P.D. Mulye, J.
1. The claimant-appellants have filed this appeal Under Section 110-D of the Motor Vehicles Act for enhancement of compensation against the judgment and award dated 30th January, 1982 passed by the Additional Member, Motor Accidents claims Tribunal, Indore in claims Case No. 240 of 1979, whereby he has awarded a total compensation of Rs. 25,000/-against the respondents with cost and interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum from the date of the filing of the petition i e. 18-12-1979 till realisation, though the appellants had put up a claims for Rs. 2,50,300.00.
2. Facts giving rise to this appeal, which are no longer in dispute and as found proved by the learned Member of the Tribunal, may be stated, in brief, thus: Appellant No. 1 PrahladsiDgh is the father and appellant No. 2 Sharada Bai, is the mother of the deceased boy Malkhan Singh and appellant Nos. 3, 4 and 5, who are minors, are the brothers of the deceased.
3. Motor Vehicle No. MPP-1878 belonged to respondent No. 2 which was a Department of respondent No. 3 namely the State Government. On the relevant day of the fateful accident i.e. 23-10-1979 respondent No. 1 was driving the said vehicle and that the deceased Malkhan Singh died as a result of the injuries sustained by him in the said accident.
4. According to the claimants the deceased Malkhan Singh at the time of the accident was aged about 20 years and was studying in B A. first year; that he was a good student in studies and had a bright future and was also assisting his father in his agricultural operations. According to the appellants on 23-10-1979, Malkhan was going on a bicycle from Nanda Nagar. When he reached Janjira cross-road near Narayan Kothi at about 4 p.m. the respondent No. 1, who was driving the motor vehicle No. MPP-1878 drove it in such a rash and negligent manner that it gave a dash from behind to the cyclist Malkhan who was thrown away and as a result of the injury sustained in the said accident he died instantaneously on the spot. The appellants, therefore, filed the present claims petition whereby they claimsed Rs. 2,00,000.00 by way of general compensation, Rs. 300.00 for the damage caused to the cycle and Rs. 50,000/- for mental loss and suffering.
5. The respondents despite service of notice remained ex-parte before the Tribunal.
6. The learned Member of the Tribunal, after ex-parte recording of evidence of the claimants came to the conclusion that the accident occurred on account of the rash and negligent driving of respondent No. 1 Tilaksingh as a result of which Malkban died. Considering the young age of the deceased, coupled with the fact that be was helping his parents in agricultural operations, he came to the conclusion that on account of the untimely death of Malkhan Singh they had sustained a monetary loss of Rs. 150/- per month. Thus, after considering the age of the parents, who were in the middle age, he thought it proper to award a compensation of Rs. 25,000/- plus cost and interest only in favour of appellant Nos. 1 and 2 and dismissed the claims in respect of all the other appellants.
7. The learned Counsel for the appellants after taking us through the evidence submitted that the compensation awarded to the parents is too meagre and deserves to be enhanced, He further submitted that considering the fall in the value of money from time to time the quantum of compensation, on that account also deserves to be enhanced. He also submitted that the interest awarded at the rate of Rs. 6/- per cent per annum also being too low, considering the present market rate of interest, which is 12 per cent per annum, the rate of interest also deserves to be modified. He further submitted that even if the monthly dependency of the parents over the deceased is taken at Rs. 150/- per month, even then considering the fall of value in terms of money, the quantum of compensation deserves to be enhanced. He also urged that the deceased was young and promising boy who was snatched away because of this unfortunate incident in the prime of bis life and his parents had high hopes about the future career of their son and if all these factors are taken into consideration, the compensation awarded to the appellants Nos, 1 and 2, being somewhat low, should be enhanced.
8. The learned Government Advocate, after taking us through the testimony of the eye witnesses PW 1 Gendalal and PW 2 Laxminarayan, strangely enough submitted that from their ex-parte evidence also it has not been satisfactorily proved that the accident occurred on account of the rash and negligent driving of respondent No. 1. However, we see absolutely no force in this contention because the respondents despite service of notice deliberately chose to remain ex-parte before the Tribunal and the evidence adduced by these witnesses on oath has not at all been rebutted in any way nor the respondents have put up any defence by filing the written statements. Therefore, it is not open to the respondents now to contend that the accident did not occur because of the rash and negligent driving by respondent No. 1. In such a situation the burden lay upon the respondents to prove how and in what circumstances the accident occurred. But in absence of that material evidence there appears no reason to disbelieve the testimony of the eye witnesses who have clearly established as to how the accident occurred because of the rash and negligent driving of the vehicle by respondent no I, who was driving the vehicle in such a rash and negligent manner that on seeing the same they also felt that the respondent No. 1 would cause an accident and immediately thereafter they saw the actual incident in which respondent No. 1 gave a severe dash from behind to the deceased who was proceeding ahead on a cycle.
9. The learned Government Advocate also submitted that the appellants have not led any satisfactory evidence to prove how much land they owned and what was the exact dependency on the deceased.It is no doubt true that the evidence on this point is not specific regarding the area of the agricultural land possessed by the parents, but there appears no reason to doubt the testimony of the appellants' witnesses to the effect that the deceased was.helping his father in his agricultural operation, side by side also studying.
10. So far as the quantum of compensation is concerned, we are of opinion that the same is not doubt somewhat low and considering the facts and circumstances of the caee the same also deserves to be enhanced by adding Rs. 15,000 00 more which would meet the ends of justice. We are also of opinion that considering the market rate of interest the appellants Nos. 1 and 2 are also entitled to claims interest on this total amount of Rs. 40,000/- at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of the filing of the application till realisation as the learned Counsel for the appellants submitted that so far the resdondents have not paid a single farthing, despite their efforts to recover the same which have all been frustrated by the Government officials so far.
11. In the result this appeal succeeds partly. The award of the learned Member is modified to the extent that instead of Rs. 25,000/- the appellants are entitled to claims Rs. 40,000/- (forty thousand) by way of compensation. It is further ordered that on this amount they are also entitled to claims interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of filing of the application dated 18-12-1979 till realisation. They are also entitled to the cost of this appeal as per schedule, including counsel's fee.
12. The respondents shall deposit the entire amount of compensation as awarded by this Court, within a period of one month from today before the lower Court i.e. the Tribunal and on being deposited the same shall be paid to appellants Nos. 1 and 2 in person.