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Harishchandra M. Avashia Vs. Manager, District Collector and Claims Settlement Commissioner and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles;Civil
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSpecial Civil Appln. No. 4977 of 1984
Judge
Reported inAIR1986Guj22
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 109A
AppellantHarishchandra M. Avashia
RespondentManager, District Collector and Claims Settlement Commissioner and anr.
Advocates: P.V. Hathi, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....facts into consideration. - form 'a' which is a pro forma of application to be moved in such cases as prescribed by clause 21(l) clearly shows that as per column 8 thereof, the application must mention the name and address of the police station in whose jurisdiction, the accident took place or was registered. consequently, the order at annexure 'a' remains well sustained on that ground alone......being given compensation from solatium fund on the ground that he has suffered from a hit and run motor accident. the petitioner's case is that he was grievously injured by a scooterist on 11th april, 1983 at 10.30 a.m. because of which he had suffered immensely and was reduced to practically an unconscious state. in the application which the petitioner moved before the collector, ahmedabad, he stated that he had suffered from the accident while he was going on his cycle and the scooter which caused this accident was scooter no. gao 4874 which was vijay super scooter driven by one person and there was another person on the pillion. now, it is obvious that the petitioner's application would have been maintainable for compensation from the solatium fund provided it was shown that he had.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. The petitioner who was, injured in a vehicular accident has filed this petition being aggrieved by the order passed by the District Collector, Ahmedabad on 16-11-1983. Annexure 'A' to the petition, whereby he has rejected the petitioner's application dated 11th May, 1983 for being given compensation from solatium fund on the ground that he has suffered from a hit and run motor accident. The petitioner's case is that he was grievously injured by a scooterist on 11th April, 1983 at 10.30 a.m. because of which he had suffered immensely and was reduced to practically an unconscious state. In the application which the petitioner moved before the Collector, Ahmedabad, he stated that he had suffered from the accident while he was going on his cycle and the scooter which caused this accident was scooter No. GAO 4874 which was Vijay Super Scooter driven by one person and there was another person on the pillion. Now, it is obvious that the petitioner's application would have been maintainable for compensation from the solatium fund provided it was shown that he had suffered from a hit and run motor accident. S. 109-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 has defined 'hit and run motor accident' as per Clause (i)(b) as under: -

''hit and run motor accident' means an accident arising out of the use of a motor vehicle or motor vehicles the identity whereof cannot be ascertained in spite of reasonable efforts for the purpose'.

It is, therefore, obvious that only victims of hit and run motor accident can get compensation from the solatium fund. It must, therefore, be shown that identity of the motor vehicle which caused the accident could not be traced or ascertained in spite of reasonable efforts, meaning thereby that the accident must be shown to have occurred on account of the victim being hit by some unidentified vehicle which hit him and ran away. On the facts of the present case, the very averments in the application show that the petitioner was in a position to identify the offending scooter which caused him the accidental injury. Consequently, his application could not have been entertained by the Collector for being granted compensation as hit and run motor accident case. The reasons given by the Collector Ahmedabad rejecting the petitioner's application, to the effect that as the vehicle was identified, compensation cannot be given under the scheme, therefore, cannot be found fault with. Mr. Hathi for the petitioner, however, contended that the other reason given by the Collector for rejecting the petitioner's application viz., that the petitioner had not made a police complaint is absolutely an unfounded reason. To that extent, Mr. Hathi is right. Form 'A' which is a pro forma of application to be moved in such cases as prescribed by Clause 21(l) clearly shows that as per column 8 thereof, the application must mention the name and address of the police station in whose jurisdiction, the accident took place or was registered. It is not as if that accident must be registered with the police station before such application can be moved In a given case, the accident might not have been registered with the police station. Still, such application can be entertained as the name and address of the police station in whose jurisdiction the accident took place can be easily ascertained and mentioned, even though registration of the offence might not have actually taken place. The Collector seems to have read 'or' as 'and' as mentioned in Clause 8 of Form A. In the context of Clause 8, such an exercise is not warranted. However, that does not improve the situation for the petitioner. The main hurdle in the way of the petitioner is that his application for compensation as hit and run motor accident case could not have been entertained as the offending vehicle was traced and was mentioned at the first opportunity by the petitioner in his application for compensation. Consequently, the order at annexure 'A' remains well sustained on that ground alone. The result is that no case for interference of this Court with the said order of the Collector is made out. However, it must be noted that the petitioner from the date of his accident on 11-4-1983 was vigilant and moment he recovered from the shock of the accident, he first moved the application before the City Mamlatdar on 11-5-1983 wherein he was informed that he had to make an application in Form A to the District Collector and thereafter he applied to the District Collector for compensation under the scheme. Thus, he was a vigilant victim and he promptly claimed compensation for the accident suffered by him. It is this application which ultimately came to be rejected by the Collector on 16-11-1984. Thereafter, the petitioner filed this writ petition on 24-2-1984 and it is only today that he is being told that his application was rightly rejected by the Collector as the vehicle in question was identified. Under these circumstances, there is no doubt that the petitioner was actively agitating his claim for compensation for the accident against the offending vehicle in the forum which is now found to be incompetent to give him any relief.

2. Subject to the aforesaid observations, this petition is summarily rejected.

3. Petition dismissed.


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