1 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS DATED : 29 .01.2007 CORAM THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE S.MANIKUMAR C.M.A.No.433 of 2001 S.Rajendra Rao ... Appellant vs. 1. G.Vanaja 2. The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., Subba Govindam II Floor, Imperial Road, Cuddalore, Cuddalore District. ... Respondents Civil Miscellaneous Appeal filed under Section 173 Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 against the Judgment and decree, dated 02.12.1999 made in M.A.C.T.O.P.No.837 of 1997 on the file of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, (Principal District Judge), Dharmapuri District at Krishnagiri. For Appellant : Mr.P.Mani For 2nd Respondent : Mr.Varadhakamaraj for Mr.S.Manohar J U D G M E N T
Not satisfied with award dated 02.12.1999 made in
M.A.C.T.O.P.No.837 of 1997 on the file of the Motor
Accidents Claims Tribunal, (Principal District Judge),
Dharmapuri District at Krishnagiri, the claimant has
preferred this appeal.
2. Brief facts leading to this appeal are as follows:
On 20.10.1995 at about 11.00 a.m., when the appellant was
proceeding towards Krishnagiri in a lorry bearing
registration No.TCG 3400, another lorry bearing Registration
No.TN-31-1921, owned by the first respondent, came in a rash
and negligent manner, dashed against his lorry and caused
heavy damages to the lorry. The lorry owned by the first
respondent is insured with the second respondent, the
Oriental Insurance Company Limited. The appellant claimed
compensation of Rs.1,00,000/- as damage to the property.
4. The Second respondent-Insurance company resisted
the claim, contending inter alia that the accident did not
occur in the manner set out in the claim petition. They
disputed the driving licence of the appellant.
5. Before the Tribunal, the appellant examined
himself as P.W.1. P.W.2 is the driver of his vehicle.
Ex.P1 – First Information Report dated 20.10.1995, Ex.P2 –
Motor Vehicles Inspection Report; Ex.P3 – Copy of the Policy
and Ex.P4 – Bills were marked on the side of the appellant.
On behalf of the respondents, The Surveyor, who assessed the
damage to the vehicle, was examined as RW.1 and Ex.B1 –
Judgment copy in O.S.No.5 of 1998 and Ex.B2 – Motor Vehicles
Inspection Final Report dated 16.01.1996 were marked.
6. On consideration of oral and documentary evidence,
the Tribunal found that the driver of the first respondent
was responsible for the accident and awarded compensation of
Rs.25,955/- with interest at the rate of 12% per annum.
7. Heard Mr.P.Mani, learned counsel appearing for the
appellant and Mr.Varadhakamaraj for Mr.S.Manohar, learned
counsel appearing for the second respondent.
8. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that
the Tribunal ought to have accepted the evidence of Pws.1
and 2 and Exs.P1 to P4 and awarded suitable compensation.
He further submitted that the Tribunal has erred in relying
upon the evidence of RW.1, Surveyor and Ex.B2, his report,
in awarding compensation.
9. Per contra, learned counsel for the Insurance
Company submitted that the vehicle was registered in the
year 1986 and that the valuation was properly done by RW.1,
Surveyor. He further submitted that all the defects pointed
out in Ex.B2, Surveyor’s report and vouchers submitted by
the owner of the vehicle have been properly considered by
the Tribunal. The award is just and reasonable compensation
and does not warrant interference.
10. PW.1 has deposed that the vehicle’s mirror,
bumber, main axle, spring plate, side body have been
damaged. In Ex.P3, Motor Vehicles Inspection report,
following parts were noted as unfit for ordinary use.
“Front Cabin, windscreen glass (2), side
glass, side door, radiator, one set bumper,
front main axle, damaged chassis to be checked
for bent, steering (sic) box damaged, Dash
board, bonnet, Diesel tank damage.”
The appellant also produced Ex.P4, bills and vouchers in
support of his and contended that he had incurred
considerable expenses for the purchase of spare parts. But
the appellant has not produced the damage parts of the
vehicle before the Court.
11. Ex.B2, dated 16.01.1996 is the final report issued
by RW.1, Surveyor appointed by the Insurance Company. In
Annexure 2 of the report, he has given a brief description
about the damages caused to the vehicle. It is clearly
mentioned in the report that there was damage to cabin, rear
body, chassis assembly, cooling system, main axle assembly,
steering box assembly and suspension assembly. The surveyor
also included the labour charges for the mechanic, value of
the parts and allowed costs after depreciation. He assessed
the damages to the vehicle at Rs.28,324/- and after
deducting the amounts towards policy, salvage value of the
materials and for parts, assessed the total loss to the tune
12. The procedure followed in the case of claim
regarding damage to the vehicle is that, as soon as the
accident is intimated to the company, a spot survey is done
or the vehicle is taken to the company for survey. The
vehicle is removed to the repairer or the authorized dealer
of the vehicle. An estimate of repairs is obtained. To
avoid inflation of cost of repairs, the surveyor verified
with the mechanic, the actual repair undertaken by him and
also the spare parts used in the vehicle. The value of the
parts allowed, subject to depreciation, labour charges for
the mechanic are taken into account for arriving at the
damages, subject to deduction towards policy and salvage and
other permissible deductions. Therefore in cases of
accidental damage, the indemnity is the cost of repairs,
i.e, labour charges plus the cost of replacement. To assess
the evidence relating to repair and replacement, the
evidence of the mechanic who repaired the vehicle is
13. Though the appellant/claimant deposed that he had
spent considerable amount for repairing the vehicle, he has
failed to examine the mechanic, who repaired the vehicle.
Mere production of bills alone is not sufficient to prove
that the repairs have been rectified and there was
replacement of spare parts. If the mechanic is examined,
the insurer will have an opportunity to cross examine him
with reference to the Motor Vehicles Inspector’s report and
the surveyor’s report. In the present case, RW.1, Surveyor
has deposed that the he had examined the mechanic, who
repaired the vehicle and noted down the spare parts used in
the vehicle, for ascertaining the damages.
14. RW.1 is a Mechanical Engineer with Diploma in
Engineering, who has considerable experience in assessing
the damage to the vehicle. There is no reason to reject his
oral testimony of a qualified surveyor and his report,
Ex.B2. The evidentiary value of the Surveyor’s report
cannot be brushed aside, in the absence of acceptable
evidence on the side of the appellant/claimant. In view of
the above, I do not find any illegality in the order of the
Tribunal, in assessing damages to the property.
15. In the result, the award is confirmed. The Civil
Miscellaneous Appeal is dismissed. No costs.
The Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal,
(Principal District Judge),
Dharmapuri District at Krishnagiri.