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Tarawati Devi and ors. Vs. New India Assurance Co. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in2(1985)ACC309
AppellantTarawati Devi and ors.
RespondentNew India Assurance Co. and ors.
Cases ReferredMadhya Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation v. Sudhakar and Ors. A.
Excerpt:
- .....for compensation was given claiming rs. 2,53,000/-from the opposite parties no. 1 to 3. opposite party no. 2, is the owner of the tanker. opposite party no. 1 is the insurer. opposite party no. 3 is driver. it was said that the accident took place due to rash and negligent driving of the tanker by its driver. the monthly income of ram kumar was given rs. 600/- per mensum.4. the opposite party no. 1 contested the petition with the allegations that ram kishore had no valid licence and that the accident took place due to negligence of the deceased. the amount of compensation claimed was also assailed.5. the opposite parties no. 2 and 3 also contested the petition with the allegations that the opposite party no. 3 was driving the tanker carefully and at a slow speed and the.....
Judgment:

O.P. Saxena, J.

1. This is an appeal Under Section 110-D of the Motor Vehicles Act against the order dated 6-8-1977, passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (10th Additional District Judge), Kanpur, awarding a sum of Rs. 2,500/- as compensation to Maiku La and Rs. 13,000/- as compensation to Smt. Tarawati.

2. The facts, giving rise to this appeal, are that on 27-1-1976, at about 10.00 A.M., near the Mahabir Temple on the road from Cooperagaj to Collectorganj, Police Station Collectorganj, Kanpur, one Ram Kumar met with an accident. Ram Kumar and Ram Dulare were going on the left side of the road from Cooperage to Collectorganj, Ram Kumar was holding his cycle in his hand. Motor Tanker No. UTE 5338, came from behind and dashed against Ram Kumar. Ram Kumar was crushed to death.

3. An application for compensation was given claiming Rs. 2,53,000/-from the opposite parties No. 1 to 3. Opposite party No. 2, is the owner of the tanker. Opposite party No. 1 is the Insurer. Opposite party No. 3 is driver. It was said that the accident took place due to rash and negligent driving of the tanker by its driver. The monthly income of Ram Kumar was given Rs. 600/- per mensum.

4. The opposite party No. 1 contested the petition with the allegations that Ram Kishore had no valid licence and that the accident took place due to negligence of the deceased. The amount of compensation claimed was also assailed.

5. The opposite parties No. 2 and 3 also contested the petition with the allegations that the opposite party No. 3 was driving the tanker carefully and at a slow speed and the accident took place due to rashness and negligence of Ram Kumar. It was said that Ram Kishore driver had a valid licence and the liability of the opposite party No. 2 has to be indemnified by opposite party No. 1.

6. The Tribunal repelled the plea that Ram Kishore had no driving licence. It held that the accident took place due to rash and negligent driving of the tanker by Ram Kishore and not due to any rashness and negligence of Ram Kumar. He assessed the compensation payable to Smt. Tarawati the widow, as Rs. 15,000/- and to Maiku Lal, the father as Rs. 2500/-. He held that Smt. Shiva Devi-claimant was not entitled to any compensation as she is not the legal representative of the deceased. He consequently allowed the claim application for compensation to the extent of amount as stated above and also awarded interest of 6% per annum. The claimants being aggrieved, have come in appeal.

7. We have heard Sri T.N. Dwivedi, learned Counsel for the appellants and Sri A.K. Banerjee, learned Counsel for the respondent No. 1.

8. We do not find any merit in the contention of the learned Counsel of the appellants that Smt. Shiva Devi, the step-mother should also have been allowed compensation Para 2 of Section 1-A of the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855, provides that every such action shall be for the benefit of the wife, husband, parents and child. The word parent would obviously include the father and mother of the deceased and step-mother would not come within the scope of the term. Under Section 110-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, an application for compensation can be given by the legal representatives of the deceased. Schedule 1 read with Section 8 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, provides the heirs of Class I and step-mother is not included therein. The evidence also shows that P.W. 5 Maiku Lal, father of the deceased was also earning at the time of the accident and Smt. Shiva Devi was, in no way, dependant on the deceased. In this view of the matter, the Tribunal rightly rufused the compensation to Smt. Shiva Devi-claimant.

9. We, however, find merit in the contention of the learned Counsel for the appellants that the amount of compensation awarded by the Tribunal is much too inadequate. The deceased was 22 yeare old at the time of the accident. The Tribunal has fised his income at Rs. 500/- per mensum, This is a fair assessment on the basis of the statements of P.W. 2 Jagannath Prasad and P.W. 7 Kuddi Lai. Both the learned Counsel accepted the assessment of the Tribunal as correct. The deceased was a young man, whose wife Smt. Tarawatl was also hardly 20 years old at the time of the accident. We can reasonably accept that the deceased may have spent about Rs. 250/-per mensum on himself and the balance for the family. The statement of P.W. 5 Maiku Lal also shows that the house-hold expediture was Rs. 350/-per mensum and he himself was earning between Rs. 150/- and 200/- per mensum. In this view of the matter also the deceased could be spending Rs. 200/- for the family expenses and Rs. 50/- for his father. In the case of Madhya Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation v. Sudhakar and Ors. A.I R. 1977, Supreme Court, 1189, the deceased was about 23 years old. She was to retire at the age of 58 years. The Supreme Gourt considered the multiplier of twenty as suitable for determining compensation. The annual dependency of the widow Smt. Tarawati would come to Rs. 2400/- and by using the multiplier of twenty, she should be awarded compensation of Rs. 48,000/-. The father could get Rs. 600/. per annum from the son for about 10 years, till the age of 70 years and compensation of Rs. 6000/-would be adequate.

10. We, therefore, held that the amount of compensation awarded by the Tribunal is liable to be enhanced to Rs. 48,000/- and Rs. 6000/-respectively. Claimants Nos. 1 and 2 are also entitled interest at 6% per annum from the date of the application till the date of payment and costs of the Tribunal.

11. The appeal is partly allowed and the order passed by the Tribunal is modified. It is directed that the opposite parties will pay a sum of Rs. 48,000/- as compensation to claimant No. 1 Smt. Tarawati and Rs. 6,000/-as compensation to claimant No. 2 Maiku Lal. The claimants will also get interest at 6/- per annum from the date of the application till the date of payment. The amount already paid to the claimants will be deducted from the amount to be paid in pursuance of this order. If the claimants have been paid interest on Rs. 15,000/- and Rs. 2500/- from the date of the application till the date of payment, the interest on these amounts will not be payable again after the date of the said payment. The liability of respondent No. 1 New India assurance Co. Ltd. will be to the extent of Rs. 5,000/- and the balance would be payable by respondents Nos. 2 and 3. In the circumstances of the case, we deem it proper to direct that the costs will easy.


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