SABITE PATI AND ORS. Vs. RAMESHWAR SINGH AND ANR.
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
Rameshwar Singh And Anr.
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R.N. Misra, J. -
(1.) THIS is an appeal under Section 110 D(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act). The claimant is the Appellant and the appeal is directed against the order of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Cuttack, dismissing the claim for compensation.
(2.) LATE Subhash Chandra Pati was an Assistant Engineer in the employment of the State Government of Orissa. By May, 1968 he was working as Deputy Engineer (Project) in the Orissa Construction Corporation on deputation basis. In Connection with the visit of the Public Accounts Committee of Orissa, Subash along with some other employees of the Orissa Construction - Corporation had gone to Bhutmundi on 4.5.68. Round about 10 O'clock at night the employees of the Orissa Construction Corporation including Subash and P. Ws. 4 and 5 were returning in two jeeps. Subash was traveling in Jeep O.R.C. 7380 along with P.W. 5 and that vehicle was being driven by one Debaraj Sahu. Subash was on the extreme right and P.W. 5 was in between the driver and Subash on the first seats. P.W. 4 along with some others was returning in jeep O.R.C. 7381 which was coming behind O.R.C. 7380. These two jeeps were returning on the Paradeep Cuttack road towards Cuttack. Near about Kandarpur, a few miles to the east of Cuttack, a Leyland truck bearing registration No. O.R.C. 7068 belonging to the Respondent No. 1 and coming from Cuttack side towards Paradeep dashed against jeep O.R.C. 7380. As a result of this collision, the right front wheel of the jeep was severed from the vehicle. Subash was thrown out to the right while the driver and another occupants of the jeep (P.W. 5) were thrown to the left, Subash sustained fatal injuries and when he was taken to the S.C.B. Medical College Hospital, a little later in the other jeep he was pronounced dead by the medical officer.
The claimant, his widow, laid claim for compensation under Section 110A of the Act on her behalf as well as on behalf of a minor son and two minor daughters. Compensation of Rs, 2,34,600/ - was claimed. It was alleged that the accident took place solely on account of the negligence of the truck driver who drove his vehicle at great speed, did not move to the left of the road when both the vehicles were to cross each other and on the other hand suddenly swerved to the right and dashed against the jeep.
The owner of the vehicle and also the insurer who are the Respondents 1 arid 2 respectively filed separate written statements. The owner claimed that the driver of the jeep was negligent and there was enough space to the left and if he had controlled the speed of his vehicle and kept to his left he could have safely crossed the truck. The truck was loaded and was running at the minimum speed. At the time of impact the driver of the truck made the vehicle almost stationary and had he not taken due care and caution to avoid the consequences of the negligent act of the driver of the jeep that vehicle along with its occupants would have been smashed.
The insurer in a separate written statement pleaded that the jeep was on the wrong side and was being driven by the deceased unauthorisedly. The accident took place on account of rash and negligent driving of the deceased, the driver of the truck had taken due care and caution and the claim laid was arbitrary and fantastic.
(3.) FIVE issues were raised on the pleading of the parties by the Tribunal. Issues 2 and 3 were as follows:
(2) Which of the two vehicles is responsible for causing the accident and consequently death of Subash Chandra Pati ?
(3) Was there any contributory negligence on the part of the deceased ?
In supports of the Appellant's claim seven witnesses were examined. P.W. 1 is the Motor Vehicle Inspector. P.W. 2 came from the S.C.B. Medical College Hospital to prove the injuries of Subash. P W. 3, an assistant in the Orissa Construction Corporation, proved the salary drawn by the deceased, P.W. 4 as already stated was traveling in the jeep O.R.C. 7381 which was running behind the ill -fated jeep at the time of accident. P.W. 5 was traveling along with Subash in the same jeep O.R.C. 7380,. P.W. 6 is the Appellant. P.W. 7 is a photographer who after the accident had been taken to the spot and had taken the photographs M. Os. 1 to VII, the negatives whereof have been marked as M. Os. VIII to XIV. The owner of the vehicle withdrew from the contest at the time of trial. The insurer examined one witness who described himself as the Development Officer of the Insuring Company.
The Tribunal took up issues 2 and 3 only for consideration and came to find that the driver of the jeep was negligent in turning the jeep towards the right and colliding with the truck. Accordingly it dismissed the application for compensation. This appeal is directed against the aforesaid order of the Tribunal.;
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