KHORBAHRIN BAI Vs. TULSA RAM
LAWS(CHH)-2003-2-12
HIGH COURT OF CHHATTISGARH
Decided on February 14,2003

Khorbahrin Bai Appellant
VERSUS
Tulsa Ram Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Fakhruddin, J. - (1.)Briefly stated facts are that Khorbahrin Bai filed Claim Petition No. 17/85, which was dismissed on 31-8-88 for non-prosecution. The said claimant thereafter filed an application of restoration which was registered as MJC No. 8/88, this application was also dismissed for want of prosecution on 7-4-98 and she thereafter again filed an application which was registered as MJC No. 5/99, this was also dismissed on 21-9-99 for non-prosecution. Another application for restoration was filed, the same was registered as MJC No. 17/99 which was restored by order dated 20-4-2001. Before Claims Tribunal the application was also filed for condoning the delay and the grounds urged for condonation are that the applicant's husband died in an accident occurred in the year 1988 and she is very poor, old and infirm. At the time of accident she was 55 years of age, now she must be about 70 years old. She was somehow or the other passing her days by resorting to begging and she has no funds. This plea for condoning delay has been rejected by impugned order dated 4-1-2002.
(2.)Learned Counsel for the applicant so also Amicus Curiae submit that the provisions envisaged in the Act are benevolent provisions and in fact in the present case though the claimant is entitled to get even the amount of no fault liability, yet she has not received a single pie. Para 10 of the impugned order has been referred to, which goes to show that service of notice by publication was directed to be made. So far as this aspect is concerned, the Tribunal ought to have considered the provisions envisaged in Sections 166/140 of the Motor Vehicles Act. It is submitted that so far as the claims are concerned, Sub-section (4) of Section 166 of the Act even gives jurisdiction to the Claims Tribunal. Section 166 of the Act is pertinent and quoted herein below:--
"166. Application for compensation.-- (1) An application for compensation arising out of an accident of the nature specified in Sub-section (1) of Section 165 may be made- (a) by the person who has sustained the injury; or (b) by the owner of the property; or (c) where death has resulted from the accident, by all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased; or (d) by any agent duly authorized by the person injured or all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased, as the case may be: Provided that where all the legal representatives of the deceased have not joined in any such application for compensation, the application shall be made on behalf of or for the benefit of all the legal representatives of the deceased and the legal representatives who have not so joined, shall be impleaded as respondents to the application. (3) Every application under Sub-section (1) shall be made, at the option of the claimant, either to the Claims Tribunal having jurisdiction over the area in which the accident occurred, or to the Claims Tribunal within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the claimant resides or carries on business or within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the defendant resides, and shall be in such form and contain such particulars as may be prescribed : Provided that where no claim for compensation under Section 140 is made in such application, the application shall contain a separate statement to that effect immediately before the signature of the applicant. (3) Sub-section (3) omitted by Act 54 of 1994. (4) The Claims Tribunal shall treat any report of the accidents forwarded to it under Sub-section (6) of Section 158 as an application for compensation under this Act."
Perusal of Sub-section (4) of Section 166 shows that the Claims Tribunal is obliged to treat any report of the accidents forwarded to it under Sub-section (6) of Section 158 of the Act. Sub-section (6) of Section 158 of the Act is also relevant here which reads as under :--
"158. Production of certain certificates, licence and permit in certain cases.- (1) *** *** *** *** *** (2) *** *** *** *** *** (3) *** *** *** *** *** (4) *** *** *** *** *** (5) *** *** *** *** *** (6) As soon as any information regarding any accident involving death or bodily injury to any person is recorded or report under this section is completed by a Police Officer, the officer in-charge of the police station shall forward a copy of the same within thirty days from the date of recording of information or, as the case may be, on completion of such report to the Claims Tribunal having jurisdiction and a copy thereof to the concerned insurer and where a copy is made available to the owner, he shall also within 30 days of receipt of such report, forward the same to such Claims Tribunal and Insurer."

(3.)Counsel for the applicant also referred to Section 168 of the Motor Vehicles Act especially first proviso. Section 168 reads as under :--
"168. Award of the Claims Tribunal.-- (1) On receipt of an application for compensation made under Section 166, the Claims Tribunal shall, after giving notice of the application to the insurer and after giving the parties (including the insurer) an opportunity of being heard, hold an inquiry into the claim or, as the case may be, each of the claims and subject to the provisions of Section 162 may make an award determining the amount of compensation which appears to it to be just and specifying the person or persons to whom compensation shall be paid and in making the award the Claims Tribunal shall specify the amount which shall be paid by the Insurer or owner or driver of the vehicle involved in the accident or by all or any of them, as the case may be: Provided that where such application makes a claim for compensation under Section 140 in respect of death or permanent disablement of any person, such claim and any other claim (whether made in such application or otherwise) for compensation in respect of such death or permanent disablement shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Chapter X. (2) The Claims Tribunal shall arrange to deliver copies of the award to the parties concerned expeditiously and in any case within a period of fifteen days from the date of award. (3) When an award is made under this section, the person who is required to pay any amount in terms of such award shall, within thirty days of the date of announcing the award by the Claims Tribunal, deposit the entire amount awarded in such manner as the Claims Tribunal may direct."



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