A.N. Varma, J.
1. This appeal is directed against an order passed by the learned District Judge, Banda, rejecting a claims petition filed by the appellant for recovery of Rs. 31,200/- from the respondents under the Motor Vehicles Act.
2. The claims petition was filed by the appellant on the allegation that on February 9, 197 at about 800 P.M. Chhota, the claimsant, was going on a bullock cart on the Atarra-Banda Road along with others from Atarra side to Banda. At about 8.00 P.M. when the bullock cart was between Badokhar Khurd and Nawab tank at a distance of about 2 kms from Banda, a private bus No. USC 1635 came from Atarra side and on account of the rash and negligent driving of the bus it collided against the bullock cart as a result of which one bullock died on the spot and the other two days later. The bullock cart was damaged and the claimsant sustained various injuries as a result of the accident. The claimsant asked the respondents who are respectively the owner and the driver to pay damages to him on account of the injuries sustained by him and the loss suffered by him as a consequence of the accident by the rash and negligent act of the driver. On the refusal of the respondents to pay the damages the present claims petition was filed.
3. The claims petition was contested by the respondents namely, the owner and the driver of the aforesaid bus. Their case was that bus No. USE 1635 was not at all involved in the accident which may have caused injuries and loss to the claimsant. Various other pleas were taken which, it is not necessary, to reproduce here.
4. In support of the respective case both sides led evidence. The claimsant examined himself, Sarju, (PW 2) and Hiralal (PW3) and some others. An extract of the General Diary entry was also filed in which the incident is stated to have been recorded at the police station. The head constable of Police Station Kotwali, Banda, was also examined as P.W. to prove the entry in the General Diary. On a consideration of the evidence on record, the court below negatived the claims of the appellant, inter alia, on the ground that he has completely failed to prove by any admissible and reliable evidence that the alleged injuries and loss were sustained by him as a result of an accident in which bus No. USE 1635 was involved. On this finding the claims of the appellant has been dismissed
5. Aggrieved by the aforesaid order the claimsant has filed this appeal. learned Counsel for the appellant submitted that while it is true that the claimsant's witnesses who are stated to have been the occurrence personally have not been able to prove that they themselves noted the number of the vehicle or that they were even in a position by virtue of their illiteracy to note down the number of the vehicle. The General Diary entry clearly connected the accident with bus No. USE 1635.
6. Having heard learned Counsel for the parties I find no merit in this appeal. It is indisputable that the burden to prove that the accident in which the claimsant is stated to have received injuries and sustained the loss claimsed by him was caused by bus No. USE 1635. The question whether the accident was caused by the rash and negligent driving of the vehicle arises only thereafter. In my opinion, the claimsant has miserably failed to discharge this burden. The witnesses, namely, the claimsant, Sarju and Hiralal who are alleged to be the eye-witnesses of the occurrence have all categorically admitted that they themselves did not note the number of the bus. Hiralal has admitted in the cross-examination that the number of the bus was given to him by somebody whose name be does not recollect. Further none of these witnesses has recognised the driver in court in the course of evidence which might have connected the vehicle with the accident. As the oral evidence goes, I, therefore, find that the claimsant has not been able to establish that the vehicle in question was involved in the accident. As regards the entry in the General Diary I find that the same does not take the case of the claimsant any further. The entry in the General Diary to the effect that the driver and the vehicle were brought to the police station Kotwali by Sarju and Hiralal have not been corroborated by any direct evidence and at any rate, it could not be a substitute for proof of the basic fact that the vehicle was involved in that accident. At best, the entry shows that the alleged incident was reported at the police station.
7. Whether the vehicle in question was involved in the accident which resulted in the injury to the claimsant is not proved by the entry in the General Diary.
8. Under the circumstances I agree with the court below that the claimsant has failed to connect bus No. USE 1635 with the accident in question.
9. That being so, the claims of the appellant was rightly dismissed.
10. In the result, the appeal fails and is dismissed, but I make no order as to costs.