The family of a 35-year-old man, who was killed in a road accident in 2011, has been awarded Rs. 29.36 lakh compensation by the Thane District Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT).
On August 30, 2011, Jatashankar Yadav, employed with a private firm, was travelling in a jeep from Nagothane to Goregaon when his vehicle was hit by a speeding tanker. He was injured in the accident and later died at a local hospital.
His wife Hiravati, children Jaisingh, Soni and Sachin and father Shivmurti informed the MACT that Jatashankar was earning Rs. 20,000 per month and was the sole breadwinner. They demanded a compensation of Rs. 30 lakh for his death.
They claimed that the tanker driver was rash and negligent and hence, lodged a claim on the New India Assurance Company and the vehicle’s owner – Ashish Transport Company.
As the vehicle owner remained absent during hearing, the case was decided ex-parte against him.
However, the insurance company contested the claim and put forth several arguments, including that the jeep driver was negligent resulting in the accident and also that owner of the jeep and its insurer were not made parties to the claim.
District Judge and MACT member K D Vadane, after hearing both the parties, dismissed the insurance company’s claim.
He observed that the insurance company admitted to the occurrence of the accident, but did not adduce any corroborative piece of evidence to support its contention that the mishap occurred due to sole negligence on the part of driver of the jeep in which Jatashaknar was travelling.
“The FIR copy and spot panchanama show that at the relevant time of the incident driver of tanker drove in high speed…Therefore crime was registered against him. Thus, the contention of the applicants is corroborated by the police papers on record,” the judge noted.
“Therefore, I come to conclusion that impugned accident occurred due to sole negligence on the part of driver of tanker, and there was no negligence on the part of driver of the jeep,” he observed in a recent order.
The judge awarded a total compensation of Rs. 29,36,664 to be paid to the claimants jointly and severally by the vehicle’s owner and the insurance firm.
He ordered that the amount be distributed as Rs. 6 lakh each to three children by way of Fixed Deposit for five years. His father be given Rs. 4 lakh and Rs. 2 lakh be invested in the name of the widow by way of Fixed Deposit for five years. In addition, the widow be given the balance amount along with the interest as realised.