the means of their livelihood at the time of her death as alleged in the claim application, if so, to what effect?OPA
3. To what amount of compensation, the claimants are entitled and from whom?OPA
4. Relief. Learned Tribunal on issue No.1 held that the accident had occurred due to negligence of Balkar Singh, respondent No.1 and on issue No.2, the claimants were held to be the legal representatives of FAO No. 1018 of 1990 (4)
deceased Kanwal Kaur. However, on issue No.3, learned Tribunal had been pleased to grant compensation to the tune of Rs.1,20,000/- along with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of application till the date of payment. Liability was held to be joint and several.
Learned counsel appearing for the appellant has challenged the findings of the Tribunal on issue No.3 on the plea that the Tribunal did not take the evidence regarding income earned on account of teaching into consideration, while calculating the dependency of the claimants. Mr.K.G.Chaudhary, learned counsel for the appellants argued that there was a statement of A.W.1 Dr.Nirban Singh as also A.W.2 Miss Simrat Kaur and Janak Raj AW 3 who was kept as a domestic servant after the death of Kanwal Kaur. Learned Tribunal rejected the evidence of AW 1 and AW 2 on the ground that they were the claimants and were interested party and therefore, their statements with regard to the income by tuition cannot be relied upon. No other evidence was brought on record to prove that Kanwal Kaur was actually doing tuition work besides looking after the children and doing house hold work.
Therefore, no error was committed by the learned Tribunal in coming to the conclusion that the dependency of claimants was to the tune of Rs.1000/- per month and multiplier of 14 was applied keeping in view FAO No. 1018 of 1990 (5)
the fact that the age of youngest claimant was 14 years and it was held that he would be able to settle in life by the age of 24.
Learned counsel for the appellant relied upon a judgment of Hon'ble Supreme Court reported as Jyotsna Dey and others Vs. The State of Assam and others (1987-1) P.L.R. 646 to contend that expectancy of life had to be taken as 70 years and multiplier of 25 should have been applied as was done in the said case. I have gone through the judgment and do not find that the same apply to the facts of the present case as in that case the claim was on behalf of a widow and other dependents whereas here the claimants were the children who are likely to settle in life. Learned Tribunal took this fact into consideration and awarded a reasonable compensation by applying multiplier of 10.
Consequently, I do not find any merit in the appeal. The same is hereby dismissed with no order as to costs.
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