1. This appeal has been filed against the award dated 25-8-89 passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Kamrup, Guwahati in MAC Case No. 10(K)/ 84. By the impugned award the learned Tribunal awarded an amount of Rs. 85,000/-with interest @ 10% per annum from the date of filing of the claim case on 28-1-84. Out of that amount only 15,000/- towards no fault liability and Rs. 25,000/- was paid at the time of filing of the appeal and Rs. 10,000/- was paid later on. Thus, in all Rs. 50,000/- has already been paid.
2. Two points were taken up before the Tribunal, (i) that the vehicle in question was not involved in the accident, (ii) That there is no documentary evidence to establish the income of the deceased Subal Debnath.
3. The brief facts are as follows:
The accident in question occurred on 31-7-1983 at about 7.45 p.m. at Kalapahar Opposite to New Chemical Factory and in this accident a truck was involved. In this connection PW-2 Dr. Malay Kanti Chakravarty was examined. He deposed as follows:
"One Army (BSF) vehicle was proceeding towards Kahilipara. The No. was PBJ-5265.... The truck knocked down Subal Deb Nath. He deposed further as follows:" I did not note the vehicle No. immediately but did it later on. He further deposed that he could not minutely observe the symbol of the truck (whether it is tiger or lion). But he deposed that there was a big canvass hood over the vehicle. The accident occurred only 10/15 feet away from the front of his chamber."
4. P.W. 6 Badal Chakravorty also deposed as follows:
Then a covered military truck No. BPJ-5265 came from behind and dashed against the cyclist. He further deposed that he noted the truck No. and he was a person who took the injured to the hospital.
5. The evidence of these witnesses were considered by the Tribunal and the Tribunal by placing reliance on their evidence came to the conclusion that it was this truck which was involved in the accident. I myself perused the evidence of these witnesses and from the evidence I have found that this finding is the correct finding.
6. The law is settled that in a claim under the Motor Vehicles Act, the evidence should not be scrutinised in a manner as is done in a civil suit or a criminal case. In a civil case the rule is preponderance of probability and in a criminal case the rule is proof beyond reasonable doubt. It is not necessary to consider these niceties in a matter of accident claim case inasmuch as it is summary enquiry. If there is some evidence to arrive at the finding that itself is sufficient. No nicety, doubt or suspicion should weigh with the Tribunal in deciding a motor accident claim case.
The law on this is laid down by the Supreme Court in AIR 1980 SC 1354 (N. K. Bros (P.) Ltd. v. M. Karumai Ammal).
7. The next question is whether the income of the deceased Subal Debnath was established. Regarding the income of Subal Debnath the PW-5, wife deposed and she stated that the monthly salary of the deceased was between Rs. 850/- to Rs. 900/- and to this effect also PW-7 deposed the age of the deceased at that time was 35 years. The deceased worked as Mechanic cum Retrader in the M/s. Capital Tent House. The Tribunal took into consideration his income as well as his age at the time of death and awarded compensation of Rs. 1,00,000/-.
8. A cross-objection has been filed claiming the entire amount of Rs. 2,50,000/- as was made. Sri S. N. Bhuyan, learned counsel appearing for the claimant draws my attention to the following portion of the judgment:
"From the evidence it appears that Subal Debnath was serving under M/s. Capital Tent House of Ulubari and he was getting monthly salary of Rs. 750/- to Rs. 800/-. This evidence has not been controverted. That deceased must have spent some amount for himself. So, the monthly dependency can safely be held at Rs. 600/-. Subal Debnath died at the young age of 35 leaving his young wife and 2 minor children. He would have supported the family all -- throughout his life had his life not been cut short by the accident. The average expectancy of life is 65 to 70 years."
9. Having arrived at this finding, the learned Judge made some deduction which cannot be made in a claim case. In that view of the matter, the claimant is entitled to some higher amount as claimed by way of cross-objection. After all, in a claim case, there is some amount of conjecture but the claim should stand scrutiny and must be reasonable. Having considered the finding of the learned Judge, I decide to allow the cross-objection holding that the claimant shall be entitled to total amount of Rs. 1,50,000/- and the impugned award shall stand modified to that extent. The learned Judge also in the award awarded the interest @ 10% per annum which is in lower side in view of the series of judgment of the Apex Court of the land where the Supreme Court has said that the minimum interest should be 12%. Accordingly, I direct as follows:
(i) The total amount of award shall be Rs. 1,50,000/- out of which Rs. 50,000/- has been paid and the balance amount of Rs. 1,00,000/- shall be paid within 3 (three) months from today. The amount of interest shall be as interest @ 12% per annum from the date of filing of the claim case i.e. 28-1-84 till the date of realisation of the amount. If the opposite party (appellant herein) fails to pay the amount within 3 months from today as state earlier, the rate of interest shall be 18% from today (24-1-95).
10. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed and the cross-objection is partly allowed. The amount shall be deposited before the Tribunal and the other directions regarding investment of share of the minors shall stand.