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Nankuram and anr. Vs. Iqbal Kaur and Two ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported inII(1984)ACC497
AppellantNankuram and anr.
Respondentiqbal Kaur and Two ors.
Excerpt:
.....considering mental agony suffered by him - according to them this truck bad not caused any accident and the deceased had suffered a fall on account of his own negligence when he was proceeding on his bicycle holding the chain attached to another truck going ahead of him. it also found that the respondents have failed to prove that while deceased mahesh was proceeding from bherughat towards simrol that he was proceeding on his bicycle holding the chain attached to another truck and that at time of crossing when the respondents' truck was seen coming from the opposite direction, mahesh lost his balance and fell on the spot. 12. on the other hand though the learned counsel for the respondents feebly tried to argue that the accident did not occur on account of the rash and negligent..........truck going ahead of him. they also challenged the quantum of compensation as excessive.6. the learned member of the tribunal on the basis of the controver sies raised, after considering the evidence and material on record came to the conclusion that the accident occurred on 12-11-77 on account of the and negligent driving of the truck number mpm-3339 which was driven by respondent no. 2 on the wrong side of the road as a result of which mahesh was knocked down with the result thar he sustained injuries as a result of which he died. it also found that it is on this account only the accident occurred. it also found that the deceased was born on 4>6-52, had passed the high school certificate examination in 1971 and was earning rs. 3,600/- per year from the agricultural lands. it also.....
Judgment:

P.D. Mulye, J.

1. The claimants-appellants, who are the parents of the deceased Mahesh, have filed this appeal Under Section 110-D of the Motor Vehicles Act for enhancement of compensation against an award dated 10th July, 1981 passed by the Member, First Additional Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Indore, in Claim case No. 14 of 78, whereby compensation has been awarded for Rs. 30,000/- plus cost and interest though the claimants had put up a claim for Rs. 80,000/-.

2. The facts, giving rise to this appeal as detailed out in the award and about which there is not much dispute, may be stated, in brief, thus: The appellants are the parents of the deceased Mahesh, aged about 26 years, who died as a result of the accident which occurred on 12th November, 1977. Respondent No. 1 Smt. Iqbal Kaur is the owner of truck number MPM-3339 of which on the relevant day of the accident respondent No. 2 Mahendra Singh was the driver. The said truck was insured with respondent No. 3, the United India Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd.

3. The case of the appellants was that on 12th November, 1977 at about 2.30 p.m. in the after noon Mahesh was going on a bicycle towards Simrol along with his friend Jagannath. When he reached near the Simrol Dak Bungalow the said truck driven by respondent No. 2 Mahendra Singh in a rash and negligent manner dashed against the deceased who was knocked down and as a result of the said; accident he sustained several injuries as a result of which he died in the M. Y. Hospital, Indore, the same day.

4. According to the appellants the deceased was a healthy young man aged about 25 years had passed his High School examination and was looking after the agricultural fields of the appellants measuring 20 big has and was earning about Rs. 12,000/- per year. The appellants, therefore, put up a claim of Rs. 80,000/- as compensation.

5. The respondents Nos. I and 2 by their joint written statement and the respondent No. 3 by his separate Written statement denied the factum of accident as such. According to them this truck bad not caused any accident and the deceased had suffered a fall on account of his own negligence when he Was proceeding on his bicycle holding the chain attached to another truck going ahead of him. They also challenged the quantum of compensation as excessive.

6. The learned Member of the Tribunal on the basis of the controver sies raised, after considering the evidence and material on record came to the conclusion that the accident occurred on 12-11-77 on account of the and negligent driving of the truck number MPM-3339 which was driven by respondent No. 2 on the wrong side of the road as a result of which Mahesh was knocked down with the result thar he sustained injuries as a result of which he died. It also found that it is on this account only the accident occurred. It also found that the deceased was born On 4>6-52, had passed the High School Certificate Examination in 1971 and was earning Rs. 3,600/- per year from the agricultural lands. It also found that the respondents have failed to prove that while deceased Mahesh was proceeding from Bherughat towards Simrol that he was proceeding on his bicycle holding the chain attached to another truck and that at time of crossing when the respondents' truck was seen coming from the opposite direction, Mahesh lost his balance and fell on the spot. It, therefore, ultimately awarded Rs. 30,000/- plus cost and interest as compensation against all the respondents by holding them jointly and severally liable, which according to the learned Member of the Tribunal is just proper and reasonable. Being dissatisfied with the award they have filed this appeal.

7. The respondents No. 2 Mahendra Singh has filed cross-objections against the said award whereby he has challenged the finding of the Tribunal regarding the cause of accident as also the quantum of compensation.

8. The learned Counsel for the respondents did not seriously challenge the finding of the learned Member of the Tribunal that the accident occurred on account of the rash and negligent driving of truck number MPM-3339 by respondent No. 2 has he submitted that he has not examined the driver of the other truck in order to substantiate his plea. Therefore, it is not necessary to reconsider the evidence regarding the factum of accident as also the fact that deceased Mahesh died as a result of the said accident about which the evidence adduced by the appellant has been property considered by the learned Member of the Tribunal.

