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Hazarilal Vs. Dharam Pal Singh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal No. 2 of 1974
Judge
Reported in20(1981)DLT76; 1981RLR574
ActsMotor Vehicles Act - Sections 110
AppellantHazarilal
RespondentDharam Pal Singh
Advocates: R.K. Anand and; S.R. Yadav, Advs
Excerpt:
- .....has arisen from a road accident which took place at rohtak road on 1.5.68 at about 2-45 p.m. ram karan deceased, was then sitting on the pillion seat of a two-wheeler scooter no. dlq-1277 driven by ishwar singh. bus no. hrg-420 driven by dharam pal singh respondent no. 1 and operated by the haryana roadways and the haryana state, respondents no. 2 and 3 respectively at that time came from behind at a fast speed and without blowing horn dashed against the scooter and over-ran and killed ram karan. ishwar singh was also thrown off and received injuries. (2) ram karan at that time was 17 years old and was a student of 10th class. his father hazari lal was an agriculturist, and according to him ram karan used to help him in the agriculture operation. a claim for compensation for rs......
Judgment:

D.R. Khanna, J.

(1) The sole controversy involved in this appeal against the award dt. 21.7.73 of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal pertains to the question of compensation. It has arisen from a road accident which took place at Rohtak Road on 1.5.68 at about 2-45 p.m. Ram Karan deceased, was then sitting on the pillion seat of a two-wheeler scooter no. DLQ-1277 driven by Ishwar Singh. Bus no. HRG-420 driven by Dharam Pal Singh respondent no. 1 and operated by the Haryana Roadways and the Haryana State, respondents no. 2 and 3 respectively at that time came from behind at a fast speed and without blowing horn dashed against the scooter and over-ran and killed Ram Karan. Ishwar Singh was also thrown off and received injuries.

(2) Ram Karan at that time was 17 years old and was a student of 10th class. His father Hazari Lal was an agriculturist, and according to him Ram Karan used to help him in the agriculture operation. A claim for compensation for Rs. 50,000.00 was filed by Ram Karan's father aged about 50 years and mother Risalo, 45 years under the Motor Vehicles Act. This however was allowed by the Tribunal to the extent of Rs. 10,000.00 only. It was held that the death of Ram Karan and injuries received by Ishwar Singh were the result of rash and negligent driving of the bus by Dharam Pal Singh, driver. Compensation allowed to Ishwar Singh was of Rs. 1600.00 only

(3) So far as the finding of the Tribunal that the accident was caused by the rash and negligent driving by the bus driver, the same has not been disputed in this appeal. That part of the controversy is, thereforee no longer open. Hazarilal and Risalo appellants, however, have pleaded that the amount of Rs. 10,000.00 allowed as compensation to them on the death of Ram Karan was too inadequate and the same should be enhanced to Rs. 30,000.00. A number of decisions have been cited from both the sides in which various amounts of compensation ranging from Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 24,600.00 were allowed by different courts. The respondent placed reliance on Mrs. Savitri Devi v. Malerkotla Bus Service 1969 ACJ 173 and Hari Chand v. U.O.I. 1071 ACJ 475 in which compensation were restricted to Rs 10,000.00 and Rs. 2.000.00 respectively, the deceased being 17 and 18 years old. The accident in these cases took place considerable time back. There is no gainsaying that the value of rupee since then has considerably fallen, its purchasing power has substantially dwindled. thereforee what was considered as reasonable compensation for an accident which took place in 1960 would hardly provide a fair guide to an accident taking place a decade later.

(4) Petitioners on their part have referred to Kasturilal v. Prabhakar 1970 ACJ 1; Punjab I. P. Co. v. Skinabehn 1977 ACJ 44; United India F & G Insurance Co. v. S. Saraswati Bai 1978 Acj 43 in which cases compensation of Rs 19,500.00, Rs 22,000.00 and Rs 24,600.00 were awarded on the deaths of persons of ages 13 years, 21 years and 15 years respectively.

(5) The general principle is pecuniary loss can be ascertained only by balancing on the one hand loss to the claimants of the future pecuniary benefits and on the other any pecuniary advantage which will come to them by reason of the death. The expectancy of the life of the deceased having regard to his age, bodily health and the possibility of premature determination of his life by accidents or other causes are also taken into account. At the same time mental anguish which the parents or the claimants have to suffer throughout their lives on account of the death of the deceased are factors which cannot be lightly ignored, and not unoften they overweigh with the monetary loss. :

(6) In the present case the deceased was 17 years of age, and studying in 10th class of a School. His father was agriculturist and he as such, as is usual amongst the children of agriculturists, helping them in farming. He would have continued to do so but for the untimely tragic death. As already observed above the cost of living is showing consistent upward trend and the value of rupee is gradually falling. Considering all these factors I am of the opinion that the compensation awarded in the present case was highly inadequate. The same is enhanced to Rs 22000.00.


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