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Bhim Sen Vs. Bhagwanti Devi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1984)ACC191
AppellantBhim Sen
RespondentBhagwanti Devi and ors.
Excerpt:
- - 5 hukam chand who both clearly and categorically named him as the offending motor-cyclist. it is now well settled that the normal multiplier is 16 and in the facts and circumstances of this case, there was clearly no warrant for taking any other multiplier particularly when the deceased was only 47 years of age and he died leaving behind his widow bhagwanti and four minor children ranging in age from 7 to 18 years......on a cycle on the main road when a motor-cycle dhv 1563 driven in a rash and negligent manner by bhim singh came from behind and hit into the cycle as a result of which sewak ram fell down and sustained a head injury as a consequence of which he died at the spot. it was stated in the claim application that the motor cycle had no light at that time nor was any horn blown. the cause for the accident was thus attributed to the rash and negligent driving of bhim singh.3. the tribunal accepted the version of the claimants and came to the finding that the accident here had indeed been caused by the rash and negligent driving of bhim singh. a sum of rs. 43,200/- was awarded to the claimants as compensation. the liability for the entire amount awarded was fastened upon bhim singh alone. the.....
Judgment:

S.S. Sodhi, J.

1. The claim for compensation here arises from the death of Sewak Ram, who, it was stated, was killed in an accident while proceedings towards Tajewala Head Works from Khiderabad. This happened on 15th October, 1979 at about 7 P.M.

2. It is the case of the claimants that Sewak Ram was travelling on a cycle on the main road when a motor-cycle DHV 1563 driven in a rash and negligent manner by Bhim Singh came from behind and hit into the cycle as a result of which Sewak Ram fell down and sustained a head injury as a consequence of which he died at the spot. It was stated in the claim application that the motor cycle had no light at that time nor was any horn blown. The cause for the accident was thus attributed to the rash and negligent driving of Bhim Singh.

3. The Tribunal accepted the version of the claimants and came to the finding that the accident here had indeed been caused by the rash and negligent driving of Bhim Singh. A sum of Rs. 43,200/- was awarded to the claimants as compensation. The liability for the entire amount awarded was fastened upon Bhim Singh alone. The Insurance Company was not held liable as Bhim Singh was not found to be the insured at the time of the accident.

4. The finding of negligence recorded against Bhim Singh warrants no interference in appeal. The manner in which the accident took place stands established by the testimony of P.W. 4 Jaswant Singh and P.W. 5 Hukam Chand, eye-witnesses to the occurrence. Jaswant Singh P.W. deposed to the rash and negligent driving by Bhim Singh and that the motor-cycle had come from behind and hit into the cycle of the deceased which was on its correct side of the road. It was further the testimony of both P.W. Jaswant Singh and P.W. 5 Hukam Chand that after the accident, they removed the injured Sewak Ram to the hospital at Khiderabad.

5. It would be pertinent to note that both Jaswant Singh and Hukam Chand were named as eye-witnesses to the occurrence in the claim application itself.

6. Bhim Singh had denied his involvement in the accident according to the stand taken by him in his written statement. He had indeed testified to this effect too when he appeared in the witness box as R.W. 1. This plea was however, rightly not accepted by the Tribunal, keeping in view the testimony of P.W. 4 Jaswant Singh and P.W. 5 Hukam Chand who both clearly and categorically named him as the offending motor-cyclist. Indeed the statement of P.W. 5 Hukam Chand to this effect was not even challenged in cross-examination.

7. This being the state of the evidence on record, counsel for Bhim Singh could point to no infirmity or flaw therein to warrant any conclusion other than that of rash and negligent driving by Bhim Singh as found by the Tribunal.

8. The next question which falls for determination is with regard to the amount payable as compensation to the claimants. No exception can be taken to the finding of the Tribunal in taking the loss suffered by the claimants to be to the extent of Rs. 400/- per month. Where the Tribunal fell in error was in taking 9 to be the multiplier in this case. It is now well settled that the normal multiplier is 16 and in the facts and circumstances of this case, there was clearly no warrant for taking any other multiplier particularly when the deceased was only 47 years of age and he died leaving behind his widow Bhagwanti and four minor children ranging in age from 7 to 18 years. Compensation payable to the claimants must thus be computed taking 16 as the appropriate multiplier which works out to Rs. 76,800/-.

9. In the result, the appeal filed by the claimants (F.A.O. 182 of 1981) is accepted to the extent that the amount awarded to them as compensation is enhanced to Rs. 76,800/-. The claimants shall be entitled to this amount along with interest at the rate of 12% per annum from the date of the application to the date of the payment of the amount awarded. Out of the amount awarded, a sum of Rs. 5,000/- each shall be shall be payable to the children and mother of the deceased while the balance shall be payable to the widow Bhagwanti. The claimants shall also be entitled to costs of this appeal. Counsel's fee Rs. 300/-.

10. The appeal filed by Bhim Singh is hereby dismissed. There will, however, be no order as to costs in this appeal.


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