1. What falls for consideration in this appeal is the proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 110-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939.
2. Desh Kumar was killed in an accident with a bus. This happened at Samalkha on October 18, 1980. He died leaving behind his mother Smt. Kaushalya Devi, his brother Jai Bhagwan, his sister Prem Lata as also his widow Shashi Bala.
3. A claim for compensation was put in by the mother, brother and sister of the deceased. The widow was not, however impleaded as a party, despite a specific objection having been raised by the respondent to her non-joinder. The claimants instead sought to meet this objection by placing on record the affidavit of the widow--Shashi Bala. Exhibit Pl wherein it was stated that she had gone to her parents' house and had given up her claim to compensation on account of the death of her deceased husband in favour of her mother-in-law, Smt. Kaushalya Devi.
4. The Tribunal held that the affidavit Exhibit Pl did not satisfy the requirements of law and accordingly dismissed the petition as being bad for non-joinder of the widow Shashi Bala as a party to this petition.
5. In dealing with this matter it would be pertinent to advert to the judgment of the High Court of Madras in Ranganathan v. K. Gangabai, 1982 Acc CJ 341: (AIR 1982 Mad 131). In this case the father had put-in a claim for compensation on account of the death of his son in a motor accident. An objection was raised that with the mother of the deceased being alive, the father was not entitled to prefer such a claim. The Tribunal upheld this objection holding that the father could not maintain the petition for compensation without impleading the mother either as a co-petitioner or respondent. In this context, in considering the provisions of S. 110-A of the M. V. Act. it was observed.
'That section says that where death has resulted from the accident, the claim petition can be filed by all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased. But the said section contains a proviso, which says that where all the legal representatives of the deceased have not joined in any such application for compensation, the application shall be made on behalf of or for the benefit of all the legal representatives of the deceased and the legal representatives who have not so joined shall be impleaded as respondents to the application. This proviso to Section 110-A has been introduced obviously for the purpose of avoiding multifarious claims in respect of the same accident. If one of the many legal representatives can file a claim petition without reference to the others then there is likelihood of many claim petitions being filed in respect of the same accident. It is with a view to avoid such a situation and also to ensure that one legal representative does not get the compensation and run away with it without the knowledge of the other legal representatives the proviso has been introduced'.
The case was accordingly remanded to the Tribunal to enable the father to bring on record all the Legal Representatives of the deceased as respondents and to prosecute the claim petition in a representative capacity.
6. It is, thus incumbent that were the application for compensation has not been made by all the legal representatives of the deceased, the application made must be on behalf of or for the benefit of all the legal representatives of the deceased. It is equally an imperative requirement that all the legal representatives of the deceased must be impleaded as parties whether as co-petitioners or respondents. If these conditions are not complied with, the petition cannot proceed. It follows, therefore, that where all the legal representatives of the deceased have not been impleaded as parties, to the claim, an opportunity must be afforded to the claimants to implead the legal representatives, not so impleaded and until and unless this is done, proceeding in the claim application should not be allowed to continue.
7. The Award of the Tribunal is hereby set aside and the case is remanded to the Tribunal to afford to the claimants an opportunity to implead the Widow-Shashi Bala, as a respondent and to thereafter decide the claim afresh in accordance with law.
8. This appeal is accordingly accepted and the parties are directed to appear before the Tribunal on May 1, 1984. There will, however, be no order as to costs.
9. Appeal accepted.