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Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation Vs. Manohar Mahadeo Vairage - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1986)ACC377
AppellantMaharashtra State Road Transport Corporation
RespondentManohar Mahadeo Vairage
Excerpt:
.....his daughter janabai but by a quirk of fate the visit entailed not only in further damage to the health and well being of his daughter janabai but also a permanent disability to his grand son manohar aged nine years. 2. as a result of the accident the motor accidents claims tribunal, sangli awarded damages for injuries to kallappa and janabai as well as manohar who had received grievous form of the injuries. as against the word of the conductor the claimants have examined themselves and kallappa has explained that even though the driver had an unobstructed view of the road he, in rash and negligent manner, speeded forward and hit the members of the family 'like a storm......result of the accident the motor accidents claims tribunal, sangli awarded damages for injuries to kallappa and janabai as well as manohar who had received grievous form of the injuries.3. the maharashtra state road transport corporation did not challenge the award as respects the other members of kallappa's family but have filed the present appeal challenging the grant of compensation of rs. 40,000/- awarded to manohar the grand son of kallappa.4. mr. hedge the learned counsel for appellant challenged the award on two courts. firstly, he argued that as the driver of the bus tried to avoid the dash to a young girl aged ten who darted as if from nowhere across the path he swerved the bus and in that attempt inadvertently hit the claimants. secondly, mr. hedge challenges the quantum of.....
Judgment:

V.V. Vaze, J.

1. Kallappa Mallappa Vairage an agriculturist of village Alas, Taluka Shirol in Kohlapur district came to Sangli for cure of his daughter Janabai but by a quirk of fate the visit entailed not only in further damage to the health and well being of his daughter Janabai but also a permanent disability to his grand son Manohar aged nine years. All the three of them stayed in the house of Kallappa's sister situated on the southern side of Sangli-Miraj road and in the evening crossed the road when they were knocked down by S.T. bus coming from Miraj side.

2. As a result of the accident the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Sangli awarded damages for injuries to Kallappa and Janabai as well as Manohar who had received grievous form of the injuries.

3. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation did not challenge the award as respects the other members of Kallappa's family but have filed the present appeal challenging the grant of compensation of Rs. 40,000/- awarded to Manohar the grand son of Kallappa.

4. Mr. Hedge the learned Counsel for appellant challenged the award on two courts. Firstly, he argued that as the driver of the bus tried to avoid the dash to a young girl aged ten who darted as if from nowhere across the path he swerved the bus and in that attempt inadvertently hit the claimants. Secondly, Mr. Hedge challenges the quantum of compensation on the ground that no medical evidence has been adduced nor certificate produced to prove any permanent disability.

5. As regards the first limb of the argument it is seen that M.S.R.T. Corporation has not taken even the elementary first step of putting the driver in the witness box who could have explained how he had to swerve the bus in order to save a young girl who ran across his path. The Corporation has put the conductor in the box but as is usual the conductor is seated in the rear of the bus and is not likely to witness the scene in front of the bus which either the driver or some passengers sitting near him are likely to see. As against the word of the conductor the claimants have examined themselves and Kallappa has explained that even though the driver had an unobstructed view of the road he, in rash and negligent manner, speeded forward and hit the members of the family 'like a storm.' Even though Kallappa might have used superlatives or drawn comparisons with natural phenomenon with which a man from an agrarian background is familiar, the fact remains that the driver who has not been examined did have a complete view of the road and as he was near the bus stop he could have prevented the accident by application of brakes. In this view of the matter we find no force in the contention of Mr. Hedge that the driver may be absolved of the charge of negligence.

6. Coming to the quantum of compensation it is true that the claimants have not been able to adduce any documentary evidence in the shape of a medical certificate indicating that Manohar has been permanently disabled. It appears that Manohar's both the legs were crushed by the tyres of the bus and he had to be taken to the operation table for no less than four occasions. Dr. Tivade explained that repeated skin grafting was done and both of his legs were crushed with fractures of the bones. As regards the right leg Dr. Tivade is of the opinion that the leg will not grow and that it is difficult for him to state whether the patient will be able to walk in future without the help of crutches. As regards the wound on the left heel Dr. Tivade has opined that the same may not heal cUrly because of the koloid formation.

7. An attempt was made to put Manohar in the school but due to horrendous state of the deformed feet his studies had to be discontinued. Presently Manohar cannot touch the floor with the soles of his feet because of the pain and has to move around only on crutches. This condition has been continuing till 1983 and nothing can be told about the future. Hence even though the label of permanent disability cannot be attached to Manohar's condition it cannot be said that the Tribunal was in error in assessing the damages at Rs. 35,000/- for the disability which is evident from the medical report. In these premises we find that there is no need to interfere with the findings. Appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.


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