Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Transport corporation told to pay full compensation awarded by Tribunal

When the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) awards compensation/damages to the affected party, the same should be fair and sensible and not extravagant. Further more, it is the Tribunal's duty to award as perfect a sum as possible acting well within its powers, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has said.

Justice M. Venugopal made the observation in a common order on appeals, in which he concluded that the driver of a transport corporation bus was responsible for the collision with an autorickshaw in the year 2000, in which the three-wheeler driver Kumaravelan died. The accident took place on April 4, 2000 at Athanur.

In his award of July 2004, the MACT, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Villupuram, concluded that the bus driver was responsible for the accident to the extent of 75 per cent and the auto driver, 25 per cent.
It awarded nearly Rs.2.90 lakh as compensation to be paid by the transport corporation to Subramani and three others. Seventy-five per cent share of the total amount would be paid by the transport unit and the balance by National Insurance Company.
Dissatisfied with the award directing it to pay Rs.2.17 lakh, the transport corporation preferred an appeal. Aggrieved with the Tribunal's direction to pay the remaining Rs.72,625, the auto owner and the insurance company filed an appeal.
In his common order, Mr. Justice Venugopal said that the Tribunal had not considered the evidence of an eyewitness and the complainant, who was in the auto, with regard to the manner, method and mode of occurrence of the accident. There was no analysis of his evidence by the Tribunal. The complainant's evidence was credible, cogent and convincing and, therefore, worthy of acceptance.
Mr. Justice Venugopal said that he came to the conclusion that the accident took place only because of the culpability of the bus driver. He did not accept the Tribunal's other finding that the auto driver was responsible for causing the accident to the extent of 25 per cent and set aside that finding. The judge dismissed the transport's corporation's appeal. The transport unit is liable to pay the entire amount of compensation awarded by the Tribunal. He allowed the appeal filed by the insurance company and the auto owner.

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