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THE ORIENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY AND OTHER versus SMT.CHINDO & ORS

High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

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The Oriental Insurance Company and other v. Smt.Chindo & Ors - FAO-348-1991 [2006] RD-P&H 5262 (7 August 2006)

1 F.A.O. NO. 348 OF 1991

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH.

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F.A.O. NO. 348 OF 1991

DATE OF DECISION: JULY 05, 2006.

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1. The Oriental Insurance Company and others Vs. Smt.Chindo and others FAO No. 354 of 1991.

Date of decision: July 05, 2006.

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2. The Oriental Insurance Company and others Vs. Nirmala and others. FAO No. 353 of 1989

Date of Decision: July 05, 2006.

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3. The Oriental Insurance Company and ors.Versus Manjit Kaur & others. ***

Present: Shri Ashok Aggarwal, Senior Advocate, with Shri D.D.Bansal, Advocate, for the appellants.

Shri H.S.Ginai, Advocate, for the respondents.

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R.S.MADAN, J

The Oriental Insurance Company filed the three FAO Nos. 348, 354 and 353 wherein they challanged the award dated 6.9.1990 rendered by the Motor Accident Claims Triubunal, Jalandhar, dated 6.9.1990, (hereinafter to be referred to as the "MACT, Jalandhar"), whereby all the claim petitions were accepted and compensation was awarded to the legal heirs of the deceased.

2. In brief, the facts relevant for the disposal of these three claim petitions are that on 5.6.1988 at 9 AM a four-wheeler bearing registration No.

6038 was going from, Banga to Phagwara, driven by one Mohinder Pal whereas Makhan and Raj Pal were sitting by the side of the driver and two persons, namely, Harjit Singh and Mangal Singh were standing in the four wheeler. At 2 F.A.O. NO. 348 OF 1991

about 9.15 P.M. the four-wheeler reached in the area of Village Mujri which is at a distance of 3 Kms from Banga. A truck bearing registration No.PBT-5071 came from the opposite direction driven by its driver in a zig zag manner and brought the truck on the right side and struck with the four-wheeler from the front side.

Due to head on collusion, the truck turned turtle in the pits by the side of the road. All the five occupants including the driver of the four-wheeler received multiple injuries on their persons. Mohinder, Makhan, Raj Pal and Mangal Singh died at the spot, on account of the injuries sustained in the accident. The police arrived at the spot and recorded the statement of Harjit Singh PW, one of the occupant of the four-wheeler, which led to the registration of the first information report against the driver of the truck.

All the three claim petitions mentioned above were consolidated.

The claim petitions were contested by the respondents by filing separate written statements denying the act of rash and negligent driving of the truck by respondent No.2 and it was pleaded that the accident took place due to the negligence of the driver of the four-wheeler. Respondent No.3, the Oriental Insurance Company denied the accident and its liability to pay the compensation but admitted that the truck in question was insured with it.

From the pleadings of the parties, following issues were framed:- 1) Whether Sukhdev Singh , respondent No.2, was driving the truck rashly and negligently and caused the accident as alleged in the claim applications, if so, to what effect? OPA.

2) Whether the truck driver, Sukhdev Singh, respondent No.2, was having a valid driving licence at the time of the accident, if not, to what effect, OP Claimants.

3 F.A.O. NO. 348 OF 1991

3) Whether Raj Pal, deceased, received injuries in this accident and died on account of those injuries as alleged in the claim application, if so, to what effect? OPA.

4) Whether Nirmla and three others, claimants, are the sole legal representatives of the deceased Raj Pal and were dependent upon him for their livelihood at the time of his death as alleged in the claim application, if so, to what effect? OPA.

5) To what amount of compensation the claimants are entitled and from whom? OPA.

6) Relief.

7) whether Makhan Ram, deceased, received injuries in this accident and died on account of those injuries as alleged in the claim application, if so, to what effect? 8) Whether Manjit Kaur and another are the sole legal representatives of Makhan Ram and was dependent upon him for her livelihood at the time of his death as alleged in the claim application, if so, to what effect? OPS.

9) To what amount of compensation the claimants are entitled and from whom? OPA.

10) Relief.

11) Whether Mohinder Pal, deceased, received injuries in this accident and died on account of those injuries as alleged in the claim application, if so, to what effect? OPA.

12) Whether Chhindo and seven others are the sole legal representatives of Mohinder Pal, deceased, and were 4 F.A.O. NO. 348 OF 1991

dependent upon him for their livelihood at the time of his death as alleged in the claim application, if so, to what effect? OPA.

13) Relief.

Both the parties adduced their evidence in support of their claim petitions. While disposing of issue No.1, the Tribunal hold respondent No.2, driver, of the truck responsible for causing the accident due to rash and negligent driving and returned the finding on issue No.1 in favour of the claimants. While disposing of the remaining issues, the Tribunal decided the issue in favour of the claimants and awarded the compensation to the legal representatives of the deceased, fully described in the impugned award of the Tribunal, dated 6.9.1990.

Aggrieved by the impugned award of the Tribunal passed in the above mentioned three claim petitions, the aforesaid three appeals have been preferred by the Insurance Company, on the plea that the amount of compensation awarded to the claimants is on the higher side and that the driver of the four-wheeler was also responsible for the contributory negligence causing the present accident.

I have heard the learned counsel for the parties and have gone through the records of the case carefully.

On behalf of the appellant, it is contended that while disposing of issue No.1, the learned Tribunal has erred in holding that respondent No.2, the driver of the truck bearing No. PBT- 5071 responsible for causing the accident whereas the driver of the four-wheeler Mohinder Pal, deceased, was actually responsible for contributing the negligence in causing the accident. This contention of the learned counsel for the appellants has no merit because there 5 F.A.O. NO. 348 OF 1991

is no evidence available on the record adduced by the respondent-Insurance Company that Mohinder Pal driver of the four-wheeler bearing registration No.

6038 was responsible for causing the accident. Even at the time of framing of issues respondents-Insurance Company never raised any such plea before the Tribunal that the present accident is the out come of contributory negligence of Mohinder Pal driver of the four-wheeler. Thus, in the absence of any pleadings or proof, the contention of the counsel is without merit.

The learned counsel for the appellant-Insurance Company contended that the multiplier adopted by the Tribunal is on the higher side.

Therefore, the same requires to be modified. However, the reasoning given by the Tribunal in all the three claim petitions while assessing the compensation awarded to the claimants was just and fair. No ambiguity or any irregularity has been pointed out by the learned counsel for the appellants in the award passed by the learned Tribunal.

In the net result, there is no force in these appeals. Accordingly, all the three appeals are dismissed, with no order as to costs.

(R.S.MADAN)

JUDGE

July 05, 2006.

Malik


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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