G.C. Mital, J.
1. On 11th of June 1976 at about 12-50 p.m. i.e., noon time, Gurmej Singh and Fauja Singh were travelling in bus No. PUE-1617, belonging to Punjab Roadways, Amritsar Depot, driven by Tara Singh driver. When the bus reached near the Nakassu Bridge, a truck No. PNE-5905 came from the side road and there was an accident between the vehicles, as a result of which, the bus over-turned and the aforesaid two occupants of the bus sustained serious injuries and ultimately died. Fauja Singh's widow and seven minor children filed claim application before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Amritsar. Widow of Gurmej Singh also filed a separate claim application. Both the cases were tried together in which the following issues were framed :
(1) Whether the owner and driver of truck No. PNE-5905 are necessary parties to this application If so to what effect ?
(2) Whether the claim application is maintainable against respondent No. 2. If not, to what effect ?
(3) Whether the accident in this case was caused due to the rash and negligent driving of Bus No. PUE-1617 by respondent Tara Singh ?
(4) Whether the applicant is entitled to any compensation. If so, to what extent and from whom ?
After evidence was led, the Tribunal by a common order dated 2-6-1977, awarded Rs. 10,000/- to the widow of Gurmej and Rs. 25,000/-to the widow and seven children of Fauja Singh. Tara Singh driver was made liable to pay the compensation, because the General Manager of Punjab Roadways, Amritsar was neither owner of the bus, nor was the driver its employee and it was the Punjab State who was the owner, but it had not been made a party. However it, was noticed that in the claim application, the name and address of the owner of the motor vehicle involved in the accident were given as the Punjab Government. FAOS 331 and 372 of 1977 have been filed by the driver of the bus.
2. Along with the appeals, applications under Order 1 Rule 10 read with Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure were filed to implead the State of Punjab as a respondent, so that in case the award of the Tribunal was to be maintained, the State of Punjab be made to pay the compensation by way of vicarious liability. The applications were granted subject to all just exceptions. No. objection has so far been taken by the State of Punjab for being impleaded as a party to these appeals.
3. After hearing the learned Counsel for the parties, I am of the view that there is no scope for interference with the well considered award of the Tribunal. The negligence of the driver of the bus has been clearly proved from the evidence on the record which has been rightly appreciated by the Tribunal. In fact, the learned Counsel for the driver of the bus did not seriously challenge the findings of negligence given by the Tribunal. The sole argument raised before me was that since the bus was owned by The State of Punjab and he, being the driver and in the employment of the State, it was the State of Punjab who was liable by way of vicarious liability. This argument has obvious merit. So far as the claimants are concerned, they had clearly stated that the bus was owned by the State of Punjab and it was the mistake of the Tribunal in not issuing the notice to the State of the Punjab. That mistake has now been rectified and notice of appeal was given to the State of Punjab. It was not disputed that for the liability of its employees, the State would be liable to pay compensation. Accordingly, while maintaining the amounts awarded by the Tribunal below, it is ordered that the compensation will be payable by the State of Punjab instead of Tara Singh driver, by way of vicarious liability. To this extent, the order of the Tribunal is modified.
4. For the reasons recorded above, it is ordered that the compensation awarded by the Tribunal below to the two sets of claimants would be payable by the State of Punjab. With the aforesaid modification, the award of the Tribunal is maintained and both these appeals stand disposed of accordingly with no order as to cost.