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Madhya Pradesh State Road Transport Corpn. Vs. Kantidevi and Two ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1986)ACC7
AppellantMadhya Pradesh State Road Transport Corpn.
RespondentKantidevi and Two ors.
Excerpt:
- - it is alleged that the bus bad gone out of order at mahasmund. 1 and 2 supported the award and submitted that it is a well considered order and the tribunal has reached the conclusion after considering all the facts and the legal aspects of the case, which requires no interference by this court. per hour that itself indicated a proof that the driver was not careful, not only in driving the bus it appears that even he was not well conversant with the rules and regulations of the motor vehicles act, according to which in busy locality including the suburb area of a city and also inside the city vehicle should not be driven with a speed of more than 20 k......being driven rashly and negligently by the driver respondent no. 3, which has resulted into the alleged accident.3. on the aforesaid facts the claim petition was filed by the respondent nos. 1 and 2, claiming compensation to the tune of rs. 8,000/- i.e. rs. 25,000/- towards the loss of dependency, rs. 50,000/- towards loss of expectancy of life and rs. 500/- for pain and sufferings.4. the appellant m.p.s.r.t.c. and the driver respondent no. 3 the averments of the claim petition, stated that at the time of the accident the bus was running in its normal speed but late krishnadeo prasad wanted to cross the road and in between his bicycle dashed against the bus which has resulted into the alleged accident. it was denied specifically that the bus was being driven rashly or negligently. it.....
Judgment:

B.M. Lal, J.

1. This appeal under Section 110-D of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act') has been directed against an award dated 31-1-1980 passed by the Claims Tribunal, Raipur, awarding Rs. 15,000/- to the respondent No. 1 and Rs. 10,000/- to the respondent No 2.

2. The facts leading this appeal are as under. The husband of respondent No. 1 Shrimati Kanti Devi and father of respondent No. 2 Kumari Sanju, late Krishna Deo Prasad who was doing the job of motor mechanic, met with an accident with a bus bearing registration No. MPC 3012 belonging to the appellant and was being driven by the respondent No. 3 Rameshwari day on 4-7-1978 at about 11 a.m. It is alleged that the bus bad gone out of order at Mahasmund. It was repaired there and as it was not in order therefore, it was being brought back to Raipur Via Arang. When the bus reached near Mincha Petrol Pump it dashed against the bicycle from behind which was being driven by Krishna Deo Prasad who was going from his left side because of the said accident, it is alleged that late Krishnade Prasad came under the bus. The driver of the bus applied brake for stopping it whereupon it was seen that Krishnadeo Prasad was trying to come out of it, but in between, instead of stopped it its speed was accelerated, with the result, head of Krishnadeo Prasad not smashed by the back wheel. Krishandeo Prasad thus succumbed to the injuries on the spot. Thus according to the claimants, the bus was being driven rashly and negligently by the driver respondent No. 3, which has resulted into the alleged accident.

3. On the aforesaid facts the claim petition was filed by the respondent Nos. 1 and 2, claiming compensation to the tune of Rs. 8,000/- i.e. Rs. 25,000/- towards the loss of dependency, Rs. 50,000/- towards loss of expectancy of life and Rs. 500/- for pain and sufferings.

4. The appellant M.P.S.R.T.C. and the driver respondent No. 3 the averments of the claim petition, stated that at the time of the accident the bus was running in its normal speed but late Krishnadeo Prasad wanted to cross the road and in between his bicycle dashed against the bus which has resulted into the alleged accident. It was denied specifically that the bus was being driven rashly or negligently. It was also alleged that this was a case of contributory negligence and therefore the bus driver alone cannot be held liable for rash and negligent driving.

5. The Claims Tribunal after assessing the over all evidence on record has heached the conclusion that the bus belonging the appellant was being driven rashly and negligently owing to which the alleged accident has taken place in which Krisbanadeo Prasad lost his life. The Tribunal, therefore, awarded Rs. 15,000/- to respondent No. 1 wife and Rs. 10,000/- to respondent No. 2 daughter of late Krishnadeo Prasad. Against this award the appellant M.P.S.R.T.C. has preferred this appeal.

6. The learned Counsel appearing for the appellant submitted that the Claims Tribunal erred in awarding compensation in the bus was being driven rashly and negligently. It is also submitted that award of Rs. 25,000/- is quite illegal and arbitrary being not based on any standard norms. It is a case of contributory negligence. On the other hand, the learned Counsel appearing for the respondents Nos. 1 and 2 supported the award and submitted that it is a well considered order and the Tribunal has reached the conclusion after considering all the facts and the legal aspects of the case, which requires no interference by this Court.

