S.S. Sodhi J.
1. Gulshan Kumar, a four-year-old child was run over by a truck as a consequence of which his right leg had to be amputated from below the knee. This happened on November 2, 1977 at about 10 A.M. on Basai Road, Gurgaon.
2. The claim for compensation put-fourth by the claimant-Gulshan Kumar was declined by the Tribunal holding that though the truck was being driven rashly, the accident had not been caused by any negligence of its driver. It is this finding which is now assailed in appeal.
3. It was the case of the claimant that Gulshan Kumar was standing on the left side of the road when the truck came at a very fast speed and ran him over.
4. The version of the truck-driver, one the other hand, was that the accident occurred when Gulshan Kumar ran to cross the road without bothering about the traffice on the road. The truck-driver, on seeing him, immediately blew the horn and applied brakes, but Gulshan Kumar hit into truck and fell down. The truck-driver, it was said, could not therefore, be blamed for the accident.
5. Three witnesses were examined to depose to the accident having occurred as per the case set up by the claimant; they being, P.W. 1 Sunder Das, P.W. 2 Godha Ram and P.W. 5 Balkishan, who also lodged the first information report in this case. On the other hand, the truck-driver R.W. 1-Ramesh Chand, besides appearing in the witness box himself, also examined R.W.2 Kalu Ram and R.W. 3 Banwari to support him. Conflicting versions of the accident were given by these two different sets of witnesses. The Tribunal, while accepting the fact the claimant's witnesses were present there, did not rely upon their testimony that they had seen the actual impact between the truck and the claimant or that the accident had occurred when the claimant was standing on the left side of the road. The accident was taken to have occurred when Gulshan Kumar was trying to cross the road.
6. As regards respondents, witnesses, no reliance was placed upon RW 2 Kalu Ram and RW 3 Banwari, who where branded as 'convenient witnesses.' Both these witnesses being palledars, who, on their on showing, were under the influence of the owner of the truck, as it was with him that they had been working. All these matters now, however, pale into insignificance by the judgment of the criminal court exhibit 'X', how being placed on the record. A reading of the judgment would show that the truck-driver Ramesh Kumar pleaded guilty to the charge under Sections 279 and 338, Indian Penal Code. There is no explanation or other material on record to place any interpretation upon this admission of guilt except that the accident here had been caused by the rash and negligent driving of the truck-driver, The finding of the Tribunal on the issue of negligence cannot thus be substained.
7. Having regard to the nature of the injury suffered by the claimant, in this accident, namely; the amputation of right leg, the pain and suffering which must undoubtedly have been caused to him thereby, as also the disability that he has now been left with for the rest of his life, there is clearly no warrant for denying to him the compensation claimed, this being Rs. 20,000/-.
8. The claimant is accordingly hereby awarded a sum of Rs. 20,000/-as compensation which he 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. The respondents shall be jointly and severally liable for the amount awarded.
9. This appeal is accordingly hereby accepted with costs. Counsel fee Rs. 300/-.