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M/s. United India Insurance Company Limited, Represented thorugh Branch Manager, Tenkasi v/s M. Mahalakshmi & Others

Company & Directors' Information:- UNITED INDIA INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED [Active] CIN = U93090TN1938GOI000108

Company & Directors' Information:- J B UNITED PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U93000MH2014PTC258844

Company & Directors' Information:- J B UNITED PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999MH2014PTC258844

Company & Directors' Information:- UNITED CORPORATION LIMITED [Liquidated] CIN = U99999TN1942PLC003159

    C.M.A(MD). No. 944 of 2009 & M.P(MD). No. 2 of 2009

    Decided On, 17 December 2020

    At, Before the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court


    For the Appellant: S. Muthalraj, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1 to R3, K. Samidurai, R4 & R5, C. Muthusaravanan, Advocates.

Judgment Text

(Prayer: Civil Miscellaneous Appeal filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act against the order and decree passed in M.C.O.P.No.213 of 2004, dated 11.1.2008, on the file of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal/Additional Sub-Court, Tenkasi.)1. This Civil Miscellaneous Appeal has been preferred by the Insurance Company challenging the award passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal/Additional Sub-Court, Tenkasi in M.C.O.P.No.213 of 2004.2. The facts necessary for the disposal of the appeal run thus:The respondents 1 to 3 herein along with one Govindan filed a claim petition claiming compensation for the death of Mariappan. According to them, the first cliamant is the wife, second and third claimants are his minor children and the fourth claimant is the father. The claimants would state that on 19.2.2004, the deceased Mariappan was a Loadman in the Tractor-cum Trailer bearing Registration Nos.TN 72 Y 4577 and TN72 X 8222 and it was driven by its driver with great terrific speed from Shengottai to Quilon Main Road. Due to which, the vehicle capsized on the left side of the road and the deceased suffered serious injuries and succumbed to injuries in the hospital on 20.2.2004. However, pending trial, the fourth claimant Govindan died and the same was recorded on 13.3.2006.3. The claim petition was contested by the appellant disputing the age, income and the manner of accident. It is stated that though the first respondent was the owner of the tractor, the Trailer is not belonging to him and hence no liability can be fastened on the Insurance Company.4. Before the Tribunal, on behalf of the claimants, two witnesses were examined and Ex.P1 to Ex.P6 were marked.The appellant examined three witnesses and marked three documents. After analysing the evidence adduced by the parties, the Tribunal found that the accident had occurred due to the negligence of the driver of the Tractor and held the Insurance Company liable to pay compensation at Rs.4,48,000/- with interest at 7.5% p.a. Challenging the same, the present appeal has been filed.5. Heard Mr.S.Muthalraj, learned counsel appearing for the appellant and Mr.K.Samidurai, learned counsel appearing for the respondents 1 to 3 and Mr.C.Muthu Saravanan, learned counsel appearing for the respondents 4 and 5 and perused the materials available on record.6. In the instant case, in order to prove the negligence on the part of the driver of the Tractor, the claimants examined P.W.2 as eyewitness to the incident. In his evidence, P.W.2 has stated that he travelled along with the deceased in the Trailer and it was capsized in view of the negligent driving of the driver of the Tractor. However, in Ex.P1-First Information Report, it is stated that he fell down from the Tractor and suffered injury. So a contention was raised by the appellant that the deceased was not travelling in the Trailer, but he fell down from the Tractor and hence there cannot be any liability on the Insurance Company. Howver, the Tribunal taking note of the fact that in villages, even if a person fell down from the Trailer, they are calling it as he fell down from the Tractor and hence much importance could not be attached to the averments contained in the First Information Report. Moreover, P.W.2 has categorically stated that the deceased was travelling in the Trailer and he sustained injury and died. So the finding of negligence does not warrant interference by this Court and the same is confirmed.7. Insofar as quantum is concerned, the first claimant is the wife of the deceased and she was 25 years old at the time of accident. The claimants 2 and 3 are the minor children aged about 5 and3 years respectively. According to the claimants, the deceased died at the age of 30 years, but no record was produced. So the Tribunal has fixed the age of the deceased at 35 years on the basis of Ex.P2-Postmortem Certificate, and his income at Rs.3000/-p.m., and after deducting 1/3rd amount towards personal expenses, contribution to the family is taken as Rs.2000/-p.m. By applying multiplier '17', awarded Rs.4,08,000/-(Rs.2000 x 17 x 12) for loss of income, Rs.10,000/- for loss of consortium, Rs.25,000/- for loss of love and affection, Rs.2500/- for transport expenses and another Rs.2500/- for funeral expenses and the Tribunal, totally awarded a sum of Rs.4,48,000/- with interest at the rate of 7.5% p.a. In my considered view, the award of the Tribunal seems to be just and reasonable.8. It is relevant to note that both the Tractor and Trailor had insurance coverage on the date of accident, but in the Registration Certificate, transferee's name is not found mentioned. In other words, the Trailor was not formally transferred in the name of the buyer. It is well-settled that in these cases also, the Insurance Company cannot escape from the liability to pay compensation.9. For the forgoing reasons, the award of the Tribunal is confirmed and the Civil Miscellaneous Appeal stands dismissed. Since the

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appeal is dismissed, the appellant is directed to deposit the entire award amount with 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 their share in the award amount, less the amount already withdrawn, if any, together with proportionate accrued interest and costs, as per the ratio of apportionment made by the Tribunal. No costs. Consequently, connected Miscellaneous Petition is dismissed.