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New India Assurance Company Vs. Urmila Devi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1986)ACC73
AppellantNew India Assurance Company
RespondentUrmila Devi and ors.
Excerpt:
- - the tribunal has given good reasons for disbelieving the statement of dw 1 sudama tewari ex. in this view of the mattter the tribunal rightly fixed the monthly income of the deceased as well as the income available to the family......was travelling in taxi no. uth 258 from hansrajpur to ghazipur. the taxi was driven by owner-cum-driver sudama tewari. it is said that due to sash and negligent driving of taxi by the driver, it overturned. shyamdeo singh succumbed to the injuries. the report of the accident was louged by ram bachchan singh on the same day at s.p. kotwali, ghazipur, at 4 p.m.3. the claimants-respondents are the widow, minor daughter and minor son. they claimed rs. 25,000/- as compensation. the age of deceased was given as 32 years. monthly average income was given as rs. 400/-.4. the petition was contested by owner-cum-driver and the insurer separately. the owner-cum-driver alleged that the accident took place on account of slippery and muddy road due to rains. when the driver applied the brakes, the.....
Judgment:

O.P. Saxena, J.

1. These are two connected appeals under Section 110-D of the Motor Vehicles Act against the order dated 17-2-1976 passed by Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (District Judge Ghazipur). The claimant respondents have filed a cross-objection.

2. On 23-9-1976 at 2.30 P.M. at village Nasirpur, P.S. Birno, District Ghazipur. a motor accident took place. Shyamdeo Singh was travelling in taxi No. UTH 258 from Hansrajpur to Ghazipur. The taxi was driven by owner-cum-driver Sudama Tewari. It is said that due to sash and negligent driving of taxi by the driver, it overturned. Shyamdeo Singh succumbed to the injuries. The report of the accident was louged by Ram Bachchan Singh on the same day at S.P. Kotwali, Ghazipur, at 4 P.M.

3. The claimants-respondents are the widow, minor daughter and minor son. They claimed Rs. 25,000/- as compensation. The age of deceased was given as 32 years. Monthly average income was given as Rs. 400/-.

4. The petition was contested by owner-cum-driver and the insurer separately. The owner-cum-driver alleged that the accident took place on account of Slippery and muddy road due to rains. When the driver applied the brakes, the taxi slipped and overturned. The driver was also injured. The average monthly income was Rs. 100/- per mensem. The compensation claimed was assailed as excessive. The insurer alleged that the driver had no valid driving licence and it is consequently not liable.

5. The Tribunal held that the accident took place due to rash and negligent driving of the taxi. The pleas raised by the owner-cum-driver and insurer were repelled. A sum of Rs. 18,900/- was awarded as compensation against the opposite parties. Costs were also awarded.

6. There is no substance in the submission of Sri M.D. Singh, learned Counsel for appellant in F.A.F.O. 238 of 1978 that the owner-cum-driver had DO valid licence. The driving licence is on the record and the Tribunal rightly repelled this plea.

7. Tri M.D. Singh, learned Counsel for appellant in F.A.F.O. No. 382 of 1978 assailed the finding that the accident took place due to rash and negligent driving of the taxi. PW 1 Mahmood was accompanying the deceased in the taxi which met with the accident. PW 2 Ram Bachchan Singh was travelling in the taxi of Bhaggu which was following the taxi of Sudama Tewari. The evidence shows that there were only 2 passengers in the taxi of Sudama Tewari, that on approaching Nasirpur, Sudama Tewari drove his taxi at a reckless speed as he was keen to take the passengers waiting at Nasirpur in his taxi, that the passengers hailed the taxi and Sudama Tewari applied brakes, that as the brakes were applied suddenly and the taxi was being driven at a very high Speed. It overturned and that all the occupants were injured. PW 1 Mahmood and PW 2 Sudama Tewari also received injuries. PW 1 Mahmood stated that the taxi was driven at a speed of 80 or 90 kilometers per hour. The Tribunal has given good reasons for disbelieving the statement of DW 1 Sudama Tewari Ex. 2 is the copy of the report lodged by Ram Bachchan Singh on the same day at 4 P.M. at P.S. Kotwali Ghazipur. The version given in the report corroborates the claimants' version regarding the accident. DW 2 Sudama Tewari did not lodge any report of the accident. His version that the accident took place as he tried to save a minor girl, that he applied brakes suddenly, that taxi slipped as the road was slippery and muddy on account of rains and that the taxi therefore overturned saw the light of the day for the first time when written statement was filed. The accident took place on 23-9-1976 and the written statement was filed on 15-10-1977. It is difficult to believe the statement of DW 2 Sudama Tewari that he was driving the taxi at a Speed of 30 or 35 Kilometers. The Tribunal rightly accepted the claimants' version that the taxi was being driven at a speed of 80 or 90 Kilometers and the accident took place due to rash negligent driving. The taxi was to get upturned if brakes were suddenly applied while the taxi was being driven at break reck speed. There is no substance in the submission of Sri M.D. Singh.

8. Sri M.D. Singh assailed the compensation as excessive, while Sri S.K. Varma, learned Counsel for claimants-respondents submitted that it was inadequate. The deceased was 32 years old at the time of accident. In para 7 of the written statement filed by the driver-cum-insurer, the average monthly income of the deceased was given as Rs. 100/-. The Tribunal fixed the average monthly income at Rs. 125/- and after deducting one third for personal expenses, fixed the income available to the family at Rs. 84 per mensem. PW 3 Smt. Urmila Devi, claimant-respondent No. 1, said that the income from cultivation was Rs. 400 or Rs. 425 per mensem. PW 2 Ram Bachchan Singh stated that the annual income from the cultivation of Shyamdeo Singh and his two brothers was Rs. 400/- per month or Rs. 5,000/- per annum. There was 10 or 12 bighas cultivation. No extract of Khatauni was filed. The evidence regarding the area of the cultivation and the annum or monthly income is only approximate. In this view of the mattter the Tribunal rightly fixed the monthly income of the deceased as well as the income available to the family. The compensation of Rs. 18,900/- awarded by the Tribunal appears to be just and adequate. There is no merit in the submission to the contrary.

9. The appeals and cross-objection are dismissed with costs.


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