UNION OF INDIA Vs. SMT. JYOTIKANA BHOWMICK AND OTHERS
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
UNION OF INDIA
Smt. Jyotikana Bhowmick And Others
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D. M. Sen, J. -
(1.) THIS is an appeal by the Union of India against the award of a sum of Rs. 20,000/ -, granted by the learned Claims Tribunal, Tripura, to the claimant respondents, upon their application under Section 110 -A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939.
(2.) THE respondents claimed a sum of Rs. 25,000/ - as compensation for the death caused to Bhupendra Chandra Bhowmick, their husband and father, as a result of an accident arising from the impact with a Government Jeep, driven by a person in the employment of the Government. In the present appeal, the learned Government Advocate has not canvassed that the driver was not negligent or that the Government did have no vicarious liability for the personal act of the driver. In other words, the only point that has been taken by the learned Government Advocate is as regards the excessive nature of the amount awarded as compensation by the learned Tribunal. Mr. R. Ghosh, the learned Government Advocate, has submitted that the amount earned by the deceased at the time of his death did not exceed Rs. 210/ - per month and that too only for six months in a year. For this submission, he seeks support from Ext. A -1 and Ext. A -2, which are two salary receipts of the deceased. In other words, Mr. Ghosh submits that the deceased was not in regular employment but was only working casually under his brother, who was a class I. P. W. D. contractor, Mr. Ghosh also submits that the deceased was incurring an expenditure of Rs. 75/ - per month and that his life expectancy could not be taken to be more than eight years, as stated by the respondents in their own application under Section 110A of the Motor Vehicles Act. 1939. In that view of the matter, Mr. Ghosh submits that the amount awarded as compensation should never have exceeded a sum of Rs. 12,960/ -, that is to say, the multiple of Rs. 210 less Rs. 75 by eight years.
(3.) WE have been taken through the evidence both by the learned Government Advocate and also by Mr. M. R. Choudhury, the learned counsel appearing for the respondents. We find that the evidence of P. W 1. the widow, has been totally over -looked by the learned Claims Tribunal. P. W. 1, who was in the best position to know what used to be earned by her late husband, and whose deposition was not challenged in any material respect, stated in her deposition -
"My husband's elder brother is a contractor and my husband was an employee under him earning Rs. 210/ - per month. My husband working as a P. W. D. contractor and by undertaking contract works of private building earned about Rs. 175/ - or Rs. 200/ - per month.".............................................................."We had to spend about Rs. 400/ - towards our maintenance and educational expenses of children. My husband spent about 30/ - to 40/ - as his personal expense.";
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