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Rajendra Swarup Sharma Vs. Delhi Transport Undertaking - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal From Order No. 269 of 1975
Judge
Reported in[1983]54CompCas636(All)
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 110A
AppellantRajendra Swarup Sharma
RespondentDelhi Transport Undertaking
Appellant AdvocateE.V.K. Gupta, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateNone
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
- - the tribunal committed no error in holding that the appellant was guilty of inconsistency and that he had failed to prove that he received injuries on account of rash and negligent driving of the bus......to the delhi transport undertaking, was proceeding from ghaziabad to delhi, it was driven in rash and negligent manner as a result of which it hit the appellant hard which resulted in serious multiple injuries to him. the appellant was taken to irwin hospital, new delhi. later on he was shifted to esi dispensary, ghaziabad. the claimant lodged first information report with the station officer, ghaziabad, on december 13, 1969, after his discharge from the hospital. the appellant ultimately filed a claim petition under section 110a of the motor vehicles act, hereinafter referred to as ' the act ', claiming compensation for an amount of rs. 40,000 against the delhi state transportundertaking. the delhi transport undertaking contested the appellant's claim petition. in its written.....
Judgment:

1. This appeal is directed against the judgment of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Meerut, dated March 19, 1975, dismissing the appellant's claim petition filed under Section 110A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939.

2. Rajendra Swarup Sharma, appellant, received multiple injuries in the accident that took place on October 12, 1969, at 7.20 A.M. on G. T. Road near PWD Inspection Bungalow atGhaziabad. According to the allegations contained in the claim petition, the appellant was proceeding on foot to M/s. Mohan Meakins Breweries, Mohan Nagar, where he was employed. A stage carriage No. DLP 1327, belonging to the Delhi Transport Undertaking, was proceeding from Ghaziabad to Delhi, it was driven in rash and negligent manner as a result of which it hit the appellant hard which resulted in serious multiple injuries to him. The appellant was taken to Irwin Hospital, New Delhi. Later on he was shifted to ESI Dispensary, Ghaziabad. The claimant lodged first information report with the Station Officer, Ghaziabad, on December 13, 1969, after his discharge from the hospital. The appellant ultimately filed a claim petition under Section 110A of the Motor Vehicles Act, hereinafter referred to as ' the Act ', claiming compensation for an amount of Rs. 40,000 against the Delhi State TransportUndertaking. The Delhi Transport Undertaking contested the appellant's claim petition. In its written statement, it asserted that the bus was not being driven in rash and negligent manner and the bus did not hit the appellant. According to its plea as set tip in the written statement, it was asserted that while the bus was on its way from Ghaziabad to Delhi, it slowed down on account of heavy traffic; the appellant made an effort to board the bus while it was in motion but he could not maintain his balance as a result of which his left foot slipped and he fell on the road and received injuries on account of his fall on hard surface. The driver stopped the bus immediately when some of the passengers shouted ; the claimant thereafter boarded the bus. The driver, out of sheer sympathy took the appellant to hospital. It was further pleaded that the appellant was not entitled to any compensation as he had himself given in writing that the accident had not taken place on account of rash and negligent driving; instead, he himself was at fault.

3. The claim petition was filed beyond time but on an application made by the appellant, the Tribunal condoned the delay and treated the claim petition within time. But on merits, the Tribunal held that the accident did not take place due to rash and negligent driving of the driver as alleged by the appellant, rather it took place due to the fact that the appellant himself made an attempt to board the bus when it was in motion and he lost his balance and fell down. The injuries recieved by the appellant were not on account of any rash and negligent driving of the bus. The Tribunal further held that the appellant had himself immediately after the accident made a written application to the Depot Manager of the Delhi Transport Undertaking stating therein that he received injuries as he made an effort to board the bus while it was in motion, and either the driver or the conductor was not responsible for the injuries received by him. In view of this writing the appellant was not entitled to turn round and blame the driver for the injuries received by him. On these findings, the claim petition was dismissed in its entirety.

4. Learned counsel for the appellant urged that the Tribunal committed error in rejecting the appellant's claim on the ground of inconsistency between the pleading and the evidence. The Tribunal was not bound by the technical rules of pleadings as is generally applicable to the civil suits. It should have seen the substance of the matter instead it rejected the appellant's claim on a technical ground. We are unable to accept the contention. In his claim petition, the appellant had specifically stated that while he was walking on the road the bus in question came from behind and hit him as a result of which he received serious injuries; this happened on account of rash and negligent driving of the vehicle. But when heentered the witness box he gave a different version. He stated that the bus had stopped at his request and while he was boarding the bus it gained speed and he was dragged along with the bus for some distance ; this happened due to the rashness and negligence of the driver. Thus, there was complete inconsistency in the case set up in the claim petition and the case which the appellant attempted to prove before the Tribunal. In such a situation, it was always open to the Tribunal to discard the story set up by the claimant. The Tribunal committed no error in holding that the appellant was guilty of inconsistency and that he had failed to prove that he received injuries on account of rash and negligent driving of the bus.'

5. Under the rules framed under the Act, provisions of the CPC have been made applicable and as such it is not correct to say that the rules relating to the trial of suits as contained in the CPC are not applicable. But even assuming that the technicality of rules or procedure as contained in the CPC is not there, it is always open to a Tribunal to discard the story set up by a party if it finds any inconsistency in it. As noted earlier, there is clear inconsistency in the version given by the appellant in the petition and the story set up by him before the Tribunal at the time of the trial of the petition. In the circumstances, the Tribunal was right in rejecting the claim petition. Moreover, the appellant had himself given in writing to the Depot in-charge of the Delhi Transport Undertaking on the date of the accident itself that the driver or conductor was not at fault. Having regard to these facts and circumstances, we are of the opinion that there is no merit in the appeal. It is accordingly dismissed. There will be no order as to costs as none has appeared on behalf of the respondent.


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