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

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1986)ACC272
AppellantParkash Kaur and ors.
RespondentMunicipal Corporation of Delhi and ors.
Excerpt:
- - the maxim of rest ipsa liquated clearly applies in the case......appeal for enhancement of compensation awarded by the' motor accidents claims tribunal, delhi. the accident took place on 23.11.1966. iqbal singh, the deceased, was going on a cycle at alipur road from khyber pass side. when he reached the round about of rajpur road and alipur road, he was hit from behind by the d.t.u. (now d.t.c.) bus no. dlp 16. he was removed to irwin hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on 24.11.1966. the claimants had claimed compensation of rs. 25,000/-. the claimants are widow, a son and a daughter.2. dr. vishnu kumar, pw 6 who conducted the postmortem has described serious external injuries. he has also stated that the internal examination revealed that ribs 1 to 9 on the right side were fractured with blood fusion around and superficial laceration of.....
Judgment:

S.B. Wad, J.

1. This is the claimants' appeal for enhancement of compensation awarded by the' Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Delhi. The accident took place on 23.11.1966. Iqbal Singh, the deceased, was going on a cycle at Alipur Road from Khyber Pass side. When he reached the round about of Rajpur Road and Alipur Road, he was hit from behind by the D.T.U. (now D.T.C.) bus No. DLP 16. He was removed to Irwin Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on 24.11.1966. The claimants had claimed compensation of Rs. 25,000/-. The claimants are widow, a son and a daughter.

2. Dr. Vishnu Kumar, PW 6 who conducted the postmortem has described serious external injuries. He has also stated that the internal examination revealed that ribs 1 to 9 on the right side were fractured with blood fusion around and superficial laceration of right lung. He also found fissured fracture in the left temporal bone. According to him death was due to intracranial haemorrhage and fracture of scalp conquest to injuries which could be caused by a vehicular accident. A site plan of the accident was prepared by the police which is exhibit PW 3/1. The site plan shows the spot where the blood was lying. The plan also shows skid marks on the road near the scene of accident and also the cycle of the deceased lying ahead towards the left side. There are two eye-witnesses, Bhim Sen, PW 8 and Santokh Singh, PW 10. The Tribunal has believed the eye-witness PW 8 but rejected the evidence of the second eye-witness. I was taken through the evidence of the the-witnesses and I do not find any infirmity. Apart from the fact that PW 8, Bhim Sen, has supported the version of the claimants, he further stated that the bus was coming at a high speed and it did not give any horn.

3. The evidence of the eye-witness gives the clear account as to how the accident took place. The fact that the cyclist was hit from behind is established by the evidence, by the site plan and the medical evidence. The injuries were very serious and the death took place due to the said injuries. The maxim of rest ipsa liquated clearly applies in the case. The respondents had filed cross-objections. It was tried to be contended that the bus driver was not driving rashly as he was carrying the school children. It was then submitted that the deceased took a turn without giving signal hit the bus. The Tribunal has carefully considered the evidence of the claimants' witnesses and has rightly believed the version. The counsel for the respondents could not persuade me to take a different view from that of the Tribunal. The accident was thus caused due to rash and negligent driving by respondent No. 3, the driver, in the employment of respondent No. 2, the D.T.C. The accident took place during the course of employment. Respondent No. 2 is, thereforee, liable to pay compensation.

4. The deceased was aged 571/21 at the time of accident. The Tribunal held that he could have easily expected to live up to 65 years. The salary of the deceased at the time of his death was Rs. 155.40. The Tribunal held that a sum of Rs. 90/- per month would be available to the family. After usual deductions for lump sum payment and the deductions on account of the provident fund and gratuity the Tribunal awarded the compensation of Rs. 3,191.50 only.

5. The Tribunal has erred in making the deductions of gratuity, provident fund and the lump sum payment. Where the income of a deceased is as meagre as Rs. 155.40 per month, it is not correct to assume that he would spend a big sum of Rs. 65/- per month on himself. Where the income is below the poverty line, the concept of just compensation would preclude any such deductions to be made. It must also be considered that the deceased was survived by his widow and two minor children. The income of the deceased is roughly taken at Rs. 150 and he would have contributed this income for 7 1/2 years. On this basis I fix the compensation at Rs. 10,000/-. The claimants shall also be entitled to costs and simple interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum from March, 1970. In order to ensure that the family receives the real benefit of the compensation it is hereby directed that respondent No. 2, the D.T.C. shall draw a crossed cheque for a sum of Rs. 10,000/-, costs and interest on the amount @ 9% per annum from March, 1970 in the name of the widow and shall deposit the same with the Registrar of this Court within three months from today. The Registrar shall send the notice to the claimants and hand over to them the cheque personally.

6. For the reasons stated above, the appeal is allowed with costs and the cross-objections are dismissed.


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