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Harbans Kaur and ors. Vs. Nasib Singh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1985)ACC437
AppellantHarbans Kaur and ors.
RespondentNasib Singh and ors.
Cases ReferredKulwant Singh v. Nand Kaur
Excerpt:
.....payable to the children shall be paid to them in such a manner as the tribunal may deem to be in their best interest. this being so, the tribunal clearly fell in error in holding the insurance company liable. nand kaur 1977 plr 463 is clearly not applicable here......here is for enhanced compensation, the claimants being the widow and six minor children of mangal singh deceased who was knocked down and killed by the truck puc 3592. this happened on may 22, 1979 in the grain market at ghanur.2. it was the finding of the tribunal that the accident had been caused entirely due to the rash and negligence driving of the bus-driver. a sum of rs. 36,000/- was awarded as compensation to the claimants.3. mangal singh deceased was only 36 years of age at the time of his death. he was an agriculturist owning 17 acres of land. according to the claimants his income was over rs. 18,000/- per annum. harbans kaur the widow of mangal singh deceased was about 35 years of age when her husband died. the deceased left behind six minor children, three sons and three.....
Judgment:

S.S. Sodhi, J.

1. The claim in appeal here is for enhanced compensation, the claimants being the widow and six minor children of Mangal Singh deceased who was knocked down and killed by the truck PUC 3592. This happened on May 22, 1979 in the Grain Market at Ghanur.

2. It was the finding of the Tribunal that the accident had been caused entirely due to the rash and negligence driving of the bus-driver. A sum of Rs. 36,000/- was awarded as compensation to the claimants.

3. Mangal Singh deceased was only 36 years of age at the time of his death. He was an agriculturist owning 17 acres of land. According to the claimants his income was over Rs. 18,000/- per annum. Harbans Kaur the widow of Mangal Singh deceased was about 35 years of age when her husband died. The deceased left behind six minor children, three sons and three daughters who were all dependant upon him.

4. In calculating the loss suffered by the claimants, it must be borne in mind that the land owned by Mangal Singh deceased has now come to the claimants. The loss to them thus would be the diminition in their income relatable to the labour and supervision of the deceased. The normal earnings of an agricultural labourer are about Rs. 300/- per month. In the case of Mangal Singh being a peasant proprietor, his earnings deserve to be taken at about Rs. 400/- per month.

5. This being so, considering the circumstances of the claimants and the deceased in the context of the principles laid down by the Full Bench in Lachhman Singh v. Gurmit Kaur 1979 PLR-1, it would be just and reasonable to assess the dependency of the claimants at Rs. 300/- per month with a multiplier of '16'. This would work out to Rs. 57,600/- which may be rounded off to Rs. 60,000/-.

6. The compensation payable to the claimants is accordingly hereby enhanced to Rs. 60,000/- 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. 30,000/- shall be payable to the widow of the deceased and the balance in equal shares to his minor children. The amount payable to the children shall be paid to them in such a manner as the Tribunal may deem to be in their best interest.

7. The New India Insurance Company, in the appeal filed by it, questioned its liability for payment of the compensation awarded on the plea that the insured of the truck involved in the accident was one Satinder Kumar Malhotra. No liability has been fastened upon him and therefore, no question of the Insurance Company indemnifying him arose and consequently no claim could be sustained against the Insurance Company. There is on record, exhibit R/l, the policy of Insurance which records Satinder Kumar Malhotra as the insured. It is the admitted case of the parties that this truck had been sold to Nasib Singh and Sukhdev Singh prior to the accident. This being so, the Tribunal clearly fell in error in holding the Insurance Company liable. The authority relied upon by the Tribunal to hold the Insurance Company liable, namely; Kulwant Singh v. Nand Kaur 1977 PLR 463 is clearly not applicable here. This was a case of one co-owner of a vehicle selling his share to another co-owner and not as in the present case of a sale being made to someone other than an insured.

8. It follows, therefore, that the Insurance Company cannot be held liable for payment of the compensation awarded. The liability for the payment of the amount awarded must thus be wholly that of respondents Nasib Singh and Sukhev Singh who shall be jointly and severally liable for payment thereof.

9. Both the appeals are accordingly hereby accepted. There will however, be no order as to costs.


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