KHODABHAI BHAGWANBHAI Vs. HAJI TAPU
LAWS(GJH)-1979-4-2
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
Decided on April 26,1979

KHODABHAI BHAGWANBHAI Appellant
VERSUS
HIRJI TAPU Respondents

JUDGEMENT

S.B.MAJMUDAR - (1.) This appeal is filed under sec. 110-D of the Motor Vehicles Act by the original applicants in Motor Accident Claim Case No. 27 of 1970 filed before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal Bhavnagar. Their Claim Petition having been dismissed by the Claims Tribunal they have approached this Court by way of the present appeal. The appellants original applicants preferred the aforesaid Claim Petition on account of the fatal accident caused to one Bai Ratan who was the wife of original applicant No. 1 and mother of applicants Nos. 2 to 9 contending that she died on account of an accident caused to her when she was travelling on foot on Talaja Palitana Road on 8-7-70.
(2.) The case of the original applicants is that at the relevant time deceased Bai Ratan was going on foot on the Talaja Palitana Public Road proceeding from Palitana to her village Mota Pipaliya. She was walkingon the extreme left side of the road. When she arrived near a Nala on the road known as Unda Nahera an S. T. Bus being No. G.T E. 3409 belonging to respondent No. 2 State Transport Corporation and driven by its driver respondent No. 1 opponent No. 1 came from the opposite side i.e. from the side of Talaja it was a passenger bus. According to the claimants the bus was being driven on the wrong side of the road i.e. on the right hand side of the bus driver. It was alleged by the claimants that it was being driven at an excessive speed and the bus driver had not sounded the horn of the bus to warn Bai Ratan to give way. As a result of this Bai Ratan was knocked down and was seriously injured and died on the spot. It was contended by the claimants that Ratan was aged 48 years at the time of her death and she was quite healthy. The claimants are a family of agriculturists and Bai Ratan was doing agricultural work as a labourer on daily wages and was earning Rs. 4/per day. The applicants claimants themselves have their own agricultural lands (about 20 bighas at the time of the filing of the application) and besides the work done by Bai Ratan on daily wages on the lands of others she was also doing agricultural work on the claimants own land. Accordingly Bai Ratans earnings per month were estimated at Rs. 100/and on that basis considering the life span of Ratan an amount of Rs. 15 0 was claimed as compensation by the claimants appellants in the claims petition preferred before the Claims Tribunal.
(3.) The respondent No. 2opponent No. 2Corporation filed its written statement at Exh. 12 while respondent No. 1 original opponent No. 1 driver of the vehicle filed his written statement at Exh. 14. It was not disputed by both of them that the accident in question took place at the time and place mentioned in the application and that as a result of the accident Bai Ratan was injured and died on the spot. It was not disputed that the bus involved in the accident namely bus No GTE 3409 was a passenger bus belonging to the respondent T4o. 2 Corporation and was at the relevant time being driven by respondent No. 1 original opponent No. 1. He was admittedly an employee of the respondent No. 2 Corporation and that at the relevant time he was driving the bus in the normal course of his duties as an employee driver of the opponent No. 2 Corporation. However the claim of the claimants was hotly contested on the ground that the respondents No. 1 driver was neither negligent nor rash at all. On the contrary it was submitted that the driver of the vehicle was driving the vehicle with slow speed and on the correct side of the road and was quite careful in driving the bus. It was the contention of the respondent that the accident had taken place wholly on account of the negligence on the part of Bai Ratan and despite every care being exercised by the driver of the vehicle to avert the accident. It was the contention of the respondent that Bai Ratan was walking on the road in a zigzag manner and had a quilt on her head and it was she herself who had dashed with the side of the bus and had fallen down and injured herself. The respondents contested the claim of the original applicants that Bai Ratan was aged about 48 years at the time of her death. It was submitted that she was quite old. The claim for compensation was also challenged. It was denied that Bai Ratan was earning Rs. 4 per day and her monthly earnings were Rs. 100/as stated by the claimants. On the aforesaid contentions it was submitted that the Claims Petition deserved to be dismissed.;


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