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Rukmani Devi and ors. Vs. Basantilal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported inII(1984)ACC71
AppellantRukmani Devi and ors.
RespondentBasantilal and ors.
Excerpt:
- indian penal code, 1890.sections 307 & 324: [lokeshwar singh panta & b.sudershan reddy,jj] assault proof - appellant allegedly dealt sickle blow to deceased - testimony of eye-witnesses showed that sudden altercation ensued between appellant and deceased - no evidence to indicate any previous enmity between parties - single blow of sickle had been inflicted by appellant on back of deceased - incised wound allegedly inflicted by appellant - however opinion of doctor proved that deceased had not died due to direct result of said injury held, appellant is therefore liable to be convicted under section 324 of i.p.c., sentence of 3 years imprisonment reduced to period undergone by appellant considering mental agony suffered by him.....being driven by the respondent no. 2 lalkhan. on 3.5.1973 at about 11.30 a m. when the deceased arun kumar was going on scooter no. m.p.i. 5104 to the college at mandsaur he was dashed against by the, said tractor which was coming from the opposite direction. arun kumar sustained severe injuries in the accident. he was admitted in the hospital. he succumbed to the injuries on 5.5.1973. the claimants who are parents of the deceased filed an application under section 110-a of the motor vehicles act claiming rs. 1,00,000/- as compensation from the respondents on the ground that the accident was caused on account of rash and negligent driving of the tractor by the respondent no. 2 in the course of his employment with the respondent no. 1.3. the claim was resisted by the respondents.4......
Judgment:

R.K. Vijaywargiya, J.

1. This appeal is directed against the award dated 19.9.1977 passed by the learned member, Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Mandsaur, in Claim case No. 14 of 1973.

2. The material facts are as follows: Tractor No. M.P.N. 8237 with, the attached trolley No. 8236 belonged to the respondent NO. 1 at the material, time. It was insured with the respondent No. 3 The tractor at the time of the accident was being driven by the respondent No. 2 Lalkhan. On 3.5.1973 at about 11.30 a m. when the deceased Arun Kumar was going on scooter No. M.P.I. 5104 to the college at Mandsaur he was dashed against by the, said tractor which was coming from the opposite direction. Arun Kumar sustained severe injuries in the accident. He was admitted in the hospital. He succumbed to the injuries on 5.5.1973. The claimants who are parents of the deceased filed an application under Section 110-A of the Motor Vehicles Act claiming Rs. 1,00,000/- as compensation from the respondents on the ground that the accident was caused on account of rash and negligent driving of the tractor by the respondent No. 2 in the course of his employment with the respondent No. 1.

3. The claim was resisted by the respondents.

4. During the pendency of the claim petition the claimant Umashanker Bhargava father of the deceased and his legal representatives were brought on record.

5. The Tribunal held that the accident was caused on account of the rash and negligent driving of the tractor by the respondent Lalkhan and that the respondents were liable to pay compensation to the claimants on account of the death of the deceased Arun Kumar. The Tribunal held that the appellant Rukmani Devi who is the mother of the deceased sustained a pecuniary loss of Rs. 10,000/- on account of the death of Arun Kumar. The tribunal further held that both Umashanker and Rukmani Devi were entitled to receive Rs. 3,000/- each as damages for mental agony suffered by them on account of the death of their son. Aggrieved by the inadequacy of the amount awarded the mother of the deceased and the legal representatives of the deceased claimant Uma Shankar have preferred this appeal.

6. The learned Counsel for the appellant Rukmani Devi contended that compensation awarded by the Tribunal to Rukmani Devi is grossly inadequate and deserves to be suitably enhanced. He further contended that the Tribunal committed an error in not awarding any damages on account of the expenses incurred by the claimants in the treatment of Arun Kumar. He further contended that the Tribunal also committed an error in not awarding any damages under the head 'Pain and suffering' caused to the deceased.

7. The learned Counsel for the respondents contended that the Tribunal committed an error in awarding damages on account of the mental agony suffered by the claimants.

8. The only question which arises for consideration in this appeal is whether the amount of compensation awarded by the Tribunal is too low requiring interference in appeal. As regards damages awarded to the claimants of deceased Umashanker on account of mental agony and suffering caused to him it cannot be interfered with because the respondents have not preferred appeal against award of the Tribunal or filed cross objections objecting the award of the Tribunal.

9. The Tribunal held that the deceased Arun Kumar was a law graduate and had recently started practise as an Advocate. The tribunal came to the conclusion that for five years Arun Kumar would not be in a position to support his mother and that thereafter for another five years he would have been in a position to contribute a sum of Rs. 100/- p.m. to the claimants. On that basis the Tribunal awarded Rs. 10,000/- to the appellant No. 1 Rukmani devi as pecuniary loss sustained by her on account of the death of her son.

10. The Tribunal did not award any amount as special damages on account of the expenses incurred by the claimants in the treatment of the deceased on the ground that no receipts therefor were produced. In our opinion, the Tribunal was not justified on doing so. It has emerged in evidence that Dr. Kumar from Indore had gone to Mandsaur and he performed the operation on the person of Arun Kumar. In the circumstances, if the claimants state that they incurred expenses of Rs. 2,500/- in the treatment of Arun Kumar it cannot be held that the amount claimed by them was excessive or was not proved. When Arun Kumar died soon after it could not reasonably be expected that the claimants would produce the bills for the amount spent by them in the treatment of Arun Kumar.

11. The Tribunal also committed an error in not awarding any damages under the head 'pain and suffering' caused to the deceased who remained alive for two days after the accident.

12. Arun Kumar had started practising as an Advocate and in course of time he would have been able to contribute substantially for the maintenance of his mother Rukmanidevi. The amount of compensation in such cases cannot be worked out with mathematical accuracy and it has to be assessed taking into consideration the broad facts and circumstances of the case.

13. In our opinion it would be just and proper if the claimant Rukmani Devi is awarded a sum of Rs. 25,000/- as compensation which includes pecuniary loss sustained by her on account of the death of her son Arun Kumar, expenses incurred by the claimants in the treatment of Arun Kumar and damages under the head 'pain and suffering' caused to the deceased Arun Kumar. The award of the Tribunal therefore, deserves to be modified accordingly.

14. As a result of the discussion aforesaid this appeal is allowed with costs. The award of the Tribunal is modified. It is directed that the respondents shall pay a sum of Rs. 25,000/- as compensation to the appellant no. 1 Rukmani Devi on account of the death of her son Arun Kumar, with interest at 6% p.a. from the date of the application till payment as directed by the Tribunal, Counsel's fee Rs. 200/-, if certified.


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