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Kartar Kaur and ors. Vs. Municipal Corporation of Delhi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal No. 95 of 1977
Judge
Reported in1986(10)DRJ329
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 110B
AppellantKartar Kaur and ors.
RespondentMunicipal Corporation of Delhi and ors.
Advocates: O.P. Goyal and; Anil Amrit, Advs
Excerpt:
.....in the compensation application the deceased was shown to be earning rs. 500/-p.m. tribunal took the earning of the deceased to be rs. 400 - p.m. and on appeal the income of the deceased was field to be rs. 500/- and after deducting rs. 100 - towards personal expenses a multiplier of 18 was deducted and awarded rs. 86,400/-.; motor vehicle act - section 95--insurance company did not produce the policy. the entire liability was held to be what of the insurance company.;motor vehicle act - section 110/cc--interest @ 6% per annum with effect from the date of application till payment (23-10-69) were also held payable.; deductions - m.a.c.t. made 30% deduction on account of uncertainties of life and lump sum payment. dis-allowed on account of soaring prices for orer a decade. - .....while the claimants claimed rs. l,00,000.00 . there are cross-objections filed by the insurance company, respondent no. 4. (2) according to the claimants, on 23-10-69 the deceased was going on his motor cycle from the jamuna bridge towards rajghat. truck no. dll 506, belonging to the delhi electric supply undertaking (mcd) was coming from the opposite direction. it came on the wrong side and hit the motorcycle. surjit singh died in the accident. the respondents contended that as some construction work was going on the road the vehicles were passing only from one side. the deceased along with the pillion rider were making gestures with their hands as if they were busy in taking between themselves. the accident was caused because of the negligence of the motorcyclist as he did.....
Judgment:

S.B. Wad, J.

(1) FAO. 95/77 is filed by the heirs of deceased Surjit Singh who died in a road accident on 23-10-69. The Tribunal awarded Rs. 21,000.00 as the compensation, while the claimants claimed Rs. l,00,000.00 . There are cross-objections filed by the Insurance Company, respondent No. 4.

(2) According to the claimants, on 23-10-69 the deceased was going on his motor cycle from the Jamuna Bridge towards Rajghat. Truck No. Dll 506, belonging to the Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking (MCD) was coming from the opposite direction. It came on the Wrong side and hit the motorcycle. Surjit Singh died in the accident. The respondents contended that as some construction work was going on the road the vehicles were passing only from one side. The deceased Along with the pillion rider were making gestures with their hands as if they were busy in taking between themselves. The accident was caused because of the negligence of the motorcyclist as he did not heed the horn blown by the driver of the truck. The claimants produced two eye witnesses- Partap Singh Public Witness /6 and Pritam Singh PW/7. Two eye witnesses appeared on behalf of the respondents Rajeshwar Prasad RW/l and Janak Raj RW/2. On appreciation of the evidence, the Tribunal disbelieved the respondents' evidence and found the evidence on behalf of the claimants to be truthful. The Tribunal held that the driver of the truck was under an obligation to take necessary precaution to avert any mishap as he was found to be on the wrong side of the road. The Tribunal found that the driver of the truck had ample opportunity to see the motorcyclist coming from a distance .of 400 yards.

(3) I have gone through the evidence of these eye witnesses. I agree with the appreciation of evidence by the Tribunal audits finding. It is, thereforee, held that the Tribunal rightly came to the conclusion that the truck was being driven in a rash and negligent manner causing accident and the consequent death of Surjit Singh.

(4) In the cross objections filed on behalf of the Oriental Fire & General Insurance Company, the liability is tried to be denied on merits. It is not open to an Insurance Company under Section 96 of the Act to raise such a challenge. The submission on behalf of the Insurance Company that the findings of the Criminal Court were ignored by the Tribunal are obviously without any merit. The cross objections are, thereforee, dismissed.

(5) The deceased was 42 years old at the time of his death. He was survived by a widow and four children, who were minor. He was running a workshop and was repairing automobiles. In the claim application the monthly income of the deceased was shown at Rs. 500.00 per month. However, when the evidence was led, the widow Kartar Kaur Public Witness /5 stated that his income was between Rs. 500.00 to Rs. 600.00 per month. Another witness Joginder Singh Public Witness /1 also supported this version. Strangely enough, the Tribunal rejected all this evidence and came to a finding that the income of the deceased was .only Rs 4.00.00 pcr month. Even if we look only to the claim application, it can be safely held that his monthly income at the time of the accident was Rs. 500.00 . The Tribunal was further wrong in deducting a sum of Rs. 150.00 per month on the personal expenses of the deceased. A man with as low an income as Rs. 400.00 or Rs. 500.00 per month would not spend such a large sum on his personal expenses when he has a wife and four minor children to look after. I, thereforee, reduce only Rs. 100.00 per month on account of personal expenses. The Tribunal was further wrong to make 30 per cent deduction on account of up certainties of life and lump sum payment. No such deductions are now made in view of the continuously soaring prices for over a decade. The deceased was only 42 years old and it is reasonable to expect that he would have continued to support his family for another 18 years. I, thereforee, hold that the claimants are entitled to Rs. 86,400.00 towards compensation. They are further entitled to interest at 6 per cent from the date of the application till the date of realisation. If the sum awarded by the Tribunal is already paid to the claimants, respondent No. 4 Insurance Company would be entitled to the credit on the said amount as also the interest thereon. The Tribunal has fixed the liability of the Insurance Company at Rs. 20,000.00 only. No insurance policy was produced. It is reasonable to believe that the public corporations such as Mcd must have comprehensively insured the vehicle. The entire liability for the payment of compensation and interest would, thereforee, rest on respondent No. 4 the Oriental Fire & General Insurance Company.

(6) The Oriental Fire & General Insurance Company, respondent No. 4 shall draw up a cheque for the principal amount and the compensation thereon and deposit the same With the Registrar of this Court, who shall summon the parties and disburse the amount.


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