HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
Ajit Singh and Anr.
Tharu and Ors.
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K.K. Gupta, J. -
(1.) IT is a hard -hit case of lady and her minor children who were deprived of their bread -earner, expenses for whose cremation were even borne out by the villagers because of the poverty of the lady who also turned mad because of the shock and this lady is fighting for accident claim for the last more than fourteen years. Her husband, Munshi Ram, who was a mason by profession, was run over by a speeding truck No. JKN 1159, driven by Ajit Singh, driver, Appellant No. 1 and owned by Puran Singh, Appellant No. 2 and others, on August 3, 1971. Report of this accident was also lodged with Police Station Rishna, which resulted in filing a challan against Ajit Singh, Appellant No. 1 and ultimately in his conviction by the Munsiff, Judicial Magistrate, R.S. Pura on August 8, 1972.
(2.) THE present claim petition was filed by Tharu, the widow of the deceased and her minor children before the Accidents Claims Tribunal on 18.11.1972. The Tribunal first of all framed the following preliminary issue:
Whether there s any sufficient cause for condonation of delay in presentation of the petition in this case? OPD
The Tribunal on 10.3.1975 decided this issue holding that the petition was time barred in regard to the claim made by Tharu, Respondent No. 1 herein nut maintainable in regard to the claim of other Petitioners. Afterwards the Tribunal framed the following issues:
(1) Whether Munshi Ram was killed on 3.8.1971 in an accident with vehicle No. JKN 1159 being driven by non -Applicant No. 2 and others? OPP
(2) Whether the accident was caused due to the rash and negligent driving of non -Applicant No. 1 who was driving the vehicle JKN 1159 involved in the accident? OPP
(3) What is the amount of compensation to which the Petitioners are entitled to get and in what proportion and from whom? OPP
(4) Whether the claim has not been properly valued, if so how? OP non -Applicant No. 2.
(5) Whether the Applicant has not disclosed the reason for the cause of action. If so how and what is its effect on the case? OP non -Applicant Nos. 1 and 2.
(6) Whether the claim petition is liable to be rejected, if so how? OP non -Applicant Nos. 1 and 2.
(7) Whether the application is not in the prescribed form. If so what is its effect? OP non -Applicant No. 1.
Both the parties led evidence in the case and the Tribunal awarded Rs. 17,280/ - to the Petitioners except Tharu, Respondent No. 1, out of which Rs. 10,000/ - were to be paid by Ajit Singh, Appellant No. 1 herein and Rs. 7,280/ - by Puran Singh, Appellant No. 2 herein. The insurance company, Respondent No. 10 herein, was absolved of the liability. Aggrieved by this order, the Appellants herein have come up in appeal before this Court.
(3.) WE have heard the learned Counsel for the parties and perused the record before us. The accident occurred on August 3, 1971 near Kotli Mian Fateh, Tehsil R.S. Pura when Munshi Ram deceased was moving on the road. The contention of Ajit Singh, Appellant No. 1, the driver of the vehicle, was that the truck slipped due to rains which caused the accident. The learned Counsel appearing for the Appellants has not disputed the happening of the accident or the negligence of the driver in causing the death. He has only disputed the quantum of compensation as well as the liability placed upon the Appellants. According to him Appellant No. 1 is a poor driver who has already undergone the sentence because of his negligent act whereas Puran Singh, Appellant No. 2, was the owner of the vehicle only to a limited extent and as the vehicle was insured with Respondent No. 10 which insurance policy was also subsisting at that time, there was no reason for the insurance company not to have paid the compensation awarded by the Tribunal. The learned Counsel for the Respondents, on the other hand, have contended that besides the insurance company the owner of the vehicle and driver plying the vehicle are also liable to pay the compensation and in fact one lac of rupees were required to be paid as compensation to the aggrieved lady and her minor children, keeping in view her condition and the circumstances of the case. We have considered these contentions raised by the either side.;
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