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NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY LTD. AND ANOT versus SMT.MEM & ORS.

High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

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National Insurance Company Ltd. and anot v. Smt.Mem & Ors. - FAO-5473-2005 [2006] RD-P&H 5948 (25 August 2006)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA

AT CHANDIGARH.

(1) F.A.O. No.5473 of 2005

National Insurance Company Ltd. and another.

............... Appellants

Versus

Smt.Mem and others.

................ Respondents

(2) F.A.O. No.5474 of 2005

National Insurance Company Ltd. and another.

............... Appellants

Versus

Shriram and others.

................ Respondents

Date of decision: 28.8.2006

CORAM : Hon'ble Mr.Justice Uma Nath Singh
Hon'ble Mr.Justice Mahesh Grover

....

Present: Shri Suman Jain, Advocate for the appellants.

Shri D.K.Jangra, Advocate for respondent no. 2.

....

Mahesh Grover,J.

The appellants have filed the present appeals against common award dated 12.8.2005 passed by the Presiding Officer of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Bhiwani (hereinafter referred to as `the Tribunal') in M.A.C.T. Cases Nos. 78 and 79 of 2003 preferred by Shriram and Smt.Mem.

The only question that has been raised in these appeals is that even though the Tribunal has recorded a finding that the drivers of both the PA-105 were guilty of rash and negligent driving, yet, the extent of liability to pay the compensation amount has not been ascertained qua the negligent parties and the amount of compensation which had to be apportioned as per the liability was also not determined which has prejudiced the appellants.

We have heard the learned counsel for the appellants and perused the record. The evidence of the claimants was to the effect that both the vehicles were being driven rashly and negligently and that both were to be blamed for the accident. There is evidence on record to show that the bus and the jeep were being driven at a fast speed which resulted in head-on collision between the two and, therefore, the Tribunal has rightly recorded a finding that both the drivers were guilty of rash and negligent driving. In view of this, it was imperative that the Tribunal should have recorded a finding that both the drivers of the bus and the jeep were guilty of contributory negligence. Applying the principle of res ipsa loquitor, it would be safe to hold that the drivers of both the vehicles were guilty of causing the accident and the extent of negligence can be fixed as 50% each.

In view of the above, the liability to pay the compensation awarded shall also be apportioned in similar terms.

Accordingly, the appeals are partly allowed and the impugned award is modified to the extent that the insurance companies of both the offending vehicles shall be liable to pay the amount of compensation to the claimants along with interest in the ratio of 50% each.

(Mahesh Grover )

Judge

August 28,2006 (Uma Nath Singh )

"SCM" 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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