Decided on January 29,2018

M/S. New India Assurance Co. Ltd. Appellant
Narmada Kalita And Others Respondents


KALYAN RAI SURANA,J. - (1.) Heard Mr. K.K. Bhatta, learned counsel for the appellant as well as Mr. Y.S. Mannan, learned counsel appearing for the respondents No. 1 to 3/claimants. None appears on call for the respondent No. 4, although notices have been duly served. It may be recorded that the name of respondent No. 5 had been struck off by order dated 23.05.2013 passed by this Court.
(2.) This appeal under section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is preferred against the judgment and award dated 19.10.2012, passed by the learned Member, M.A.C. Tribunal No. 2, Kamrup at Guwahati in MAC Case No. 2554/2009.
(3.) The facts of the case is that the respondents No. 1 to 3/claimants filed a claim petition under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, claiming compensation of Rs. 70,00,000/- from the appellant as well as the driver and owner of the offending vehicle on account of death of the deceased Suren@ Surendra Nath Kalita. In the claim petition it was stated that on 15.11.2009, while the deceased was driving a Tata Sumo vehicle and was going from Mirza side towards Rangia, a Cruiser vehicle bearing registration No. AS-01/AC-1523, while overtaking a truck had a head-on collision with the Tata Sumo vehicle driven by the deceased. On the way of the hospital, the deceased had died due to injuries sustained by him. It was alleged day of accident took place due to rash and negligent driving of the offending vehicle by its driver. The appellant entered appearance and filed their written statement. By denying the averments made in the claim petition, the appellant had taken a plea of the non-maintainability of the claim petition on the ground of non-joinder of necessary party. It was stated that the age certificate and documents showing occupation of the deceased was not annexed to the claim petition, and the registration certificate, road permit, fitness certificate, pollution emission test certificate, valid driving licence and other relevant documents were not produced and also that the claim amount was excessive, exorbitant, exaggerated and without any basis and hence, prayer was made to dismiss the claim petition. The respondent No. 4 i.e. the owner of the offending vehicle filed his written statement and disclosed that his vehicle was duly insured with the appellant and the insurance policy was valid up to 13.12.2009 and his vehicle was driven by an authorized driver with coverage of fitness, road permit, etc. On the basis of the pleading, the learned Tribunal framed the following issues for adjudication: (i) Whether the victim Late Surendra Nath Kalita, died as a result of alleged accident dated 15.11.2009 involving vehicle No. AS-01/AC-1523 (cruiser), and whether the said accident took place due to rash and negligent driving of the driver of the offending vehicle? (iii) Whether the claimants are entitled to receive any compensation and if yes, to what extent and by whom amongst the opposite parties, the said compensation amount will be payable?;

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