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Rajendar Kumar and anr. Vs. M.P. State Road Transport Corporation - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in2(1985)ACC277
AppellantRajendar Kumar and anr.
RespondentM.P. State Road Transport Corporation
Cases ReferredSuresh Kumar v. Pradeep Kumar and Ors.
Excerpt:
- - 1 as well as the appellant have filed the present appeals. from the evidence of the aforesaid witnesses on the claimant's side, it is clearly made out that all these witnesses were the inmates of the bus at the time when the accident in question took place. air1984mp155 and they agreed that it should be at 40%. it is also not disputed by the learned counsel for the parties that the salary inclusive of the basic pay as well as other emoluments would have been increased and would have been more than rs......account of the negligent driving of respondent no. 2, an employee of respondent no. 1. ihe motor accident claims tribunal, guna (for short, hereinafter referred to as 'the tribunal') holding that respondent no. 2 was negligent in driving the vehicle, awarded rs. 18,707.56 p. by way of compensation, the break-ups whereof are given below: (i) compensation in respect of loss of earning capacity. rs. 13,320.00 (ii) compensation by way of general damages (for pain and suffering). rs. 5,000.00 (iii) compensation by way of special damages, i.e., toward expenses for treatment. rs. 387.56 _______________ total rs. 18,707.56 p. _______________3. being aggrieved by the aforsaid award of the tribunal, respondent no. 1 as well as the appellant have filed the present appeals. the instant.....
Judgment:

U.N. Bhachawat, J.

1. This judgment will also dispose of Miscellaneous Civil Appeal No. 57 of 1978 (Madhya Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation Bhopal v. Rajendra Kumar and another).

2. The short facts giving rise to these appeals are these:

2.01. The appellant was injured while he was traveling in a bus bearing registration No MPW. 8390 on 7-4-1976; when this bus was being plied from Gwalior for Indore, it met with an accident; the bus is owned by respondent no 1, the Madhya Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (hereinafter, for short, referred to as 'the Corporation') and was being driven by respondent no. 2 at the relevant time.

2.02. The appellant who was injured in the aforesaid accident, had received an injury on his right leg, which had, ultimately, to be amputated. The appellant filed an application for compensation for his injury Under Section 110A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, claiming compensation to the tune of Rs. 1, 81,400,00, alleging that the accident had occurred on account of the negligent driving of respondent No. 2, an employee of respondent no. 1. Ihe Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Guna (for short, hereinafter referred to as 'the Tribunal') holding that respondent No. 2 was negligent in driving the vehicle, awarded Rs. 18,707.56 p. by way of compensation, the break-ups whereof are given below:

(i) Compensation in respect of

loss of earning capacity. Rs. 13,320.00

(ii) Compensation by way of

general damages (for pain

and suffering). Rs. 5,000.00

(iii) Compensation by way of

special damages, i.e., toward

expenses for treatment. Rs. 387.56

_______________

Total Rs. 18,707.56 p.

_______________

3. Being aggrieved by the aforsaid award of the Tribunal, respondent no. 1 as well as the appellant have filed the present appeals. The instant appeal is filed by the claimant, i.e., the injured, and Misc. Civil Appeal No. 57 of 1978 has been filed by respondent no. 1, the Corporation.

3.01. The contention of the appellant in the instant appeal is that the compensation awarded is inadequate. The contention of respondent No. 1, the Corporation, i.e., the appellant in Misc. Civil Appeal No. 57/1978, is that it is not liable to pay any compensation, as the finding of the Tribunal about negligence is erroneous, having not been based on a proper appreciation of the evidence on record. Common arguments have been advanced by the leraned counsel for the parties in both the appeals. Hence this common judgment.