7. After having heard the rival contentions of the parties I have reached the conclusion that this appeal must be dismissed.

8. As far as rash and negligent driving is concerned the statement of the driver Rameshwarill Prasad (N.A.W. 1) itself is sufficient to warrant a finding that the bus was being driven rashly and negligently. In para 2 of his deposition be has stated that at the time of the accident, the speed of the bus was about 40 kilometers per hour. It has come on record that where the accident had taken place it is quite a busy commercial locality of Raipur and if in such a busy place a bus was being driven at the speed of 40 k.m. per hour that itself indicated a proof that the driver was not careful, not only in driving the bus it appears that even he was not well conversant with the rules and regulations of the Motor Vehicles Act, according to which in busy locality including the suburb area of a city and also inside the city vehicle should not be driven with a Speed of more than 20 k.m. Dayaram (N.A.W. 2) also fortifies the statement of Rameshwarlal, the driver of the bus, relating to the speed. Both of them have stated that the bus was not carrying any passenger because it was out of order. It has also come on record that after the alleged accident the bus was stopped after about 50 feet as it has come on record from the statement of Dayaram that after the accident the bus proceeded ahead upto 20-50 feet and then again after about 25 feet, it was stopped. According to the calculations of Motor Vehicle Inspectors in various cases, it has been found that after application of brakes if a vehicle is stopped at a distance of 45 to 50 feet from the actual place of accident, then the speed of the vehicle, according them would be about 40 kilometers per hour. In the instant case driver Rameshwarlal (N.A.W. 1) and Dayaram (N.A.W. 2) have also stated that the speed of the bus was about 40 kilometers per hour. It has also come on record that the place where the accident had taken place, was a busy locality. Therefore the finding as reached by the Tribunal that the bus was being driven rashly and negligently by the driver, respondent No. 3, cannot be said to be erroneous, being based on no evidence.

9. In numerous cases it has been held that the driver of the vehicle is required to take notice children or disable persons who are using the road so as to ensure their safety within reasonable limits. All persons have right to walk on the road and are entitled to the exercise of reasonable care on the part of the person driving the vehicle. Therefore it cannot be said that the persons who are using the road for walking etc., they use the road at their own risk. On the other hand it is the duty of the driver to keep a proper look out for pedestrian and other users of the road. It is his duty, whenever he feels expedient to give warning to the pedestrian and other road users by mechanical or electric horn. In such circumstances even if other road users are found negligent it is for the driver of the bus to use his skill carefully and by exercising his due skill in driving the bus avoid the consequences of that negligence a may not result in any fatal accident.

10. Applying the aforesaid principle if we examine the facts of the instant, we find that the driver of the bus, i.e. respondent No. 3 was most carelessly driving the bus which has resulted in the fatal accident. Therefore the finding as reached by the Tribunal that the bus was being driven rashly and negligently requires no interference by this Court having been proved by the driver respondent No. 3 and Dayaram who were themselves in the bus at the time of the accident. For this reason the question of contributory negligence also does not arise.

11. Now the next question arises for consideration is about the quantum of compensation. PW 2 Ram Krishna Sing (AW 2) and Mangal Singh (AW 3) have deposed that the deceased Krishnadeo Prasad was earning Rs. 400/- per month out of which be used to spend Rs. 300/- on his wife and daughter. It is also not disputed that at the time of the death, the age of deceased Krishandeo Prasad was about 24 years. The longivity of life as has been held in numerous cases by this Court and also by the Supreme Court, is about 65 years. Therefore if the same is calculated then the amount of compensation would come more than what the Tribunal has awarded. But the Tribunal after considering all the pros and cons of the facts of the case and the legal aspect, it granted compensation to the tune of Rs. 25,000/- i.e. Rs. 15,000/- to the respondent No. 1 and Rs. 10,000/- to the respondent No. 2. In my opinion, even looking to the facts and circumstances of the instant case, this award of Rs. 25,000/- appears to be too low but since no cross objection has been filed on behalf of the respondent No. 1 and No. 2 therefore I do not feel to increase the amount of compensation awarded by the Tribunal in exercise of the appellate jurisdiction while awarding the compensation, to me it appears that no injustice has been caused in favour of the appellant M.P.S.R.T.C. and therefore no interference is called for in awarding the damages.

12. From the discussion aforesaid this appeal fails and is hereby dismissed with costs through out. Counsel's fee Rs. 500/- if certified.


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