M SANNU RAM MANDAVI Vs. C MOHAN
HIGH COURT OF CHHATTISGARH
M.SANNU RAM MANDAVI
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A.K.Patnaik, C.J. -
(1.) This is an appeal under section 173 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, against the common award dated 31.3.1997 passed by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Jagdalpur in Claim Case Nos. 67 and 68 of 1996.
(2.) The facts briefly are that appellant along with his wife Sukhmati was travelling on a moped (Luna) bearing registra tion No. MP 25-1543 from village Cholnar to Kirandul. A truck bearing registration No. MRS 9878 came from the opposite direction and dashed against the moped. In the accident, the wife of the appellant died on the spot and the appellant sustained injuries on his left thigh and suffered fracture on knee. Appellant filed Claim Case No. 67 of 1996 for compensation for the death of his wife and also filed Claim Case No. 68 of 1996 for compensation for the injuries suffered by him. Tribunal clubbed the two claim cases and after recording evidence and hearing the parties awarded a sum of Rs. 55,000 in Claim Case No. 67 of 1996 and a sum of Rs. 90,000 in Claim Case No. 68 of 1996 by a common award dated 31.3.1996. As per the award, the compensation awarded was to be paid by New India Assurance Co. Ltd., respondent No. 2, which had insured the truck. Aggrieved by the said common award, the appellant has filed this appeal.
(3.) Mr. Prashant Jayaswal, the learned counsel appearing for New India Assurance Co. Ltd., respondent No. 2, raised a preliminary objection. He submitted that since two separate claim cases had been filed by the appellant and the Tribunal had awarded compensation separately in the said claim cases by a common award, two appeals should have been filed by the appellant and instead only one appeal has been filed against the common award and such an appeal against the common award was not maintainable. He pointed out that section 176 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, empowered the State Government to make rules for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of sections 165 to 174 and in particular, to make rules providing for the form and the manner in which the fees on payment of which an appeal may be preferred against an award of a Claims Tribunal and in exercise of such powers under section 176, the Government of Madhya Pradesh had framed the Madhya Pradesh Motor Vehicles Rules, 1994 and provided in rule 242 (3) of the said rules that the provisions of Order 41 of the First Schedule to the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, shall mutatis mutandis apply to appeals preferred to the High Court under section 173 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. He submitted that it will be clear from the proviso to Order 41, rule 1 of the Code of Civil Pro cedure, 1908, as amended that where two or more suits have been tried together and a common judgment has been delivered therefor and two or more appeals are filed against any decree covered by that judgment, whether by the same appellant or by different appellants, the appellate court may dispense with the filing of more than one copy of the judgment. He argued that it will be clear from the language of the said proviso to Order 41, rule 1 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, that in case of a common judgment delivered by the trial court, the appellate court may dispense with filing of more than one copy of the judgment but two separate appeals have to be preferred by the appellant.;
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