4. The first question for decision is whether the accident was due to the negligence on the part of respondent no. 2, the driver, who was driving the vehicle in question at the relevant time. This part has been dealt with by the Tribunal under issue no. 1, the discussion whereof is contained in paragraphs 7 to 10 of the impugned award. We have been taken through the evidence of Rajendra Kumar (AW 1), the claimant; Gaud Shankar (AW 2) and Kailash Narayan (AW 3) on the claimant's side, and Bhagwati Prasad (N.A.W-1) and Munshi Khan (NA W 2), the driver and the conductor, respectively, on the respondent's side. It is an admitted position that the bus had collided with a standing truck. From the evidence of the aforesaid witnesses on the claimant's side, it is clearly made out that all these witnesses were the inmates of the bus at the time when the accident in question took place. It is borne out from the evidence of these witnesses that the truck with which the bus had collided was standing on the correct side of the road; that the driver was driving the bus at such a very high velocity that the bus collided with the truck; had the driver on seeing the truck reduced the speed, the accident could have been avoided. The evidence of these witnesses is consistent and natural; nothing could be brought out in their cross-examination so as to impeach their credibility, nor in the rebuttal evidence consisting of the driver and the conductor, referred to hereinabove, nothing cogent could be made out so as to discard the testimony of these witnesees on the claimant's side. The learned Counsel for the Corporation was unable to point out any cogent reason to persuade us to disagree with the conclusion of the Tribunal on the finding regarding negligence. We are, therefore inclined to accept the conclusion of the Tribunal that the accident took place on account the negligent driving of the bus by respondent No. 2 Bhagwati Prasad. Since we are affirming the finding of the Tribunal in this respect, it is not necessary for us to re-write the effect of the evidence reiterate the reasonings of the Tribunal.

5. We now turn to the second question, i.e., the quantum of compensation. It is a common ground that on account of injury that was received by the appellant herein, his right leg had to be amputated. At the relevant time he was receiving the training of Agriculture Surveyor and at that time he was aged 23 years. It is also undisputed that had he been employed in the Government after training, as submitted by the learned Counsel, there was no doubt, he would have continued in Government service, upto the age of 58 years and, thus, would have had a span of 35 years in the Government service. At the relevant time, on the appellant being appointed in the Government service, he would have received a salary of Rs. 300/- p.m.

5.01. The Tribunal has assessed permanent disability of the appellant at 25%. It is agreed by the learned Counsel for parties that this assessment is low and not in conformity with the decision of this Court in Suresh Kumar v. Pradeep Kumar and Ors. : AIR1984MP155 and they agreed that it should be at 40%. It is also not disputed by the learned Counsel for the parties that the salary inclusive of the basic pay as well as other emoluments would have been increased and would have been more than Rs. 300/- p.m. during the span of his service. In this view of the matter, the average monthly pay of Rs. 150/- p.m. assessed by the Tribunal is, of course, inadequate. The amount of Rs. 5,000/-, which has been awarded by the Tribunal as general damages for pain and suffering, is also inadequate. It would be worth mentioning here that in Suresh Kurtur's case (supra), where there was no question of amputation, the general damages awarded was Rs. 5,000/-. Therefore, in the facts and circumstances of the case and is the light of the arguments advanced by the learned Counsel for the parties, where it would not be out of place to mention that the learned Counsel for respondent No. 1, though not very candidly but faintly, agreed that the basic pay should be assessed at Rs. 200/- p.m. and the general damages be raised from Rs. 5,000/- to Rs. 8,000/-, we, in modification of the impugned award, award Rs. 35,000/- as under:

(i) Compensation in respect of loss of earning capacity. 40 x 2(i.e. ________400 x 35 = 22,600)100Subtract 20% amount from Rs. 33,600/- by way of uncertainties of life = 33600-6720 =26,880.00(ii) Compensation by way of general damages for pain and suffering -Rs. 8,000.00(iii) Compensation by way of special damages, i.e. towards expenses for medical -Rs. 387.56 trealment. ________________Total Rs. 35,267.56 ________________Rounded off to Rs. 35,000/- only.

6. This appeal, therefore, partly succeeds and is allowed. The award of the Tribunal is modified to the extent indicated hereinabove. This amount of compensation of Rs. 35,000/- shall be payable to the appellant-claimant with interest at the rate of 6% p.a. from the date of the application till final payment.

7. Misc. Civil Appeal No, 57 of 1978, preferred by the Corporation, is dismissed.

8. There shall be no order as to costs.


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