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Piar Chand Vs. Subhash Chander and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal No. 44 of 1973
Judge
Reported inII(1985)ACC128; 28(1985)DLT117
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 110A
AppellantPiar Chand
RespondentSubhash Chander and ors.
Advocates: O.P. Goyal,; Madhu Khurana and; Sunita, Advs
Cases ReferredIn Gurdip Singh v. Chauhan Bhupendra Kumar Udesingh and Anrs.
Excerpt:
- - 1500.00 was also included the bonus and the employees' contribution towards provident fund as well as the taxi fare for going and coming from the hospital. this will include the general damages as well as the special damages......loss of income not only during the period when he was under the treatment but there is a permanent loss of income. of course, he might be earning some amount in the village probably by working on the farm. having considered all aspects of the matter. i find that the claim of rs. 25.000.00 towards compensation preferred by the appellant was most reasonable on the facts of the case. there is another way of arriving at the compensation. minimum wages are fixed under the minimum wages act from time to time. the present rate is rs. 350.00 . it is reasonable to expect that the appellant would have earned the minimum wages if he would have continued in the service. i, thereforee, award rs. 25,000.00 as compensation. this will include the general damages as well as the special damages. the.....
Judgment:

S.B. Wad, J.

(1) This is an appeal against the order of the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal passed on 22nd November 1972. The appellant has suffered serious fractures and injuries due to the accident on 18.3.1965. The appellant was traveling in Auto Riksha No.DLR 5156. Another auto-riksha coming from the opposite side bearing No. Dlr 4657 collided against the vehicle in which the appellant was traveling. Both the vehicles, it was alleged, were at the very high speed. The accident took place near Andha Mughal, Subji Mandi, Delhi. The appellant was removed to the Employees State Insurance Dispensary for immediate treatment and was thereafter taken to Irwin Hospital. Dr. B.K. Vohra, PW-4 who had brought the record of the lrwin Hospital has stated that the appellant had suffered fracture of Pelvis with central dislocation of hip joint. He was under the plaster for a long time. He was given P.O.P. hip spice and he was put in skin traction. He was admitted in lrwin Hospital on 18.3.65 and discharged on 28.3.65 when he was still under plaster. He remained under the treatment of the hospital up to 16.1285. According to the appellant as a result of the fractures to the Pelvic bone he could not move about properly ; he could not lift any weight nor could run. He was unable to stand for long time on his duty. He was also limping. After 16.12.1965 he started taking treatment from Dr. Amir Chand Narula Dr. Narula has been examined. He has also proved the certificate which is on record being Ext. Public Witness . 6/1. Dr. Narula has stated in the said certificate that the appellant has mild residual limp in left lower extremely on walking and there was slight limitation of movements of left hip joint. Although after the discharge from the hospital the appellant joined his duty, the counsel for the appellant states that he could not continue his duty properly and had thereforee to leave for his village leaving his job. He was working in Swatantra Bharat Mills before he left for his village. He was 42 years of age at the time of the accident and his salary was Rs. 146.00 per month. The Tribunal has awarded Rs. 1500.00 as special damages for the loss of salary from 18.3 65 to 16.12.65 as he was living without pay. The amount of Rs. 1500.00 was also included the bonus and the employees' contribution towards Provident Fund as well as the taxi fare for going and coming from the hospital. Apart from this special damages, the Tribunal awarded Rs. 3.000.00 as the general damages for loss and sufferings. The appellant had claimed a sum of Rs. 25.000.00 as compensation.

(2) The Tribunal found that the evidence of the appellant was quite trustworthy. The facts of accident and the circumstances in which it took place were not controverter by the respondents by leading their own evidence. The Tribunal also relied on the evidence of the doctors as a corroboration for the evidence of the appellant. The Tribunal has correctly appreciated the evidence. I agree with the finding of the Tribunal that the accident took place due to rash and negligent driving of both the drivers of the auto-rikshas in question. On considering the seriousness of the injuries, the fractures round the Pelvic bones and the continued treatment for about 10 months the principle of rest ipsa loquitur would apply in this case. I hold the two vehicles responsible for the accident and the injuries suffered by the appellant.

(3) However, the Tribunal has erred in awarding the compensation amount to the appellant. In Gurdip Singh v. Chauhan Bhupendra Kumar Udesingh and Anrs. 1980 A.C.J. 184 it has been held by the Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court : 'Damage in such cases are awarded commensurate with the extent, gravity and duration of the injury. The test in such case is to ask as to whether physical integrity of the injured person is broken, and if so, whether the same is of a temporary or a permanent disability will be reflected in the earning capacity of the injured.'

(4) It may be seen in this case that the injuries were so serious that the appellant had to leave his normal duties in Swatantra Bharat Mills and to return to his village. He has also suffered a permanent disability in as much as his normal activities such as walking, lifting of goods are seriously impaired. He has developed a permanent limp. The petitioner was getting about Rs. 146.00 per month at the time of the accident. He had to leave the job. Thus there is a loss of income not only during the period when he was under the treatment but there is a permanent loss of income. Of course, he might be earning some amount in the village probably by working on the farm. Having considered all aspects of the matter. I find that the claim of Rs. 25.000.00 towards compensation preferred by the appellant was most reasonable on the facts of the case. There is another way of arriving at the compensation. Minimum wages are fixed under the Minimum Wages Act from time to time. The present rate is Rs. 350.00 . It is reasonable to expect that the appellant would have earned the minimum wages if he would have continued in the service. I, thereforee, award Rs. 25,000.00 as compensation. This will include the general damages as well as the special damages. The appellant would also be entitled to interest at 6% from March 1970. I further agree with the Tribunal that respondent No. 3 was not liable as it was not proved on record that respondent No. 3 had insured the vehicle belonging to respondents I and 2. The compensation thereforee should be paid by respondents 1,2,4 and 5 as held by the Tribunal. The appeal is allowed with no order as to costs.


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