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Kishan and ors. Vs. M.P. State Road Transport Corporation, Bairagarh, Bhopal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMisc. Appeal No. 182 of 1979
Judge
Reported inAIR1982MP83
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 110B
AppellantKishan and ors.
RespondentM.P. State Road Transport Corporation, Bairagarh, Bhopal and anr.
Appellant AdvocateS.K. Jain, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateM.L. Dhupar, Adv.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Cases ReferredGovind Singh v. A. S. Kailasam
Excerpt:
- - the tribunal's reasoning and conclusion on this aspect of the matter is clearly erroneous and i have no hesitation in holding that heerabai's death was due to causes directly connected with the injury sustained in the accident. from 9-5-79. in view of the divided success, there shall be no order as to the costs of this appeal which shall be borne by the parties as incurred......directly connected with the injury sustained in the accident.'we do not find that the cause of death of sudamabai was remote or unconnected with the injuries sustained by her. in our opinion, these complications are quite foreseeable and are not of uncommon developments. dr. jain (p. w. 3) has stated that she was removed from the hospital on 15-5-78 just at the time when she was more or less dying. that being so, the respondents could not escape the liability only on the ground that the injuries by themselves which she had received was the immediate cause of her death.9-a. the tribunal has adversely commented upon the discrepancies in the name of the injured in the different pages of the bed head ticket dp. jain (p. w. 3) has been asked about the discrepancies but nobody questioned.....
Judgment:

S.S. Sharma, J.

1. This appeal under Section 110-D of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 is against the award dated 9th May, 1979 in claim case No. 39 of 1979 (1978) by member, Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Mandleshwar, whereby the petition filed by the appellants claiming compensation was dismissed.

2. Appellant No. 1 Kishan is the husband of deceased Sudamabai. Appellants Nos. 2 to 5 are their minor children of different ages. Respondent No. 2 Razzaque, on 24th Jan., 1978 was the driver on the passenger bus bearing registration No. MPN 7068 belonging to the respondent No. 1 Corporation. There is no dispute on the question that on 24ih Jan., 1978 deceased Sudamabai met with an accident from the passenger bus MPN 7068 belonging to the respondent-Corporation and respondent No. 2 was then driving that vehicle.

3. Appellant, claimants and the respondents, however, gave different versions with regard to the manner of accident. The version of the appellants in the claim petition was that while Sudamabai was going to the field and she had just crossed the Puliya the aforesaid bus dashed against her as a result of which, she fell down. It is further alleged that the bus had run over the right leg resulting in crush injuries. As against this the version of the respondents was that while the bus had reached one of ends of the Puliya, a bullock cart was seen coming from the opposite direction. The respondent, therefore, stopped the bus but the cart driver gave a signal to respondent No. 2 to cross the Puliya. That Puliya was zig zag and when the bus had crossed half way, Sudamabai who was sitting on a corner over that puliya, jumped and dashed against the hind portion of the vehicle. Respondent No- 2 then stopped the bus and took Sudamabai to the hospital.

4. It has been borne out from the evidence of Dr. Jain (P. W. 3) that Sudamabai was admitted in the hospital on 24th Jan., 1978 who had crush injuries on her right leg. She remained admitted in the hospital till 15th May, 1978.

5. Learned Tribunal did not find it to be proved that the accident occurred due to the rash and negligent driving of the vehicle by respondent No. 2. He also held that the death was not due to the injuries sustained in the said accident. He, however, assessed the amount of compensation at Rs. 7,040/-. As a result of the different findings, the claim petition was dismissed.

6. The first question to be considered is about the alleged rash and negligent driving of the vehicle by respondent No. 2. It is an admitted fact that the accident took place at a Puliya. It also stands admitted that at the time of the accident, the vehicle was crossing the Puliya. The difference however, is that while according to the claimants, Sudamabai was going to the field when the accident had occurred and according to the respondents, she was sitting on the Puliya and suddenly jumped resulting into a dash against the vehicle. From the evidence of Dr. Jain (P. W. 3) it is amply borne out that Sudamabai had crush injuries which is indicative of the fact that the wheel of the bus had run over her leg. Admittedly none of the claimants was present on the spot at the time of accident Babulal (P. W. 2) was examined as an eye-witness of the accident. The Tribunal did not accept his evidence because of the contradictory version given by him as also for some other reasons mentioned by him. According to the report Exhibit P/2 given by Dr. Jain (P. W. 3) Sudamabai had crush injuries on the right foot and ankle joint. There were fractures of bones of foot.

