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Chief Secretary and ors. Vs. Veerbai - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1984)ACC225
AppellantChief Secretary and ors.
RespondentVeerbai
Cases ReferredChandrika Prasad v. Assistant Engineer and Anr.
Excerpt:
- - as well as one of the opposite parties which was allowed. the averment contained in the claim petition was clearly to the effect that the truck in question belonged to the irrigation department. the proviso to sub-section (1) of section 21 of the limitation act, 1963, provides that where the court is satisfied that the omission to include a new defendant was due to a mistake in good faith, it may direct that the suit as regards such defendant shall be deemed to have been instituted on any earlier date.b.d. agarwal, j.1. this appeal is directed against the decision of the motor accident claims tribunal, meerut, dated 7th july, 1977.2. the facts relevant briefly are that on march 30, 1972 at about 1.30 p.m. the respondent no. 1 was going on foot on the kachcha patri at the meerut-delhi road in modinagar bazar. she was proceeding towards her house a truck belonging to the state of u.p. (irrigation department) came up with a high speed and swered over her right side whereby multiple injuries were caused to the respondent. the left hand of the respondent was permanently impaired. a claim for damages under section 110-a of the motor vehicles act was lodged on october 20, 1972. the delay in filing the claim has been condoned by the tribunal. the chief secretary, government of u.p. was arrayed.....
Judgment:

B.D. Agarwal, J.

1. This appeal is directed against the decision of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Meerut, dated 7th July, 1977.

2. The facts relevant briefly are that on March 30, 1972 at about 1.30 P.M. the respondent No. 1 was going on foot on the kachcha patri at the Meerut-Delhi Road in Modinagar Bazar. She was proceeding towards her house A truck belonging to the State of U.P. (Irrigation Department) came up with a high speed and swered over her right side whereby multiple injuries were caused to the respondent. The left hand of the respondent was permanently impaired. A claim for damages under Section 110-A of the Motor Vehicles Act was lodged on October 20, 1972. The delay in filing the claim has been condoned by the Tribunal. The chief Secretary, Government of U.P. was arrayed as a party besides the Secretary (Irrigation) U.P. The Executive Engineer, Tubewell, and the Superintending Engineer, Tubewell Meerut, were also arrayed as the opposite parties. On February 28, 1975 there was an application made to implead the State of U.P. as well as one of the opposite parties which was allowed. The Tribunal considered the evidence of both sides and came to the finding that the accident occurred on account of the rash and negligent driving by the opposite party No. 5, the driver on the truck aforesaid. It was found also that as a result thereof the left hand of the respondent was permanently impaired and the utility was lost by 50%. The age of the respondent being so, it was held that if the accident had not occurred, she may have contributed for another fifteen years at the rate of Rs. 30/- per month to the family. Her earning from sewing has been estimated at nearly Rs. 60/- per month. The Tribunal awarded a sum of Rs. 10,400/- in all by way of compensation with a finding that a sum of Rs. 2 000/- was incurred in treatment; a sum of Rs. 5,400/- has been estimated as the loss of contribution to the income of the family and the rest 3,000/- has been awarded as general damages.

3. The learned Standing counsel raised two fold contentions in support of the appeal. It was alleged in the first place that the claim as against the State of U.P., the appellant No. 2, was barred by Limitation. The other contention raised is that the respondent No. 1 may have been guilty of contributory negligence. In so far as the point of limitation is concerned, as mentioned above, the accident occurred on March 30, 1972. The claim could be made under Section 110-A. Motor Vehicles Act within six months therefrom. It was lodged on 20th October, 1972 and the short delay was condoned by the Tribunal in exercise of the powers under that provision. In the claim initially lodged the Chief Secretary, Government of U.P. besides the Secretary (Irrigation) U.P. had been arrayed as opposite parties. The averment contained in the claim petition was clearly to the effect that the truck in question belonged to the Irrigation Department. State of U.P. In view of these facts the omission to implead the State of U.P. also as one of the opposite parties was in advertent. This might, in other words, be said to be a case of misdescription in so far as the non-impleadment of the State of U.P. as such is concerned. The proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 21 of the Limitation Act, 1963, provides that where the Court is satisfied that the omission to include a new defendant was due to a mistake in good faith, it may direct that the suit as regards such defendant shall be deemed to have been instituted on any earlier date. This apart, in view of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal Rules, framed under Section 110-A, a claim petition is not vitiated even if the person responsible for the accident or the owner of the Vehicles were not named in the claim petition. A reference may in this connection be made also to a recent decision of a Division Bench of this Court in Chandrika Prasad v. Assistant Engineer and Anr. 1983 A.C.J. 683. The impleadment of the State of U.P. as one of the opposite parties at a late stage cannot, therefore, be said to be barred by Limitation.

4. In so far as the contention that the respondent No. 1 be said to be guilty of contributory negligence is concerned, there is nothing in the evidence to suggest any negligence on her part. Respondent No. 1 was a pedestrian as found on the strength of her own testimony besides two other eye-witnesses moving on the Kachcha patri towards the left of the road. The truck came from the other side and swayed over to its right being driven negligently or rashly thereby permanently impairing the left hand of the respondent No. 1 No question of contributory negligence on her part in this situation arises.

5. In assessing the quantum of compensation, the Tribunal has proceeded rationally. It has taken relevant factors into consideration including the probable income that the respondent No. 1 may have contributed to the family but for the permanent disability caused to one of her hands. The multiplier adopted may also not be said to be erroneous.

6. For the reasons given above, the appeal is devoid of merit and is dismissed with costs to the respondent No. 1.


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