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Bachu Devi and ors. Vs. Pati Ram Sanwal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in2(1985)ACC377
AppellantBachu Devi and ors.
RespondentPati Ram Sanwal
Cases ReferredHemlata Devi v. R. Lalman and Ors.
Excerpt:
- - it is not in dispute that at that time the visibility was very poor......not worthy of reliance. there was no entry at the various tolls and bridge barriers either of the jeep or taxi in question. the trial court held that there was no explanation whatsoever about the absence of entry at the barrier. from this inference was rightly drawn by the trial court that the vehicle did not cross the barrier on the night in question. the trial court rightly held that the evidence led in support of the story that deceased travelled by taxi would not be believed and it is a cook and bull story. we have also perused the evidence led by the claimsant and we fully concur with the findings of the trial court. thus we are of the opinion that the tribunal rightly held that the deceased ghanshyam joshi did not travel by the said taxi. apart from this, the story was sought to.....
Judgment:

A.P. Misra, J.

1. The present First Appeal From Order is directed against the judgment and order dated 30th May, 1977 passed by the claimss Tribunal arising out of the claims Petition No.13 of 1976. By means of this judgment the claims made by the claimsant was dismissed.

2. The claims was made by the widow and four daughters of Ghanshyam Joshi, the deceased.According to the claims Petition the deceased had gone to Dehradun for purchasing articles worth Rs. 10,000/- for presentation in the marriage of his brother's daugther.According to claims Petition on 20th January, 1976 the deceased was travelling by Taxi USK 8184 from Dehradun to Srinagar.The taxi belonged to respondent No.1 and was insured with the Oriental Fire and General Insurance Company.The taxi is said to have fallen down at about 6 A.M. on 20-1-1976 into Alekhnanda river and was washed away.However, it is significant to note that the report of this incident was only lodged by one Madan Charan Sanwal on 22nd January, 1976 to which final report dated 27th April, 1977 was made.The case of the claimsant is that the incident took place as a result of rash and negligent driving resulting into the death of Ghanshyam, deceased and thus the claims of compensation amounting to Rs. 2,00,000/- was made.

3. The respondents denied the allegations made in the claims petition. The case set up in reply was that Ghanshyam Joshi was not travelling by the said taxi and thus did not die as a result of this accident. In any case, it was further contended that the accident did not take place as a result of negligent driving and thus no compensation could be awarded to the claimsant. The claims Petition was dismissed by the Tribunal holding that the deceased was not travelling by the said taxi and it could not be proved in this case that the said accident was on account of negligent driving by the taxi driver.

4. The main contention raised by the counsel for the appellant before us was that the finding of the Tribunal that the deceased did not travel by the said Taxi was not proper as it had been proved on the basis of evidence on record that he travelled by the said taxi.According to the evidence of the claimsant driver Kuer Singh was sent along with Jeep on 19th January, 1976 by the deceased's brother to bring him from Dehradun. The said driver reached Dehradun at 9 P.M. but could not find Ghanshyam. At about 3.30 A.M. next day he was told that Ghanshyam had already left the place. However, he on the Jeep caught Ghanshyam at 5.45 P.M. at Bayasi. It is significant to note that in spite of knowing that jeep has been sent for him, Ghanshyam did not travel by the jeep as he said that he had already paid the fare for travelling in the taxi. If the jeep reached for carrying the deceased and the driver Kuer Singh contacted Ghansyam, the deceased at Bayasi at 5.45 P.M it is improbable that he did not travel by it. The trial court rightly did nor believe this evidence. There is another circumstance which makes this part of the story not worthy of reliance. There was no entry at the various tolls and bridge barriers either of the jeep or taxi in question. The trial court held that there was no explanation whatsoever about the absence of entry at the barrier. From this inference was rightly drawn by the trial court that the vehicle did not cross the barrier on the night in question. The trial court rightly held that the evidence led in support of the story that deceased travelled by taxi would not be believed and it is a cook and bull story. We have also perused the evidence led by the claimsant and we fully concur with the findings of the trial court. Thus we are of the opinion that the Tribunal rightly held that the deceased Ghanshyam Joshi did not travel by the said taxi. Apart from this, the story was sought to be substantiated by the explanation made by one Mahabir Singh who is said to have not Ghanshyam Joshi at Bayasi by chance. The Trial court rightly pointed out that he was a relation of Ghanshyam and was an interested witness. No reliance can be placed upon his evidence. Further the claimsant could not prove on the basis of evidence led that on the fatal day when the said taxi was said to have fallen, the accident took place on account of negligent driving of the driver. In fact, the only evidence was of Kuer Singh who said to have seen the accident from the jeep, about 100 yards away. It is not in dispute that at that time the visibility was very poor. His testimony was that he heard some sound but did see the taxi falling down. In view of this actually there is no proof that the said taxi was being driven negligently or rashly. Thus on this ground also no compensation is to be paid to the deceased even if he could be said to have travelled by the said taxi. The claimss Tribunal rightly relied for this purpose on the case of Hemlata Devi v. R. Lalman and Ors. 1973 ACJ 257. The finding recorded by the claimss Tribunal is based on sound reasoning.

5. The appellant could not point out any defect nor substantiate the ground taken in the present appeal on the basis of evidence on record. We are, therefore, of opinion that this appeal is devoid of any merit.

6. In view of the aforesaid findings we find that the present appeal is deviod of any merit and is hereby dismissed. The judgment of the claimss Tribunal dated 30-5-1977 is confirmed. Costs on parties.


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