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Jagdish Rai Sharma Vs. Kesho Devi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1983)ACC265
AppellantJagdish Rai Sharma
RespondentKesho Devi and ors.
Cases ReferredLachhman Singh v. Gurmit Kaur
Excerpt:
- - it deserves note here that the car stood registered in the name of gurcharan singh dhaliwal, but it is interesting to note that in his testimony as rw 1 jagdish rai sharma invariably referred to this car as 'my car' though he later stated that it was in the ownership of gurcharan singh dhaliwal what gives a lie to this statement is his further testimony that the car remained in his possession since june, 1972. it was still in his possession when he gave evidence in this case in march, 1977. further, he stated that it was he who got the car insured and was also the person who informed the insurance company of this accident......of this accident. the person driving this vehicle was sahib singh, who was none else than the driver of jagdish rai sharma. the tribunal in these circumstances rightly took jagdish rai sharma to be the owner of this car.6. the main challenge here was with regard to the award of a sum of rs. 5,000/- as compensation for pain and suffering caused to the claimants on account of the death of the deceased. it, no doubt, now stands settled by this court in lachhman singh v. gurmit kaur 1979 p.l.r. 1 that no award of compensation can be made under this head, but at the same time applying the principles laid down therein to the facts of the present case, the amount awarded namely rs. 23,000/- warrants no interference in appeal. phagu ram, deceased, was 52 years of age at the time of his.....
Judgment:

S.S. Sodhi, J.

1. On July 19, 1973 at about 11.50 A.M. Phagu Ram was run-over and killed by the car WBF-9414. It was the case of the claimants that the deceased was walking on the left side of the road, when the car came from behind and hit into him.

2. The tribunal came to the finding that the accident here was caused entirely due to the rash and negligent driving of Sahib Singh, the driver of the car. A sum of Rs. 23,000/- was awarded as compensation to the claimants, they being the widow and the minor children of the deceased.

3. The finding of negligence recorded against the car driver was sought to be challenged in appeal. The evidence on record, however, provides no ground to sustain it. Both AW 2 Ajit Singh and AW 4 Tara Singh, the two eye witnesses examined by the claimants gave a consistant account of occurrence namely, that the deceased was walking on the left side of the road, when the car came from behind and hit into him. This accident took place about 50/60 yards from where they were. They were on the thrashing ground at that time. To lend further assurance to their testimony is the corroboration provided thereto by the First Information Report Ext. A.W. 1/A which was recorded on the statement of A.W. 2 Ajit Singh, a little over half an hour after the accident The medical evidence supports this version as the injuries on the deceased show that the car had come and hit into him from behind. It is also pertinent to note that according to the eye witness account the car had stopped, about a furlong from the place of accident and it was then brought back to where the deceased had fallen.

4 It is significant to note that the driver of the car did not appear as a witness to give his version of the accident. The only witness examined by the respondent being R.W. 1 Jagdish Rai Sharma, who was travelling in the car at that time. In his testimony he no doubt, sought to take up the plea that the accident occurred when the deceased tried to go across the road, but no such version found mention in the written statement filed by Jagdish Rai Sharma. On the face of it, it was merely an after-thought. From the facts and circumstances of this case, therefore, the tribunal rightly held the car driver guilty of negligence.

5. A plea was then raised that Jagdish Rai Sharma was not liable to pay any compensation in this case as he was not the owner of the car involved in the accident. It deserves note here that the car stood registered in the name of Gurcharan Singh Dhaliwal, but it is interesting to note that in his testimony as RW 1 Jagdish Rai Sharma invariably referred to this car as 'My car' though he later stated that it was in the ownership of Gurcharan Singh Dhaliwal What gives a lie to this statement is his further testimony that the car remained in his possession since June, 1972. It was still in his possession when he gave evidence in this case in March, 1977. Further, he stated that it was he who got the car insured and was also the person who informed the insurance company of this accident. The person driving this vehicle was Sahib Singh, who was none else than the driver of Jagdish Rai Sharma. The Tribunal in these circumstances rightly took Jagdish Rai Sharma to be the owner of this car.

6. The main challenge here was with regard to the award of a sum of Rs. 5,000/- as compensation for pain and suffering caused to the claimants on account of the death of the deceased. It, no doubt, now stands settled by this Court in Lachhman Singh v. Gurmit Kaur 1979 P.L.R. 1 that no award of compensation can be made under this head, but at the same time applying the principles laid down therein to the facts of the present case, the amount awarded namely Rs. 23,000/- warrants no interference in appeal. Phagu Ram, deceased, was 52 years of age at the time of his death. He was a potter. It has come in evidence that his income was Rs. 300/- to Rs. 400/- per month. The claimants here being his widow and three minor children. This being the situation of the deceased and the claimants, the amount awarded as compensation can by no means be taken to be more than what the claimants were entitled to. This appeal is consequently hereby dismissed. The claimants shall be entitled to the costs of this appeal. Counsel's fee Rs. 200/-.


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