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The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation Vs. Smt. Sardhi Widow of Late Kalu Bheel and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Misc. Appeal No. 49 of 1973
Judge
Reported in1985(1)WLN490
AppellantThe Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation
RespondentSmt. Sardhi Widow of Late Kalu Bheel and ors.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases Referred and Smt. Inderkaur v. Mohinder Singh L.P.A.
Excerpt:
motor vehicles act, 1939 - section 110a and fatal accidents act - sections 1 & 2--mental agony--compensation for--tribunal can award compensation for mental agony for loss of father.;under section 110a of the motor vehicles act compensation can be allowed under both the heads which are covered under sections 1 and 2 of the fatal accidents act and tribunal can award compensation for mental agony which obviously results in mental agony also to the dependents of the claimant for the loss of their father.;appeal dismissed with costs - section 2(k), 2(1), 7 & 40 & juvenile justice (care and protection of children) rules, 2007, rule 12 & 98 & juvenile justice act, 1986, section 2(h): [altamas kabir & cyriac joseph, jj] determination as to juvenile - appellant was found to have completed..........came to the conclusion that the accident took place due to the rashness and negligence of the jeep driver. further it was held that the claimants were entitled to sum of rs. 19,400/- as compensation including a sum of rs. 5,000/- on account of their suffering due to the death of the husband of the applicant (kalu) it is against this order and judgment, this appeal has been preferred by the rajasthan state road transport corporation in the court.3. i have heard learned counsel for the parties and have also gone through the judgment of the tribunal as also the evidence led by the parties and submissions made at the bar.4. learned counsel for the appellant has submitted that there were hotels on either side of the road at the place of the accident. according to him, jeep was going.....
Judgment:

S.N. Bhargava, J.

1. This is an appeal Under Section HOD of the Motor Vehicles Act against the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal. Bundi allowing compensation amounting Rs. 19,400/- to the claimants.

2. One Kalu son of Deva Bheel died in an accident which took place on 30-9-1969. At the time of the accident, one truck was standing on the main road facing towards Bundi near the crossing from where the side road goes to Sathur from behind the truck when the jeep pick-up No. RSL 5699 was coming from Bundi side going towards Deoli. The jeep came at fast speed and accident took place and deceased Kalu died on the spot. The widow of Kalu and other family members of Kalu filed an application Under Section 110A of the Motor Vehicles Act for compensation amounting to Rs. 67,000/-. It is pleaded that the jeep was driven at a fast speed carelessly and negligently. The jeep No. RSL 5699 belonged to the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation & the driver of the said vehicle was also an employee of the Corporation. The application was contested by the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation and it was submitted that the jeep was coming at very slow speed and it also blew the horn, but since deceased could not be noticed by the driver and, therefore, the accident took place not because of the rashness and negligent driving but due to the mistake of deceased Kalu. Learned Tribunal after recording the statements of the witnesses and hearing the parties came to the conclusion that the accident took place due to the rashness and negligence of the jeep driver. Further it was held that the claimants were entitled to sum of Rs. 19,400/- as compensation including a sum of Rs. 5,000/- on account of their suffering due to the death of the husband of the applicant (Kalu) it is against this order and judgment, this appeal has been preferred by the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation in the Court.

3. I have heard learned Counsel for the parties and have also gone through the judgment of the Tribunal as also the evidence led by the parties and submissions made at the bar.

4. Learned counsel for the appellant has submitted that there were hotels on either side of the road at the place of the accident. According to him, jeep was going towards Bundi near junction on the road going to Sathur, and since Kalu came from behind the truck. It could not be possible for driver of the jeep to see him and therefore accident took place because of negligence and mistake of the deceased. There was enough space for crossing the road after seeing that no vehicle was coming on the road. He further submitted that the jeep was moving with slow speed.

5. On the other hand learned Counsel for the respondent has submitted that because there were hotels on both the sides and the truck was standing on the side of the Road, it was junction road and the driver should have been conscious while passing over the road.

