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Purnima Vindal (Minor) and ors. Vs. Chatar Mal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1985)ACC292
AppellantPurnima Vindal (Minor) and ors.
RespondentChatar Mal and ors.
Excerpt:
.....however in such matters, heavy onus would like on petitioner bidder to establish his allegations as state action shall always be presumed to be in accordance with law - lalit mohan suri, counsel for the insurance company, on the other hand, was that the claimants had failed to establish the loss, if any, suffered by them on account of the death of the deceased and consequently no amount could be awarded to them as compensation. 12. considered in the totality of the circumstances of the case and the evidence on record, there is no escope from the conclusion that the claimants have failed to establish any such loss having accrued to them on account of the death of the deceased as could entitle them to any compensation......employed at a salary of rs. 1,000/- per month and it was argued that this must be considered as a loss the claimants. in dealing with this part of the case, it deserves note that no such plea had been raised by the claimants either in the claim application or before the tribunal and what is more, as has been mentioned earlier, the deceased had no experience of business and if in her stead, an experienced factory manager has been appointed this cannot be construed as any loss to the claimants or to the estate of the deceased.11. there is no claim in this case for compensation for the loss of service of the deceased a house-wife. this claim was presumably not pressed by the counsel for the appellant in view of the re-marriage of sham sunder vindal within a year and a half of the death of.....
Judgment:

S.S. Sodhi, J.

1. The claim for compensation here arises from the death of Chander Mani Vindal, who was killed when she was travelling in car which was involved in accident with an oil tanker This happened on July 11, 1972, at about 11.30 a.m. on the Grand Truck Road between Panipat and Delhi.

2. It was the finding of the Tribunal that the accident had been caused by the rash and negligent driving of the oil tanker. The Tribunal, however, declined to award any compensation to the claimants, they being the husband and the two daughters of the deceased, on the ground that the amount already paid to them under the policy of insurance taken out by the deceased was in excess of the amount computed as compensation which would otherwise have been payable to them in these proceedings.

3. Mr. Rameshwar Dayal, counsel for the claimants, raised the contention in appeal that there was a patent error committed by the Tribunal in declining compensation to the claimants merely on the ground that they had received some amount under a policy of insurance in respect of the deceased. The argument being that amounts paid under policies of insurance could not be taken to deny or reduce the amount of compensation which the claimants were otherwise entitled to.

4. The stand of Mr. Lalit Mohan Suri, counsel for the Insurance Company, on the other hand, was that the claimants had failed to establish the loss, if any, suffered by them on account of the death of the deceased and consequently no amount could be awarded to them as compensation.

5. The amount claimed in this case as compensation was Rs. 5,00,000/-and it was stated in the claim application that the income of the deceased was Rs. 1,625/- per month from M/s Ambika Plastics (P.) Ltd.

6. The evidence on record shows that P.W. 7 Sham Sunder Vindal, the husband of the deceased, was an employee of Bata Shoe Company. He left this job in 1969 when he was drawing a salary of Rs. 2,500/- per month. In the meanwhile, he had set up his wife Chander Mani Vindal deceased in business at Faridabad under the name of Ambika Plastics. Ambika Plastics started production in June 1969 when it was converted into a Private Limited Company known as Ambika Plastics (P) Ltd. and the factory was started in Chandigarh. A sum of Rs. 90,000/- had been invested in this company by the deceased and Rs. 1,50,000/- by him, that is, Sham Sunder Vindal and there were three other Directors who held shares worth Rs 1,10,000/-. It was stated that the deceased was looking after the production and administration of this business in Chandigarh and from the middle of 1970, her pay was fixed at Rs. 1,500/, per month and she was also paid one month's salary as bonus every year. In 1971, another factory was started at Madras which he looked after. In other words, the factory in Chandigarh was looked after by the deceased, while that at Madras by her husband.

7. The claimants also led evidence regarding the machinery purchased for the business and the income that the deceased derived therefrom. What was stressed here by the counsel for the respondent Insurance Company was that all this evidence merely showed what the deceased owned and earned but not the loss that the claimants have suffered as a result of her death. It was pointed out in this behalf and also accepted as correct by the counsel for the appellant that all the shares of the deceased have now come to the claimants.

8. It is the common cause of the parties that Ambika Plastics (P) Ltd. was a family concern. The deceased is no doubt said to have invested Rs. 90,000/- but it has not been shown how she was in a position to do so. According to her husband, the only asset she had was a plot in Faridabad which had been purchased in 1959 for Rs. 5,000/- and ten years later it was sold for Rs. 28,000/-. As regards the salary of Rs. 1,500/- per month which she was being paid, Mr. Lalit Mohan Suri, counsel for the Insurance Company, laid great stress upon the fact that the deceased had no experience of business before this business was started. The suggestion being that this amount was merely being shown as salary with a view to save on Income-tax. It was further argued that even if it be taken that she was indeed being paid this salary, the statement of the husband that, she used to save all this amount is belied by the record as according to Sham Sunder Vindal himself, she only had Rs. 15,000/- to Rs. 20,000/- in her account from July 1969 till the time of her death.

9. This being the situation, Mr. Rameshwar Dayal, counsel for the claimants was specifically asked to point to any material on record which could indicate the loss, if any, that the business had suffered on account of the death of the deceased or the loss that the claimants may have suffered in any other matter. He was constrained to express his inability to do so.

10. A half-hearted attempted was, however, made to show that on account of the death of the deceased, a Factory Manager, had to be employed at a salary of Rs. 1,000/- per month and it was argued that this must be considered as a loss the claimants. In dealing with this part of the case, it deserves note that no such plea had been raised by the claimants either in the claim application or before the Tribunal and what is more, as has been mentioned earlier, the deceased had no experience of business and if in her stead, an experienced Factory Manager has been appointed this cannot be construed as any loss to the claimants or to the estate of the deceased.

11. There is no claim in this case for compensation for the loss of service of the deceased a house-wife. This claim was presumably not pressed by the counsel for the appellant in view of the re-marriage of Sham Sunder Vindal within a year and a half of the death of the deceased.

12. Considered in the totality of the circumstances of the case and the evidence on record, there is no escope from the conclusion that the claimants have failed to establish any such loss having accrued to them on account of the death of the deceased as could entitle them to any compensation.

13. This appeal is accordingly hereby dismissed. In the circumstances, however, there will be no order as to costs.


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