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S.Rajendra Rao vs G.Vanaja on 29 January, 2007

Madras High Court
S.Rajendra Rao vs G.Vanaja on 29 January, 2007
       

  

  

 
 
                               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

of Rs.25,925/-.

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

necessary.

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.

skm

To

The Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal,
(Principal District Judge),
Dharmapuri District at Krishnagiri.

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