(Prayer: This MFA is filed under Section 173(1) of M.V. Act 1988, against the Judgment and Award dated 04.07.2013, passed in M.V.C. No.33/2011, on the file of the Additional Motor Accident Claims Tribunal at Hangal, awarding the compensation of Rs.7,43,500/- with interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of petition till the date of deposit.)
1. The present appeal has been preferred by the appellant-corporation assailing the judgment and award passed by the Additional M.A.C.T., Hangal in MVC No. 33/2011 dated 04.07.2013.
2. Heard. Appeal is admitted and with the consent of the learned counsel appearing for the parties, it is taken up for final disposal.
3. The brief facts of the case as averred in the claim petition are that on 15.08.2010 at about 7.00 a.m. Goususab @
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Gousemoddin S/o. Hazaresab Baligar was proceeding on his motorcycle along with pillion rider, Basavaraj Manchinakoppa, on Konanakeri – Shabal road from Andalagi village to attend flag hoisting ceremony and on the way, a KSRTC bus bearing registration No.KA-27/F-30 came from opposite direction rashly and negligently and dashed to the motorcycle on which the deceased was proceeding. Due to the said impact, Goususab sustained grievous injuries and died on the spot and the pillion rider, Basavaraj, also sustained grievous injuries. Immediately, the body of the deceased was taken to PHC Chandapur and after postmortem, it was handed over to the relatives of the deceased. For having lost the bread earner, the wife, children and parents of the deceased filed a claim petition claiming compensation.
4. In response to the notice, respondent No.1 appeared before the Tribunal and filed his written statement by denying the contents of the claim petition. He further contended that the accident has not occurred due to the rash and negligent driving of the driver of KSRTC bus. On these grounds he prayed for dismissal of the said petition. Respondent No.2 to 4 have not contested the claim petition.
5. On the basis of the above pleadings, the Tribunal framed the following:
1. Whether the petitioners prove that, when deceased by name Goususab @ Gousemoddin Baligar was proceeding by riding his motor cycle along with pillion rider Basavaraj Manchinakoppa on 15-08-2010 at about 07-00 a.m., and going to attend Flag Hoisting Ceremony from his native Andalagi to Konanakeri and on the way near Shabal from opposite side one driver of KSRTC bus bearing No.KA-27/F-30 came by driving his bus with great speed with rash and negligent manner and in the curve without blowing horn dashed to the motor cycle of the deceased and caused serious accident and caused his death as alleged?
2. Whether the petitioners are entitled for compensation? If so, what amount and from whom?
3. What order or award?
6. In order to prove their case, petitioner No.1 got examined herself as P.W.1 and got examined one witness as P.W.2 and got marked documents as per Ex.P1 to P8. On behalf of the respondents, respondent No.4-the driver of the offending bus, got examined himself as R.W.1.
7. After hearing the parties to the lis, the impugned judgment and award came to be passed by the Tribunal.
8. The main grounds urged by the learned counsel for the appellants is that the impugned judgment and award is not sustainable in law. The accident took place due to the negligence on the part of the rider of the motorcycle himself. Without considering the said fact, the Tribunal has passed the impugned judgment and award. He further contended that the compensation awarded by the Tribunal is exorbitant and the same has to be reduced. On these grounds, he prayed for allowing the appeal.
9. Per contra, the learned counsel appearing for the respondent No.1 to 4-claimants has vehemently argued by justifying the judgment and award passed by the Tribunal, further contended that the compensation awarded by the Tribunal is just and proper and the appellants have not made out any grounds to show that the deceased also contributed to the alleged accident. The Tribunal after considering the facts and circumstances of the case has rightly came to the conclusion that the accident took place due to the rash and negligent act of the driver of the KSRTC bus. On these grounds he prayed for dismissal of the appeal.
10. The accident in question, so also the involvement of the offending bus in the accident is not in dispute.
11. It is the contention of the learned counsel for the appellants that the accident took place due to the negligence on the part of the rider of the motorcycle himself. As could be seen from the judgment and award passed by the Tribunal, it clearly indicates the fact that the bus was going towards Shabal from Konanakeri and the deceased was proceeding towards Konanakeri from Shabal on a motorcycle. The sketch, which has been produced at Ex.P.5, also clearly indicates that there was space of about 7 ft towards left side of the bus. When the said material is looked into, it appears that though there was sufficient space for the driver of the bus to take the bus on the left side of the road, he went and hit the motorcycle on which the deceased was proceeding. Though the appellant got examined respondent No.4 as R.W.1, his evidence is not trustworthy and reliable so as to prove the contention taken up by the learned counsel appearing for the appellant. The records, which have been produced before the Tribunal, indicates that the alleged accident took place due to the rash and negligent driving of the driver of KSRTC bus and charge sheet was also filed against the respondent No.4/driver of the KSRTC bus.
12. Be that as it may, the respondents/claimants have also got examined P.W.2 before the Tribunal, who is an eyewitness to the alleged incident. In his evidence, he has clearly stated that the driver of the KSRTC bus came rashly and negligently, in a zigzag manner, lost control over the bus in the curve and dashed to Hero Honda motorcycle on which the deceased was proceeding. It indicates that the accident took place due to the fault of the driver of the KSRTC bus. In this behalf there is no force in the contentions taken up by the learned counsel for the appellant and the same is liable to be rejected.
13. The next contention taken up by the learned counsel for the appellants is that the compensation awarded by the Tribunal is on the higher side and the same has to be reduced.
14. As could be seen from the judgment and award, it indicates that the deceased was working as a daily wager in Gram Panchayat office of Konanakeri of Shiggaon Taluk and was getting income of Rs. 4,500/- per month. In this behalf, the claimants got produced Ex.P7, the certificate issued by the Secretary, Gram Panchayath. The Tribunal after deducting of the same towards personal expenses of the deceased, taking into consideration the age of the dependants and after applying multiplier 17, has award Rs.6,88,500/- towards loss of dependency. On perusal of the records, it shows that the deceased was working as a daily wager and was getting an amount of Rs.4,500/- per month. Then under such circumstances, the Tribunal ought to have awarded the future prospects of the deceased by calculating the compensation. However, the same has not been done. In that light, the compensation awarded towards loss of dependency appears to be just and proper.
15. Insofar as the compensation awarded under the conventional heads also appears to be just and proper in view of the decision of the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of National Insurance Company Limited v. Pranay Sethi and others reported in AIR 2017 SC 5157.
16. Looking from any angle, the appellants have not made out any good grounds so as to held that the compensation awarded by the Tribunal is on the higher side. Keeping in view the said facts and circumstances, the appeal is devoid of merits and same is liable to be dismissed. Accordingly, appeal is dismissed.
17. The amount in deposit may be transmitted to the jurisdictional Tribunal, forthwith.