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Ram Adhar Pal and ors. Vs. K.M. Transport Co. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1984)ACC339
AppellantRam Adhar Pal and ors.
RespondentK.M. Transport Co.
Excerpt:
- - it is not disputed that the cycle was damaged in the accident and the tribunal has not given any good reasons for refusing the sum of rs. we are satisfied that the amount claimed under this head is reasonable one and should have been allowed by the tribunal......in the knee movement. ex. 2 is the medical examination report.11. the statement of p.w. 6 ram adhar pal shows that he purchased the cycle about six months earlier for rs. 200/- and the cycle was severally damaged and became completely useless after the accident. it is not disputed that the cycle was damaged in the accident and the tribunal has not given any good reasons for refusing the sum of rs. 150/-12. the statement of ram adhar pal shows that he spent rs. 1,500/- in medical treatment. he remained in the hospital for ten days. his right leg remained under plaster, for three months. for two months he could move about with the help of others. he there after began moving about with the help of crutches. the sum of rs. 1,500/- claimed by him for medical expenses is a reasonable.....
Judgment:

O.P. Saxena, J.

1. This is an appeal under Section 110-D of the Motor Vehicles Act against the award dated 7th April 1976 made by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (IX Addl. District Judge) Allahabad.

2. The facts giving rise to this appeal are that on 1-7-1974 at about 6.30 P.M. an accident took place in which Ram Adhar Pal received serious injuries. He was going on a cycle on the road leading to Jamuna Bridge and when he reached near the Gaughat Mandi, Motor Truck No. U.T.B. 4073 came from the opposite direction and knocked him down. Ram Adhar Pal was employed as a Mali in Bharat Pumps & Compressors Ltd., Naini. At the time of accident he, Maha Narain and Guru Prasad were going on cycles and he was ahead of them. Ram Adhar Pal fell down and his cycle was damaged. The truck stopped at a distances of 30 to 40 paces on the hue and cry raised by the passersby.

3. Ram Adhar Pal was removed to Swaroop Rani Nehru Hospital, Allahabad where his injuries were examined and he was admitted for treatment.

4. Guru Prasad lodged a report of the occurrence at P. Section Muthiganj, Allahabad.

5. On 23-12-1974 Ram Adhar Pal gave an application for compensation claiming a sum of Rs. 35,150/-. It was said that the accident took place due to the rash and negligent driving of the truck. Opposite parties Nos. 1, 2 and 3 are the owner, hirer and insurer of the truck respectively. Claimants Nos. 2 and 3 are parents and 4 and 5 are the wife and minor son.

6. The application was contested by opposite parties Nos. 1 and 3. It was denied that the vehicle was being driven rashly and negligently. The amount of compensation was challenged as highly excessive.

7. After considering the evidence on the record the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal awarded a sum of Rs. 3,500/- as damages with proportionate costs against opposite parties 1 and 3. Hence, this appeal.

8. Learned Counsel for the appellants submitted that the damages awarded by the Tribunal are grossly inadequate. Learned Counsel for respondents assailed the finding regarding rash and negligent driving of the truck.

9. We have considered the statements of P.W. 1 Ram Adhar Pal and one of the eye-witnesses Guru Prasad. The evidence shows that Ram Adhar Pal and his two companions were going on their cycles and when they reached Gaughat Mandi, Ram Adhar Pal was a head of them. They were going on the left side of the Pati. Truck No. U.T.B. 4073 came from the opposite direction at a very fast speed and knocked down Ram Adhar Pal. The evidence shows that the accident took place due to the rash and negligent driving of the truck. The claimants also proved the report lodged by Guru Prasad. The opposite parties did not examine the driver of the truck. In the absence of any evidence in rebuttal the Tribunal was quite justified in holding that the accident took place due to the rash and negligent driving of the truck.

