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The General Manager, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation Vs. Sangappa Satalingappa Goudar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles;Civil
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMisc. First Appeal No. 355 of 1976
Judge
Reported inAIR1979Kant10; 1979(1)KarLJ103
ActsMotor Vehicles Act - Sections 81, 84 and 110-A
AppellantThe General Manager, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation
RespondentSangappa Satalingappa Goudar and ors.
Excerpt:
.....or there is any mistake in writing or typing and an error arising out of the occurring from an accidental slip or omission is an error due to careless mistake or omission unintentionally made. but in the present case, detailed order has been passed by the trial court for rejecting the compromise petition as petitioner has failed to comply the orders of the court and the said suit has been dismissed in view of not adducing or leading any evidence. therefore, the court of the considered view that, in this type of litigation, there should be a finality in the matter, since the matter is pending adjudication from 1985 and petitioner having sufficient time has not chosen to file necessary application under the relevant provisions to set aside the order dated 24.7.1989 and after the lapse..........that a state government may, by notification in the official gazette, constitute one or more motor accidents claims tribunals, for such area as may be specified in the notification for the purpose of adjudicating upon claims for compensation in respect of accidents involving the death of, or bodily injury to, persons arising out of the use of motor vehicles, or damages to any property of a third party so arising, or both: thus, the tribunal gets jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the claims for compensation is respect of accidents involving the death or bodily injury, out of the use of the motor vehicles. the short point, therefore, that arise for our consideration in this appeal is, whether it could be said that the slipping of the bus on a slope causing accident can be said to arise.....
Judgment:

Sabhahit, J.

1. The appeal is instituted by the K. S. R. T. C; against the judgment and Award dated 18-1-1975 passed in M. V. C. No. 10 of 1969, on the file of the Accidents Claims Tribunal No.1, Belgaum.

2. On 2-2 1969 at about 2 a. m. The S. T. Bus bearing No. MYF 4025 belonging to K. S. R. T. C; was stationed by its driver near Ugargol Naka on Saundatti Yellamma Hills on a slope unattended. The bus suddenly started moving and dashed against a tea stall causing considerable damage to the stall and resulting in the fracture of the shoulder bone of the claimant. The claimant got himself treated in the hospital and presented the claim petition to the Tribunal on 22-3-1969 claiming compensation of Rs. 15,000/- both for injuries sustained and the damages caused to the property.

3. The respondent No. 1 the K. S. R. T. C.-resisted the claim on the ground that the bus moved down the slope as its gear got released and as such it could not be said that the accident arose in the use of the motor vehicle or due to the negligence of the driver. In that way, it submitted that the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain the claim. It also contended that the claim with regard to the properties was not maintainable before the Tribunal. Alternatively, the K. S. R. T. C; asserted that the claim was excessive. The second respondent, in the petition, adopted the statement of objections filed by the first respondent. The third respondent-Insurance Company-contended that the vehicles was not insured with it during the relevant period. On these pleadings, the Tribunal raised the following issues:

(1) Whether the applicant proves that the accident occurred due to the rash and negligent act of the driver opponent No. 2 of M. S. R. T. C. Bus bearing No. MYF 4025?

(2) Whether all or any of the opponents are liable to pay compensation, and if so, what amount?

(3) Whether the Claims Tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain and decide the application?

(4) During hearing, the claimant examined himself as P.W. I and examined in support of his claim another witness. As against that the respondents examined the driver of the vehicle as D.W. 1, and closed their case.

5. The Tribunal appreciating the evidence on record held that it had jurisdiction to entertain the claim, that the accident was the result of rash and negligent act of the driver of the bus and in that view awarded compensation of Rs. 3, 000/- towards the injuries sustained by the claimant and Rs. 927/- towards damages caused to the property by its judgment and Award referred to above. Aggrieved by the said award, the K. S. R. T. C. Has come up in appeal before this court.

6. The learned Advocated appearing for the appellant contended that the Tribunal was not justified in entertaining the claim petition as it could not be said that the accident occurred in the use of the motor vehicle. According to him, the Award was more on the liberal side. As against that, the learned Advocate for the respondent-1 in this appeal submitted that the compensation awarded was on the conservative side and that the Tribunal had jurisdiction to entertain the claim and decide the quantum of compensation.

7. We were taken through the evidence on record. The points that arise for our consideration are:

(1) Whether the Tribunal had jurisdiction to entertain the claim petition on the facts of this case?

(2) Whether the compensation awarded is just and proper?

8. S. 110(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act states that a State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute one or more Motor Accidents Claims Tribunals, for such area as may be specified in the notification for the purpose of adjudicating upon claims for compensation in respect of accidents involving the death of, or bodily injury to, persons arising out of the use of motor vehicles, or damages to any property of a third party so arising, or both: Thus, the Tribunal gets jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the claims for compensation is respect of accidents involving the death or bodily injury, out of the use of the motor vehicles. The short point, therefore, that arise for our consideration in this appeal is, whether it could be said that the slipping of the bus on a slope causing accident can be said to arise out of the use of the motor vehicle. It is not disputed before us that the bus was going on a road. It is further not disputed that the bus was halted on a slope by the driver. Thus it is obvious that the bus was in use and the negligent act of the driver occurred while he was using the bus. Hence, it is manifest that the accident has arisen out of the use of the motor vehicle. The Tribunal has held so. We see no reason to disagree from the view taken by the Tribunal.

9. Sections 81 and 84 of the Motor Vehicles Act make it incumbent on the driver not to halt the bus on a road in a dangerous position as on a slope. They further provide that the driver must be present in the bus when the bus is stopped on the road. Admittedly, in this case, the driver had come out of the bus. He has no doubt stated that he had put the bus in the reverse gear. But, the reverse gear would not slip unless the vehicle is defective. It is the duty of the driver either to sit in the bus himself or to make another qualified driver to occupy his seat. The driver has not done so. That being so, it is manifest that the accident has happened on account of actionable negligence on the part of the driver in the use of the bus (Vide Maguire v. Crouch (1941-1 KB 108). The Tribunal has rightly come to that conclusion, which in the circumstances makes the K. S. R. T. In law liable vicariously to pay compensation. That is not disputed before us. But what is disputed alternatively is the quantum of compensation awarded in this instant case. The victim is Sangappa Satalingappa Gouder. He was in the hospital for 35 days. It is true that the doctor is not examined to speak about his disability. But the fact remains that he has suffered loss of income for the period of 35 days. He must have incurred some expenses. Besides, compensation has to be awarded for the injury, pain and suffering. Having regard to these factors the amount of compensation awarded for personal injury in our considered opinion, is on the conservative side. It can not be said to be on the liberal side.

10. Similarly the compensation of Rs. 927/- awarded towards damages to the property is also very conservative in estimate. In the circumstances, we find no reason to interfere with the quantum of compensation also.

11. In the result, the appeal fails and is dismissed as devoid of merits with costs.

12. Appeal dismissed.


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