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Kapoor Chand Vs. Indra Chand and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1986)ACC491
AppellantKapoor Chand
Respondentindra Chand and anr.
Cases ReferredVasya Hira Ben v. Iswar Bharti Krishan Bharati and Anr.
Excerpt:
.....in [1974]3scr397 ,wherein their lordships of the supreme court have held that the public authority like the state road transport corporation would desist from raising such pleas in future at least in cases where delay is not inordinate. however, the learned tribunal has failed that he should have gone everyday to the doctor to show him......16-3-1979 to 10-4-1979 had therefore, on this account he could not file the petition before the tribunal in time. the appellant in his statement has stated that he became ill on 16-3-1979 with illness of 'moti-jhara' and went to the hospital and showed to dr. gehlot, who prescribed medicines which prescription has been produced as ex. 2. thereafter he again went to the doctor on 24-3-1979. he went to him on 10-4-1979 to obtain certificate regarding he illness. he has further stated that on 16-3-1979 he was in a position to go to hospital and thereafter till 10-4-1979 his condition became worst and was not in a position to go to hospital. in cross-examination he has stated that on 24-3-1979 when he went to the hospital he had gone alone and on 16-3-1979 also he had gone to hospital.....
Judgment:

I.S. Israni, J.

1. This is an appeal under Section 110-D of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 against the award dated 8-1-1981 of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Took.

2. The applicant-appellant filed a claim for Rs. 22,871/- before the Motor Accidents Claims 'Tribunal, Tank on 11-4-1979 on account of the loss caused by Truck No. RSR 3727 because of the accident caused by Truck No. RRL 2931, which took place on 24-9-1978 at about 8.00 A.M. In the application filed by the applicant appellant on 11-4-1979 it was stated that the accident took place due to rash and negligent driving of Truck No. RRL 2931. Along with this claim petition an application for condonation of delay was also filed stating therein that the Appellant was ill from 16-3-1979 to 10-4-1979 and therefore, was unable to file the petition on or before 24-9-1979 the day on which the period of limitation expired. He therefore, prayed that under Section 11(a)(3) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 the delay may be condoned and he may be permitted to file this petition. An affidavit of the petitioner and medical certificate were also filed along with the petition. The respondents denied the allegations made in the petition and raised objection that the petitioner was not entitled to get the delay condoned in filing the petition. Learned Tribunal framed various issues arising out of the petition including the issue on limitation that whether the delay in filing the petition was due to sufficient cause and whether the petitioner was entitled for getting the same condoned. Learned Tribunal recorded the evidence and heard both the parties on this issue and dacided the issue of limitation against the present appellant. The petition was rejected as time barred. 1 his appeal has been filed against this decision of the Tribunal and the only point to be decided in the same is whether the petitioner-appellant was entitled for condonation of delay on the grounds and evidence placed on record.

3. I have carefully gone through the evidence and other documents filed on the record. The petitioner appellant has stated that he himself was ill from 16-3-1979 to 10-4-1979 had therefore, on this account he could not file the petition before the Tribunal in time. The appellant in his statement has stated that he became ill on 16-3-1979 with illness of 'Moti-jhara' and went to the Hospital and showed to Dr. Gehlot, who prescribed medicines which prescription has been produced as Ex. 2. Thereafter he again went to the Doctor on 24-3-1979. He went to him on 10-4-1979 to obtain certificate regarding he illness. He has further stated that on 16-3-1979 he was in a position to go to hospital and thereafter till 10-4-1979 his condition became worst and was not in a position to go to hospital. In cross-examination he has stated that on 24-3-1979 when he went to the hospital he had gone alone and on 16-3-1979 also he had gone to Hospital alone. He has further stated in his cross-examination that after 24-3-1979 be became alright on 10-4-1979 and that he had not gone from 24-3-1979 to 10-4-1979 to show to the doctor in hospital nor he called him at his residence. He has also stated that he had got his blood tested on 24-3-1979. He has also stated that he had not got his name entered in the register of the patients of the Hospital. AW 1 Dr. J.C. Geblot has stated in his statement that the petitioner was under his treatment from 16-3-1979 to 10-4-1979 and that he was suffering from entric fever. He has also stated that in this type of fever the patient in the beginning is able to walk but as the time goes, the illness also grows and thereafter the patient is not in a position to move about. He has also proven Ex. 2 the prescription of medicine prescribed for the petitioner.