7. On behalf of the respondent Satish Kumar (N. A. W. 1), Wahid Mansoor (N. A. W. 2) who was the conductor of that bus and Abdul Razzaque (N. A. W. 3) respondent were examined. According to Satish Kumar (N. A. W. 1) Sudamabai with her legs hanging was sitting on the Puliya. The bullock cart was coming from the opposite direction. When the bus crossed the puliya, the hind part struck with Sudarnabai's leg which resulted in injuries to her right foot. This witness claims to be a passenger in that bus. The evidence of Wahid Mansoor (N. A. W. 2) also is that a woman was seen sitting on the puliya. After when the bus had crossed, he told the driver to slop the bus due to the sound that he had heard. When he got down, he saw that woman sitting on the Puliya with her hand on the knee. He has denied any knowledge about that woman having jumped from that Puliya. He could not say how she received injuries. Respondent No. 2 has also stated that the accident took place while he had crossed the Puliya. He does not say anything about the lady having jumped from that Puliya.

8. In our opinion, it stands amply proved that while Sudamahai was sitting on the Puliya and the vehicle was crossing that Puliya, her leg had been crushed by the vehicle driven by respondent No. 2. It has been admitted by Wahid Mansoor (N. A. W. 2) that the width of the Puliya is about 12 feet while the width of the bus was about 8 feet. There can be no dispute even on the question that Sudamabai must have been seen sitting on that Puliya. It was the duty of respondent No. 2 to have driven the bus from a reasonable distance from Sudamabai. Even if we accept the story given by the witnesses for the respondents, the negligence on the part of respondent No. 2 is quite obvious. While crossing respondent No. 2 was expected to have taken a reasonable care that the vehicle or any part thereof does not dash against Sudamabai who was sitting on the Puliya. In such a case the speed of the vehicle being slow is an irrelevant factor. It is equally irrelevant in such a case whether the crush injury was as a result of the front wheel or the rear wheel. Thus, even on the evidence of respondents themselves, sash and negligent driving of respondent No. 2 at the time of accident it amply made out.

9. As stated earlier, Sudamabai remained in the hospital till 15th May, 1978. She was under treatment in the hospital. She had multiple compound fracture and due to complications, had developed tetanus and jaundice. She had developed Gangrene also. No doubt, Dr. Jain gave a contrary version In para No. 8 of his evidence that Sudamabai had not developed Gangrene. He also opined that the cause of her death could not be the injuries. It was contended on behalf of the respondents that as the cause of death was not the injuries, the appellants are not entitled to claim any compensation owing to Sudamabai's death. A similar question was considered in Govind Singh v. A. S. Kailasam (1975 Acc CJ 215) : (AIR 1975 Mad 65). After referring to the various decisions, it was held as follows (at p. 69 of AIR) :--

'Having regard to the fact that the setting to of tetanus is a foreseeable and likely consequence of any bleeding injury and in the absence of evidence to show that any other supervening cause brought about the tetanus infection there is absolutely no possibility of Heera Bai's death being caused by novus actus interveniens. The Tribunal's reasoning and conclusion on this aspect of the matter is clearly erroneous and I have no hesitation in holding that Heerabai's death was due to causes directly connected with the injury sustained in the accident.'

We do not find that the cause of death of Sudamabai was remote or unconnected with the injuries sustained by her. In our opinion, these complications are quite foreseeable and are not of uncommon developments. dR. Jain (P. W. 3) has stated that she was removed from the hospital on 15-5-78 just at the time when she was more or less dying. That being so, the respondents could not escape the liability only on the ground that the injuries by themselves which she had received was the immediate cause of her death.

9-A. The Tribunal has adversely commented upon the discrepancies in the name of the injured in the different pages of the Bed Head ticket DP. Jain (P. W. 3) has been asked about the discrepancies but nobody questioned him about the reason thereof. The evidence of Dr. Jain cannot however, be rejected merely because of the said discrepancies. His opinion about the injuries to Sudamabai and the subsequent complications in the hospital which obviously were due to the injuries remained unchallenged.

10. On behalf of the respondent a faint attempt was also made to urge that the amount of compensation determined by the Tribunal deserves to be reduced. The Tribunal while determining the amount has taken into account so many relevant factors. Even if some of the factors were to be ignored the amount docs not deserve to be reduced on the ground that tbe value of money has in the meantime comparatively gone down. An attempt was also made on behalf of the appellant to say that the amount of compensation deserves to be enhanced, on going through the evidence and the circumstances, in our opinion, the amount as he has been determined by the Tribunal does not call for any interference.

11. As a result of our findings the impugned award of the Tribunal cannot be upheld and deserves to be set aside. The appellants would be entitled to Rs. 7,040/- as compensation.

12. Consequently, this appeal is allowed. The impugned award is set aside. The appellants shall be entitled to an amount of Rs. 7,040/- from the respondents. The appellants shall also be entitled to interest @ Rs. 6 per cent per annum from the date of the award by the Tribunal i. e. from 9-5-79. In view of the divided success, there shall be no order as to the costs of this appeal which shall be borne by the parties as incurred.


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