Civil Appeal Nos. 5373-5375 of 2013 (Arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 7407-7409 of 2012). Case: Rekha Jain and Anr. Vs National Insurance Company Ltd.. Supreme Court

Case Number:Civil Appeal Nos. 5373-5375 of 2013 (Arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 7407-7409 of 2012)
Party Name:Rekha Jain and Anr. Vs National Insurance Company Ltd.
Judges:G.S. Singhvi and V. Gopala Gowda, JJ.
Issue:Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 - Sections 149(2), 170
Judgement Date:August 01, 2013
Court:Supreme Court


V. Gopala Gowda, J.

1. Leave granted by this Court vide order dated 02.07.2013 after condoning the delay in filing the special leave petitions.

2. These appeals are filed by the claimants namely Rekha Jain and T.A. Sebastian. They have questioned the correctness of the judgment and award and order dated 24.2.2011 passed by the High Court of Orissa, Cuttack in MACA No. 579 of 2007 and order dated 10/03/2011 in MC No. 385 of 2011 in MACA No. 579 of 2007 in the aforesaid appeal and final order dated 24.11.2011 in M.A.C.A. No. 844 of 2007 urging rival facts and legal contentions.

3. The daughter and the husband of the deceased have filed these appeals seeking just and reasonable compensation on account of the death of the deceased in a motor vehicle accident, which took place on 17.08.2001. The deceased was traveling alongwith her daughter, the first Appellant in her Maruti Car bearing Regn. No. OR 15 D-9005. The accident took place on account of rash and negligent driving of the offending truck bearing Regn. No. MP 23 D-0096. The deceased Dr. Grace Jain died on the spot, as she had sustained grievous injuries on account of the said accident. It is stated by the Appellants that the deceased was a renowned doctor serving as a lecturer in Odisha College of Homeopathy and Research, Sambalpur and had private practice as well.

4. It is stated in the claim petition and in the evidence that the salary of the deceased was Rs. 12,000/- per month. The Appellants herein filed claim petition i.e. Misc.(A) Case No. 118 of 2002 claiming compensation of Rs. 27,00,000/- before the Second Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Northern Division, Sambalpur (hereinafter referred to as 'the Tribunal').

5. The owner of the truck (since deleted from the array of parties) appeared and filed identical written statement in the claim petition as that of the written statement filed in Rekha Jain's claim petition. According to him, the driver of the truck had valid driving licence and the same was insured with Respondent - National Insurance Company Limited (hereinafter referred to as the 'Insurance Company'). The owner of the offending vehicle has further stated that his driver was not negligent. A motor cyclist suddenly came in front of the truck overtaking him from its left side and hence the driver had to move to the right side in order to avoid accident with the motor cyclist. In that process the truck hit the Maruti car causing death of the deceased.

6. The Respondent-Insurance Company had also filed similar written statement in both the claim petitions denying its liability on the ground that the driver of the offending truck was negligent and that the accident occurred due to the negligence of the driver of the Maruti Car. On behalf of Rekha Jain, the first Appellant herself was examined as a witness PW 3 and two other eye witnesses were examined as PW 1 and PW 2 to prove the occurrence of the accident. On the basis of documentary and oral evidence particularly eye witnesses' evidence, the finding of fact was recorded on issue Nos. 2 and 3 that the accident took place on account of rash and negligent driving of the offending truck driver and it was also answered that the claim petition filed by the Appellants is maintainable. The Tribunal held that the Appellant's mother died and the first Appellant was grievously injured due to the accident involving offending vehicle. The Tribunal also recorded the finding of...

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