1. The appellant/Oriental Insurance Company Limited has filed the present C.M.A(MD)No.142 of 2010, challenging the award passed in MCOP.No.185 of 2004, dated 31.08.2009, on the file of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal-cum-Principal District Judge, Thoothukudi.
2. It is a case of fatal accident, which took place on 23.08.2003 at about 7.45 p.m. near Abirami Timbers, Thiruchendur Main Road, Muthaiapuram.
3. The legal heirs of the deceased filed the claim petition before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal-cum-Principal District Court, Thoothukudi, in MCOP.No.183 of 2004. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the Tribunal awarded Rs.5,53,000/- as compensation, against which, the appellant / Insurance Company has preferred the present appeal. Challenging the award mainly on the ground that the contributory negligence is on the part of the person, who was driving the vehicle, therefore 20% is fixed for contributory negligence, because the vehicle hit from the backside and therefore, 50% contributory negligence is to be fixed which would be reasonable in the facts and present cases is concerned.
4. Further objections raised by the learned counsel appearing for the appellant/Insurance Company is that at that point of time, the Tribunals were granting 7.5% p.a. interest for the award amount and unusually in the present case, 9% p.a. was granted, which has to be reduced as 7.5% p.a.
5. The learned counsel appearing for the respondents/claimants opposed the contention raised by the appellant by stating that the contributory negligence was rightly fixed because the vehicle, which was going on the front side, was not having the red signal lamps and therefore, the driver, who was plying the vehicle behind the lorry, was unable to see the lorry and dashed with the same. Therefore, the Tribunal has rightly fixed the contributory negligence at 20% in view of the above said fact and therefore there is no error on the findings of the Tribunal.
6. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, this Court is not inclined to entertain the appeal, since the award amount is not seems to be unjust and the Courts have repeatedly held in all such fatal cases a "just compensation" to be granted considering the facts and circumstances of each case and therefore, the present case is to be considered based on such facts.
7. In respect of the arguments advanced by the learned counsel appearing for the appellant/Insurance Company that the interest of 9% p.a. is excessive, this Court though inclined to consider the same, rejected the same on the ground that it is a case of fatal accident and the total amount of compensation awarded is only Rs.5,53,000/- and by reducing the interest amount the claimant may not get the just compensation. Therefore, the interest granted is also confirmed, considering the peculiar circumstances. Hence, the award passed by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal-cum-Principal District Judge, Thoothukudi, in MCOP.No.185 of 2004, dated 31.08.2009, is confirmed and the Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is dismissed.
8. The learned counsel appearing for the appellant/Insurance Company represented that the entire award amount has already been deposited. The respondents / claimants are entitled to withdraw the entire award amount along with accrued interest and costs as per the ratio fixed by the Tribunal. The respondents 1 and 3/claimants are permitted to withdraw their share by making necessary applications before the Tribunal. In so far as the minor share is concerned, the Tribunal is directed to deposit the said amount in any one of the Nationalised Bank, till he attains majority. The guardian of the minor is permitted to withdraw the interest of the minor share once in three months directly from the bank. No costs. Connected miscellaneous petition is closed.