9. The appellants, in support of their claim, have examined a No. 1 as P.W. 1.Ramesh Kumar Pande (P.W. 5). P.W. 1 Naku Ram has deposed that after passing the High School examination the deceased hap stopped his education and was looking after his agricultural fields measuring 20 bighas situated in Mhow as he himself was in service in the Railways: that the deceased who was a promising boy was aged about 25 years at the time of the accident and with his efforts and labour he was earning about Rs. 12,000/- per year from the agricultural lands and after the death of Mahesh he is not in a position to look after the agricultural lands property though he is getting the work done by engaging servants with the result that he is bang put to a less of Rs. 300/- to Rs. 4000/- per year. According to him at the time of the accident this witness was aged 5 years. In cross-examination he has admitted that be has not produced any documentary evidence regarding his agricultural lands nor has he sumitted any account regarding the income and expenses though he has also admitted that the same varies from year to year sometime resulting in profits and sometime resulting in losses. He has also admitted that -the deceased 'was spending about Rs.. 500/- per year for his clothes, Rs. 1507-to Rs. 200/- for his personal expenses and that he was to he married soon as his engagement had already taken place. P.W. 5 Ramesh Kumar Pande has deposed about the longivity in ihe family of the appellant.

10. The learned Member of the Tribunal after considering this evidence came to the conclusion that the earning capacity of the deceased was around Rs. 300/- per month and after deducting his personal expenses it came to the conclusion that the contribution of the deceased was to the tune of Rs. 200/- per month and calculated at that rate the dependency of the appellants was to the tune of Rs. 2400/- per year. It also found that normally be would have lived for another four decades or more and after applying the multiplier of 'fifteen, thought it proper to award a compensation of Rs. 36,000/- being just and reasonable. But as it ordered lump-sum payment it also thought it proper to deduct one-sixth from this amount considering the uncertainties of life and thus awarded the compensation of Rs. 30,000/- as stated above.

11. The learned Counsel for the appellants after taking us through the evidence submitted that as the deceased was a young man of 25 years and was looking after the agricultural lands of the appellants, they had high hopes from the deceased who was personally taking interest in the agricultural operations as a result of which his income from the agricultural land was to the tune of Rs. 12,000/- per year and, therefore, even though the personal expenses of the deceased are deducted, the learned Member of the Tribunal has committed an error in awarding such a low compensation. Further according to the learned Counsel multiplier of twenty ought to have been applied.

12. On the other hand though the learned Counsel for the respondents feebly tried to argue that the accident did not occur on account of the rash and negligent driving of respondent No. 2. We see no merit in this contention as the evidence adduced by the respondents on this point has also been considered by the leamed Member of the Tribunal as also that of P.W. 2 Jagannath, who was an eye witness to the aid incident.

13. The learned Counsel for the -respondents further contended that the appellants have not produced any documentary evidence regarding the income and expenses derived from the agricultural lands nor have they produced any khasra entries nor any independent witnesses have been examined to prove what was the income derived from those agricultural lands. He also submitted that at the time of the accident admittedly the appellant was in Railway service, had his own earnings and was aged about 54 years. Therefore, the learned Member of the Tribunal had rightly applied the multiplier of fifteen.

14. After hearing the learned Counsel and after going through the record we have reached the conclusion that there is no merit in this appeal nor in the cross-objections filed by respondent No. 2 as the learned Member of the Tribunal has given proper reasons for fixing the quantum of compensation after taking all the facts and circumstances into consideration which appears to us to be just, proper and reasonable. Normally there should be no interference in the quantum of compensation unless it is pointed out that the learned Member of the Tribunal has committed any flagrant error by ignoring any material evidence or other relevant. facts into consideration. In the present case admittedly apart from the oral testimony of claimant Nankuram regarding the income of the deceased there is no other independent evidence adduced by him. Therefore, it cannot be said that the appellants have satisfactorily established that the deceased was earning Rs. 12,000/- per year. That apart in the petition itself they have not given any details of the claim to the tune of Rs. 80,000/-. Therefore, we see no valid ground to interfere in the award given by the learned Member of the Tribunal as the compensation awarded cannot be said to be meager, or unjust or unreasonable or improper.

15. In the result this appeal for enhancement of compensation as also the cross-objections are dismissed with no order as to costs. However, the award is modified to the extent that instead of interest being paid at the rate of 6 per cent per annum from the date of the filing of the application i.e. 16-1-78, the appellants shall be entitled to recover interest from that date on the quantum of Rs. 30,000/- at the rate of 9 per cent per annum, till payment. The rest of the award is maintained by holding that the respondents shall jointly and severally are held liable to pay the entire amount. The respondents shall within 2 (two) months from today, deposit the entire amount as per this decision, in the lower Court, if not already deposited or paid to the appellants, and the said amount so deposited shall be paid thereafter to the appellants in person.


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