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Mishap victim awarded Rs. 5.13 lakh compensation

A 73-year-old woman, whose leg had to be amputated after a car hit her inside her housing society in 2011, has been awarded a compensation of Rs. 5.13 lakh by the Thane Motor Accident Claims Tribunal.

In his order passed recently, the presiding member of the tribunal and Sessions Judge S Y Kulkarni ordered the owner of the car, Sweety Jitendra Shah, and the National Insurance Company to jointly pay the amount with an interest of seven per cent within a month.

The claimant Gumphabai Baburao Patil, a homemaker residing in Ozone Valley in Parsik Nagar of Kalwa told the tribunal that on January 24, 2011, when she was sitting with her in the garden of the housing society, the speeding car hit her and ran over both her legs, as a result of which she suffered severe injuries and her left leg had to be amputated.

She told the tribunal that the car was being driven by Sweety’s driver.

However, the insurance company said that the claim was not tenable for two reasons as the place where the accident occurred was not a public place and the person, who was driving the car did not have a valid licence.

The forum dismissed both the submissions of the insurer and awarded Rs. 5.13 lakh compensation to the woman, including Rs. 3.38 lakh towards hospital and medical expenses, Rs. 80,000 towards actual and future loss of income, Rs 50,000 towards pain and sufferings and Rs. 5,000 towards medical expenses, among other things.

The order also said, “The scope of definition of public place under the Act is wide enough to include any place, which members of public use and to which they have a right of access. The right of access may be permissive, limited, restricted or regulated by oral or written permission by tickets, passes or badges or on payment of fee.”

“The use may be restricted generally or to particular purpose or purposes. What is necessary is that the place must be accessible to the members of public and be available for their use, enjoyment, avocation or other purposes,” it said.

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