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Branch Manager, The New India Assurance Co. Ltd., Sathoor v/s Sivagami & Others

    C.M.A. No. 690 of 2021 & C.M.P. Nos. 4159 & 10491 of 2021

    Decided On, 03 September 2021

    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras


    For the Appellant: A. Salomi, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1 to R3, A. Ilaya Perumal, Advocate.

Judgment Text

(Prayer: Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is filed under Section 173 of Motor Vehicles Act 1988 to set aside the Judgment and Decree dated 18.02.2020 made in MCOP No.233 of 2019 on the file of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (Special District Judge) at Dharmapuri.)

V. Sivagnanam, J.

1. This appeal arises out of the order passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, (Special District Judge), Dharmapuri in MCOP No.233 of 2019.

2. This is the case of the fatal accident. The case of the claimants is that on 11.07.2018 at 01.00 hours, deceased Sekar went to the vacant land on the western side of Bagalahalli to attend nature’s call. When he waited on the road side in the Salem-Dharmapuri National Highway, a Maruti Omni Ambulance van bearing Reg.No.TN-70-6486 belonging to the fourth respondent herein and insured with the appellant herein came in a rash and negligent manner and dashed against the deceased. In the impact, the deceased sustained head injuries and he was rushed to Government Dharmapuri Medical College Hospital in an ambulance, where he took first-aid. Thereafter, he was referred to Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital, Salem and treated as inpatient. But he died at 09.20 a.m. The first and second claimants are the parents and third claimant is the sister of the deceased. Alleging that the accident had taken place due to the rash and negligent driving of the driver of the Maruti Omni Ambulance, the claimants laid a petition, claiming compensation of Rs.2,00,00,000/-.

3. Resisting the claim, the appellant Insurance Company filed their counter disputing the manner of accident, age, avocation and income of the deceased and its liability to pay the compensation. Further, in the counter, it has been contended that in fact, an unknown vehicle knocked the deceased down and ran over his head and even in the FIR, it has been stated like that. Further, the driver of the Maruti Omni Ambulance had no valid driving licence and the vehicle had no valid registration certificate and insurance. The claimants are not dependents of the deceased and the third claimant is married and living with her husband. It was also contended that the claim is excessive and exorbitant.

4. To substantiate the case, on the side of the claimants, P.Ws.1 to 3 were examined and Exs.P1 to Ex.P.23 were marked. On the side of the appellant/Insurance Company, R.W.1, one Adhiyaman was examined and Exs.R1 to R3 were marked.

5. The Tribunal, after considering the oral and documentary evidence, held that the driver of the Maruti Omni Ambulance was responsible for the accident and awarded compensation of Rs.42,98,010/- to the claimants. Assailing the award, the appellant Insurance Company has filed the present appeal.

6. Heard Ms.A.Salomi, learned counsel appearing for the appellant Insurance Company, Mr.A.Ilaya Perumal, learned counsel appearing for the respondents/claimants and perused the materials available on record.

7. This appeal has been filed only challenging the quantum, hence, the other issues need not be dealt with herein.

8. Though the learned counsel appearing for the appellant/Insurance Company has contended that the award is on the higher side and it requires reduction, on perusal of the records, we find that the Tribunal, on proper appreciation of evidence of last month pay slip of deceased (Ex.P.22), has fixed the monthly income and adopting correct multiplier awarded a just and reasonable compensation. We find no reason to interfere with the conclusion reached by the Tribunal. This appeal has no merit. Hence, this appeal is liable to be dismissed.

9. In such view of the matter, this Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is dismissed as devoid of merits. The appellant/Insurance Company is directed to deposit the entire award amount wit

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h accrued interest and costs, less the amount already deposited, if any, within a period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. On such deposit, the claimants are permitted to withdraw the award amount, as apportioned by the Tribunal, less the amount already withdrawn, if any, together with proportionate interest and costs. No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.