10. We have perused the statements of P.W. 6 Ram Adhar Pal, P.W. 2 Salig Ram Gautam, Compounder, and P. W. 4 Dr. N. K. Keshwani, Lecturer in Surbery, Medical College, Allahabad. P.W. 2 Salig Ram Gautam Proved Ex. 1, the injury report prepared by Dr. S.K. Bajpai of Swaroop Rani Memorial Hospital, Allahabad when Ram Adhar Pal was brought to the hospital on 1-7-1974 and was admitted in the hospital. Dr. Keshwani examined the injuries of Ram Adhar Pal and proved the medical examination report. On examining X-ray reports he found a fracture of right Tibia. The fracture was malunited. The leg was deformed. He could not walk freely without crutches. The disability in the right leg was of a permanent nature. The doctor was of the opinion that he was not likely to improve any further. The doctor stated that there was deficiency in the ankle movement. There was no deficiency in the knee movement. Ex. 2 is the medical examination report.

11. The statement of P.W. 6 Ram Adhar Pal shows that he purchased the cycle about six months earlier for Rs. 200/- and the cycle was severally damaged and became completely useless after the accident. It is not disputed that the cycle was damaged in the accident and the Tribunal has not given any good reasons for refusing the sum of Rs. 150/-

12. The statement of Ram Adhar Pal shows that he spent Rs. 1,500/- in medical treatment. He remained in the hospital for ten days. His right leg remained under plaster, for three months. For two months he could move about with the help of others. He there after began moving about with the help of crutches. The sum of Rs. 1,500/- claimed by him for medical expenses is a reasonable amount. The mere fact that due to his simplicity and ignorance he did not preserve the vouchers cannot go to show that he did not spend anything in his treatment. It is rather strange that the Tribunal should not have allowed any amount under this head. We are satisfied that the amount claimed under this head is reasonable one and should have been allowed by the Tribunal.

13. The statement of Ram Adhar Pal shows that ha was getting Rs. 275/- per mensem as a Mali. He could not attend to his duties for five months. His statement shows that he did not get any salary for this period. There is almost no cross-examination matter left was that he resumed duties after five months. In the circumstances the Tribunal was hardly reasonable in refusing the sum of Rs. 1,500/- claimed under this head.

14. The claim of Rs. 10,000/- for loss of income from ancillary jobs of sheep rearing, milk vending, agriculture and marketing of agricultural products has not been substantiated. The record does not show as to how much cultivation he has in his own name. The statement of Ram Adhar Pal that he is suffering loss of Rs. 100/- per mensem in agriculture and Rs. 150/- per mensem in rearing sheeps is rather vague. The claim under this head has been rightly rejected.

15. The claim of Rs. 18,000/- under the head loss of future income and earning capacity due to permanent disablement has also not been substantiated. Ram Adhar Pal was employed as a Mali and he continues to be so employed. In fact he joined duties after five months of the accident. He will continue to draw the salary and the increments when due. In the absence of any evidence it cannot be said that he has been adversely affected as far as his employment prospects are concerned.

16. The claimants are, however, entitled to general damages for the permanent disability suffered by Ram Adhar Pal. Taking into consideration the evidence on the record, we deem it proper to assess the general damages at Rs. 10,000/-. This will include the sum of Rs. 2,000/- claimed as damages for mental shock, physical suffering and pain and Rs. 2,000/- claimed as damages for loss of pleasures of life and normal amenties of life.

17. The Tribunal awarded only a sum of Rs. 3,500/- as damages. We deem it proper to award a sum of Rs. 13,150/- under the following heads:

1. For the damage caused to cycle Rs. 150/-

2. For medical expenses. Rs. 1,500/-

3. For loss of earnings during the period of five months. Rs. 1,500/-

4. General damages. Rs. 10,000/-

_________________

Total Rs. 13,150/-

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18. The appeal is partly allowed with costs and the award made by the Tribunal is modified. The claimants will get a sum of Rs. 13,150/- with interest at 6% per annum from the date of application till the date of payment and cost of the proceedings before the Tribunal.


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