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Balbir Kaur and ors. Vs. State of Punjab and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1985)ACC369
AppellantBalbir Kaur and ors.
RespondentState of Punjab and anr.
Cases ReferredLachhman Singh v. Gurmit Kaur
Excerpt:
.....presumably to go on to the road leading to village badheri. with the bus was coming from the opposite direction, it was clearly incumbent upon him to ensure that he could cross the road without thereby endangering himself or any other road user......tie punjab roadways bus pur-3848, this happened near village badheri on the chandigarh-s.as. nagar road. kewal singh was on scooter cho-4814 and was proceeding towards s.a.s. nagar while the bus had come from the opposite direction.2. according to the finding of the tribunal, this was a case of contributory negligence with both kewal singh deceased and the bus-driver being equally to blame. after making an allowance for the contributory negligence of the deceased, a sum of rs. 22,500/- was awarded as compensation to the claimants: they being the parents, widow and three daughters of kewal singh deceased.3. counsel for the claimants, in the first instance sought to assail the finding of contributory negligence considering the manner in which the accident occurred, the deceased cannot but.....
Judgment:

S.S. Sodhi, J.

1. On May 31, 1978 at about 12 noon, Kewal Singh was run over and killed by tie Punjab Roadways Bus PUR-3848, This happened near village Badheri on the Chandigarh-S.AS. Nagar Road. Kewal Singh was on scooter CHO-4814 and was proceeding towards S.A.S. Nagar while the bus had come from the opposite direction.

2. According to the finding of the Tribunal, this was a case of contributory negligence with both Kewal Singh deceased and the bus-driver being equally to blame. After making an allowance for the contributory negligence of the deceased, a sum of Rs. 22,500/- was awarded as compensation to the claimants: they being the parents, widow and three daughters of Kewal Singh deceased.

3. Counsel for the claimants, in the first instance sought to assail the finding of contributory negligence Considering the manner in which the accident occurred, the deceased cannot but be held to have contributed to this unfortunate occurrence. The evidence or record clearly establishes the fact that the bus was on its correct side of the road when the deceased turned to his right, presumably to go on to the road leading to village Badheri. With the bus was coming from the opposite direction, it was clearly incumbent upon him to ensure that he could cross the road without thereby endangering himself or any other road user. In other words, it was required of him that he turn to the right only when the road ahead was clear, as he was to go across the road when turning to the road on his right. There was an obvious carelessness on the part of the deceased here and this is where his share of the blame for the accident lies. The Tribunal was thus amply justified in holding the deceased guilty of contributory negligence.

4. The main challenge in appeal was to the quantum of compensation awarded to the claimants.

5. The Tribunal had assessed the income of Kewal Singh deceased at Rs. 450/- per month. Counsel for the claimants could point to no material on record on the basis of which it could said that the Tribunal had erred in taking the income of the deceased at this figure. Where the Tribunal fell in error was in taking the dependency of the claimants at Rs. 3,000/- per annum and then applying a multiplier of '15' only. Considering the circumstances and situation of the claimants in the context of the principles laid down by the Full Bench in Lachhman Singh v. Gurmit Kaur 1979 P.L.R. 1, there can be no manner of doubt that '16' was the appropriate multiplier to be applied here and the dependency deserves to be taken at Rs. 4,000/- per annum, Kewal Singh deceased was only about 28 years of age at the time of his death and he died leaving behind not only his parents but also his young widow and three minor daughters. So computed, the compensation payable would work out to Rs. 64,000/-, but the amount actually payable would be only half this sum, namely; Rs. 32,000/- keeping in view the contributory negligence of the deceased. The compensation payable to the claimants is accordingly hereby enhanced to Rs. 32,000/- which they shall be entitled to along with interest at the rate of 12 per cent 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/- shall be paid to the parents of the deceased; Rs. 2,500/- each to his three minor daughters and the balance to his widow.

6. The respondents shall be jointly and severally liable for the compensation awarded.

7. This appeal is consequently hereby accepted with costs. Counsel fee Rs. 300/-.


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