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Kalawati Bai and ors. Vs. Ram Singh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1985)ACC457
AppellantKalawati Bai and ors.
RespondentRam Singh and ors.
Cases ReferredMadanlal v. Sardar Iabhasingh
Excerpt:
- indian penal code, 1890.section 306 :[dalveer bhandari & harjit singh bedi,jj] abetment of suicide deceased, a married woman, committed suicide - allegation of abetment of suicide against appellant husband and in-laws - ocular evidence was sketchy - dying declaration recorded by tahsildar completely exonerated all accused in-laws of any misconduct dispelling any suspicion as to their involvement - letter of threat allegedly written by appellant to father of victim was concocted piece of evidence held, though presumption against appellant can be raised, it cannot be said that onus shifts exclusively and heavily on him to prove his innocence. conviction of appellant is liable to be set aside. .....to them the accident was sudden and inevitable and the claim was grossly exaggerated.4. the learned tribunal held that the truck driver was driving the truck rashly and negligently and in consequence tikamchand sustained injuries to which he succumbed on 28-11-1976. on the finding that the deceased was aged 45 years at the time of his death and had a monthly income of rs. 200/-, the amount of monthly dependency was determined at rs. 100/- and 15 was the multiplier adopted. after 25% of deduction on account of lump sum payment and uncertainties of life, the tribunal awarded rs. 16,000/- as compensation inclusive of rs. 2500/- towards compensation for loss of company and affection on the authority of the decision in state of punjab v. brijmohan 1975 acj 372. it was ordered that of.....
Judgment:

K.L. Srivastava, J.

1. This appeal is directed against the award dated 6-7-1979 made by the 3rd Additional Member, Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Indore Under Section 110-B of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) in claim case No. 162 of 1976.

2. The application under Section 110-A of the Act was filed by Kalawati Bai, the widow of the deceased Tikamchand, her three daughters and four sons claiming a sum of Rs. 50,000/- as compensation from the respondents for the death of the said Tikamchand as a result of the motor accident which took place at about midnight of 21-11-1976 at Indore. It was alleged therein that the respondent No. 2 driving the accident truck bearing registration No. M.P.I. 4879 rashly and negligently brought about a head on collision with the hand-card in which the deceased was taking a young one of the buffalo. At the relevant time, the truck was owned by the respondent No. 1 and was insured with the respondent No. 3 against third party risks. Tikamchand who aged 35 years died on 28-11-1976 as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident. He was earning Rs. 15/- per day.

3. The driver of the truck remained exparte and the owner and the insurer filed a joint written statement denying the allegation of rash and negligent driving and instead alleged that there was a car ahead of the truck and Tikamchand's own negligence occasioned the collision. According to them the accident was sudden and inevitable and the claim was grossly exaggerated.

4. The learned Tribunal held that the truck driver was driving the truck rashly and negligently and in consequence Tikamchand sustained injuries to which he succumbed on 28-11-1976. On the finding that the deceased was aged 45 years at the time of his death and had a monthly income of Rs. 200/-, the amount of monthly dependency was determined at Rs. 100/- and 15 was the multiplier adopted. After 25% of deduction on account of lump sum payment and uncertainties of life, the Tribunal awarded Rs. 16,000/- as compensation inclusive of Rs. 2500/- towards compensation for loss of company and affection on the authority of the decision in State of Punjab v. Brijmohan 1975 ACJ 372. It was ordered that of the compensation Rs. 15,000/- be deposited under fixed deposit receipt for a period of 10 years.

5. In this appeal, the award was challenged on the ground that the learned Tribunal erred in determining the amount of compensation and the same deserves to be enhanced. It was also prayed that the direction regarding the amount being deposited under fixed deposit receipt be also set aside.

6. On the arguments advanced in this appeal the only question for consideration is as to whether the amount of award deserves to be enhanced.

7. The contention of the learned Counsel for the appellants is that in the absence of any evidence in rebuttal, on the basis of the version of Ms. Kalawati (PW 1) as to the daily income of the deceased being between Rs. 10/-to 15/-, it would be quite reasonable to hold that his monthly income was Rs. 300/- and the amount of dependency of the claimants was Rs. 150/- after deduction of his admitted pocket expenses @ Rs. 2/- per day in addition to his other expenses on himself. I find that the contention has force and that on the material on record the learned Tribunal was in error in determining that the monthly income of the deceased was only Rs. 200/-. On the evidence, the amount of dependency of the appellants can reasonably be assessed at Rs. 150/- and I so assess it with the rising prices his the earning of the deceased would also have increased and with it the amount of dependency.

8. For the principles to be borne in mind in assessment of compensation in the case of fatal accident the decision in Polavarapu v. Andhra Pradesh R.T.C. 1984 ACJ 18 and Shushila Devi v. Ibrahim AIR 1974 M P. 180 make an illuminating reading. In the Division Bench decision in Madanlal v. Sardar Iabhasingh 1982 M.P.W.N. Note 70 the percentage of deduction on account of lump sum payment and uncertainties of life was reduced from 25% to 15%.

9. Section 110-B of the Act provides that on receipt of an application for compensation made under Section 110-A the Claims Tribunal may make an award determining the amount of compensation which appears to it to be just.

10. It has rightly been remarked that in the assessment of compensation arithmatic is a good servant but a bad master.

11. On a careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case and also keeping in view the ever-rising inflation, I am of the view that compensation of Rs. 20,000/- as respects the loss of the dependency would be just. Accordingly the amount of Rs. 13,500/- awarded by the learned Tribunal on this count is raised to Rs. 20,000/-. This amount by investment in a bank would fetch by way of monthly interest an amount near about the amount of monthly dependency.

12. In the result, the appeal is partly allowed. The amount of Rs 13,500/-awarded by the learned Tribunal is raised to Rs. 20,000/-. With this modification the award is maintained. The respondents shall bear their own costs and shall pay to the appellants the hitter's costs of this appeal. Counsel's fee Rs. 200/-, if certified.


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