UNION OF INDIA Vs. MOHAMMAD YOUSUF BHAT
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
UNION OF INDIA
Mohammad Yousuf Bhat
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J.P.SINGH, J. -
(1.) THIS appeal is directed against award dated 20th of October, 2005 of Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Anantnag awarding an amount of Rs. 10, 00,000/ - as compensation in favour of the claimants along with interest @ 9% per anum.
(2.) APPELLANT -Union of India questions this award on two grounds viz:
1. The Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Anantnag had erred in holding that the accident had occurred because of the negligence of appellant's driver in driving the BSF vehicle. 2. The compensation assessed by the Tribunal was excessive and against the provisions of law.
Before dealing with the issues raised by learned Counsel for the appellant at the time of consideration of this appeal, reference to the following facts may be necessary: Nazir Ahmad Bhat, stated to be a Businessman, dealing in fruit, lost his life in a motor vehicular accident, when while driving his Scooter No. 9484 from Pahalgam towards Anantnag, his Scooter was his from behind by a vehicle driven by Head Constable Duttatary and owned by the Border Security Force. This accident had occurred on 13th of August, 2001. A claim petition was filed by Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, the father, Mst. Raja, the mother, Mst. Hafeeza, the widow, Muzaffar Ahmad and Shahid Ahmad, the sons and Miss Sabrooza Akhter, the daughter of the deceased claiming an amount of Rs. 65,25,000/ - as compensation on account of loss of future income for 35 years, loss of consortium, loss of love and affection, shock and agony to the family and for funeral expenses against Union of India, Commandant Border Security Force and the driver of the vehicle.
(3.) APPELLANT -Union of India filed its reply to the claim petition saying interalia that on 13th of August 2001 at about 1500 hours, a convoy of three vehicles, one light and two medium, was dispatched from Pahalgam to Khan -nabal. Vehicle No. DBL -70461 -1/2 ton driven by head Constable -Driver, Duttatary was part of this convoy. At about 1545 hours when the convoy reached near village Akad, the driver of the vehicle noticed one duck crossing the road and in order to save the duck, the driver slowed down the vehicle and moved towards left side of the road. In the meanwhile, one scooterist driving the scooter at high speed tried to overtake the BSF vehicle from wrong side and having failed to control the scooter, hit the left side of the BSF vehicle. The accident, according to the appellant, had occurred due to rash and negligent driving of the deceased scooterist. Out of the pleadings of the parties, the Tribunal framed five issues, which read thus:
1. Whether on 13 -08 -2001 the deceased along with one Abdul Rashid Wagay was coming on his scooter No. 9484 from Pahalgam towards Anantnag, a vehicle bearing Registration Mark 23/10 DL/7925 belonging to BSF was also coming from Pahalgam towards Anantnag, the offending vehicle hit the scooter from behind in the result the scooter, the decease and his accomplice Abdul Rashid fell on the left side of the road causing injuries to the deceased who was taken to Hospital by local police but the deceased succumbed in midway due to injuries sustained in the accident? OPP 2. Whether the offending vehicle belonged to BSF? OPP 3. In case issues No. 1 and 2 are proved in affirmative to what amount of compensation are the petitioners entitled to from whom and in what proportion? OPP 4. Whether the offending vehicle was being plied at the time of the accident rashly and negligently? OPP 5. Relief. ;
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