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PEPSU ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION, PATIAL versus SMT. SURINDER KAUR & ORS

High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

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Pepsu Road Transport Corporation, Patial v. Smt. Surinder Kaur & Ors - FAO-562-1987 [2006] RD-P&H 5252 (4 August 2006)

F.A.O. No. 562 of 1987 [1]

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH.

F.A.O. No. 562 of 1987

Date of Decision: August 9, 2006

Pepsu Road Transport Corporation, Patiala .....Appellant

Vs.

Smt. Surinder Kaur and others

.....Respondents

CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE M.M. KUMAR.
Present:- None.

-.-

M.M. KUMAR, J.

The Pepsu Road Transport Corporation, the owner of the offending bus No. PUC 3451 has approached this Court under Section 110- D of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (for brevity `the Act'), challenging the award dated July 30, 1986 passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Patiala, (for brevity `the Tribunal). The Tribunal has recorded categoric finding that the accident was caused on 1.6.1989 by the offending bus when it rammed into the scooter of the deceased Naresh Kumar on account of rash and negligent driving of the bus by its Driver Khem Singh- respondent F.A.O. No. 562 of 1987 [2]

No.5. In support of the aforementioned finding, the Tribunal has made a reference to the statement of AW5 Hari Chand who was an eye- witness of the accident, Dr. P.K. Sharma, AW3 and Parveen Kumar, AW1, photographer who had proved Exs.A1 to A3. The statement made by Driver- respondent Khem Singh (RW1) has also been taken into account.

The Tribunal has further held that the claimant- respondents who are widow, a minor son, a minor daughter and his aged mother were entitled to recover Rs.1,92,000/- minus the amount of Rs.15,000/- as no fault compensation, if it was paid already. The income of the decease was assessed to be Rs.1,000/- per month and accordingly, the award of Rs.1,92,000/- by applying the multiplier of 16 was given in favour of the claimant- respondents. The deceased Naresh Kumar was aged about 30 years at the time of his death and he was working as Goldsmith. He also had extra departmental Branch Post Master.

It is appropriate to mention that when the matter came up for consideration before the Motion Bench on October 30, 1987, the appellant was directed to deposit Rs.1 lac along with interest at the rate of 12% on or before 30.11.1987 with the Tribunal. The aforementioned amount appears to have been deposited and the appeal was admitted on 7.12.1987.

I have perused the award and examined the record minutely and do not find any legal infirmity in the findings recorded by the Tribunal.

The findings of the Tribunal that the accident on 1.6.1986 had occurred on account of rash and negligent driving of the offending Bus by Khem Singh- Driver respondent No.5, would also not called for any interference as there F.A.O. No. 562 of 1987 [3]

is cogent and convincing evidence including the statement of eye witness on record. The dependency of the surviving widow and two minor children of the deceased along with his mother Goran Devi, the extent of Rs.1,000/- per month is also undoubtedly based on evidence and the same has been correctly assessed. In fact, the Tribunal has failed to take into consideration the future prospect of the deceased who was barely 30 years old and his life was cashiered by an unfortunate accident. The compensation awarded by the Tribunal could easily go up if the formula indicated in the judgment of Hon'ble the Supreme Court in Sarla Dixit v. Balwant Yadav, (1996) 3 SCC 179, is kept in view. According to that formula, the income of the deceased could easily be raised to Rs.1500/- per month. However, there is no appeal filed by the claimant- respondents and no one has put in appearance for either of the parties. Therefore, I uphold the finding with regard to the rash and negligent driving of the Driver of the offending vehicle who had caused accident and also up-hold the finding with regard to dependency of Rs.1,000/-. The multiplier of 16 also deserves to be upheld because according to the second schedule of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the multiplier of 18 has been prescribed where the age of the victim is above 25 years but not exceeding 30 years. The second schedule of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 can be used as a safe-guide as has been held by Hon'ble the Supreme Court in para 22 of the judgment in the case of Kushnawa Begam v. New India Assurance Company Limited, 2001 (2) SCC 9, if the aforementioned formula is applied then the total amount of compensation calculated is Rs.2,04,000/-, therefore, by no stretch of imagination, the F.A.O. No. 562 of 1987 [4]

award passed by the Tribunal for an amount of Rs.1,92,000/- could be considered on higher side and the same is hereby up-held. Therefore, there is no room to interfere with the impugned award.

The appeal is wholly without merit, and therefore, the same is dismissed.

August 9, 2006 (M.M. KUMAR)

sanjay 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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