High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Tarawanti & Ors v. Ajaib Singh & Anr - FAO-261-1987  RD-P&H 4586 (21 July 2006)
Date of Decision: August 2,2006
Smt.Tarawanti and others ...APPELLANTS
Ajaib Singh and another ....RESPONDENTS
CORAM : HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE RANJIT SINGH
Present:- None for the appellants.
Mr.G.S.Bawa, Advocate for respondent No.1.
Mr.Deepak Jindal, A.A.G.Haryana for respondent No.2.
RANJIT SINGH, J.
The appellants have filed this appeal against the judgment dated 5.2.1987 passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Hisar (for short "Tribunal") whereby their claim petition has been dismissed.
One Tirath Dass Bhatia died in an accident on 24.10.1985 while going on a scooter on Hisar-Sirsa road. It is alleged that a Bus No.HYN-2255 driven by Ajaib Singh had hit the scooter from behind on which said Tirath Dass Bhatia was travelling. It has been brought out that the bus thereafter had fallen into the pits on the right side of the road.
Tirath Dass Bhatia was taken to General Hospital, Hisar from where he was referred to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi. He ultimately died on 26.10.1985. He remained unconscious from the time of the accident to the time of his death. The appellants filed the claim petition seeking compensation of Rs.5 lacs on account of the death of the deceased.
In the written statement filed on behalf of the respondents, the factum of accident was denied. It was conceded that the deceased was proceeding on a scooter ahead of the bus, but it was claimed that he fell down from the scooter on account of bursting of rear tyre of the scooter.
The driver was statedly driving the scooter at a high speed. Respondent driver has also claimed that in order to save the deceased, he had slowed the bus and taken it to aside, on account of which, it had gone into the pits.
However, it is stated that the bus did not even touch the scooter or the deceased.
In support of their claim, the appellants produced one Om Parkash, who testified that he had seen a scooter and bus coming from opposite direction and that this bus had struck against the scooter from back side leading to the accident and the bus going into the pits. Against this, Ramesh Chander ASI posted at Police Station Sadar Hisar while appearing as witness brought out that he had gone to the hospital on learning about this accident. As per this witness, the victim had been shifted to Delhi. He had then gone to the scene of the occurrence and had recorded the statement of Manjeet Singh, who was owning a field near the place of accident and had witnessed the accident. As per the statement of Manjeet Singh, this accident took place on account of bursting of tyre of the scooter.
Accordingly, it was claimed that this accident could not be attributed to any fault on the part of the bus driver. It is maintained that the present version had been brought only at the time of filing the claim. Noticing the delay on the part of the claimants to come out with the version that the accident had taken place due to the bus driver having hit the scooter, the Tribunal held that the same was an after thought. The Tribunal also found that the presence of Om Parkash was doubtful. As observed by the Tribunal, if he had been present and had seen the accident then he would have accompanied the deceased to hospital as admittedly he knew him. It has come in evidence that the deceased was brought to the hospital in a jeep by some unknown person and left at the gate. This would also cast doubt about the presence of Om Parkash. If Om Parkash really had been present at the scene, then he could be expected to take the deceased to the hospital and was likely to be present there at least for some time till the arrival of relations of the deceased. These circumstances, as appreciated by the Tribunal to doubt the presence of Om Parkash, who gave the eye witness account of the accident, cannot be easily brushed aside. Indeed, if Om Parkash had known the deceased, he was bound to be present and take him to hospital. The version put in by Manjeet Singh as was recorded by the police could not be doubted as he had no reasons to depose against the appellants. Having appreciated the evidence, the Tribunal ultimately came to the conclusion that this accident took place due to bursting of the tyre of the scooter and the bus had not struck against the scooter or the deceased.
This version put in by the respondent bus driver also receives support from one independent witness namely Dalel Singh RW3, who was travelling in the bus. The findings returned by the Tribunal that the accident could not be attributed to the negligence or rashness on the part of the driver of the bus as such are just and reasonable and in my view need no interference.
Having recorded these findings, the Tribunal rightly declined the claim of the appellants. Though no one has appeared for appellants today but on an earlier occasion Sh. Deepak Suri had appeared and made his submissions.
Nothing was pointed out before me, which could indicate that the accident took place on account of any fault on the part of the bus driver. Appeal, accordingly, fails and is dismissed.
( RANJIT SINGH )
August 2,2006 JUDGE
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