Posted On by &filed under High Court, Madhya Pradesh High Court.

Madhya Pradesh High Court
Shabbir Hussain vs M.P.S.R.T.C. And Anr. on 6 September, 2000
Equivalent citations: I (2001) ACC 250
Author: A Sapre
Bench: A Sapre


A.M. Sapre, J.

1. Claimant who was victim of an accident that occurred on 10.10.1993 with the offending vehicle belonging to respondent No. 1 (M.P.S.R.T.C), and who claimed to have suffered injury in the said accident files this appeal against the impugned award which rejected the claim petition of claimant. The impugned award dated 10.3.1997, passed in Claim Case No. 63/94 by learned M.A.C.T., Kukshi.

2. On 10.10.1983, the driver of offending vehicle (passenger bus), dashed to one hill in hilly track on road while moving. The claimant was one of the occupants in the offending vehicle when he suffered fracture in his left hand. A claim was filed by the claimant for compensation for the injuries and loss sustained against the owner of vehicle-M.P.S.R.T.C. and also the driver (but without namina).

3. The non-applicant (owner of vehicle) remained ex-parte even after service since inception. The claimant then led unrebutted evidence and proved his case. The learned Member of Tribunal on appreciation of the evidence of claimant came to a conclusion that since driver was not made party and since there was a mechanical failure in the vehicle and hence no case of negligence is made out. Accordingly, the claim was rejected. And hence this appeal by claimant for claiming compensation.

4. Heard Mr. Altaf Khan, learned Counsel for the appellant and none for the respondents, though served.

5. Having heard the submission of learned Counsel for the appellant and having analysed the evidence on record, I am inclined to set aside the impugned award and allow the appeal. In my opinion, the finding recorded by the learned Member of Tribunal for rejection of claim petition are not well-founded and have to be set aside. So far as the finding regarding non-joinder of driver in claim petition is concerned, the same has to be set aside in view of law laid down in 1995 ACJ 965, wherein it is held that it is not necessary that driver should be made party in claim petition. In this case, I find that driver was shown to be made a party and owner when noticed did not even contest the claim petition and remained ex-parte. Secondly, the finding regarding mechanical fault in the vehicle is also not sustain able. There was nothing in rebuttal to prove this fact. Neither there was a written statement filed by the owner of offending vehicle nor anybody entered in witness box. The burden was on them to prove that there was some mechanical fault in the vehicle that led to an accident. There was, therefore, nothing to disbelieve the statement of claimant when he stated that the accident was due to rash and negligent driving of driver of vehicle. It was not for the claimant to cite driver as his witness but it was for the owner to examine the driver, if they wished to prove that the acciedent was due to mechanical failure and beyond the control of driver. He was the best witness to prove this fact.

6. The fact that one wheel got out of vehicle could be due to various reasons and these reasons could be explained only by the owner and driver as non-applicants witness. In my opinion therefore, the Tribunal should have held that accident in question was solely due to rash and negligent driving of the driver.

7. The next question is whether a case for compensation is made out by the claimant on the facts pleaded and evidence led. It was the case of claimant that he suffered fracture in right hand and for that he underwent extensive treatment and spent more than Rs. 10,000/-. However the claimant did not file a single document showing medical expenditure incurred on the said medical treatment. This apart no doctor was examined to prove the injury sustained by the claimant nor its disability that might have resulted due to injury. In other words, there is no evidence of any medical treatment in documentary form or in oral form except the one that was taken immediately after accident. Even that was not proved by the doctor.

8. It is, therefore, not possible to conclude as to how much disability that actually resulted to the appellant (claimant) when he suffered an injury. In order to determine the quantum of compensation, one must have the percentage of disability, its resultant loss and expenses incurred in treating the said injury. In the absence of these material details, it is not possible for this Court to work out the quantum of compensation payable to the claimant.

9. However, taking into account the fact that the claimant underwent the accident, and that he deposed in his evidence to have suffered an injury, I deem fit to award a resaonable compensation of Rs. 5,000/- together with interest payable at the rate of 12% per annum on Rs. 5,000/- from the date of application till realisation.

10. Accordingly the appeal is allowed in part, impugned award is set aside and an award for Rs. 5,000/- is passed together with interest at the rate of 12% per annum from the date of application till realisation.

11. Cost of appeal Rs. 500/-.

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