4. It may be mentioned that the Motor Vehicles Act has been framed with a view to give relief and advance the cause of justice in case of unfortunate accidents. In the Act itself, proviso to Section 110-D provides that the Claims Tribunals may entertain an application for claim after the expiry of the period of limitation i.e. six months, if it is satisfied that the applicant was prevented by sufficient cause for making an application in time. It may be pointed out that the power to extend limitation has been given to the Tribunal in the above provision itself and Section 5 of the Limitation Act has not been strictly applicable to the petitions under this Act even though the principles underlying Section 5 may be considered at the time of consideration of such applications. Since the Motor Vehicles Act is piece of legislation, which gives relief to the litigants in special circumstances and merely to deny the relief to the unfortunate claimants on the ground of filing the petition with delay will defeat the very purpose of the Act. This is of course true that the claimant has to prove sufficient cause for filing the petition beyond time, but in my opinion the proof of delay should not be construed too strictly, which may defeat the very purpose of the legislation. It is also not out of place to mention that in the court itself years are taken to decide the matters pending and the parties have to wait patiently for long period of time to get their grievances redressed. In the matter of Ashutosh Bhadara and Anr. v. Jatindra Mohan : AIR1954Cal238 it has been stated 'that the court will not excuse inordinate delay, but the court should not be too strict as it might will defeat the ends of justice. The standard to be applied should not be too exacting. The court must on the reasonability take a liberal view. It must not be forgotten that the main cause for delay in the trial of a suit is the court itself often and the parties have to wait years before the court can hear them. In such circumstances too strict view should not be taken of the conduct of the parties. In the matter of Hemiota Devi v. Sk. Lokman and Ors. AIR 1974 Cr. 24 it has been held that the proviso to Section 110-A(3) should be liberally considered so that the legislative intention may be given effect to. The strictness with which the application under Section 5 of the Act is dealt with cannot be the standard by which the exercise of discretion under the proviso to Section 110-A(3) of the Act has to be regulated. Similar view has also been taken in Kulbir Singh v. Bahadur Chand and Ors. 1970 ACJ 175 (Delhi) In the matter of Vasya Hira Ben v. Iswar Bharti Krishan Bharati and Anr. : AIR1977Guj146 it has been held that the law relating to compensation in the matter of accident cases has been enacted by the State Government for the benefits of the dependents of the unfortunate victims and it is surprising when it comes to the implementation of the said law the limbs of the State should try to defeat the claim not on merits but on technical plea such as 'narrow limitation'. One can only hope that bearing in mind the observation of the Supreme Court reported in : [1974]3SCR397 , wherein their Lordships of the Supreme Court have held that the public authority like the State Road Transport Corporation would desist from raising such pleas in future at least in cases where delay is not inordinate. In the present case also the delay is only that of 18 days and the National Insurance Company with whom the vehicles are insured by the owners to safeguard their interest in the accidents, which are beyond their control should not as far as possible degist from raising such technical objection to defeat the ends of justice and should get the claim decided on merits, so that if any claimants are found entitled according to law to be compensated for accidents, should be able to do so. The petitioner-appellant has explained in his statement that he was bed ridden with Moti-jhara and was under treatment. However, the learned Tribunal has failed that he should have gone everyday to the doctor to show him. The Doctor has stated in his statement that in this particular illness as the time goes the patient is not in a position to walk about and this perhaps was the reason when the petitioner-appellant could not go to the hospital to show himself to the doctor everyday PW 1 Dr. Gehlot has also stated that the petitioner was under his treatment and he has also given a certificate to that effect. I find no reason to disbelieve the statement of a Govt. Doctor, who has come to give his statement on oath. The delay in this case is only of 18 days, but there are cases in which the delay of several months was there, what to talk of days, has been rightly condoned.

5. The appeal of the appellant is therefore, accepted and the delay in filing the petition by the claimant appellant is condoned and the case is remanded back to the Tribunal for deciding the same in accordance with law on merits. In the facts and circumstances of the case, the parties should bear their own costs.


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