Decided on July 03,1997

H.R.T.C. Appellant
KRISHNA DEVI Respondents


ARUN KUMAR GOEL, J. - (1.)This appeal is directed against the award passed by Motor Accident Claims tribunal (II), Kangra at Dharamshala, By means of impugned award, compensation in the sum of Rs 1,52,352 has been awarded in favour of respondents No. 1 to 5 besides interest at the rate of 12% per annum from the date of award i.e. December 14, 987 till the date of payment,
(2.)Brief facts giving rise to this case are that Bus No. HPK1189 was on its way from Dharamshala to Bilaspur via Nagrota Sudan, bus met with an accident and it rolled down 28 feet into the Khad wherein its conductor, Hans Raj died instantaneously and Gurcharan Singh, its driver, received injuries According to the claimants since the accident was the result of rash and negligent driving on the part of driver of the bus owned by Himachal Road Transport Corporation, hereinafter referred to as H.R.T.C , resulting in the death of said Hans Raj, as such compensation to the tune of Rs, 2,50,000 was claimed from the Appellant -Corporation, hereinafter referred to as H.R.T.C. as well as Gurcharan singh hereinafter referred to as driver. In the claim petition filed by the claimants before the Tribunal below, H.R.T.C. as well as driver had been arrayed as respondents, who admitted the factum of the accident as also Hans Raj being the conductor of the bus on the fateful day i.e. 9 -1 -1987, when the same was on its route from Dharamshala to Bilaspur. But, it was specifically denied by both these parties that Gurcharan Singh was driving the vehicle in question at the of accident On the other hand, it was pleaded that there was no passenger in the bus and the same had been stopped by the driver at Nagrota Surian at about 7 -00 p.m. on 91 -1987, then he went to a nearby Dhaba for his meals, Before going to the Dhaba, according to the driver, he had placed the ignition key of the vehicle in the locked box meant for it, Deceased Hams Raj was stated to have come under the influence of liquor having, taken out the ignition key from the box and started the bus towards Lanj side. Seeing this driver of the bus immediately got into the bus from entrance window and asked Hans Raj to stop the same later did not pay any heed and in the meantime the bus rolled down the Khad resulting in the death of Hans Raj and causing injuries to the driver. In these circumstances it was pleaded that accident being the result of the acts of the conductor Hans Raj therefore, the claimants are not entitled for payment of any compensation and in these circumstances dismissal of petition was prayed. It was also the case of H.R.T.C. as well as driver that the claimants are not entitled to any compensation as claim made in that behalf was exorbitant
(3.)On the aforesaid pleadings parties went to trial on the following issues : -
1. Whether Sin Hans Raj deceased received injuries in the motor vehicle accident caused due to the rash and negligent driving of Sh. Gurcharan Singh respondent No.1 on 9 -1 -1987, as alleged ? OPP. 2. If issue No. 1 supra is proved whether the petitioners are the legal representatives of deceased Hans Raj and are entitled to the compensation, if so, to what amount and from whom ? OPP. 3. Whether the petition is not maintainable, as alleged ? OPR. 4. Relief. Issue No. 1 was decided in favour of claimants nod under Issues No. 2 and 4 compensation to the tune of Rs. 1,52/352 with 12% interest from the date of award was granted in favour of the claimants and against the H.R.T.C. -appellant. Issue No. 3 was decided against the H.R.T.C. and driver respondents It is in this background that the present appeal has been filed by the H.R.T.C. wherein has prayed for setting aside the impugned award of the Tribunal below.

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