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PUNMI & ORS v RATAN SINGH & ORS - CMA Case No. 937 of 2006 [2007] RD-RJ 164 (8 January 2007)


(Punmi & ors. Vs. Ratan Singh & ors.)

Date of Order :: 8th January 2007.


Mr.Sanjay Nahar for

Mr.Amit Mehta for the appellants. ...

By way of this appeal preferred against the award dated 16.03.2005 made by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal,

Bheenmal in Claim Case No.16/2003, the claimants seek enhancement over the amount of compensation awarded in the sum of Rs.2,04,900/- together with interest at the rate of 9% per annum from the date of filing of claim application on account of accidental death of Subhash (about 30 years), son of appellants Nos.1 & 2 and father of appellant No.3.

According to the claimants, on 24.08.2002 the victim

Subhash was travelling as Khalasi on a truck bearing registration No.RJ 19 1G 1597 going from Pipar to Salem; at about 03:30 p.m. at Mawal Check-Post, Abu Road while proceeding towards the Sales Tax Office for obtaining clearance, he was hit by a bus bearing registration No.RJ 24 P 1239 belonging to the respondent No.2 Rajasthan State Road

Transport Corporation and driven by the respondent No.1

Ratan Singh; the victim Subhash sustained several injuries, was taken to Abu Road Hospital and then to Jodhpur but succumbed to injuries. Stating the age of the deceased at 30 years and his earning at Rs.4,000/- per month, the claimants stated pecuniary loss at Rs.13,44,000/-. While stating other losses it was also averred that claimants Nos.1 & 2, parents of the deceased were worried about future of the minor claimant No.3, daughter of the deceased; and that wife of the deceased had contracted second marriage within two months of the incident leaving claimant No.3 with the claimants Nos.1 & 2.

The claim for compensation was opposed by the non- applicants fundamentally with the submissions that the accident occurred for the negligence of deceased himself and that the applicants have claimed exorbitant compensation.

After framing of necessary issues and taking the evidence led by the claimants (the non-applicants did not lead any evidence), the Tribunal found the accident to have occurred for rash and negligent driving of bus by the non- applicant No.1 and held the non-applicants liable for compensation. For quantification, the Tribunal noticed the contention of the claimants about the deceased earning

Rs.4,000/- per month in salary as Khalasi with one

M/s.Kapoor Transport; but for want of documentary evidence in relation to such assertion of income, considered it proper to estimate the income of the deceased at Rs.15,000/- per annum and after deducting one-third on his personal expenditure, took loss of contribution at Rs.10,000/- per annum. The Tribunal also noticed the age of the parents of the deceased in the range of 50-55 years but then looking to the age of the daughter of the deceased at 2 years, considered it proper to apply the multiplier of 17 and thereby assessed pecuniary loss at Rs.1,70,000/-. The Tribunal also allowed Rs.2,000/- towards transportation, Rs.400/- towards property damage and Rs.2,500/- towards funeral expenses.

The Tribunal further allowed Rs.5,000/- each to the claimants

Nos. 1 & 2 towards non-pecuniary loss and Rs.20,000/- to the claimant No.3 on this count. In this manner, the Tribunal has found the claimants entitled for compensation in the sum of

Rs.2,04,900/- and has allowed interest at the rate of 9% per annum from the date of filing of claim application i.e. 16.05.2003.

It has been urged on behalf of the claimants-appellants that the award on its quantification of compensation remains too low and insufficient; that the Tribunal has erred in not accepting the income of the deceased at Rs.4,000/- per month as asserted by the claimants though there has not been any rebuttal on the part of the non-applicants.

Having given thoughtful consideration to the matter and having examined the record, this Court is satisfied that the award in question does not warrant interference in this appeal.

The claimants have chosen not to implead the wife of the deceased as party to the claim application with the averments that she has contracted second marriage. This

Court is clearly of opinion that merely because the wife of deceased contracted other marriage under the force of circumstances, she was not disentitled altogether of the reasonable amount of compensation; and it was definitely required of the claimants to have impleaded her in the claim application, at least as proforma non-applicant, instead of deciding themselves that she be not allowed any compensation at all.

Then, it appears from the statements of the mother

(AW-2) and father (AW-1) of the deceased that the claimants have not been forthright in the matter. AW-1 Brij Lal, father of the deceased has stated in his cross-examination that he had only one son and has one daughter; and has denied the suggestion of having two more sons. On the other hand, his wife AW-2 Punmi, mother of the deceased, has stated that she was not having any daughter and her other son was living separate with his in-laws after marriage. Obviously, the statements about their children, as made by the claimants, husband and wife, cannot be reconciled.

Then, though the claimants have made an oral assertion of salary income of the deceased while working as

Khalasi with one M/s.Kapoor Transport but no documentary evidence has been placed on record. In the circumstances of the case, the Tribunal has taken a reasonable view of the matter and has taken loss of contribution for the claimants at

Rs.10,000/- per annum. The Tribunal has further proceeded liberally in applying the multiplier of 17 and has not restricted on allowing compensation on other scores too. Moreover, the

Tribunal has proceeded to award rather higher rate of interest at 9% per annum.

In the ultimate analysis, the award in question cannot be said to be too low or grossly inadequate so as to warrant interference in appeal.

The appeal fails and is, therefore, dismissed summarily.



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