MAC App. No. 11 of 2012. Case: The State of Tripura and Ors. Vs Jiban Das and Ors.. Tripura High Court

Case NumberMAC App. No. 11 of 2012
CounselFor Appellant: D.C. Nath, Advocate and For Respondents: H.K. Bhowmik, Advocate
JudgesDeepak Gupta, C.J.
IssueMotor Vehicles Act, 1988 - Sections 10, 167, 2(21), 2(28)
Judgement DateNovember 24, 2015
CourtTripura High Court


Deepak Gupta, C.J., (At Agartala)

  1. This appeal by the State of Tripura is directed against the award dated 12-07-2011 delivered by the learned Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Court No. 4, West Tripura, Agartala in case No. T.S.(MAC) 414 of 2006 whereby he held the State liable to pay compensation of Rs. 2,45,780/- along with interest.

  2. The undisputed facts are that the claimant Jiban Das was engaged as labourer by the contractor. He was working as labourer doing the job of metalling and carpeting of the road. While the claimant was so working, one road roller owned by the State was being used for the purpose of carpeting of the road. The claimant-petitioner was engaged in the work of standing behind the wheel of the road roller, pouring water of the wheel and removing the earth from the wheel of the running roller. While doing so, the claimant suffered an injury and two of his fingers had to be amputated. The claimant thereafter filed a claim petition and has been awarded aforesaid amount. This award is under challenge in this Court.

  3. The only ground of challenge is that the claimant should have filed a petition under the Workmen's Compensation Act (W.C. Act) and in that event, the State could have recovered the amount from the contractor.

  4. I find no merit in this contention. Under Section 167 of the Motor Vehicles Act (M.V. Act), an option is available to a party to file a claim petition either under the M.V. Act or under the W.C. Act. Section 167 reads as follows:--

    167. Option regarding claims for compensation in certain cases.--Notwithstanding anything contained in the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923 (8 of 1923) where the death of, or bodily injury to, any person gives rise to a claim for compensation under this Act and also under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923, the person entitled to compensation may without prejudice to the provisions of Chapter X claim such compensation under either of those Acts but not under both.

  5. Therefore, if a workman receives injuries during the course of his duty by a motor vehicle, he can decide whether to file a petition under the W.C. Act or under the M.V. Act. Once the claimant had exercised his option to file a petition before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, the M.V. Act alone will apply and the provisions of the W.C. Act could not be incorporated to bring a new defence for the State.

  6. The vehicle in question, i.e. the road roller was owned by the State. There is no...

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