Regular Second Appeal No. 4159 of 2013 (O&M). Case: Harish Goyal Vs Parminder Singh and Ors.. High Court of Punjab (India)

Case NumberRegular Second Appeal No. 4159 of 2013 (O&M)
CounselFor Appellant: P.K.S. Phoolka, Advocate and For Respondents: R.K. Girdhar, Advocate
JudgesAnita Chaudhry, J.
IssueCode of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) - Order XXIII Rule 2; Fatal Accidents Act, 1855 - Section 1(A); Limitation Act, 1963 - Section 14
Judgement DateMarch 18, 2017
CourtHigh Court of Punjab (India)


Anita Chaudhry, J.

  1. This is the second appeal only by defendant No. 1 aggrieved by the judgments and decrees of the Courts below.

  2. A strange incident occurred on 14.2.2002, plaintiff Parminder Singh was electrocuted and a part of his left arm had to be amputated, his face was disfigured. A T.V. Cable wire was allegedly passing over 11 K.V.A line. The cable connection had been disconnected but the cable was still lying inside the house in the shape of a coil near the T.V. set. The plaintiff felt a strong smell emitting from the wire that night. As he went near the T.V., he was pulled towards the cable and got electrocuted. The matter was reported to the Electricity Department. The Assistant Electrical Inspector conducted an investigation. On 15.2.2002, a DDR was lodged by the father of the plaintiff, he did not implicate any person. The case of the plaintiff was that his treatment continued for a long period and when he was well and able to walk, he filed a writ petition in the High Court on 9.2.2005 (few days prior to the expiry of three years). The High Court vide order dated 17.2.2005 gave a direction that if the plaintiff was entitled to any relief then it shall be released in his favour within one month. The case of the plaintiff was that no amount was paid. He again filed a writ petition and was asked to approach the appropriate Civil Court on 22.5.2006. It was pleaded that the order was received by him on 4.7.2006 and due to vacations, he could not file the suit and as he was unwell. The suit was ultimately filed in August 2006. It was pleaded that there was no delay in filing the suit. The plaintiff was claiming damages to the tune of Rs. 49,21,000/-. The break-up of the compensation claimed by him is detailed in para 4 of the plaint.

  3. The suit was filed as an indigent. The application was later allowed.

  4. The defendants took the plea that the suit was barred by time and it was bad for non-joinder of parties. Defendants No. 1, 3 and 4 in their joint written statement pleaded that the plaintiff or any other person could not interfere with the cable line installed by the board and there would be some defect in the installation of the cable wire or the electric fitting in their house.

  5. Defendant No. 2 took the plea of limitation, non-joinder and estoppel. It was pleaded that the father of the plaintiff had made a statement that it was an unavoidable accident and the cable operator could not be blamed and the cable wires could not be charged as was alleged and they were not at fault.

  6. Replication was filed by the plaintiff and with respect to objections relating to the limitation, it was only pleaded that the suit was within limitation.

  7. On the pleadings of the parties, following issues were framed by the trial Court:-

    "1. Whether the plaintiff is entitled to compensation on account of wrongful act and negligence of the defendants as prayed for? OPP

  8. Whether the suit is within time? OPP

  9. Whether the suit is not maintainable in the present form? OPD

  10. Whether the suit is bad for non-joinder of necessary parties? OPD

  11. Relief."

  12. The trial Court found the plaintiff to be negligent to the extent of 50% and the cable owner and the Electricity Department were held to be responsible for the remaining portion. The suit was held to be within limitation. After considering the bills and the amount spent by the plaintiff, it was held that the defendants were to pay Rs. 7,19,272.50 and it was to be shared by all the defendants in the manner given in the judgment.

  13. Aggrieved by the judgment, the cable operator filed an appeal challenging his liability and urged that there was an admission on the part of the family that there was no cable connection on the date of incident and he could not be blamed nor was responsible for the loss and the suit was barred by limitation. The Appellate Court held that the cause of action accrued to the plaintiff on 18.10.2003 when he was discharged from the hospital and the suit had been filed on 9.8.2006 which was within limitation. All the pleas taken by the...

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