6. He has placed reliance on 1966 ACJ 244 Indian Trade and General Insurance Co. Ltd. and Ors. v. Madhukar Govind Rao Bhagde and also 1966 ACJ 224 Champa Lal Jain and Anr. v. B.P. Venkataraman, 1966 ACJ 178 Sheethma and Others v. Venedit Disa and Ors. 1968 ACJ 38 Bhalchandra Woman Pat he v. The State of Maharashtra 1966 ACJ 82 Amritsar Transport Co. (P) Ltd. and Anr. v. Swaran Kaur and Anr. 1970 ACJ 433 Delbagh Rai Chopra v. Kishan Lal and Ors. 1971 ACJ 425 and State of Uttar Pradesh v. Dewali and Anr. I have considered the arguments submitted at the bar and also gone through the record of the case, and I am of the view that the learned tribunal has rightly decided the issue No. 1 holding that accident took place because of rashness and negligence of the driver of jeep RSL 5699 resulting in death of deceased Kalu. The driver should be more cautious when he passes the road and particularly when he approaches towards junction of the road where other vehicles are standing and hotels on either side. He is duty bound to reduce the speed to avoid such an accident. The driver should have looked on both sides of the road to see whether there is anything at the crossing of the road specially when the truck was standing and there were shops on either side.

7. Learned counsel for the appellant the contended that the learned tribunal ought not to have awarded Rs. 5,000/- on account of suffering to the claimants due to the death of the deceased and he has placed reliance on decision of this Court in R.S.R.T.C. v. Smt. Manorma reported in 1981 WLN (UC) 372.

8. On the other hand the learned Counsel for the respondent has submitted that the Tribunal was justified in awarding compensation for mental agony to the claimants. He has placed reliance on another decision of this Court decided by me in Pritam Singh v. Smt. Ladkanwar Civil Misc. Appeal No. 91/81 decided on 9th Jan. 1984. He has also placed reliance on 1977 Transport &Accident; Cases 524 Surjeet Kaur v. Gurmail Singh and Anr. and 1973 Punjab Law Reporter 811 Smt. Parsani Devi v. State of Haryana.

9. Since there is divergence of opinion, I would have referred this case to the larger bench, but while examining the judgment of Hon'ble Justice Mr. S.C. Agarwal in R.S.R.T.C. v. Manorma Devi, I find that he had not given any reason in this case but has mentioned that he had taken the similar view in an earlier case and that earlier cases has been reported in AIR 1962 Rajasthan page 300 Smt. Gyarsi Devi v. Smt. Sen Dass. In that case Hon'ble Mr. Justice Agarwal has observed as under:

The compensation that can be awarded to the claimant as against Respondents Nos. 1 & 3 can only be to the extent of Rs. 25,000/-claimed by the claimant in the claim petition.

My attention has been drawn to a decision of Supreme Court S.C.Global Motor Service Ltd. v. R.M.K. Velluswami 1962 SC 1 wherein the Supreme Court has specifically held that under Section 2 of the Fatal Accidents Act, court can award damages for the loss of the estate as also for the mental agony suffered and loss of expectation of life. This authority of the Supreme Court was not brought to the notice of Hon'ble Agarwal J., therefore, he had taken the view quoted above in Gyarasi Devi v. Sen Dass's case and followed the case in his later judgment of R.S.R.T.C. v. Manorma Devi (supra). The view of the Punjab High Court is consistent and it has also referred 1962 SC 1 (supra) and has held that under Section 110-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, compensation can be allowed under both the heads covered under Sections 1 and 2 of the Fatal Accidents Act. Division Bench's judgment of the Punjab High Court in Parsani Devi v. State of Haryana (supra) has relied on another case of that High Court in M/s Punjab Transport Co-operative Society Ltd. v. Surjeet Singh and Ors. decided on 25th Sept., 1972 and Smt. Inderkaur v. Mohinder Singh L.P.A. 345 of 1971 decided on 9th May, 1973.

10. After considering all the case laws I am of the view that under Section 110-A of the Motor Vehicles Act compensation can be allowed under both the hands which are covered under Sections 1 & 2 of the Fatal Accidents Act and Tribunal can award compensation for mental agony which obviously results in mental agony also to the dependents of the claimant for the loss of their father. In this view of the matter, the second submission of Mr. R.K. Munshi is also rejected.

11. In the result, I find no force in the appeal. The appeal is, therefore, dismissed with costs.


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