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TMT. SAROJA versus GENERAL INSURANCE CORPORATION

High Court of Madras

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Tmt. Saroja v. General Insurance Corporation - Writ Petition No.15101 of 1995 [2002] RD-TN 566 (7 August 2002)



In the High Court of Judicature at Madras

Dated: 07/08/2002

Coram

The Hon'ble Mr. Justice P. SATHASIVAM

Writ Petition No.15101 of 1995

1.Tmt. Saroja
2.Selvi Christina Rajakumari (minor)
3.Selvan Christopher Sundaram (minor)
4.Selvi Hebsi Beaula (minor)
(Petitioners 2 to 4 are rep. By
their mother & natural guardian
1st petitioner.) .. Petitioners

vs.

1.General Insurance Corporation
of India, Crop Insurance Cell,
L.B. Road, Adyar, Madras 20.

2.Union of India rep. By the
Secretary to Government,
Finance Department,
North Block, New Delhi 11.

3.The State of Tamil Nadu rep. By
the Secretary, Home Department,
Fort St. George, Madras 9.

4.The Inspector of Police
Traffic Investigation (South)
E-4, Pondy Bazzar, Madras 17.

5.Tmt. Christina Timothy

6.Sundaram
(R.5 & 6 given up).

7.The Divisional Engineer
National Highway, Madras 20. .. Respondents

Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India
praying for issuance of writ of mandamus as stated therein.

For petitioners : Mr. P. Antony Xavier

For respondents : Mrs. Reeta Chandrasekaran
for M/s. Aiyar & Dolia forR.1&2

Mr.S. Kandaswamy,
Special Govt., Pleader forR.3&4

Mr. K.S. Narasimhan
Amicus Curie

:ORDER



For the death of one Williams Rajakumar in a road accident that took place on 01.01.1993, wife and his children have approached this Court to issue a writ of mandamus directing the first respondent to pay a sum of Rs.25,000/- towards compens ting from hit and run motor accident and also direct the third respondent to pay compensation of Rs.2 lakhs to the petitioners.

2. According to the first petitioner, her husband Williams Rajakumar met with a road accident and died on 01.01.1993. He was working as a Road Roller Driver in Highways Department at the time of his death. He was 40 years old and drawing a Rs.2,200/- per month. Her husband left the first petitioner, who is none else than his wife, two female children, one male child and aged mother. With regard to the accident on 01.01.1993, the 4th respondent registered a case in Crime No.3/93 in VAR No .3. The vehicle involved in the case was a Maruthi van and the fourth respondent did not investigate the case and find out the real culprit. Though the accident took place on 01.01.1993, the petitioners were not furnished vital documents, such as Firs t Information Report, Post-mortem certificate and Death certificate. In the absence of those particulars, they could not file an application for compensation under Section 110-A of the Old Motor Vehicles Act. Now, she has been advised that as per Claus e (a) of Sub-section (3) of Section 161 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, in respect of a death of a person resulting from hit and run motor accident, a fixed sum of Rs.25,000/- shall be paid as compensation, hence the present writ petition.

3. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioners as well as the respondents.

4. On direction by this Court, Mr. K.S. Narasimhan, appeared and assisted the Court as Amicus Curie. Mr. K.S. Narasimhan has brought to my notice the relevant Scheme, namely, Solatium Scheme, 1989 applicable to the case of this nature. Bef ring the salient features from the Scheme, the learned Special Government Pleader has brought to my notice an information from the Inspector of Police, Traffic Investigation, Pondy Bazzar, Chennai 17 - 4th respondent herein, wherein it is stated that in respect of the accident that had taken place on 01.01.1993 at about 03.55 hours near Congress Ground, Teynampet, a case was registered under Crime No.3/TN2/98 and the same was enquired. Ultimately, the enquiry reveals that it is a case of undetected (UN ) and further enquiry was dropped. The above statement of the learned Special Government Pleader is hereby recorded.

5. In the light of the information furnished by the fourth respondent, it is clear that the vehicle in question which caused the accident could not be traced and detectable, accordingly the proper procedure for the petitioners is to avail ons of the Solatium Scheme, 1989. The said Scheme came into force with effect from 01.07.1989. Mr. K.S. Narasimhan, highlighted the relevant provisions from the Scheme. Clause 2 (b) of the Scheme refers "Claims Enquiry Officer". Clause 2 ( c ) refers to "Claims Settlement Commissioner." Among other clauses, we are concerned with Clause 19, which speaks about Nomination of insurance company; Clause 20 refers Procedure for making the claim application; Clause 22 relates to sanctioning of claims and Clause 23 refers to Payment of compensat ion. The Scheme also provides application form for compensation from Solatium Fund. In the light of the above referred Clauses, the proper course for the petitioners is to make a proper application in Form I before the Claims Enquiry Officer, i.e., Spe cial Divisional Officer or Tahsildar or any other Officer in charge of the Revenue Special Division of a Taluk not below the rank of Sub-Divisional Officer or Tahsildar as specified by the State Government.

6. Though as per Sub-clause (2) of Clause 20 an application under Clause (1) shall be made within a period of six months from the date of the accident and the Claims Enquiry Officer has power to condone the delay upto the period of 12 months ate of accident, in view of the peculiar circumstance of the case and the grievance expressed by the petitioners, this Court taking note of all the above aspects grants two weeks time from the date of receipt of a copy of this order to the petitioners to file a proper application in the prescribed form before the Claims Enquiry Officer. It is for the petitioners to file an application seeking compensation under the Scheme in Form-I, giving details as required. On receipt of the claim application, the Claims Enquiry Officer - Tahsildar or any other Officer authorised, after getting necessary materials from the officer concerned hold an enquiry in respect of the claim arising out of hit and run motor accident and forward his report to the Claims Settle ment Commissioner, who is the District Magistrate / Deputy Commissioner / Collector or any other officer in charge of a revenue District in a State appointed by the State Government. On receipt of the report of the Claims Enquiry Officer, the Claims Set tlement Commissioner shall pass an order in terms of Clause 22 and communicate the sanction order if any to the nominated officer of the Insurance Company, here in our case United India Insurance Company enclosing details as mentioned in Clause 22. Base d on the recommendation of the Claims Settlement Commissioner, the nominated officer of the Insurance Company shall sanction and pay the amount as recommended.

7. With the above observations, the writ petition is disposed of. No costs.

This Court records its appreciation for the efforts taken by Mr. K.S. Narasimhan in placing the

relevant statutory provisions for the disposal of the above case. Index:Yes

Internet:Yes

kh

07.08.2002

To

1.The General Insurance Corporation

of India, Crop Insurance Cell,

L.B. Road, Adyar, Madras 20.

2.The Secretary to Government,

Union of India

Finance Department,

North Block, New Delhi 11.

3.The Secretary,

State of Tamil Nadu

Home Department,

Fort St. George, Madras 9.

4.The Inspector of Police

Traffic Investigation (South)

E-4, Pondy Bazzar, Madras 17.

5.The Divisional Engineer

National Highway, Madras 20.

P. Sathasivam,J.,

Order in

W.P.No.15101 of 1995




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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