Decided on January 23,1992

Yerabarla Venkateshwara Rao Appellant
Yelugati Eswara Reddy Respondents

Referred Judgements :-



RADHAKRISHNA RAO, J. - (1.)PETITIONERS 1 and 2 in O.P. No. 302/1983 on the file of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (I Additional District Judge), Krishna at Machilipat-nam, are the appellants herein.
(2.)ONE Yerabarla Veneswara Rao, who was working as Rakshak in Railway Protection Force, died in an accident that took place on 19.4.1983 on Guntupalli -- Ibrahimpatnam Road. After his death, Union of India, South Central Railway (2nd respondent herein) has paid the amount due under the Workmen's Compensation Act, voluntarily without any claim by the dependants. Subsequently, the amount awarded i.e. Rs. 23,100/- has been withdrawn by the dependents. The parents and wife of deceased filed a claim petition under Section 110-A of the Motor Vehicles Act within the stipulated time. The Tribunal found that the claimants are entitled for a compensation of Rs. 80,784/- with 6% interest, but however, rejected the claim on the ground that as compensation under Workmens Compensation Act has already been awarded, they are not entitled to claim under Section 110-A of the Motor Vehicles Act Against that order this appeal is filed.
Sri S. Satyanarayana Prasad, contended that if the party out of the two remedies available avails one remedy and participates consciously in that remedy that is provided for it, then it is debarred from talking steps as regards the second remedy that is available thereunder. In this case admittedly, the claimants are not the persons who approached in the Workmen's Compensation Act but it is only the Railways that have intimated the Commissioner and the Commissioner in his turn decided the amount as per the table that has been given under the Act itself. So, since they were not consciously requested that forum and availed that remedy but they are requesting compensation under Section 110-A of Motor Vehicles Act only. Then it Cannot be said that they are debarred from claiming compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act. under Section 110-AA of the Motor Vehicles Act, the person entitled to compensation "may claim" such compensation under either the Workmen's Compensation Act or the Motor Vehicles Act but not both, The words "may claim" clearly indicate that the person entitled to compensation must take a conscious decision and opt for compensation under one or the other statutes. Deposit of compensation money by a third party in discharge of his obligation under the Workmen's Compensation Act can never tantamount to the option being exercised by the person entitled to compensation. Hence receipt of compensation money deposited by the employer in discharge of his obligation under Section of the Workmen's Compensation Act without the appellants having made any claim for compensation under that statute cannot debar the appellants from claiming compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act by virtue of Section 110-AA thereof. Such deposit of compensation money and receipt thereof by the dependents of the deceased will not amount to making a claim by the dependants of the deceased under the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act.

(3.)THE same view has been taken in Harivadan v. Chandrasingh and M. D. Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd v. Geetha 1988 A.C.J. 251:11 (1987) ACC 1. Since from the facts it has been brought out that the dependents having claimed nothing under the Workmen's Compensation Act, mere fact that they have withdrawn the amount of Rs. 23,100/- cannot be a ground to disallow their claim under the Motor Vehicles Act. The order of the lower court is set aside and the appeal has to be allowed.

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