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Vinod Kumar JaIn Vs. Tulsabai and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMiscellaneous First Appeal No. 236 of 1980
Judge
Reported in[1986]59CompCas764(MP)
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 110D
AppellantVinod Kumar Jain
RespondentTulsabai and ors.
Appellant AdvocateD.L. Jain, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateS.K. Seth, Adv. for respondent No. 5 (insurer)
Cases ReferredSwaraj Motors v. Raman Pillai
Excerpt:
- - 5 on the memo of appeal was affixed after the expiry of period of limitation and that the taxing officer has opined that the delay in making good the deficit court fee is not bona fide and, therefore, the appeal must be held to be barred by limitation......1939, the claim is only for the enhancement of the compensation awarded by the motor accidents claims tribunal, satna. the findings, that the driver of the car which dashed against the scooter carrying the appellant was driving negligently and rashly and that the appellant sustained multiple fractures in his leg consequent upon that accident, have not been challenged. it has also not been disputed before me that as a result of that accident, the appellant's leg has been shortened by about 1/2' and that at the time of the accident, the appellant was a bachelor. it is also not disputed that at the relevant time, the car was insured with m/s. united india general insurance corporation, jabalpur.2. the claims tribunal awarded in all rs. 18,200 as compensation payable to the appellant for.....
Judgment:

B.C. Varma, J.

1. In this appeal, under Section 110D of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, the claim is only for the enhancement of the compensation awarded by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Satna. The findings, that the driver of the car which dashed against the scooter carrying the appellant was driving negligently and rashly and that the appellant sustained multiple fractures in his leg consequent upon that accident, have not been challenged. It has also not been disputed before me that as a result of that accident, the appellant's leg has been shortened by about 1/2' and that at the time of the accident, the appellant was a bachelor. It is also not disputed that at the relevant time, the car was insured with M/s. United India General Insurance Corporation, Jabalpur.

2. The Claims Tribunal awarded in all Rs. 18,200 as compensation payable to the appellant for the injuries sustained by him in that accident. It appears that in exercise of jurisdiction under Section 110D of the Motor Vehicles Act, the Claims Tribunal has apportioned this liability half and half between the owner and the insurer. The appellant, therefore, contends in this appeal that this action of splitting up the liability is not correct. The argument is that the Claims Tribunal has assigned no legal basis to reduce the liability of the insurer. In my opinion, this submission is sound and must be given effect to. It is true that Section 110D of the Act requires the Claims Tribunal that while making the award, it shall also specify the liabilities of the insurer. That, however, does not give the Tribunal an unfettered jurisdiction to reduce the liability of the insurer. In the present case, without assigning any reason whatever, the Claims Tribunal has reduced that liability by 50%. That finding, therefore, has to be set aside. Setting aside that finding, I hold that the insurer (respondent No. 5) is liable for the entire claim along with the owner of the vehicle. Their liability is joint and several.

3. It was next argued that the award of general damages on account of pain and suffering and also on account of permanent disability is rather low. The Claims Tribunal has awarded Rs. 2,000 for pain and suffering and Rs. 6,000 for permanent disability and on account of shortening of the leg. After going through the award and the evidence on record, I am of the opinion that the award is rather low. It is in evidence that at the first instance, the appellant was required to be treated for about 18 months and that during all this period he experienced severe pain in the wounds. This suffering continued and is still continuing today. A sum of Rs. 2,000 on this count appears to be rather insufficient. In my opinion, the appellant must be awarded Rs. 3,000 on this count. I am, however, of the opinion that the amount awarded on account of permanent disability is just and calls for no increase.

4. Learned counsel for the appellant then argued that the appellant has been awarded only Rs. 600 for the trips he was required to make from Katni to Jabalpur and back in connection with his treatment. This amount, according to learned counsel, is in no proportion to the amount actually spent by the appellant on this count. It is clear from the nature of the injuries sustained by the appellant that he could not be carried to Katni from Medical College, Jabalpur, in a public bus or a crowded train and had to be brought in special vehicle. Assistance of a few persons in the vehicle was necessary. A trip from Katni to Jabalpur in a car would not cost less than Rs. 100. Thus calculated, the appellant must be awarded a sum of Rs. 1,200 on account of such trips. I make an order accordingly. The appellant on this count is entitled to Rs. 1,200.

5. It was then argued that even after the filing of the claim and also after the filing of this appeal, the appellant is undergoing treatment and is required to take trips to Bombay. A sum of Rs. 700 is claimed on that count. No authority could be shown for admissibility of any such claim on account of expenditure made subsequent to the filing of the claim petition. A decision holding to the contrary can be found in Swaraj Motors v. Raman Pillai, AIR 1968 Ker 315. I hold, therefore, that the appellant is entitled to no amount on this count.

6. Shri Seth, learned counsel appearing for the insurer, argued that a stamp of Rs. 5 on the memo of appeal was affixed after the expiry of period of limitation and that the Taxing Officer has opined that the delay in making good the deficit court fee is not bona fide and, therefore, the appeal must be held to be barred by limitation. In my opinion, this contention has no substance and must be rejected. What appears is that a sum of Rs. 20 was affixed on the claim petition before the Claims Tribunal. The same amount was affixed on the memo of appeal, although by that time the law was amended and a court fee of Rs. 25 was required. It appears that since upon the claim petition stamp of Rs. 20 was fixed, the same was fixed upon the memo of appeal. The mistake cannot be said to be mala fide. Accepting the explanation given by the appellant, I am of the opinion that the delay in paying the deficit court fee was bona fide and must be condoned. I accordingly condone that delay. Consequently, it must be held that the appeal is within time.

7. The result is that the appeal succeeds and is partly allowed. The amount of compensation awarded by the Claims Tribunal is enhanced by Rs. 1,600. The insurer, namely, respondent No. 5, is held jointly and severally liable for the entire compensation awarded. Under the circumstances, the parties are directed to bear their own costs of this appeal.


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