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CHANDER KANTA & ORS versus SUNIL KUMAR & ORS

High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

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Chander Kanta & Ors v. Sunil Kumar & Ors - FAO-982-1986 [2006] RD-P&H 3090 (12 May 2006)

IN THE PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT, CHANDIGARH FAO NO.982 of 1986 and

X-objection No.52-CII of 1987

DATE OF DECISION:17-5-2006

Chander Kanta & others APPELLANTS

VS.

Sunil Kumar and others RESPONDENTS

CORAM: HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE VINOD K.SHARMA
PRESENT:Mr. R.C.Bali, Advocate, for the appellants.

VINOD K.SHARMA,J: (ORAL)

This appeal has been filed by the appellant-claimants Chander Kanta and others against the award of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Rohtak, vide which they were granted compensation to the tune of Rs 75,264/- together with interest @ 12% P.A. from the date of filing of the petition till realisation. The liability was fixed as joint and several. Out of the compensation, Rs. 5,000/- each was directed to be paid to appellant Nos.2 to 6 and the remaining amount was directed to b paid to Chander Kanta, widow of Gurdev Singh.

1985 Gurdev Singh and Satbir Singh were going on motor-cycle No.HRR-1950 from Bahadurgarh to Rohtak. On the way both stayed FAO No.982 of 1986

in village Rohar with their relation and when they were onward journey to Rohtak on the same motor-cycle which was being driven by Gurdev Singh deceased, Satbir Singh deceased was sitting on the pillion seat. When the motor cycle reached the western end of village Rohar on G.T.Road, truck No. RSC 1625, being driven by Vijay Singh rashly and negligently, came from behind and hit the motor-cycle on its back side, as a result of which both Gurdev Singh and Satbir Singh fell down ahead of the motor-cycle and were crushed under the wheels of the truck. Gurdev Singh died at the spot whereas Satbir Singh was taken to the hospital, where he expired at 6.20 PM on the same day. On the basis of statement of Mehtab Singh, a criminal case was registered against Vijay Singh and challan was filed under Section 304- A, I.P.C.

It was the case of the claimants that Gurdev Singh was aged about 33 years and was employed in Luxmi Precision Screws, Hisar Road, Rohtak as Setter-cum- Operator, on a monthly salary of Rs.917.4o0 Ps. It was claimed by the claimants that besides this, he used to do the work of photography in his spare time and used to earn Rs 400-500 per month from this work. Therefore, it was claimed that the income of Shri Gurdev Singh was Rs.

FAO No.982 of 1986

1400/- per month. On this basis, a compensation of Rs. 4 lacs was claimed.

The claim was contested by the respondents. In his written statement filed by respondent No.1, all the allegations of the claimant-appellants were denied. He took a stand that the truck was not involved in the said accident. However, Vijay Singh, driver of the truck, in his written statement, admitted that the accident had taken place, but his stand was that his truck was going to Rohtak at a normal speed and when it reached near village Rohar, motor-cycle No. HRR 1950 came from the side of Rohar at a very high speed and struck his truck and on this basis it was alleged that the accident had taken place due to rash and negligent driving of motor cyclist. The insurance company admitted that the truck was insured, but took a stand that its liability was limited to Rs.1,50,000/- only.

On the basis of the pleadings of the parties, following issues were framed:-

"1 Whether the accident in question took place due to rash and negligent driving of Vijay Singh respondent. ?OPP

2. If issue No.1 is proved, whether petitioners are entitled to claim compensation, if so, how much and from which of the respondent ?OPP

3. Whether Insurance Company is not liable to FAO No.982 of 1986

pay compensation as alleged in the

preliminary objection of the written

statement.? OPP.

4. Relief." On issue No.1, learned Motor Accident Claims Tribunal held that the accident had taken place due to contributory negligence of the driver of the motor-cycle, Shri Gurdev Singh and driver of truck Vijay Singh. On issue No.2, it was held that the claimants were entitled to Rs.1,50,528/- and holding him to be guilty of contributory negligence, reduced the same to 50% and thereby granted a sum of Rs.75,264/- along with interest @ 12% P.A.

Mr. R.C. Bali, learned counsel, appearing for the appellants has challenged the findings of the learned Motor Accident Claims Tribunal on issue No.1. His contention is that the accident had taken place after Shri Gurdev Singh deceased had reached the main road and travelled some distance on the main road before being hit by the truck from the behind and, therefore, no negligence can be attributed to the deceased. For this purpose, he refers to the statement of PW-12 Shri Mehtab Singh, who was an eye witness to the accident. In his statement, he categorically deposed that Shri Gurdev Singh had brought the motor- FAO No.982 of 1986

cycle on the main road by taking a right hand turn and then after going on the main road, went on the left hand side. It was then that truck No. RSC 1625 came from behind at a high speed and without blowing any horn hit the motor cycle. A suggestion was put to the said witness, to which, he stated that the accident had taken place on the turning of the road itself. However, Vijay Singh, while appearing as RW-1, did not support the suggestion about the accident having taken place on the crossing of the road, but took a stand that the motor cycle had struck against the rear left hand side of the truck. In view of the evidence brought on record, it is to be held that the motor-cycle was in fact hit from the behind after it covered some distance after coming on the main road. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal was not right in coming to the conclusion that it was a case of contributory negligence. Therefore, the findings recorded by the learned Tribunal on issue No.1 are reversed and it is held that the accident in question took place due to rash and negligent driving of Vijay Singh, respondent No.2 (herein)

Accordingly, it is held that the claimants would be entitled to the compensation as assessed by the Tribunal i.e. Rs.1,50, 528/- along with interest @ 12% P.A. from the FAO No.982 of 1986

date of filing the claim petition till realization.

With this modification, the appeal is disposed of.

Consequently, the cross-objections filed by respondent No.3 are dismissed.

17-05-2006 ( VINOD K.SHARMA)

'dls' JUDGE


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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