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M.P. State Road Transport Corporation Vs. Ramsingh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1985)ACC41
AppellantM.P. State Road Transport Corporation
RespondentRamsingh and ors.
Cases ReferredSmt. Sushma Mitra v. M.P. State Road Transport Corporation
Excerpt:
- - in the accident the right hand elbow got badly injured. the driver was the best person to state as to what precautions he took on seeing the truck coming from opposite direction and at to how the accident happened......corporation is that there was no negligence on the part or the driver of the corporation and the truck driver's negligence was solely responsible for the accident. it was stated in the written statement by the corporation that the bus of the corporation was moving at a very slow speed when the truck came from the opposite direction at a very high speed and it was the truck driver's negligence which caused the accident. the learned counsel has referred to the statement of mahboob shah (a.w. 1). mahboob shah states that on the approach of the truck from the opposite direction the driver of the bus stopped the vehicle on the side of the road. his statement, however, cannot be accepted because in the written statement itself it was pleaded by the corporation that the bus was not stationary.....
Judgment:

G.P. Singh, C.J.

1. This appeal under Section 110-D of the Motor Vehicles Act is directed against an award dated 8th August, 1978 made by the Claims Tribunal, Jabalpur.

2. The facts briefly stated are that there was a collision on 19th March 1976 between two vehicles. One of them was MPW 4735, a bus belonging to the Madhya Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation. The other vehicle was truck No. MPJ 2187 owned by Kuldeep Singh and driven by Harchand Singh. The Corporation's bus was driven by Suresh Chourasia. Ramsingh the claimant was a passenger in the bus. He was keeping his right hand on the window. In the accident the right hand elbow got badly injured. There were three fractures. Ramsingh remained in hospital for nearly one and a half months. Ramsingh lodged the claim for recovery of compensation against the Corporation, the Corporation's driver, the owner of the truck, the driver of the truck and the Insurance Company with whom the truck was insured. By the award the Tribunal awarded Rs. 13,000/-as compensation against all of them holding their liability to be joint and several. The Corporation has filed this appeal for setting aside of the award and the claimant joined as respondent No. 1 has filed a cross-objection for enhancement of the amount of compensation.

3. The argument of the learned Counsel appearing for the Corporation is that there was no negligence on the part or the driver of the Corporation and the truck driver's negligence was solely responsible for the accident. It was stated in the written statement by the Corporation that the bus of the Corporation was moving at a very slow speed when the truck came from the opposite direction at a very high speed and it was the truck driver's negligence which caused the accident. The learned Counsel has referred to the statement of Mahboob Shah (A.W. 1). Mahboob Shah states that on the approach of the truck from the opposite direction the driver of the bus stopped the vehicle on the side of the road. His statement, however, cannot be accepted because in the written statement itself it was pleaded by the Corporation that the bus was not stationary and that it was moving although at a slow speed at the time of accident. Kundanlal, who was the conductor of the bus, was examined by N.A.W. 1. He does state that the bus, was moving at a slow speed at the time of the accident. However, the driver of the bus was not examined. The driver was the best person to state as to what precautions he took on seeing the truck coming from opposite direction and at to how the accident happened. According to the statement of Ramsingh, who was examined as A.W. 2, the bus as also the truck were moving at a considerable speed when the accident happened. In such an accident the normal presumption is that the drivers of both the vehicles were negligent and it is for them to lay down full facts before the Court to show that only one of them was negligent. In the instant case, none of the drivers was examined. In our opinion, the Tribunal was right in holding that both the drivers were negligent. The circumstances under which the accident happened are similar to those which were present in Smt. Sushma Mitra v. M.P. State Road Transport Corporation 1974 MPLJ 16. We affirm the finding of the Tribunal that both the drivers were negligent.

4. As regards the quantum of compensation, learned Counsel appearing for the claimant submitted before us that there was total disablement of the right hand. The important evidence on this point is of the doctor. According to the doctor's evidence (Dr. R.C. Rehlan, A.W. 6) it is not a case of total disablement. The claimant can fold his hand up to 90%. The claimant is Rajmistri by occupation. The injury is not such that he cannot carry on his occupation. In our opinion, the disablement is partial and consequent reduction of earning capacity we assess as 25%. The claimant was earning about Rs. 120/- per day at the time when the accident happened. His monthly earning came to Rs. 360/-. His earning capacity can be taken to be reduced by Rs. 90/- per month. The annual loss of earning thus works out to Rs. 1080/-. The claimant was 22 years of age. He would continue to work at least up to the age of 60. In such a situation, we must apply the multiplier of 20. Thus the compensation payable for the loss of earning capacity works out roughly to Rs. 20,000/-. In addition to this, the claimant is also entitled to general damages for pain and suffering. We assess these damages at Rs. 5000/-. The claimant was in hospital for one and a half months and must have certainly spent some amount as medical expenses. Although there is no direct proof but we estimate the expenses at Rs. 500/-. The claimant is thus entitled to get Rs. 25,500/- jointly and severally from the appellant and from respondents 2 to 5. The claim petition was filed on 9th September 1976. The claimant is also entitled to interest at the rate of 6% per annum from this date till payment.

5. The appeal is dismissed in favour of respondent No. 1. The cross-objection is allowed. The award made by the Tribunal in enchanced. The claimant Ramsingh is entitled to get Rs. 25,500/- as compensation in place of the sum awarded as compensation by the Tribunal jointly and severally from the appellant and respondents 2 and 5. Ramsingh is also entitled to get interest on this amount at the rate of 6% per annum from 9th September. 1976 till payment. Ramsingh will also recover costs of both the Courts according to his success from the appellant and respondents 2 to 5.


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