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Ranjit Singh Vs. Kanta Vansal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported inII(1984)ACC500
AppellantRanjit Singh
RespondentKanta Vansal and ors.
Excerpt:
.....of the crimrftal court is not relevant in finding out the liability under civil law for award of compensation. since the plaintiff's husband died due to the injury caused by ranjit singh appellant he is clearly liable for the damages......as damages., the suit was contested by the defendants who pleaded that sukhdev singh and ranjit singh defendants had cause injuries to the deceased in self defence 'and denied if they had any intention to murder him. by the time the issues were framed, in the criminal case the defendants were (acquitted. the fallowing issues were framed in the case:1. whether the plaintiff alone is entitled to the damages claimed or awarded? opp.2. whether the defendants no. 1 to 7 committed murder of surinder singh' on 3-5-70 in pursuance of their common intention and premeditated plan, without any reasonable and probable cause?.3. if issnc no. 2 is proved, what amount as compensation the plaintiff is entitled to from the defendants no. 1 to 7? opp.4. whether the defendants no. 1 to 7 were acquitted.....
Judgment:

Gokal Chand Mital, J.

1. Surinder Singh aged about 28 years was B. Sc in agriculture and was employed as an Agricrltural Inspector getting monthly emoluments of Rs. 486.20 is alleged to have beep murdered on 3rd May, 1970 by Ranjit Singh and other contesting defendants. Smt. Kanta widow of the deceased filed a suit in forma pauperis for recovery of Rs. 1,50,000/- from Ranjit Singh and others as damages., The suit was contested by the defendants who pleaded that Sukhdev Singh and Ranjit Singh defendants had cause injuries to the deceased in self defence 'and denied if they had any intention to murder him. By the time the issues were framed, in the criminal case the defendants were (acquitted. The fallowing issues were framed in the case:

1. Whether the plaintiff alone is entitled to the damages claimed or awarded? OPP.

2. Whether the defendants No. 1 to 7 committed murder of Surinder Singh' on 3-5-70 in pursuance of their common intention and premeditated plan, without any reasonable and probable cause?.

3. If issnc No. 2 is proved, what amount as compensation the plaintiff is entitled to from the defendants No. 1 to 7? OPP.

4. Whether the defendants No. 1 to 7 were acquitted on 3-7-71 in the criminal case arising out of the murder of Surinder Singh, and if so, its effect on the plaintiff's claim in the instant suit ' OPP

5. Relief.

2. After evidence was led, the trial Court by judgment and decree dated 10th November, 1975 decreed the suit for recovery of Rs. 49,000/- against Ranjit Singh defendant with proportionate costs as the death blow on the head of the deceased was given by him. This is first appeal by Ranjit Singh against whom the suit has been decreed.

3. It is well settled rule that decision of the Crimrftal Court is not relevant in finding out the liability under civil law for award of compensation. Therefore, the decision of the Criminal Court cannot form basis for deciding this appeal. In fact no argument in this be' half was raised.

4. The main argument raised on behalf of the appellant was that the plaintiff having re-married during the pendency of the litigation, she became desetatitled to receive any compensation. For this reliance 'was placed on the grounds of appeal, where in it is stated that the plaintiff has re-married. Similar statement was made in the affidavit filed In support of the application for stay in the suit. However, the plaintiffs reply was that she was a Widow. Later on Civil Misc. No. 109-CI of 1984 filed on 23rd January, 1984, wherein beside stating that she 'had already re-married as stated in the earlier application for grant of stay, it was stated that the appellant now learnt that the plaintiff gave -birth to a male Child on 2l8t September, 1982 from the loins to Narinder Singh, with whom she got married after the death of her first husband and produced certified copy of the birth entry. It is also stated that she gave birth to another child on 7-10-1983/ 'It was prayed that the plaintiff be directed to state the date of her re-marriage with Narinder Singh and the factum of her re-marriage may betaken into consideration for deciding the question of quantum of compensation. In reply an affidavit was filed by the plaintiff wherein she admitted having given birth to two sons on the dates mentioned by the appellant and also stated that She was re-married 'to the younger brother of the deceased husband on 3rd January, 1382. She further big lighted that out of Rs 20,000/- paid to her under the orders of this Court she paid off the liability to that extent out of Rs. 30,000/-, which she incurred on account of her husband's death in maintaining herself and in pursuing criminal litigation. Besides that, out of Rs. 20,000/- Rs. 4000/- was deducted at the first change of court fees on the decretal amount, it was further pleaded (that by the time she got re-married she had incurred a debt of Rs. 30,000/- which she had to pay off.

5. The appellant has not furnished any dute of re-marriage nor has given any other evidence which may show as to when the plaintiff was remarried According to the plaintiff she was re-married on 3rd January, 1982 and she gave birth to first child on re-marriage on 21st September, 1982 and second child on 6th October, 1983. In the absence of any other material, her affidavit will have to be believed. While doing so the facts which emerge fare that she became widow on 6th May, 1970 when her husband died as a result of head injury. Thus she remained widow for little less that 12 years. During all this time she had to maintain herself. Therefore, keeping in view her re-marriages she has to be given damages atleast for a period of little less that 12 years.

6. As proved on the record the plaintiff's husband was B.Sc. Agricultural and was posted as an Agricultural Inspector. He was getting about Rs. 500/- per month and leaving l/3rd himself, he would have been contributing 2/3rd for the wife and family assets. Assuming that he was giving about Rs. 300/- per month to his wife, for a year it will come to Rs. 3,600/- and for about twelve years the amount would come to Rs. 43,200/-and for the exact period for which she remained widow the amount would come to more than Rs. 40,000/-, if not Rs. 43,000/-. Therefore, the decree of Rs. 40,000/-. granted by the trial Court is not excessive in any case.

7. It has come in evidence that the head injury was caused by Ranjit Singh appellant. It has also come in evidence that the death took place as a result of the head injury. Since the plaintiff's husband died due to the injury caused by Ranjit Singh appellant he is clearly liable for the damages. Finding of the Court below in this behalf is also upheld.

8. For the reasons recorded above, this appeal is devoid of merit and is dismissed with costs throughout. The trial Court had awarded proportionate costs and that is modified and it is ordered that Ranjit Singh will burden entire costs of the trial Court and not the proportionate costs.


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