Local court awards Rs 1.8 cr in damages in accident death

Rs 1.8 crore awarded to the mother and wife of a 32-year -old who died in a road accident five years back.

Written by RAGHAV OHRI | Chandigarh | Published:September 21, 2013 2:50 am

A local court here has awarded exemplary compensation of Rs 1.8 crore to the mother and wife of a 32-year -old who died in a road accident five years back. This is the highest compensation ever ordered by a Chandigarh court in a case of motor accident claim.

Narinder Rana’s car was hit by a school bus on December 12,2008. The head-on collision happened around 8 am when Rana,a resident of Mohali,was heading for Patiala. A bus of a prominent school in Sector 35,Chandigarh,was approaching from the opposite direction. Bus driver Nitin Saini was driving the vehicle in a rash and negligent manner. Such was the impact of the collision that Rana suffered multiple injuries. He was rushed to GMCH-32 and was operated upon. Later,however,he succumbed to injuries the same day.

Aggrieved,Rana’s wife,his eight-year-old daughter and mother petitioned the Chandigarh District Court,demanding compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act. Senior lawyer Thakur Kartar Singh and advocate Vishal Thakur,counsel for the petitioners,contended that the victim was the sole bread winner for the family. Thakur Kartar Singh had argued that Rana was drawing a salary of over Rs 1 lakh per month from his company. Rana,an MBA,was cluster head of a leading telecom company in Patiala.

The petitioners contended that Saini was driving the bus in a rash and negligent manner and should be made to pay compensation of Rs 2 crore to the kin of the deceased. The claim was contested by the driver,owner of the offending vehicle,and the insurance company,Oriental Insurance Company,Sector 17.

The respondents contested the monthly salary of Rana. Since the company had its headquarters in Mumbai,the court of Preeti Sahni,Additional District and Sessions Judge,constituted a commission of lawyers to visit Mumbai and record statement of the senior-most officer of the company. The company corroborated the claim that Rana was drawing a handsome salary (of around Rs 1 lakh per month).

The statement of an eyewitness of the accident also supported the case of Rana’s family that the bus was being driven in a rash manner.

“All the documents and evidence,when taken into consideration,prove this fact that the accident in question had taken place due to rash and negligent driving of the bus driver,” reads the judgment.

Taking into account the age,salary drawn and minor daughter of the deceased,the court has awarded exemplary compensation of Rs 1.8 crore to the daughter,wife and mother of Rana. “The liability to pay the amount shall be joint and several of the respondents (driver,owner of the bus and the insurance company),” reads the court order.

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