FUTURE GENERAL INDIA INSURANCE COMPANY LTD. Vs. SAROJ KUMARI
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
Future General India Insurance Company Ltd.
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Jyotsna Rewal Dua,J. -
(1.) Appellant-Insurance Company was proceeded ex-parte by the learned Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (III) Kangra at Dharamshala, District Kangra, H.P. vide order dated 29.03.2016. Eventually, an award was passed on 25.02.2019, in favour of the claimants for an amount of Rs.8,59,828/- alongwith interest. Aggrieved, the Insurance Company has preferred the instant appeal.
(2.) Before proceeding further, it may be noticed at this stage that the Insurance Company had not challenged the order dated 29.03.2016, whereby it was proceeded against ex-parte and finally an ex-parte award was passed against it. In fact, in the present appeal, on 2.12.2020, learned counsel for the appellant had made a statement that the appellant would not press this ground in the instant appeal. Relevant extract from the order dated 2.12.2020 is as under:-
"The award passed by the learned Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (III), Kangra at Dharamshala, on 25.02.2019, has been assailed in the instant appeal on various grounds including the one that the learned Tribunal below had wrongly proceeded against the appellant ex-parte vide order dated 29.03.2016. To a query of the Court, learned counsel for the appellant submitted that no steps were taken by it for getting the ex-parte award set aside before the learned Tribunal below. Accordingly, on the basis of instructions imparted to him, learned counsel for the appellant fairly conceded that having not adopted the legal recourse for getting the ex-parte order and award set aside before the learned Tribunal below, the appellant will not press this ground in the instant appeal. His statement is taken on record."
The grounds raised by the Insurance Company for assailing the impugned award, therefore, have to be examined in light of the above statement made on behalf of the appellant (extracted above).
(3.) Encapsulated facts are that on 25.05.2013, one Sh. Baldev Singh was travelling on a motor cycle bearing Registration No. HP-37A-9870 as a pillion rider. At a place near 'Darang' the bike was stopped, the occupants of the bike started talking to a third person standing on the road side. At around 6.05 P.M, a pick up bearing Registration No. HR-37C-3662 coming from 'Nagrota' side struck the bike. Due to its impact, all three persons i.e. two occupants of the motor cycle and the person standing on the road side sustained injuries and died. The widow, two minor sons and parents of the deceased Baldev Singh (pillion rider) instituted a claim petition on 23.06.2014 under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act praying for a compensation of Rs.20 lacs. The Insurance Company was proceeded ex-parte on 29.03.2016.
Learned MACT held that the accident had occurred due to rash and negligent driving of the vehicle No. HR-37C-3662 driven by respondent No.6/Sanjay Kumar. After holding that the accident had occurred due to rash and negligent driving of respondent No.6/Sanjay Kumar, learned Tribunal assessed the income of deceased Baldev Singh on the basis of minimum wages payable to labourers at Rs. 180/- per day i.e. Rs. 5400/- per month. At the time of his death, the deceased was held to be in the age group of 46 years and accordingly multiplier of 13 was applied. Payable compensation was determined in accordance with law laid down by the Hon'ble Apex Court in National Insruance Company Vs. Pranay Sethi and Ors,2017 4 ACJ 2700. Accordingly, the claimants were held to be entitled to compensation amount of Rs. 8,59,828/- alongwith an interest @ 7.5 % per annum.
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